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Army starts process to grant permanent commission to women officers

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Army has kickstarted the process to grant Permanent Commission to eligible women officers, nearly two weeks after the Defence Ministry approved the proposal.

Officials said the Army headquarters has invited applications by August 31 for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers recruited under Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES) and Short Service Commission (SSC).

"Consequent to the receipt of formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of PC to women officers in Indian Army, the Army headquarters is in the process of convening a special number selection board for screening women officers for grant of PC," said an Army statement.

The officials said women officers who have joined the Army through the WSES and SSC are being considered for grant of the PC.

Last month, the Ministry of Defence issued an order for grant of PC to women officers in the Army.

In a landmark judgement, the apex court in February directed that all serving women officers recruited under the short service schemes will have to be considered for PC.

Officials said 10 streams where PC of women officers are being made available include army air defence, signals, engineers, army aviation, electronics and mechanical engineers, army service corps and intelligence corps.

At present, the Army offers permanent commission to women officers in two branches – judge advocate general (JAG) and education.

Under SSC, women officers are initially taken for a period of five years, which is extendable up to 14 years. Permanent commissioning will allow them to serve till the age of retirement.

The Army recruits women officers under SSC for streams like air defence, engineering, signals and services and they can serve up to a maximum of 14 years.

The three services have allowed permanent recruitment of women in select streams including medical, education, legal, signals, logistics and engineering.

The women officers recruited through the SSC in the IAF have the option of seeking permanent commission in all streams except the flying branch.

The Navy has allowed permanent commission of women in a host of departments such as logistics, naval designing, air traffic control, engineering and legal.

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