Supreme Court allows women to appear for NDA exam
The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Indian Army, as its allowed female candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) examination. The top court said that the Army's policy decision to not allow women to appear for the exam is based on "gender discrimination".
The examination is slated to be held on September 5.
The bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy said that admissions will be subject to the final orders of the court.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Kush Kalra which sought a direction to the concerned authorities to allow eligible female candidates to appear form examination and train at the NDA.
Kalra said in his plea that the categorical exclusion of eligible female candidates from entering the National Defence Academy is not constitutionally justifiable and is simply done on the basis of their sex.
He referred to the February last year landmark verdict in which the apex court had directed that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings.
The Centre, meanwhile, told the court on Tuesday that women are being granted equal opportunity in the armed forces and there is no violation of any fundamental right.
In an affidavit, the Centre said that the NDA is only one of the various modes of entries for recruitment in the armed forces, pointing out that in the Army, on an average 1,470 officers are commissioned which includes 670 officers from Indian Military Academy (IMA) and NDA apart from Officers Training Academy (OTA) where both men and women officers are commissioned through UPSC and non-UPSC modes.
Apart from this, on an average, 453 officers (men and women) are commissioned as Short Service Commissioned officers through SSC (Non-Technical) and SSC (Technical) through UPSC.