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Permanent Commission of Women in Indian Coast Guard

Why is it in the news?

  • The Supreme Court has directed the Central Government to ensure the provision of permanent commission (PC) to women officers in the Indian Coast Guard, following similar directives for other branches of the armed forces.

Background on Women’s Permanent Commission

  • The Supreme Court’s ruling in Col. Nitisha vs. Union of India in 2021 highlighted discriminatory evaluation practices in the Army affecting women officers seeking permanent commission.
  • In a landmark judgment (Babita Puniya case) in 2020, the Supreme Court mandated the grant of permanent commission and command postings to women officers in all services except combat roles.
Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was established in 1977 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978, with jurisdiction over India’s territorial waters, contiguous zone, and exclusive economic zone.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 It operates under the Ministry of Defence and is headquartered in New Delhi, led by the Director General Indian Coast Guard (DGICG).

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The missions of the Indian Coast Guard include ensuring safety and protection of artificial islands, offshore terminals, and other installations, providing assistance to fishermen and mariners at sea, preserving marine ecology and environment, and assisting in anti-smuggling operations.

Importance of Women in Defence Forces

  • Women bring diverse perspectives and skill sets to the military, thereby enhancing overall effectiveness and decision-making.
  • Female soldiers serve as role models and inspire future generations of women aspiring to pursue careers in the military.
  • Women contribute to a broader talent pool, leading to improved decision-making, problem-solving, and operational efficiency within the armed forces.
  • Integration of women into defence forces promotes gender equality and challenges traditional gender norms and stereotypes, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable society.

Challenges Faced by Women in Defence Forces

  • Women officers encounter challenges related to limited facilities such as women-only barracks and amenities in certain branches of the armed forces.
  • Instances of harassment and discrimination based on gender have been reported among women officers in various branches of the armed forces, highlighting the need for measures to ensure a conducive work environment.
  • Meeting the rigorous physical standards of military service can be challenging for women, leading to concerns about equality in standards and training regimes.
  • Traditional gender roles and societal norms may act as barriers, discouraging women from pursuing military careers or limiting their opportunities for advancement within the armed forces.
About Short Service Commission (SSC)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Women officers have the option of joining the Army through Short Service Commission, serving as Commissioned Officers for a duration of 10/14 years.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 After completing 10 years of service, officers may choose between opting for permanent commission, opting out, or availing a 4-year extension with the privilege of resignation.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 SSC officers do not qualify for a pension post-completion of their commissioned tenure.

About Permanent Commission (PC)

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Permanent Commission guarantees a career in the armed forces until the retirement age.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Ministry of Defence has undertaken measures to implement PC for women officers across all branches of the Armed Forces.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 In the Indian Air Force, all branches, including Fighter Pilots, are open to female officers.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Indian Navy has opened all non-sea going branches/cadres/specializations for the induction of women officers through SSC.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Women officers in the Indian Army are granted PC in all ten branches where women are inducted for SSC.


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