Currently, women officers are eligible for permanent commission (PC) in only two non-combat streams of Indian Army.
New Delhi: Indian Army has started the process of giving permanent commission to women officers who have joined the service through Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES) and Short Service Commission Women (SSCW). They have been asked to submit their application along with other documents to Army headquarters by August 31, 2020.
Currently, women officers are eligible for permanent commission (PC) in only two non-combat streams of Indian Army, which are Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps.
The Supreme Court in February had directed that all serving women officers who have been recruited under the Short Service Commission (SSC) will have to be considered for Permanent Commission and holding of command in non-combat.
Thereafter, last month the defence ministry had issued a formal order to allow serving women officers to be eligible for permanent commission in eight additional streams.
“Consequent to the receipt of formal government sanction letter for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers in Indian army, the Army HQ is in the process of convening a Special Number 5 Selection Board for screening women officers for grant of PC,” said Indian army in a statement. It said that detailed administrative instructions have been issued to all affected women officers giving out guidelines for submission of applications for consideration by the Board.
“Women Officers who have joined the Indian Army through WSES and SSCW are being considered and all of them have been instructed to submit their application forms, option certificate and other related documents to Army HQ not later than 31 August 2020. Specimen formats and detailed checklists have been included in the administrative instructions in order to facilitate correct documentation,” said the army.
It said that due to the prevailing restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 situation, multiple means of dissemination of instructions have been adopted to ensure that these documents reach all affected women officers on priority. “The Selection Board will be scheduled immediately after receipt and verification of applications,” it added.
Under SSC, women officers are initially taken for a period of five years, which is extendable up to 14 years. Permanent commissioning will allow them to serve till the age of retirement.
In 2008, women officers were given permanent commission (PC) in two non-combat streams of JAG and Army Education Corps.
Last month, defence ministry order had specified grant of PC to SSC women officers in additional eight streams of the Indian Army which are army air defence, signals, engineers, army aviation, electronics and mechanical engineers (EME), army service corps, army ordnance corps, and intelligence corps.