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July 30, 2014

Army to let women head combat support units

In a change of policy, the Indian Army has decided to allow women officers to command combat support branches like Army aviation and signal corps from 2015 onwards.

“Our policy on women officers has changed. We have received Defence Minister’s (Arun Jaitley) approval on empowering women officers from 2015 onwards,” top Army sources said here on Sunday.

Currently, women officers are recruited in short service commission and they are not allowed to command combat support unit, in which they work.

Women officers currently work in several branches of all three services, except the combat arms like infantry and armour corps.

As per the new proposal, women officers at the time of recruitment will be given a choice. If they respond positively, they would be groomed and their physical ability will be checked before they are evaluated on par with their male colleagues in the command position. Such women officers will be asked to take up several military courses for the grooming purpose.

Currently, women officers are not allowed to serve in the combat arms of all the three services.

Earlier, the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff and a High Level Tri-Services Committee carried out separate studies on employment of women in Armed Forces in 2006 and 2011 respectively, taking into account role of women in Armed Forces of some other countries. They, however, did not recommend induction of women in combat duties.

 Deccan Herald

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