A total of 9,118 women are serving as officers in the three defence forces while the approval has been granted for inducting 1,700 females as jawans in the corps of military police, Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik told the Rajya Sabha.
In his reply, the minister stated that the highest percentage of women officers was in the Indian Navy as they comprised 6.5 per cent of its officer force with 704 lady officers.
As per the statement, the Indian Army has 12,18,036 men against 6,807 women who constitute 0.56 per cent of the force. The Indian Air Force has 1,46,727 men against 1,607 and form 1.08 per cent of the force. Indian Navy has 704 female officers who constitute 6.5 per cent of the force.
The Indian Army is the largest among the three defence forces and has the highest number of women serving as officers and is now the first force to allow females to join at the rank of Sepoys.
The government said there has been an increase in the number of women personnel in the armed forces (excluding Medical, Dental and Nursing cadres) during the year 2020 compared to the figures in the year 2019.
In addition to the provision of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in Judge Advocate General and Army Education Corps, the Government of India has recently announced grant of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in all other Arms/ Services in which they are eligible for commission. Further, the Government has sanctioned 1,700 women in Military Police Corps in a phased manner.
The Indian Air Force undertakes various induction publicity measures to encourage youth including women to join IAF. Modules like direct contact programme, print and electronic media is extensively used to create awareness about IAF and educate students about various mode of entries.
Women are employed as officers in Indian Navy since 1992 wherein only three avenues were available to Women viz. Law, Education and Logistics. However, over a period of time, number of other avenues has been opened for women induction.