In a historic move, the centre today told the Supreme Court that women will be admitted into the National Defence Academy (NDA) for permanent commission into India’s armed forces. The government, however, said it needs some time to frame guidelines to pave the way for women to take NDA courses.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, “I have great news. The service chiefs and government have decided that girls will be given permanent commission through NDA and Naval academy. The decision was taken late last evening.”
Girls only have Short Service Technical and Non-technical, NCC Entry, AFCAT exams, UES etc. But today, the good news must have left many female aspirants happy. The Supreme Court has given 10 days to the centre to reply with the guidelines.
In the hearing on August 18, the court criticised a “mindset problem” when it came to equal service opportunities for men and women in the country’s armed forces, and warned the government “you better change”.
The Bench asked the government to file an affidavit in this regard by September 22, the next date of hearing. It said the Armed Forces was a respected institution, but it had more to do regarding gender equality. The court admitted that it was not a happy situation for it to constantly nudge the authorities into taking action on bettering gender representation. The Bench said authorities needed to act by themselves.
At present, women are recruited in the defence services as short service commission officers. On March 17, 2020, the Supreme Court ordered women officers to be given the same option of converting their short service commission to permanent commission—as given to male officers.