You might have read this news in today's newspapers that yesterday (17th February 2020), Supreme Court reprimanded the central government that women should be given command posting and also they should be given a Permanent Commission (PC) in the Indian Army within 3 months time.
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This was an old case where, in the year 2010, the then UPA Government took the position that the women can not be given a Permanent Commission (PC) beyond Short Service Commission (SSC) which is for 10 years and a maximum of 14 years.
A permanent commission allows officers to serve in the army till they retire, unlike the SSC, which is for a specific period of 10 or 14 years. Women can only join the armed forces through SSC; they are till now not offered ab initio permanent commission in any of the forces.
However, in the year 2018, the present NDA government headed by Sh. Narender Modi decided to give Permanent Commission to women. This was announced from the Red Fort on 15th August 2018 on the occasion of Independence Day. However, the NDA government was still not ready to give command positions to the women officers in the Indian Army considering various aspects of women's safety and nature of the enemy, etc.
But Supreme Court in its decision stood for gender parity in the army and said that women should be considered for command roles and that all women officers are entitled to permanent commission. It asked the army to give them permanent commission within three months.
The bench of justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi also held that there cannot be an “absolute bar” on women officers being considered for command appointments, paving the way for their elevation to such commanding roles. To be sure, the case was only about permanent commission and command roles in non-combat streams of the army.
This is a case of the Indian Army only, whereas the Indian Navy has already given Permanent Commission to women Officers in its rank. After much discussion, the Indian Army decided to give combat roles to women in the Indian Army but still, the commanding position was not given.
However, now after yesterday's Supreme Court order, woman officers will be allowed to have commanding positions in the Indian Army as well.
Defense Minister, Sh. Rajnath Singh hailed the decision of the Supreme Court to give Permanent commission and commanding position to women in the Indian army.