In a historic move, the Supreme Court allowed women to be admitted to the National Defense Academy (NDA) for Permanent Commission (PC) in the Armed Forces of India. The Central Government recently informed the Supreme Court that they have decided to allow women to join defense forces for PC through NDA and Naval Academy. However, the government has sought some time to frame guidelines before admitting women to several NDA courses. The Supreme Court has asked the Center to file its reply by September 22, 2021. Meanwhile, the government will decide the process and the timeline for action.
Armed forces play an important role and thus there should be gender equality in the forces. A bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundaresh noted that they want the NDA to take a proactive approach to ensure gender equality itself instead of involving the courts in matters.
According to Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, it is a matter of great happiness that now women will be given admission in NDA. The court commended Ms. Bhati for taking proactive steps in favor of women who want to pursue a career in the armed forces. There are currently three ways to enter the defense sector, including the NDA, the Indian Military Academy (IMA), and the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), and women are allowed entry through OTAs and IMAs.
The court had also rejected the government’s contention that women were physically weaker than men and declared that women officers of the SSC were equally eligible for permanent commission and command posts in the Army, irrespective of how many they held. years of service. The top court suggested that since the armed forces are a very respectable and prestigious force, they should go further towards promoting gender equality in all spheres.
Women officers of the Indian Army have also brought many honors to the force and their track record of service is commendable and commendable.
The move comes less than a month after the SC, in a landmark interim order, allowed eligible women to take the NDA entrance exam, which will be held on November 14, 2021. On August 18, 2021, the Supreme Court issued interim directions, allowing women candidates to appear in the NDA entrance exam to get commissioned as officers in the defense services. The court was hearing a PIL which raised the issue of violation of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Constitution of India, 1950 by denying opportunity to eligible and deserving women candidates to appear in NDA and Naval Academy Examination. Kush Kalra filed the petition raising the issue of denial of opportunity of admission to the National Defense Academy to deserving and aspiring female candidates on the basis of their gender. Eligible women candidates were not allowed to undergo training at the renowned Joint Training Institute of the Indian Armed Forces, which acts as a hindrance to career advancement opportunities for women officers in the Armed Forces.
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