New Delhi: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that no branch of the Armed Forces should remain closed for women officers. Also Read - ‘Your Story Has Inspired Many in Society’: PM Modi Interacts With 'Nari Shakti Puraskar' Awardees
Saying that there is some degree of resistance against the commission of women in all branches of the services, the Defence Minister stated that the resistance, however, is coming down slowly. Also Read - Women's Day 2020: President Kovind Presents 'Nari Shakti' Awards to Exceptional Women of India
“We believe that no branch of the Armed Forces should remain closed for women officers. I know that there is some degree of resistance against the commission of women in all branches of the services but this resistance is reducing,” Singh said in a tweet. Also Read - Nari Shakti: Women Achievers to Handle PM Modi's Social Media Accounts Today
He also stated that female officers are now working in all branches of the Indian Air Force. He assured that rest of the branches would be opened soon for women officers as well.
“Women today are working in all branches of the Indian Air Force, eight branches of the Army and all non-seagoing branches of Indian Navy. I want to assure you that rest of the branches would be opened soon,” Singh said.
The development comes after Defence Minister on February 17 this year welcomed the Supreme Court ruling that grants permanent commissioning of women officers in the Army and allowing command positions to them. Around 1,500 women Army personnel are likely to benefit from the Supreme Court order.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the Supreme Court’s judgement on giving the women officers permanent commission in the armed forces. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has supported the idea of permanent commission for women and announced the change in policy in his Independence Day speech in 2018,” Singh had said in a tweet.
The apex court had said that within three months all serving SSC women officers have to be considered for Permanent Commissions (PCs) irrespective of them having crossed 14 years or, as the case may be, 20 years of service.
He said there have been instances where certain women officers have been in the job for nearly twenty years, while short service commission term terminates in 14 years.
“In 2019, the defence ministry granted a permanent commission to women in all 10 branches of the Indian Army, including Signal Corps, intelligence, aviation, engineering, service corps and ordinance corps,” added Rajnath Singh.