In a big move, the Central government has decided to allow the induction of women in the National Defence Academy (NDA). The Centre Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that the decision to let women join the NDA was taken on Tuesday.
The apex court was informed that the decision was taken following consultation with the three Service Chiefs.
On its part, the Supreme Court today said the armed forces are a very respectable force in the country and they too needed to do more to ensure gender equality in the forces.
The court further said it does hope that the defence forces value the important role women are performing.
The decision came weeks after the Supreme Court had last month permitted women candidates to sit for the NDA entrance exam. The court had in the August 18 order stated that not allowing females to appear for the examination amounted to gender discrimination.
The Supreme Court bench led by Justice SK Kaul had then only issued an interim order, stating that the results of the exam would be subject to the final verdict on the case.
The court had then also expressed surprise over the fact that the Centre was continuing to bar female candidates from joining the NDA despite the 2020 SC verdict extending permanent commission to women in the Army and the Navy.
“If you are introducing women in the Army then why do you create a bar in NDA,” the Bench had asked.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati had informed the Supreme Court that women could enter the Army through other modes as well, like the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officers Training Academy (OTA).
“Why is it not through the NDA? Is co-education a problem?” the court had asked in response.
The bench had during the August 18 hearing also stated: “You had kept on opposing it till the orders were passed by this court. You didn’t do anything on your own. The Navy and Air Force were more forthcoming while the Army seems to have some kind of bias.”