What Womens Inclusion Into The NDA Means?

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The Logical Indian Crew

What Women's Inclusion Into The NDA Means?

The decision to induct women will ensure that the armed forces, which by default are male spaces, are more inclusive. Coupled with the Centre's move to admit girls to Sainik schools, the decision to induct women into NDA suggests that the blueprint for substantive change has been now been created.

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On September 8, 2021, the Centre told the Supreme Court about its decision to allow the induction of women into the Armed Forces through the National Defence Academy (NDA). The decision came after many petitions and pending pleas in courts. The apex court asked the Centre to issue an affidavit in this regard by September 22.

"We are extremely glad to know that the armed forces themselves took the decision to induct women into the NDA. We know that reforms cannot happen in a day... The government will place timelines of the process and the course of action," the Supreme Court remarked while hearing a petition to allowing women sit for the NDA and Naval Academy tests. The hearing took place less than a month after the apex court issued a ground-breaking interim ruling allowing women to sit for the NDA admission exam, which has been rescheduled for November 14.

The court criticised a "mindset problem" when it came to equal service opportunities for men and women in the country's armed forces, and warned the government to change. The court had also expressed hope that the interim order would persuade the Army to initiate that change of its own accord, rather than be forced to do so because of a directive from the judiciary.

The government though had contended that its recruitment approach was not discriminatory and that women could apply through a variety of ways. Men who pass the NDA exam are given permanent commissions in the military, while women, on the other hand, are initially recruited as Short Service Commission officers before being considered for a permanent commission later in their careers. Women's non-admittance to the National Defence Academy (NDA) is a breach of their fundamental right to equality and the right to pursue their profession, according to a petition filed by counsel Kush Kalra.

Why Women Were Not Allowed Into NDA?

According to the petition, suitable women candidates with a 10+2 education are refused the opportunity to take the NDA examination because of their gender, and as a result of this denial, they are unable to join the armed forces as officers at this level.

The petition pointed out that the number of women in the armed forces is relatively low, despite the fact that the armed forces have opened more doors for women over the years, particularly since the Supreme Court authorised women to join the Permanent Commission.

The respondents' act of categorically excluding eligible and willing female candidates from appearing for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examinations solely on the basis of sex over the years is a violation of the fundamental right to equality before the law and equal protection under the law, the petition stated.

"This opportunity to take the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination at the age of 15-18 years, with the eligible academic qualifications, is not available to eligible and willing female candidates, and the sole reason for this categorical exclusion is based on their sex," it added. It also added that the training time for Short Service Commission women officers is shorter than that of a male permanent commission officer who enters through the NDA.

The decision to induct women will ensure that the armed forces, which by default are male spaces, are more inclusive. Coupled with the Centre's move to admit girls to Sainik schools, the decision to induct women into NDA suggests that the blueprint for substantive change has been now been created. Women can look forward to a long and ambitous career in the armed forces.

Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Neelima Mishra
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Editor : Madhusree Goswami
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Creatives : Neelima Mishra

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