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No decision on women in combat roles: Pranab

Written by: Staff
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Pune, Jul 23: Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherji here today said no decision has been taken about women in combat roles in the defence services.

Talking to reporters, he said the issue of women's inclusion in combat roles and their permanent commission needs further discussion.

''We still have to decide on these two issues as women were formerly inducted in the Medical Corps and later in Short Service Commission in 1987 in different servuces,'' said Mr Mukherji.

To another query about security concerns over a list of VVIP's who are not subject to security checks at airports whereas the three service chiefs are made to go through the security checks, the minister said VVIPs did not pose security concerns.

The minister reiterated that there was no infiltration of any LeT cadres in the Air Force. He said the matter was investigated and security has not been breached.

Earlier, while addressing students on the occasion of the 17th Convocation ceremony of Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, the minister asked students to be part of the development process in rural India.

''Village Panchayats are now central to developmental activities.

Villages are under-managed and do not have expertise for integrated planning of village infrastructure. Educational institutions have a major role to play. so students must become ''Village Planners'', he urged.

The finest architects, best scientists, best technologists, best agricultural experts and managers must get together as a team and start drawing up implementable blueprints of model villages, he added. Developmental process must meet the needs of the weak and the marginalised as India was within striking distance of a double digit growth rate poised to register more than seven per cent GDP presently, he added.

UNI

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