New Delhi: The Indian Army has opened its doors to women after much deliberation. On Thursday, the Army started the process of recruiting women as soldiers into the military police.

The role of the military police includes policing cantonments and army establishments, preventing the breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war, handling prisoners of war and extending aid to civil police whenever required.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in January 2019 took this landmark decision. After three months, in April, the Army put out a formal advertisement calling for women who are willing to join as soldiers.

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The formal notice said that the online application for registration is open from April 25. The last date for online application registration is June 8, 2019.

The defence minister said that she took the decision to improve the representation of women in the armed forces.

 "The women will be inducted in graded manner to eventually comprise 20% of total Corps of Military Police,” said Sitharaman in her tweets. Their role would range from probing rape and molestation cases to assisting the Army wherever required.

Last year, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said the process to allow women in a combat role, currently, an exclusive domain of men, was moving fast and initially, women will be recruited for positions in the military police.

Accordingly, the Army chalked out induction of approximately 800 women in military police with a yearly intake of 52 personnel per year.

Currently, women are allowed in select areas such as medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the Army.