The government of India in Lok Sabha last Friday provided data on women serving in defence. There are approximately 7,000 women serving in the army which is followed by 1,636 in the Air Force and 748 in the Navy.
Ajay Bhatt, the Minister of State for Defence said that approximately 7,093 women personnel are in the Army, including 6,993 in the Army Medical Corps, Military Nursing Service (MNS) and the Army Dental Corps. Other Hundred women are serving in other ranks in the military.
Data On Women In Armed Forces
He also added, that employment in the armed forces of India is completely gender neutral and there is no difference in the working conditions or deployment of the female and male soldiers in the army and the other services in which they might be serving. The postings are done completely based on the organisational requirements, whereas the employment is according to the service qualitative requirements and the qualifications.
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The minister also said referring to the army that, consequent to granting a permanent commission to women officers, a gender-neutral progression of career policy which will cover employment, as well as promotional aspects, has been promulgated on November 23, 2021, which will provide equal opportunities to the women officers.
Also about the IAF, Bhatt said that women officers are encouraged and empowered to hold all the key appointments which include the commanding officers even in combat units of different field units. He said, “The rules regarding this are gender-neutral and provide them with equal opportunities. Their medical conditions and fitness are also factored before their utilisation,”
About employment of women in the Indian Navy, he said that officers are provided with opportunities for spouse co-location, compassionate grounds posting and are-settlement posting in a proper gender-neutral manner. To a different question, he claimed a proposal for the creation of a Non-Lapsable Defence Modernisation Fund (DMF) is being considered by the Ministry of Defence.
He said that the Defence Modernisation Fund will be available for the modernisation of the defence forces which would supplement the regular yearly budgetary allocations with the help of eliminating any sort of uncertainty in the provision of adequate funds for different infrastructure projects and defence capability development.
He also claimed, “ Proper mechanism for operationalising the funds is being worked out with the proper consultation with the Finance Ministry.” Different parliamentary panels also recommended the Constitution of the Defence Modernisation Fund in order to unspent budgetary allocations so that the three services can be retained after the fiscal year ends.