In a historic decision, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday gave a nod for induction of women as jawans in the Army’s Corps of Military Police.
So far, women were allowed to enter the Army only as officers and that too in select branches.
‘The women will be inducted in graded manner to eventually comprise 20 per cent of total Corps of Military Police of the Army,’ the Defence Ministry tweeted.
The proposal to induct women in military police was first mooted by Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, who had about a year ago said that women will be first inducted in military police.
The decision to induct more women in the services has come in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directions to give more role to the women power in the defence forces.
Explaining the reason for need of women as jawans, the Army officials said many times, ‘when people go to the operation, we have to face the people and many a times ladies come in front of us and that is when they can be handled by the females of the force’.
Currently women are allowed in a number of select areas including in medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the Indian Army but combat roles are kept off limit for them due to operational concerns and logistical issues.