NDA entrance exams: Notification allowing women in NDA to be released by May, Defence ministry tells SC

New Delhi: The Defense Ministry has informed the Supreme Court that a notification allowing women candidates to appear in the entrance test at the National Defense Academy (NDA) will be issued by May next year. It added that keeping the timelines in mind, there is a need for deliberate planning and careful preparation to ensure smooth induction of women candidates and seamless training.

“The government, in line with its commitment, takes on record its unequivocal and unequivocal stand that women candidates will be considered for admission to the three Defense Services in the existing streams through NDA,” the ministry said in an affidavit filed. before the top court.

NDA entrance exam is conducted twice a year and the government proposes to put in place the necessary mechanism by May 2022, by which time UPSC will have to publish the first notification for the exam next year.

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A study group has been constituted by the Defense Services, consisting of experts, to expeditiously prepare the syllabus for women cadets in NDA, he said, adding that a group of officers will be formed to give them a holistic and futuristic approach to training. The board has been called.

To appear in the exam, candidates are required to fulfill the eligibility criteria which includes physical standards like height and weight, it said.

While medical standards exist for male cadets, they are being prepared for women, it said, adding that it needs to be finalized before they can join the academy.

The ministry said the Directorate General of Armed Forces Medical Services and a body of experts will do this work for the three defense services.

It said that various aspects like young age, nature of training by women candidates as well as functional/operational requirements of Army, Navy and Air Force should be kept in mind.

“There are no parallel standards for women candidates at the age of entry into NDA. Apart from imparting education, the training includes physical training, military training, sports and games and related activities to shape the officer cadets into competent officers and skilled soldiers. While the education curriculum is well laid out, all other aspects of training need to be prepared separately for women candidates,” the affidavit said.

The ministry said the curriculum and parameters like outdoor training- drills, equations, swimming, sports, games- need to be designed.

“Any dilution of the aspects of physical training and service subjects such as firing, endurance training, field craft and off ground for women cadets/officers of the Defense Services will adversely affect the combatability of the Armed Forces.

“That on the aspect of infrastructure requirement, it is most respectfully submitted that based on the inputs and experience in other pre-commissioned training academies in the context of training of women cadets, accommodation of women cadets is one of the major aspects of There should be a strong physical separation between male and female residential areas,” it said.

It said that it would have to be examined, considering the present infrastructural situation in NDA, considering that the process of UPSC notification for induction of women cadets in NDA is to start at the earliest in the next year and that too in the first half. year, different preparatory actions are required.

The ministry said that all NDA cadets are housed in cabins which are housed in the Squadron Building.

The number of cabins for women cadets, to meet the increase in the number of women cadets in each term, will have to be expanded in subsequent terms till the permanent scheme is successful, it said.

Existing sanitary/bathroom cubicles for female cadets will fall short of requirements and will require reconstruction/modification to maintain confidentiality.

“With regard to training capacity and other arrangements, various aspects are being put in place, inter alia, security and privacy arrangements, physical isolation of living quarters and related physical and electronic surveillance measures, i.e. women command, women duty officers and Women Trainers etc.

“In addition, additional administrative and miscellaneous requirements in terms of gender specific kitting, supporting requirements, etc. will also have to be worked out and executed simultaneously. In addition, gynecologists, sports medicine specialists, counselors, nursing staff and female attendants will also be required Military Hospital, Khadakwasla should be posted/ augmented,” the affidavit said.

The ministry said that the capacity of the family wards (medical facilities) of the officers would also have to be increased, for which additional projects would have to be planned and implemented.

The Center had earlier told the apex court that the armed forces have decided to include women in the NDA.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, had said that it has been decided at the highest level of the government along with the armed forces that women will be inducted for permanent commission through the NDA.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Kush Kalra, which has raised the issue of exclusion of eligible and interested women candidates from joining the prestigious NDA on the basis of sex only, which allegedly violates the fundamental right to equality. is infringement.

The petition states that the authorities allow unmarried male candidates to take the ‘NDA and Naval Academy Examination’ but female candidates are not allowed on the basis of their gender and without any just or proper explanation within the Constitution.

This discrimination is an insult to the constitutional values ​​of equality and non-discrimination.

UPSC conducts the ‘NDA and Naval Academy Examination’ and any unmarried male candidate with required educational qualification and between 15-18 years of age can appear. It states that on qualifying and completion of training a candidate is appointed to the service as a permanent commissioned officer till the age of 19-22 years.

The petition states that this opportunity to appear for NDA and Naval Academy examination at the age of 15-18 years with qualified educational qualification is not available to female candidates and the only reason for this apparent exclusion is on the basis of their gender.

It claimed that the duration of training for short service commission women officers is much less than the training that a male permanent commission officer, who gets admission through NDA, receives.

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