Recently, the army agreed to give (PC) permanent commission to women.
This announcement has been made after warning of contempt proceedings against the army for not complying with the order given by the Supreme Court (SC). It is noteworthy that in March 2021, the SC in its decision had ordered permanent commission to women officers serving under the Short Service Commission (SSC).
- In February 2020, the Supreme Court (Babita Punia Case) had directed that women officers in the Army be given permanent commission. Rejecting the government’s arguments about physical limitations of women, the SC observed that these arguments are based on gender stereotypes and gender discrimination against women.
- In March 2021, women officers petitioned the Supreme Court highlighting that the assessment criteria adopted by the Army for granting permanent commission to women had led to “systemic discrimination” against them.
- The court had directed the Army to grant permanent commission to women who have secured 60% marks in the subjects of assessment, are found medically fit and have obtained disciplinary and vigilance clearance/no-objection.
- The court had also clarified that all women SSC officers, who have not approached the court but are fulfilling the evaluation criteria, will be given permanent commission as per their wish.
- At present, women are only a small part of the army. Women accounted for 0.56% in the Army, 1.08% in the Air Force and 6.5% in Navy 3.
- Permanent commission means the period of service in the army till retirement, whereas short service commission is for a total of 14 years. It has an initial period of 10 years, which is extended for a further 4 years after the officer’s assessment.
Source – The Hindu