The Indian Army has granted Permanent Commission to 147 additional women short service commission (SSC) officers, according to the revised parameters set by the Supreme Court in March 2021, the Defence Ministry said on July 14.
On March 25, the Supreme Court had criticized the Army for denying women SSC officers the Permanent Commission. The apex court had said that the Army's evaluation criteria for granting PC to women officers discriminated against them. It had "directed the Army to reconsider some cases of women officers who were not granted PC by laying down revised parameters."
In February 2020, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court had instructed the Centre to ensure women SSC officers are granted PC in the Army, including command postings.
Women Officers Moved To Supreme Court
Therefore, the Army said it had constituted a Special Number 5 Selection Board in September 2020 to screen women officers for Permanent Commission. The results came out in November 2020. The women SSC officers who were not granted PC moved to Supreme Court, according to NDTV. The apex court then criticized the Army for discriminating.
Women SSC Officers Reconsidered
On Wednesday, the Army stated some women officers have been reconsidered, and new results have been de-classified as per the direct guidelines of the Supreme Court. "147 more women officers are being granted PC, taking the total PC granted to 424 out of the 615 officers considered," the Army added in its statement.
However, the Army also noted that the results of a few women officers were withheld for administrative reasons and that they were awaiting the outcome of a clarification petition filed by the central government in the Supreme Court.
Officers To Undergo Special Training
The Defence Ministry said that all women officers granted PC would undergo special training courses and "challenging military assignments" to prepare them for higher leadership roles in the Army. Around 33 women officers have already cleared the mid-level tactical orientation course from Army War College Mhow, the Defence Ministry added.
The ministry also noted that all women SSC officers, who were considered by the Army's selection board and denied PC, will still be eligible for pension for a minimum of 20 years in service.