NEW DELHI: The first batch of permanent commission women officers completed their mandatory Junior Command Course or the Mid-Level Tactical Orientation Course from Army War College Mhow in June.
These women were earlier not eligible for Permanent Commission (PC) and hence were not considered for this course.
Young Officers (YOs) is another mandatory course in the Army. As per the results of the course all 33 in the batch cleared the course successfully but the highest grade they got was B (Bravo) and none of them were approved for the instructor grading.
Alpha is the highest grading and Instructor (I) grading is given apart from the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta. Those with I grading get posted as instructors in training institutions including the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy and even the Junior Command Course which is held at Army War College, Mhow.
All Women Officers granted PC would undergo special training courses and challenging military assignments. As of now two more such courses are planned for August and October.
Consequent to a landmark judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in February 2020 for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to Women Officers in Indian Army, a Special Selection Board for screening Women Officers for grant of PC was constituted in September 2020. Initially 287 out of the 615 were granted PC. Further, in March 2021, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had directed to re-consider some cases of Women Officers who were not granted PC by laying down revised parameters for grant of PC.
The Women Officers were re-considered as per directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and fresh results have now been de-classified. Consequently, 147 more Women Officers are being granted PC, taking the total PC granted to 424 out of the 615 officers considered. Results of few Women Officers have been withheld for administrative reasons
A Senior Army officer dealing with the courses told, “Take out the women part of it as Course gradings totally depend on performance. It cannot be expected from the Army to tweak its procedures just because they are ladies and give them Alpha and Instructor grading. Important is that they have to be posted as instructors and compromise will affect the training and consequently the organization”
“I am sure soon this will change, they will at some point of time take off as like other fields”, added the officer on condition of anonymity.
Some Women Officers who have already served for 20 years have been released with pension, while others will be allowed to continue to serve till 20 years and would be released with pension.
PC to Women Officers in junior batches has also commenced from December 2020, in which they are considered for PC in their 10th year of service. With the grant of PC, the Women Officers are transcending into an era of gender parity and are gearing up to assume challenging leadership roles, akin to their male counterparts.
The grant of PC to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) Women Officers is in 10 streams — Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General and Army Education Corps.