Daily News Analysis

SC bats for women officers in Army  

26th March, 2021 Polity

Context: The Supreme Court held that the Army’s “selective” evaluation process discriminates against and disproportionately affects women short service commission officers seeking permanent commission.



  • The court ordered that the cases of women officers who have applied for permanent commission should be reconsidered in a month and the decision on them should be given in two months.


Women in Indian Armed Forces:

  • All wings of the Indian Armed Forces allow women in combat roles and combat supervisory roles, except Indian Army (support roles only) and Special Forces of India (trainer role only).
  • Indian Air Force had 13.09% and 8.5%, Indian Navy 6% and 2.8% women, and Indian Army 3.80% and 3% in December 2018 and December 2014 respectively.


Women in Army:

  • Under the Army Act of 1950, women were ineligible for regular commissions except in "such corps, departments or branches which the central government may specify by way of notifications."
  • On 1 November 1958, the Army Medical Corps became the first unit of the Indian Army to grant regular commissions to women.
  • Since 1992, women were first inducted into various branches of Indian Army only in short service commission.
  • In 2008, women were first inducted as permanent commissioned officers in the Legal and Education corps, in 2020 they were first inducted in 8 more corps as permanent commissioned officers.
    As of 2020, women are not yet allowed as combatants in the Parachute Regiment of Indian Army or other specialist forces, but they can join paratrooper wings of their respective arms like para EME, para signals, para ASC, etc.