"Our policy on women officers has changed. We have received Defence Minister's (Arun Jaitley) approval on empowering women officers from 2015 onwards," top Army sources were quoted as saying in DeccanHerald.
As per reports, the government will soon file an affidavit in the Supreme Court where it will say that women officers joining the force from 2015-16 onwards would be nurtured to command battalions.
Army to let women head combat units
Currently, women officers work in several branches of all three services, but only in non-combat arms and are not allowed to command units except the combat arms like infantry and armour corps. They are recruited in Short Service Commission (SSC) and are not allowed to command combat support unit, in which they work.
According to the World Bank, population of female (% of total) in India was last measured at 48.27 in 2011. Thus, opening up these combat positions to women will give half of India a good and secure career option.
From the past:
Women in military have a history that extends for over 400 years into the past. Even though majority of all combatant forces have been men in every culture, women have played sundry roles in the military, from ancient warrior women, to the women currently serving in conflicts.
The role of women in the armed forces was limited to the medical profession i.e. doctors and nurses for a long time but a change came in the early nineties.
In Indian Army, the women officers were first inducted in the early 1990s. Not only today even in the past women have been allowed in medical arm of the forces even before the Independence days.
The new proposal will give women officers a choice at the time of recruitment. If responded positively, they would be groomed and their physical ability will be checked. Once they are groomed they will be evaluated at par with their male colleagues in the command position. Such women officers will then be asked to take up several military courses for further grooming.
If the aforesaid changes are made and implemented, it will benefit not only women but will also bring advantage to the Indian Army and both will grow enormously.