422 Women Officers Given Permanent Commission in the Army. Who Run the World? Girls!

Social Commentary

422 Women Officers Given Permanent Commission in the Army. Who Run the World? Girls!

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

At the culmination of a process that has lasted nearly all of this year, the Indian Army recently completed a selection process that saw 422 women officers approved for Permanent Commission. This historic decision marks the first time that women officers have been considered for Permanent Commission in all ten branches of the Army, following a Supreme Court order directing the Army to implement the same in February this year. Pursuant to the court’s verdict, the Army constituted the Number 5 Selection Board to screen Short Service Commissioned (SSC) officers’ eligibility for Permanent Commission. Out of the 615 women officers considered, 422 have been chosen.

Earlier this year, on 17 February, the Supreme Court delivered a verdict where it asked the Army to consider granting women officers a Permanent Commission. As the results of the Number 5 Selection Board’s screening process were declassified, Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud expressed satisfaction with the way the verdict was implemented. “It is the victory of our nation that women aspire to achieve the highest pedestal… It is a great feeling even for us as judges,” he said.

The women SSC officers underwent the screening process this year from 14 to 25 September. Until this step was taken, women officers were only eligible for Permanent Commission in the Judge Advocate General’s Branch and Army Education Corps. However, they are eligible in all 10 branches of the Army, including Engineers, Signals, Intelligence Corps, Army Air Defence, Army Aviation Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Army Service Corps, and Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering. An Indian Express report stated that out of the approximately 43,000 officers in the Indian Army, 1,653 of them are women.

The female soldiers in the Indian Army have come a long way since being first allowed to enlist in 1992. In 2020, they are smashing through new barriers and paving the way for generations of women to follow.