The Army has been making “sincere” efforts to broaden its pool of potential female recruits for its various arms and services, and the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it is considering increasing the number of women officers based on functional needs without sacrificing operational effectiveness.
According to an affidavit submitted to the highest court by the Centre, if 50% of the positions are kept open for female candidates and equal opportunity is granted to all qualified applicants, up to 90 women could be enlisted in these 10 arms/services each year.
This leaves the induction of 70 women officers through the Short Service entry route, which is 10 fewer than the current intake of 80, since regular admittance of 20 women cadets per year through the National Defence Academy has already been allowed.
“It is argued that the women officers on short service commissions are qualified for consideration for permanent commissions. With an expected intake of 50% women after applying the combat exclusion, up to 90 women can be entered annually, translating to a representation of 16.33% every batch and an overall strength of 1,876 Women Officers—276 more than the number currently planned, which is 1,600.