#GoodNews: In a First, the Indian Army Is Recruiting Women Jawans
The decision to induct women in Military Police  Corps was taken by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 18 January.
The decision to induct women in Military Police  Corps was taken by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 18 January.(Photo: The Quint)

#GoodNews: In a First, the Indian Army Is Recruiting Women Jawans

In January 2019, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took the historic decision to induct women as jawans in the Corps of Military Police in the Indian Army. In under three months, on Thursday, 25 April, the Army issued a formal advertisement, calling for women to join as Soldier General Duty.

Also Read : Army Chief Vs Manikarnika: Busting Old Myths About Women Soldiers

‘Historic Step, Will Open More Avenues,’ Says Military Expert

Reacting to the news, lawyer and military expert Navdeep Singh said that the official advertisement was a historic step that would open more avenues for women in armed forces.

“Till now, women were being recruited in the Indian Army in officer ranks. The Army first inducted women in 1994. After that, more than two decades have passed and there was no further entry at any other level. This is the first time women are joining as jawans,” Navdeep Singh told The Quint.

However, he also pointed that the government or the Army is nowhere close to recruiting more women and more branches, and it is likely that this is an experiment.

“Let us see where this takes us, but I am very positive about it. It will take some time but with time and experiment more avenues will open up. After all, they have been performing exceptionally in Central Armed Police Forces,” said Singh.

He also added that while he expected the Navy and the Air Force to open up first and the Indian Army to follow suit.

According to a tweet by Defence Minister, in January, "The women will be inducted in a graded manner to eventually comprise 20 percent of total Corps of Military Police of the Army."

Key Role for Women in The Force

  • Investigation of offences such as rape, molestation, thefts, etc.
  • Military operations of nature where Army needs assistance from police organisation.
  • Assisting civil police/administration for evacuation in forward villages during hostilities.
  • Crowd control of refugees comprising women and children.
  • Searching/frisking of women during cordon and search operations.check posts.
  • Ceremonial and Policing Duties: Maintaining military discipline.
  • Manning the Prisoner of War Camps.

Also Read : Dear Defence Minister: Give Women Officers a Bigger Playing Field

Women Officers to Get Permanent Commission in All 10 Branches of the Indian Army

In another notification on 5 March, the Ministry said it has taken steps to ensure implementation of permanent commissioning of women officers in the armed forces, in line with the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15 August last year, the PM had announced that women officers recruited under the short service commission in the armed forces will have the option of taking up permanent commission, which he described as a “gift” to the “brave daughters”.

Women officers will be granted permanent commission in the Indian Army in "all the ten branches" where women are inducted for Short Service Commission, the statement said.

"So, besides the existing two streams of Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps, now permanent commission will be granted in Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps and Intelligence also to women officers.”

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