Aug 31 deadline for women officers to seek permanent commission in armyUpdated: Aug 05, 2020 00:06 IST
The Army on Tuesday set August 31 as the deadline for short-service commissioned (SSC) women officers to submit their applications for permanent commission. This comes days after the government on July 23 issued a formal sanction for granting the permanent commission following the Supreme Court’s February verdict in this regard.
The court ruled that women officers, who have joined the Indian Army through SSC, are entitled to permanent commission. It added that women should be considered for command roles and that all women officers are entitled to permanent commission. The court asked the Army to give them permanent commission within three months in a major boost to gender parity.
The Centre got a one-month extension on July 7 to implement the verdict after it moved an application before the apex court seeking the extension of the deadline by another six months citing the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed to check its spread from March 25.
“Detailed administrative instructions have been issued to all affected women officers giving out guidelines for submission of applications for consideration by a selection board,” an army spokesperson said on Tuesday. He said the Army headquarters was in the process of convening a special selection board for screening women officers for permanent commission.
“Specimen formats and detailed checklists have been included in the administrative instructions in order to facilitate correct documentation.”
The government’s July 23 order specified grant of permanent commission to women officers in 10 streams -- Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics, and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate-General and Army Educational Corps. The selection board will be held after the receipt and verification of applications.
The Supreme Court’s judgment was hailed for creating a new equality paradigm in the armed forces. It upheld a 2010 Delhi high court verdict. The Supreme Court ruled that women officers, who joined the Indian Army through SSC, are entitled to permanent commission even if they have more than 14 years of service. It also held that there cannot be an “absolute bar” on women officers being considered for command appointments, paving the way for their elevation to such roles. The case before the Supreme Court was only about permanent commission and command roles in the army’s non-combat streams.