In a historic step, IAF inducts women in non-officer cadre | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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In a historic step, IAF inducts women in non-officer cadre

ByRahul Singh
Dec 03, 2023 04:44 AM IST

‘This day would be etched in IAF’s history as the first batch of Agniveervayu (women) marched shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.’

The Indian Air Force on Saturday inducted women in its non-officer cadre for the first time as 153 Agniveervayu (women) passed out from the Airmen Training School Belagavi, Karnataka. They were part of the 2,280 recruits who featured in the passing out parade after successfully completing 22 weeks of training, air force spokesperson Wing Commander Ashish Moghe said.

A total of 153 Agniveervayu (women) passed out from the Airmen Training School Belagavi, Karnataka.
A total of 153 Agniveervayu (women) passed out from the Airmen Training School Belagavi, Karnataka.

The development comes months after the navy began inducting women in the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) cadre for the first time in March 2023 under the Agnipath recruitment scheme. Those recruited under it are known as Agniveers.

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“This day would be etched in IAF’s history as the first batch of Agniveervayu (women) marched shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts,” he said. This was the second batch of Agniveervayu (men).

Air Marshal R Radhish, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the IAF’s Training Command, reviewed the parade.

The army currently inducts women in PBOR cadre only in the Corps of Military Police, but it is expected to open more streams to them shortly under the Agnipath model.

This model for the short-term induction of soldiers into the three services is a major departure from the military’s decades-old recruitment system that was discontinued when the government announced the new scheme last year.

On June 14, 2022, the defence ministry announced the scheme replacing the legacy system to lower the age profile of the armed forces, ensure a fitter military and create a technically skilled war fighting force capable of meeting future challenges. The Agnipath scheme seeks to recruit soldiers only for four years, with a provision to retain 25% of them in the regular cadre for 15 more years after another round of screening.

The air marshal congratulated and felicitated the award winners who had performed well in different fields. Radhish also lauded the Agniveervayu recruits for putting up an impressive parade. Drawing their attention to the new challenges emerging from the global security scenario, he said the combat skills acquired at the training school should be used in deliverance of military objectives.

“The passing out parade marked the culmination of their basic military and stream-based training that not only imparted physical training but also enhanced intellectual and moral capabilities of Agniveervayu, essential to the ethos of an air warrior,” Moghe added.

Agniveers draw an annual salary of 4.76 lakh in the first year of service and 6.92 lakh in the fourth, get a non-contributory insurance cover of 48 lakh, and an additional ex-gratia payment of 44 lakh for death attributable to service.

Those released after four years will get 11.71 lakh as Seva Nidhi severance package, including 5.02 lakh contributed by them during their service. They will also have job quotas in different government organisations, paramilitary forces and other departments.

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