“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”-Sheryl Sandberg. Recently, the supreme court of India has passed a rule where it granted permanent commission to women officers of the Indian Defence forces.
This step is a leading light towards women empowerment and a corrective measure to bring down gender biasness. Also, women are given the honor to lead defence forces as army commanders. As per the new rules of the supreme court, now women are permitted to command different military units. However, they are still not allowed to take part in any combat operations of the army.
Before the supreme court of India made this decision, the government of India showed strong resistance in accepting women as leading commanders by drawing some baseless gender stereotypes. Also, it made sceptical arguments that women should not be offered the leading role of brigadier or colonel as most of the army soldiers are from rural backgrounds who are not mentally prepared to accept women as their commander.
However, this issue was exaggerated by the media and the defence forces responded positively to this agenda. Later on, the armed forces agreed to grant permanent commission to women officers. Now, women who have flaming passion to join the armed forces can prepare for the NDA exam. If anyone needs proper mentoring for the exam, they can link with a brilliant institute that caters perfect NDA coaching in Chandigarh.
However, there are some key issues that need to be discussed even after the rules passed by the supreme court of India:
- Eradicating gender biases in the Defence forces
The way Indian defence forces countered the decision made by the supreme court of India shows their patricentric mindset. While the supreme court has enlightened the career path of women by passing this remarkable order, the background needs are still to be considered.
Back in 1927, women used to work as military nursing officers in the defence forces and started working as medical officers in 1943. After independence, women were inducted into the defence forces through WSES (Women Special Entry Scheme) in 1992, after the permission of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. In 2019, during the month of February the Supreme Court of India granted permanent commission to women officers in eight streams of the Indian Army, earlier it was granted in 2008.
These decisions were appreciated as trailblazing taken voluntarily by the armed forces without interference of the Supreme court. Hence, we cannot justify that the Indian defence forces have a patriarchal perspective and have opposed these changes. It is a true fact that there are different rules and conditions of service for men and women officers. These conditions are altered from time to time for upliftment of women officers, starting from 5 years of service, later on extended to five more years, followed by 10+4 years of service.
Note that women officers are an essential part of the armed forces, their entry was not court driven but need based. No one can deny that women are given relaxation in physical eligibility during their selection to the defence forces of India. They are offered softer appointments by considering issues like hygiene, privacy and sensitivities.
Women officers who wish to join the armed forces must be determined to overcome these hurdles. This is only to ensure that standards are not lowered to empower women as it can affect operational efficiency of the armed forces. So, women who want to lead the Naval force can prepare for the CDS exam. If anyone needs astounding training for the exam preparation, they can approach a leading institute that delivers superb CDS coaching in Chandigarh.
- Command Assignments and Operational Efficiency
For implementing the order of the Supreme court, engagement terms of women officers need to be revised. As per the reports of the media, defence forces are working to design new rules regarding it and will soon share with the general public. To maintain operation efficiency of the Defence forces, selection to command assignments is merit-based irrespective of gender.
Moreover, selection to command should be done with help of confidential reports and closed promotion board, same for both the genders. The best officers should be offered command irrespective of their gender. These are some valid basics to ensure the operational efficiency of the armed forces. From here, we can deduce that relaxation given to women officers during their selection will be withdrawn. This is how they will be honored as “Leaders” and not “Appointed Officers”.
- Role of women officers in combat arms
The Indian Navy made a decision in March 2020 that women officers will be inducted in every warship of the Indian Navy. Deployment of women into the military forces is a hard challenge to be faced by the defence forces of India. The leadership in armed forces is laid on the underpinning principle of “Leading from the front” which must not be ignored.
It states that every officer and soldier must go through the same selection procedure, promotional exams, appointments, criteria assignments and appointments without any concessions.
Any woman who wants to be an officer in the Airforce of India, she can prepare for the AFCAT exam. While preparing for the exam, if she needs proper assistance then connecting with a recognized institute that provides excellent AFCAT coaching in Chandigarh can serve great benefit.
The role of women in the Indian defence forces is clearly elaborated above. The Supreme court of India has made laudable decisions for uplifting women of the country and to demolish gender biasness. This is how women are not only empowered in the business sector but also in the armed forces of India.