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Permanent Commission for Women in Indian Navy

Topics Covered: Issues related to women.

Permanent Commission for Women in Indian Navy:


The Supreme Court has allowed the Union government time till December 31 to implement its March 17 judgment, which upheld the right of women naval officers to be considered for permanent commission.

Supreme Court March 17 judgement:

The Court had upheld the right of serving Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers of the Navy to be granted permanent commission (PC) on a par with their male counterparts.

  • The judgment was based on a case filed by 17 women SSC officers who were denied PC and discharged despite completing 14 years of service as SSC officers.

Observations made by the Supreme Court:

  1. Women officers have worked shoulder to shoulder with their men counterparts in every walk of service.
  2. Therefore, the “101 excuses” devised by the government, including motherhood and physiological limitations, reeked of a stereotypical mindset.
  3. And women naval officers cannot be denied the right to equal opportunity and dignity entitled to under the Constitution on specious grounds such as physiology, motherhood and physical attributes.

Implications of the judgment:

  • Women naval officers will now be eligible to apply for permanent commission.
  • All serving women short service commission (SSC) officers in at least seven wings, including the executive, engineering, electrical, education, law and logistics, will be eligible to apply.
  • The grant of PCs will be subject to: (i) availability of vacancies in the stabilised cadre; (ii) Suitability of the candidate; and (iii) recommendation by the chief of Naval Staff.


Prelims Link:

  1. Short Service Commission vs PC- differences and benefits.
  2. Status of PC for women in Army vs Navy vs Airforce.
  3. Women Special Entry scheme.
  4. Combat vs non combat roles.

Mains Link:

Discuss why women officers in the navy should be granted permanent commission. What are the benefits associated?

Sources: the Hindu.