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SOURCE: Hindustan Times

Almost 70% of women officers who were considered for permanent commission in the army by a special selection board have been selected to serve a full term in the army, officials said on Friday.

Of the 615 women considered for permanent commission, 422 have been found to be fit for the role by the board, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The results of the special board were declassified on Thursday.

The board was convened months after the government issued a formal order in July granting permanent commission to women following a Supreme Court verdict. The government’s July 23 order specified grant of permanent commission to women officers in 10 streams—Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC).

The army had set August 31 as the deadline for short-service commissioned (SSC) women officers to submit their applications for permanent commission. The Supreme Court in February ruled 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 in a major boost to gender parity.

The Centre got a one-month extension on July 7 to implement the Supreme Court’s verdict after it moved an application before the apex court seeking the extension of the deadline by another six months citing the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed to check its spread from March 25.

The Supreme Court’s judgment was hailed for creating a new equality paradigm in the armed forces. It upheld a 2010 Delhi high court verdict. The Supreme Court ruled that women officers, who joined the Indian Army through short-service commission, are entitled to permanent commission even if they have more than 14 years of service.