New Delhi: The Indian Army on Thursday started the procedure to hire women as soldiers for the first time with an aim to compose 20% of the military police cadre from their ranks.
Till now, women were allowed to join the army only as ‘officers’ not on as a fighting soldier like the infantry, armored corps and artillery or serve on operational warships. The number of women in army is only 1500, in Indian Air Force (IAF) is 1600 while in the navy the number is only 500.
Ironically, the defence minister of India is a women- Nirmala Sitharaman (first women defence minister of India) and last year the government had announced that women would be inducted as soldiers or PBOR (personnel below officer rank) in the military police from 2019 onwards.
The Army on Thursday started online registration for women for recruitment in the military police, with last date of application being June 8.
Apart from the around 100 short-service commission (SSC) women pilots of choppers and transport aircraft, the IAF is now also training six women to be fighter pilots “on an experimental basis for five years.” In the Navy, the first batch of women SSC pilots in the maritime inspection stream is currently undergoing training.