New Delhi: The ministry of defence has said that the women officers will be given permanent commission in all 10 branches of the Indian Army, where women were previously part of the Short Service Commission (SSC). 

On August 15, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, had announced a permanent commission to the women officers, who were recruited through the Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Army. Till now, women officers were given permanent commission, but it was restricted to some non-combat branches only. It is likely that its scope will be increased and women can also be allowed in the warring branches.

Those officers, who are recruited through the Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Army, can now get services for 14 years (earlier the period for which was only 10 years). After the Sixth Pay Commission, the term was increased to 14 years. The Seventh Pay Commission has introduced the option that if someone wants to leave the service after seven years, then he/she should be given a golden handshake.

Women officers are recruited only by this route. About 3,500 female officers are working in the three services through the SSC recruitment. After 14 years of service, permanent commission is given to women officers in education, law, signal, engineering and other services. A group of women officers has filed a writ in the Supreme Court to increase the scope of the permanent commission, in response to which the government has accepted the increase in its scope. 

In the war front, women are only allowed in the Air Force. So far, five women have been appointed to fly fighter aircrafts. The Army has allowed the entry of women as reconnaissance plane pilots for the Military Police and the Air Force. 

The purpose of the SSC and the intention behind starting it was to remove the shortage of officers at the middle level in the military forces. Hence, its period is short lived. The largest Army is willing to recruit more officers through SSC but wants to discourage the permanent commission as it does not need more officers at the higher level. If more stable commissions were given, then the number of high officers would increase. 

There are several worries regarding women officers once they have passed the age of 40, after doing 14 years of service in the Short Service Commission. Some officers turn even older than 40, after which, it becomes difficult to get employment elsewhere. There are still opportunities of employment in the Air Force but to find one in the Army and Navy is more difficulty.