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No plan for inducting women in army combat roles: Defence minister Parrikar

The Indian Army does not have any plans for inducting women in combat roles, defence minister Manohar Parrikar informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2016 19:37 IST
File photo of defence minsiter  Manohar Parrikar. The Indian Army does not have any plans for inducting women in combat roles, Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha on July 26, 2016.
File photo of defence minsiter Manohar Parrikar. The Indian Army does not have any plans for inducting women in combat roles, Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha on July 26, 2016. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo )

The Indian Army does not have any plans for inducting women in combat roles, defence minister Manohar Parrikar informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“Presently, there is no proposal to raise a women’s combat unit in the army,” Parrikar said in his written reply.

He also said there is no ‘gender discrimination’ in the army.

“There is no gender discrimination in the armed forces as the working conditions, promotion prospects, pay and allowances and service conditions of women officers are same as those of the male officers,” he said.

Last week, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha to a question of inducting women in combat roles in the armed forces, Parrikar had mentioned the induction of three women Short Service Commission Officers as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force.

He reiterated that it was an “experimental entry scheme”, and will be valid for “five years from the date of issue of government of India letter dated December 2, 2015”.

“Further possibilities are being examined,” the minister said.

President Pranab Mukherjee, in his speech to the joint sitting of Parliament’s two houses at the beginning of the 2016 budget session, said the government will soon be allowing women in combat streams in all three armed forces.

“My government has approved the induction of women as short service commission officers and as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force. In the future, my government will induct women in all the fighter streams of our armed forces,” President Mukherjee had said.

At present, the army has 1,514 women officers, the navy has 439, and the air force has 1,584 women officers. The number totals 3,537.