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SC approves to give permanent commission to women officers in the army

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On February 17, 2020, The Supreme Court(SC) bench of Justices  D.Y. Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the central government’s submission that women have physiological and domestic limitations , agreed on Delhi High Court’s decision about eligibility of permanent commission and command post to short service commissioned (SSC) women officers in the Indian army.

Supreme Court ordered the government to implement its judgment in 3 months and judgement finalized of 10-year-old appeal filed by the government against the 2010 decision of the Delhi High Court (HC).

Key Points:

i.New changes:The grant of permanent commission means that women military officers can now work in the army till the age of retirement. So far, women officers working in the army under the Short Service Commission will now be given the option to choose a permanent commission. After permanent commission, women officers will also be entitled to pension.

ii.The central government is now obliged to give permanent commission to women officers in 10 non-combat arms of Indian army but not applicable to combat arms of the Indian army .It is to be noted that the Indian air force has Women Officers in its combat arms.

iii.Female officers will now be given permanent commissions in 10 non-combat arms which include – Judge Advocate General, Army Education Corps, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence.

iv.So far, women officers were not eligible to serve in Command positions (rank of Colonel and above) due to their limited service time scheme of 10+4 years as was the structure with Short service commission. The judgement now makes women officers eligible for promotion for Command position ranks. 

iv.Background:
Women officers in the Indian Military Service are recruited through the Short Service Commission (SSC) and can work in the army for a period of 10 years, extendable up to 14 years. However, they are not given pension even after retirement due to not being able to work for 20 years.
Male SSC officers can get permanent commission at the end of 10 years of service,but this option was not available to women officers.

Permanent Commission in Army:
It means a career till the age of retirement. It means an officer gets selected through the Permanent Commission and serve the nation up to the age of 60 years. An Army officer has to join the National Defence Academy (NDA), (Indian Military Academy) IMA or Officers Training Academy (OTA) for permanent commission.

About Indian Army:
Founded
– 1 April 1895
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS)- General Manoj Mukund Naravane