PERMANENT COMMISSION FOR WOMEN (Syllabus: GS Paper 1/3 – Women Related Issues/Security Forces)

News-CRUX-10     9th April 2024        

Context: Recently, the Supreme Court examined extending permanent commission to women short service commission officers across the Indian Force, while also ordering interim reinstatement for a discharged woman officer from the Indian Coast Guard, following a 14-year tenure, as it considers similar career opportunities for women short service agreement (SSA) officers.

Permanent Commission

  • About: It means a career in the Army till retirement age. 

oFor PC, the entry is through National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune, Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, and Officers Training Academy (OTA), Gaya.

  • Short Service Commission: It provides an option for women for joining the Army and serving as a Commissioned Officer for 10/14 years. 

oAfter 10 years, a woman officer can either opt for a PC or opt-out or have the option of a 4 years extension, during which they can resign at any time.

Women’s Entry into Armed Forces

  • Origin: The induction of women officers in the Army started in 1992. 

oThey were commissioned for a period of five years in certain chosen streams such as the Army Education Corps, Corps of Signals, Intelligence Corps, and Corps of Engineers. 

  • Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES): Recruits under the Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES) had a shorter pre-commission training period than their male counterparts who were commissioned under the Short Service Commission (SSC) scheme.

oIn 2006, the WSES scheme was replaced with the SSC scheme, which was extended to women officers. They were commissioned for a period of 10 years, extendable up to 14 years.

  • Permanent Commission for Women: The Ministry of Defence has taken steps to ensure the implementation of the grant of PC to women officers in the Armed Forces.

oIndian Air Force: All Branches, including Fighter Pilots, are open for female officers.

oIndian Navy: All non-seagoing Branches/Cadre/Specialisation has been opened for induction of women officers through SSC.

oIndian Army: Women officers are granted PC in the Indian Army in all the ten branches where women are inducted for SSC.

  • Extension: In 2008, the government extended the permanent commission to women in two branches - Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC).