New Delhi: In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday passed an interim order allowing women to appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam, paving way for greater inclusion of women in India’s Armed Forces. The NDA exam will be held on September 5, 2021. The admissions, however, will be subject to the final orders of the court.Also Read - NEET-SS 2021: Doctors Knock Supreme Court’s Door Challenging 'Abrupt Last-minute Changes' in Exam Pattern
Passing the interim orders, the Supreme Court called policy decision a “mindset problem” and gender discriminatory, as it slammed the Army for not letting women take part in the NDA exam. “This is a mindset problem. You (the government) better change it… don’t force us to pass orders,” the court said. “This policy decision is based on gender discrimination. We direct the respondents to take a constructive view of the matter in view of the judgement of this court,” it added. Also Read - 'Third Wave Not in Offing Immediately', Supreme Court Allows Kerala Govt to Hold Class XI Exams Offline
“The endeavour is to persuade the Army to do things itself… We would prefer if the Army did something itself, rather than us passing orders,” the top court further said. Also Read - COVID-Related Deaths or Not? After Supreme Court's '3rd Wave' Rebuke, Centre Issues Guidelines | Key Takeaways
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy passed the interim order in response to a writ petition filed by Kush Kalra seeking permission for women to sit for the NDA exam.
The petition cites violation of articles 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Indian constitution by denying the opportunity to the eligible women candidates to join the National Defence Academy.
Men who pass the NDA exam are granted permanent commission in India’s armed forces. Women are considered for a permanent commission in the later stages of their career only after being recruited as Short Service Commission Officers initially.