The decision of the Apex Court to give permanent commission to all women officers in the Army is a welcome and progressive step. Even as this step is hailed by the Army top brass, they are of the opinion that women are still not ‘combat ready’. As of now, this idea cannot be put into practice. Women, they feel, will not be able to meet the challenges and hazards faced in warfare due to a few physical limitations and their mental makeup. Another factor that raised its head recently when this issue came up was that the jawans do not have the right mindset to follow orders from women officers, and in the fields when it’s a do-or-die situation, this can have very adverse implications. Extreme conditions which test the strength of even the hardiest of men, women may find it, if not impossible, but very difficult to cope up with. Female Army officers, as doctors, are doing a commendable job at the front, but to play an active role during combat is still a distant dream. It will be a gradual process, but definitely not unachievable as pointed out by Lt. General RP Singh.
It is indeed commendable to note that a record number of 11 Universities have made it to the top 100 Times Higher Education’s Emerging Economies University Rankings 2020. But these Universities and others that feature in various other global rankings cater to a niche section of students. At the grassroots level, higher education in the country needs to be revamped on all levels. Issues like shortage of competent faculty, lack of infrastructure, scarcity of finances have bogged down the growth of these temples of learning. This, in turn, has put a question mark on the efficacy of the higher education system, a system which is not churning out students that can prove their excellence in the global market. Creativity, innovation and an inadequate research system are other areas of concern that hamper our position in the global rankings. The Universities need to get their fundamentals right and focus on Teach and Research for substantive changes in higher education under the Government’s Institute of Eminence scheme.