Indian Army ready for more women colonels

The proceedings for the second intake of women colonels is already on, Army sources say

Published: 01st April 2023 09:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2023 09:28 AM   |  A+A-

Indian Army Women, Army Women

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Indian Army’s exercise to select more women officers from the rank of lieutenant colonel to a more important post of colonel continues as a Special Selection Board’s proceedings have taken place in the Military Secretary’s branch here. This is the second such Board for women officers set up for their promotion as colonels. “The Board is considering the overall performance of 20 women officers for the selection of six officers,” sources said.

These officers belong to the Indian Army’s Service Corps and Ordnance Corps, from the 1992 batch to the 2006 batch. In January, the first board cleared 108 out of 244 Lt colonels. They have been given their command assignments. Officers for the rank of colonel and above are selected by a board of officers. An officer ranked as colonel will command independent functional units of the Army.

Beyond this come the formations, and collections of such units such as brigades, divisions and corps commanded by the brigadiers, major generals and lieutenant generals. The units execute the task on the ground. In the normal course of service selection for command is done in around 17 years of service. Those not empanelled get their time-scale promotion as colonels after 26 years of service.

Sources said the vacancies for this Board had been released by the government to promote the affected women officers, to ensure gender parity in the Indian Army. The whole process is being carried out to provide equal opportunities to women. In 2021, the Army granted permanent commissions(PC) to 424 of 615 women officers at par with their male counterparts. 

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With this grant, women officers can aspire to shoulder higher ranks and responsibility. All women officers granted PC underwent special training courses and challenging military assignments to empower them for higher leadership roles. PC to women officers in junior batches has also commenced, in which they are considered for PC in their 10th year of service, said the officials.

With a grant of PC, women officers are transcending into an era of gender parity and are gearing up to assume challenging leadership roles, akin to their male counterparts. Five women officers have cleared the prestigious Defence Services Staff Course and Defence Services Technical Staff Course Exam for the first time. 


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