Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said the Indian army in a transformational move is set to open combat positions for women. The process has been expedited and initially women will be recruited for positions in the military police. Women soldiers are not inducted into combat roles and even struggle to get permanent commission in the forces.
Status and concerns for women to serve in combat roles:
- Currently women are allowed in selected areas which include medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the army. Women soldiers have argued that they should be given an option to serve in combat arms of the military forces
- As per the proposed plan, initially women will be recruited for military police and gradually they would also be inducted as jawans in the army
- Currently combat roles are not open to women due to operational and logistical concerns
- Only a handful of countries have allowed women to take up combat roles. These include Germany, Australia, Canada, the U.S., Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Israel
Role of military police in India:
- Policing the cantonments and army establishments
- Prevent breach of rules and regulations by soldiers
- Maintaining the movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war
- Handling prisoners of war and extending aid to civil police whenever required
Air force and Navy open doors for women pilots:
- Air force has inducted women as fighter pilots and the first batch of three women fighter pilots has already been commissioned into service
- Navy has also decided to induct women pilots in various streams, but they will continue to remain onshore till the requisite infrastructural needs are addressed.
- The Indian navy reaffirmed that they want to give women equal status as long as infrastructural, logistical and training issues are addressed