The Supreme Court Wednesday allowed NDA exam for women, pulling up the Indian Army for “gender discrimination” and calling out the “mindset problem” that backs the violation of women’s constitutional rights.
The National Defence Academy government exam is for recruitment to the Army that until now only men were eligible to give. The groundbreaking order from the top court will permit eligible women candidates to sit for the UPSC exam scheduled for November 14 this year.
Admissions to the NDA, the training academy for the Indian Armed Forces in Maharashtra, will be subject to final court orders.
The division bench of Justices SK Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy urged the Army for change via a “constructive” lens as directed by the court. “We would prefer if the Army did somethings itself, rather than us passing orders,” the court said.
NDA Exam For Women: The Gates Finally Open. What The Court Said
The writ petition in the case was filed by Kush Kalra, who sought permission for women to sit for the NDA exam in line with their rights under Articles 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Indian Constitution.
“Even after Justice Chandrachud’s judgment expanding the horizons and extending Permanent Commission in the Army to women? We are finding it absurd!” the court asked the government counsel, as quoted by NDTV. Last year, court orders granted women long-awaited permanent commission in the Navy and Army.
The government during the hearing said “equal opportunity in the armed forces” was being granted to women through various avenues and that there was no violation of their fundamental rights.
SC rapped the counsel, saying women not being allowed to take recruitment exams “on the sole ground of their sex” was an “act of discrimination… a dishonour committed by the respondents to the Constitutional values” of equality, equal opportunity and professional freedoms.