Indian top court says women’s entry into defence academy cannot be deferred

Xinhua Xinhua

22nd Sep, 2021. 07:28 pm

NEW DELHI: India’s top court on Wednesday turned down the federal government’s request to postpone until May next year the entry of women into the National Defence Academy (NDA).

“No, it has to be from this session only. We find it difficult to postpone everything by a year. After we have given a hope (to women aspirants) we don’t want to deny the hope,” the court told Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati.

Until now the country’s defence service training academy NDA is open only to men.

The top court refused to modify its last month’s interim order that allowed women candidates to appear for the NDA and the Naval Academy Examinations and to train at the NDA.

The federal government had told the apex court that a notification allowing women candidates to appear for the entrance exam to the NDA will be out by May next year.

The additional solicitor general sought skipping the next NDA entrance examination scheduled to be held on November 14.

The court believed that armed forces were the best response team to deal with emergency situations and it was hopeful that necessary arrangements will be put in place to pave the way for the induction of women in the NDA without delay.

Men recruited through the NDA exam are presently granted permanent commission in India’s armed forces. However, women candidates are recruited as Short Service Commission Officers before being considered for a permanent commission at a later stage of their careers.

Last year the top court said women officers in the Indian army could get command positions at par with their male colleagues.

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