For the first time on Tuesday, the army granted permanent commission (PC) to 12 women officers. Earlier, women in the Indian Army were only given limited tenure from five to 14 years (apart from those in the medical corps). There are just 1,065 women among 35,377 officers in the army.
These 12 women will now be eligible for higher positions in the army and entitled to pensi-on and other financial benefits.
Defence minister AK Antony had in September 2008 appro-ved PC for women serving in certain branches. Women officers, however, have petitioned the court demanding Antony’s order be applied retrospectively to cover all serving women officers. The petition is pending.
Women have still not been offered close combat roles such as serving on the frontlines, flying fighter jets or sailing on warships. Another petition seeking PC for women in combat roles is also pending before the Supreme Court.
Women officers in the air force can also serve their full term, thanks to a Delhi High Court order in March. Long haul