The Government on Friday virtually ruled out giving permanent commission to serving women officers, instead offering them help for a business course in top B-schools for a corporate career.
The suggestion by Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanium before the Delhi High Court virtually seals the fate of about 1,000 serving women officers on short service commission in the armed forces, who are left with hardly a few days in uniform.
For now the court has stayed their retirement till the final outcome of the case and posted the matter for final arguments on November 19.
Over 20 officers had filed a PIL challenging the decision to bypass them for future grant of permanent commission to women officers. As per government plans, it's only by 2015 that the first batch of women officers will be technically sworn in as permanent commissioned officers.
Currently, women are inducted in the Army as officers under the short service commission for a maximum period of 14 years, even as their male counterparts are eligible to receive permanent commission after five years.
But Subramanium was clear that the government policy would be in effect “prospectively” for future batches of women officers as the training and examination processes of women candidates have to fine-tuned to suit the “additional avenues” opening up for them in the armed forces. “A gestation period of at least 10 years is necessary. We need to have at least that much leeway,” Subramanium said, suggesting that there was no room for the current women officers.
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