The Indian Army has planned to induct women officers into its artillery regiment. The Indian army is the largest armed force service, and its decision to induct women into the combat system is widely welcomed.
A senior officer told the Times of India, “After permanent commission (PC) for women officers, the plan to induct women in artillery regiments is part of the overall process towards making the army as gender-neutral as possible.”
After the infantry, the regiment of artillery is the second-largest arm of the Indian Army. It is also described as the “Arm of Decision” as it houses missiles, guns, mortars, rocket launchers, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Currently, women army officers have not been permitted to access the infantry, armour, artillery, or mechanised infantry. Similarly, women are restricted from submarines in the Navy as of now.
Army Women Officers Artillery
Since the early 1990s, women officers have been inducted into the 14 lakh-strong armed forces. However, there are only 3900 (around 1,710 in the Army, 1,650 in the IAF, and 600 in the Navy) in the 65,000-strong officer cadre. Apart from this, 1670 women doctors, 190 dentists, and 4,750 nurses serve in the military medical stream.
The army had opposed the induction of women in large numbers and had only assigned them combat roles or granted them the PC on grounds of “operational, practical, and cultural problems.” However, with the help of the Supreme Court, women are breaking more barriers in the army and climbing their way to the top.
Since August 2022, the first batch of 19 female cadets has been enrolled in a three-year programme at the national defence academy in Khadakwasla.
Aside from education and law, women officers can now obtain permanent commissions in eight new fields. Army Air Defense, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, EME, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and Intelligence Corps are among them.
Currently, 108 women officers are being considered for promotion to the rank of colonel, out of 244 being considered for the first time.
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