Women jawans to be inducted in Armed forces


New Delhi: For the first time, the doors of Military police have been opened for women in the country.

The government under Narendra Modi decided to induct women in the Personnel Below Officer Rank in Military police, which was termed historic by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The women will be recruited in a non combat role in the military police and this step is seen to enhance women representation in the armed forces. The recruitment will be on a graded level, an official twitter handle of the defence minister said.

This is the first time that women are recruited as soldiers or Jawans in any wing of the armed forces. At present, there are only women in the officers rank category in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

With respect to the new women inducts, they will play the role of investigators to probe into cases of molestation, rape and thefts. They would also be assisting in military operations where the army needs support. Another role of these women recruits would be to help the civil administration as well the local police for evacuation process in forward villages in case of hostilities, controlling the influx of refugees, especially women and children.

They would also be deployed at check points and also would be deployed for frisking and searching of women during cordon.

It was in 1992 that the three forces opened its doors to women. However, for a long time they were not deployed in combat services. The Indian Air Force had only last year selected three women officers for training as fighter pilots. However, the army is yet to induct women in any of its combat divisions such as infantry, armoured corps and artillery divisions. They are generally recruited in the intelligence wing, education corps, engineering division and so on. When coming to Navy, they are not taken on warships and submarines.

The women recruits to military police will be given 42 weeks training at the Military police training centre at Bengaluru. These recruits will join as lance naiks, which is the entry level rank of a soldier.

While the army has 3.80 per cent women workforce, the Navy has six per cent and the Airforce 13.09 per cent. This was stated by Minister of state in the defence ministry Subhash Bhamre in Rajya Sabha recently.

It has to be noted that Army chief Bipin Rawat had in 2017 itself mentioned that women will be inducted into the army as soldiers. However, he has not supported women being taken in combat divisions.

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