NEW DELHI: The Navy is getting ready to send women for sea training, paving the way for them to serve on warships. Under the plan, the Navy will have 15 per cent training vacancies fixed for women on its ships. “The government has given the ‘Acceptance of Necessity’ (AoN) to have 15 per cent of the training capacity fixed for women trainee officers on new sail training ships which the Navy will get now,” said a senior naval officer. “Completion of this training will open avenues for the women officers to serve on warships in future.”
Although the Navy has allowed women in combat aviation role, they are not allowed to serve on submarines and surface ships. There are about 70 women officers serving as observers or tactical operators on armed maritime patrol aircraft. Sub-Lieutenant Shivangi became first naval woman pilot on Monday. Two more officers slated to join soon.
In July 2018, the government had said that it was a policy decision to induct women into general branches of the Navy. Officers inducted into general service branches — executive, engineering and electrical —are required to undergo prolonged sea training, followed by extended ship-based tenures.
Since July 1992 women officers are being inducted into select branches of the Navy. The streams open for them are Logistics, Law, Observers, ATC, Pilot in Maritime Reconnaissance, Education etc.
Decline in Navy’s budget share worries chief
With China aggressively expanding its presence in the region, Admiral Singh flagged the Navy’s concerns over decline in its share in defence budget from 18% in 2012-13 to 13% in 2019-20. Seeking higher allocation for the force, he said: “It is a fact that our budget has decreased. We have projected this. Our hope is that we will get some money and accordingly we will prioritise.” Addressing the media on the eve of Navy Day, he said, “More important is what you pack into a ship. The more lethal and modern it is, the more value is added.”