In a landmark judgment passed by the Supreme Court on February 17, 2020, women in Indian Army inducted for short service commission were granted permanent commission (PC) akin to their male counterparts. This judgment was passed after 17 female short service commission officers were denied permanent commission after serving the country through the Indian Army for 14 years.
Although the Indian Army has been recruiting women officers at numerous auxiliary services since its induction, it has never before inducted women officers in any of its combat titles or given them permanent commissions. For years, this matter has been a debatable topic until the Supreme Court judgment allowed women to hold important offices in the Indian Army.
Woman in Indian Army History
Women were first inducted into the Indian Army in the year 1888, when India was still under British rule, as a part of the "Indian Military Nursing Service." The female nurses with the Indian Military served with dedication and distinction during the First World War, post which doors were opened to women in the Indian Army's Women's Auxiliary Corps.
This wing specifically worked in non-combatant roles such as accounting, communication, administration, etc. Noor Inayat Khan, a legend and a distinguished member of the corps, is remembered even today for serving as a great spy during the Second World War.
The Presence of a Woman in Indian Army Post - Independence
The Army Act, passed in 1950, made few selective regiments available for women. Most regular commissions, including combat roles, were unavailable for women in the Indian Army. The Army Medical Corps became the first-ever Indian Army unit to allow regular commissions to women on November 1, 1958.
Post this revolutionary step, numerous positions in the Indian Army (non-combat) were made available to women on short service commissions. After the Supreme Court's landmark judgment allowing women to hold permanent commissions, women were allowed in many wings, including the engineering wing, signal corps, etc., though combat wings are still unavailable for womenfolk.
Regiments Available for Women to Apply
As of now, the total number of regiments that undertake women as officials is 15. Here's a list of Indian Army Corps that have granted permanent commissions to the Indian women -
|Sr. No.||Indian Army Corps||Year of Induction|
|1||Military Nursing Service||1988|
|2||Army Dental Corps||1988|
|3||Judge Advocate General's Department||1992|
|4||Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers||1992|
|5||Army Education Corps||1992|
|6||Army Postal Service Corps||1992|
|7||Army Ordnance Corps||1992|
|8||Regiments (Artillery) (Non-combat roles)||1992|
|11||Corps of Engineers||2020|
|12||Corps of Military Police||2020|
|13||Corps of Army Defence||2020|
|14||Army Service Corps||2020|
|15||Army Aviation Corps||2020|
As of 2018, the percentage of women in Indian Army remained 3.80%, which is significantly lower than the women personnel in the Indian Navy (6%) and the Indian Air Force (13.09%).
FAQs on Women in Indian Army
Q.1. When was permanent commission allowed to a woman in Indian Army?
On February 17, 2020, the Supreme Court passed a judgment granting permanent commission in the Indian Army to women personnel.
Q.2. When was the first time women were allowed to be a part of the Indian Army?
Women in the Indian Army in 1888, when India was still under British rule, as a part of the "Indian Military Nursing Service."
Q.3. What is the percentage of women in Indian Army?
As of 2018, the percentage of women in the Indian Army remained 3.80%, which is significantly lower than the women personnel in the Indian Navy (6%) and the Indian Air Force (13.09%).
Q.4. How many regiments undertake a woman in Indian Army?
The total number of regiments that undertake women as officials are 15.