Today, an advertisement in the papers reads “Applications are invited from female Indian citizens for recruitment as Soldier General Duty (Women Military Police).”  With this ad the Indian Army inks a historic day for women of this country. This is the first time women candidates are being sought at Soldier (Jawan) level for regular employment in the Army.

If we look back, the process started decades back, the year 1992, was an important landmark in the history of Indian Army as it inducted its first batch of Short Service Commission women officers into the officer cadre for the first time.

Today, an advertisement in the papers reads “Applications are invited from female Indian citizens for  recruitment as Soldier General Duty (Women Military Police)”  with this ad the Indian Army inks a historic day for women of this country.

From 1992 to today, the Army has come a long way.

The induction of Women Officers (WOs) was approved in 1992 by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs as Short Service Cadre. The first batch of 25 WOs were commissioned into Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), Army Education Corps (AEC) and Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department in March 1993. The initial terms of engagement was five years, which over the period was extended and presently is 10 years with option of extension by another four years (10+4). In 2008, permanent commission was granted to women in AEC and JAG Dept. Additionally, the number of vacancies for WOs has been enhanced to around 80\100. Today there are nearly 1400 WOs in the IA (approx 3 % of the total authorised strength of officers).

The process of inducting women in the defence services was not an easy decision. It came with generation of considerable debate, both, within and outside defence circles.

Why is this important?

The process of inducting women in the defence services was not an easy decision. It came with generation of considerable debate, both, within and outside defence circles. Since the Constitution of India guarantees equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of sex, it was considered only right that women should be allowed to join the army as well. The more vociferous among the women activists even referred to this step as the “last male bastion”.

However, until today, women were inducted at the officer level and not lower, which is why this employment advertisement marks an important milestone for the Indian Army and for the women of this country.

Let’s keep marching ahead!

Also read: Army Allows Permanent Commission For Women In All 10 Branches

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