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Indian Navy inducts 341 women sailors under Agniveer scheme

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Of the 3,000 Agniveers inducted into the Navy, 341 are woman who were selected through similar tests and selection procedures as their male counterparts.

New Delhi, Dec 03: In a signifiant development, the Indian Navy has inducted 341 women sailors under the Agniveer scheme. Addressing a press conference ahead of Navy Day, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar said that around 3,000 Agniveers have been inducted into the Navy of which 341 are woman. He also said that 82,000 of the 10 lakh applicants sought available positions in the Indian Navy were women. He also said that there was no discrimination in the selection process and that to qualify both men and women had to pass similar tests.

"We're not inducting women separately. They're being inducted in the same manner as their male counterparts. It's a uniform method of selection. They undergo similar tests," the Navy chief said.

Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar

They'll be deployed on ships, airbases, aircraft. They will be trained for everything the way a normal sailor is trained. There is going to be no difference in training. We're looking at being a gender-neutral force where we only look at capability of the individual, the Chief of Naval Staff also said.

Come next year, we are looking at women officers being inducted across all branches and not just the 7-8 branches they're restricted to as of today, he also said.

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"Services are gender-neutral. Already there are women doing combat roles. There are fighter pilots and air operations officers in the Navy. Now all branches are being opened in the coming year, we have started inducting women sailors as well. It is a landmark achievement," Admiral Hari Kumar said.

"We have had a good response, for 3000 vacancies, we had almost 10 lakh applicants, out of whom 82,000 were women. We don't know finally how many of them will meet all the standards because we do not have separate standards as the job is the same," the Navy chief also said.

Recent global events such as the Ukraine conflict demonstrated that we can't remain dependent on others for our security requirements," he said while adding that the Navy had assured the government it will become Aatmanirbhar by 2047.

He further added that the Navy's goal is to find Made-in-India security solutions for the country. "The government has given us clear guidelines on Atmanirbhar Bharat. We have given assurances that the Indian Navy will become Aatmanirbhar by 2047," the Navy Chief also said.

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While terminating the commissioning of the indigenous aircraft carrier carrier INS Vikrant a landmark event for the Indian Navy, he said that there are very few countries countries that have the capability to make an aircraft carrier and we now form one of the elite," he said. "It inspires self-confidence among us and it's a shining symbol of our indigenous capability. It has contributed to enhancing the stature of the nation in the world. I'm sure Vikrant will proudly fly the Tiranga across the wide reaches of Indo-Pacific in years to come.

On the docking of a Chinese spy ship at Sri Lanka's Hambantota seaport recently Admiral Hari Kumar said that the Indian Navy keeps a strong vigil over the movements of various Chinese military and research ships in the Indian Ocean Region.

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