NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Defence has opened up ten new branches of the Army for grant of permanent commission (PC) to women officers. However, sources said that they will not be able to command a unit.
Women officers are presently eligible for permanent commissions in only two branches of the Army. However, permanent commissions will now be available to them in ten branches, the inductions being through the Short Service Commission (SSC).
Besides the existing streams of Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps, PC can now be granted to women officers in Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps and Intelligence units.
SSC women officers will have to provide an option for PC before completion of four years of Commissioned Service and their choice of specialisation.
Such commissions will be based on suitability, merit and other pre-requisites, which will be applied in various staff appointment.
However, they will not rise to command the units like male officers even after the grant of PC.
Male officers can rise to the ranks of Brigadier, Major General and Lieutenant Generals. The women officers, however, will be promoted up to the rank of colonel on ‘time scale’, upon completion of 23 years in service.
The IAF has already started inducting women officers in all branches, including as fighter pilots. In Indian Navy, all non-seagoing branches/cadre/specialization, have been opened for induction of women officers through SSC.