Mukherjee promises new deal for Army women
The Defence Minister says all "relevant aspects" of women officers are being closely examined, reports Rahul Singh.india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 03:03 IST
Major Radhika Khanna (name changed), who will retire from the Army next yearafter serving for 14 long years, is troubled. Where will the money come from since women officers do not get pension benefits? Will she get a job in civil lines? For Major Khanna and other women officers who gave their best days to the forces, there's still hope.
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Hindustan Times on Sunday that all "relevant aspects" of women officers in the Army, including permanent commission and pensions, were being closely examined. "I am meeting the service chiefs on Monday to discuss various issues related to women officers. The idea is to ensure there is no gender-based discrimination," he said.
A series of reports carried in HT had sparked a debate on women in the Army.
Women officers nearing retirement feel the provision of a pension will make an Army career more attractive. Mukherjee said, "We are eager to create an environment to encourage women officers."
Having asked the Army to immediately extend the benefits of the AV Singh Committee report to women officers, Mukherjee said the Government was studying the "financial implications" of implementing the second part of the report which deals with creating more vacancies at the senior level, brigadier upwards. A lieutenant general attributed the delay in the implementation of the report to the indifferent attitude of the air force and the navy.
The minister said he hoped to build a consensus among the three services.