IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Women officers can now get permanent commission in Indian Army

24th July, 2020 Society


  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued the formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers in the Army.
  • The order specifies the grant of PC to SSC women officers in all the 10 streams of the Army in which they presently serve — the Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and the Army Educational Corps (AEC).
  • It is based on Supreme Court Order in February.

Supreme Court orders:

  • Supreme Court held that they are “based on sex stereotypes premised on assumptions about socially ascribed roles of gender which discriminate against women.
  • It only shows the need “to emphasize the need for change in mindsets to bring about true equality in the Army”.
  • The SC has done away with all discrimination based on years of service for grant of PC in 10 streams of combat support arms and services, bringing them on a par with male officers.
  • It has also removed the restriction of women officers only being allowed to serve in staff appointments, which is the most significant aspect of the judgment.
  • Government argument screamed of the age-old patriarchal notion that domestic obligations rested only with women.

Impact of Judgement:

  • Women officers will be eligible to tenant all the command appointments, at par with male officers.
  • It would open avenues for further promotions to higher ranks for them.
  • If women officers had served only in staff, they would not have gone beyond the rank of Colonel.
  • In junior ranks and career courses, women officers would be attending the same training courses and tenanting critical appointments, which are necessary for higher promotions.
  • Bigger shift will take place in the culture, norms, and values of the rank and file of the Army

Types of Commissions in army:

Permanent Commissions:

  • You serve in the army until you retire at the age of 54/60 years depending on your rank.
  • You may also work for 20 years in army and request for premature retirement with full pension.

Short Service Commission:

  • As SSC Officer, you can serve in army for 10 years. After 10 years, you have two options.1st to opt for PC, 2nd to opt out of army and settle down in civil life.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/women-officers-can-now-get-permanent-commission-in-indian-army/article32171210.ece#:~:text=The%20Defence%20Ministry's%20Sanction%20Letter,all%20services%20other%20than%20combat.