Govt frames policy on permanent comm to women

New Delhi: Clearing the way for granting permanent commission to women officers in the armed forces, government has introduced a policy on their selection and employment in some select branches of the three services, Defence Minister A K Antony told the Lok Sabha today.

Replying to a question in the House, Antony said that a policy has been laid down for granting permanent commission to women officers in several technical and non-technical cadres.

"The Ministry has issued a government letter on November 11, 2011 inter-alia laying down policy on induction and employment of women in armed forces including grant of Permanent Commission to women Short Service Commission Officers (SSCO)," he said.

They will be eligible for permanent commission in specific branches of the three services such as Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps (AEC) and their corresponding branches in Navy and Air Force such as Naval Constructor and Accounts branch in Air Force, the Minister said.

"In addition to the above, in IAF, women SSCO will be eligible for consideration of permanent commission in Technical, Administration, Logistics and Meteorology Branches," he said.

The grant of permanent commission will be subject to willingness of candidate and specific requirements by the services, availability of vacancies, suitability and merit of the candidates, Antony said in his reply.

Excluding the Army Medical Corps, Dental Corps and Military Nursing Services where women are allowed to join on permanent commission, a total of 2,279 women officers are presently serving in the three forces.

Giving a service-wise detail of their strength, Antony said 1055 women officers are serving in the army, while 288 and 936 are employed with the navy and air force respectively.

In army, women are granted Short Service Commission (SSC)in branches such as Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Intelligence, Army Education Corps and JAG.

Navy employs women SSC officers in JAG, Logistics, Observer, Air Traffic Controller, Naval Constructor and Education. In Air Force, they are allowed to join as SSC officers in all the branches except fighter stream of flying branch.