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Army to Promote 108 Women Officers to Colonels, To Lead Units For 1st Time

A total of 244 officers are being considered for promotion for 108 vacancies.

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The Indian Army's Special Selection Board is going to promote at least 108 women officers, from the rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel, officials told the media. A total of 244 officers are being considered for promotion for 108 vacancies – and nearly 80 officers have reportedly been cleared.

Why this matters: The promotion will make women officers eligible to command units in their respective arms and services for the first time – bringing them at par with their male counterparts.

What we know: The proceedings began on 9 January and will go on till 22 January. According to The Indian Express, women officers from the batch of 1992 to 2006 – including Electrical/Mechanical Engineers, Signals, Army Air Defence, Intelligence Corps, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps – are being considered.

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Behind the scenes: The promotion board is meeting every day and the results are being declared immediately, The Indian Express reported, adding that three chances are given to each officer.

“For instance, if a 1995 batch officer did not make it on the first day, she will be assessed again the next day and the day after with other batches for promotion,” an officer told The Indian Express.

In September 2022, for the first time, five women officers cleared the prestigious Defence Services Staff Course (DSSC) and Defence Services Technical Staff Course (DSTSC) exams. They will be considered for command appointments after they undergo training for a year.

In India, women are still not eligible for pure combat arms such as Infantry, Mechanised Infantry, and Armoured Corps.

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