NEW DELHI: The Army has decided to commission women officers into the artillery regiments and a proposal on it has been sent to the government, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference ahead of Army Day on January 15, Gen Pande described the move as “significant” and noted that women in the Army have performed “exceedingly well”.
“We have decided to induct women in artillery which itself is significant as we believe that they will be able to not only measure up but perform well in all the duties and appointments,” he said.
“The proposal has been forwarded to the government . We hope that it will be accepted,” he added.
The Army has around 280 artillery regiments that handle various gun systems including Bofors howitzers, Dhanush, M-777 howitzers and K-9 Vajra self-propelled guns.
The Army chief also mentioned the decision to grant permanent commission of women in the Army.
“You are aware of the permanent commission that we have granted to women officers which will then prepare them for major leadership roles in terms of command of various establishments and units,” he said.
“Those who have been granted permanent commission are now training them in other professional courses. They will be then eligible for selection for future responsibilities,” he added.
In a significant move, the Army in 2019 began the process of inducting women into the military police.
The role of the military police includes policing cantonments and army establishments, preventing breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war and extending aid to civil police whenever required.
Earlier this month, Captain Shiva Chauhan from the Army’s Corps of Engineers was posted at a frontline post in Siachen Glacier, in the first such operational deployment of an woman Army officer at the world’s highest battlefield.
Last month, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said the Indian Navy is looking at opening all its branches for women from 2023. (PTI)