More women can join India’s armed forces
Representational Image (Photo by Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images)
INDIA’S government on Wednesday (8) told its supreme court that the armed forces will induct women into the National Defence Academy (NDA) where cadets of the three services (army, navy and air force) train together.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati, who represented the government, told a bench of the court, headed by Justice SK Kaul, that the decision was taken by armed forces leadership and the government. Women will be inducted for permanent commission through the NDA.
The ASG also sought the court’s permission to place the details on record through affidavit and sought status quo in this year’s examinations since the transition requires procedural and infrastructure changes.
The top court said it has been periodically asking the authorities to do it themselves.
“The idea is when nothing happens, the court steps in. Let me assure you it’s not a happy situation to step in and we would like the armed services to do it themselves. They are very respected forces of the country, but on gender equality they have to do more and sometimes the resistance does not come out well,” the bench, which also comprised Justice MM Sundresh, said.
“I am happy that the heads of armed forces have taken a positive decision. Put on record, we will take up the matter. We are happy with the stand. Let us hear the matter next week. Reforms cannot happen in a day. We are also conscious of that,” it said.
The court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Kush Kalra who raised the issue of exclusion of eligible and willing women candidates from joining the prestigious NDA on the ground of gender which allegedly is a violation of fundamental right of equality.