Date :20-Aug-2021

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TAKING another step towards ensuring gender equality in the Indian Armed Forces, the Supreme Court has rightly allowed women candidates to take the admission examination to National Defence Academy (NDA) where only the men can join. The apex court directive for the Centre comes on the lines of the landmark judgement of last year when it paved way for granting of Permanent Commission to women officers in the Army, including Command postings. While the military establishment may have its own constraints that stopped it from allowing women in NDA, those cannot act as a hindrance to the broader principle of gender neutrality. Women in forces have already proved their mettle, which the top leadership in the country, too, has acknowledged time and again while motivating them to enter bastions hitherto unaccessible. Opening up the Defence courses for women would not take much of an effort for the Army apart from making infrastructural and administrative changes for training. Even the top officers have shown willingness to accommodate women cadets in NDA which only proves that the SC intervention was nothing but only a simple prod to fasten up things.
FORMER Indian skipper Rahul Dravid is, so far, the only person to have applied for the post of Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) thus ruling out a job change for himself. Dravid was tipped to take over the senior Indian team’s head coach job after reports of current coach Ravi Shastri’s unwillingness to continue cropped up in some sections of the media. The development will come as a huge relief for the Indian cricket establishment for the stupendous work Dravid has done at the NCA. He has been the pole star for freshers and talented youngsters as NCA is churning out absolutely world-class products for the senior team. The recent success in Tests scripted by unheralded youngsters bears testimony to the silent revolution that Dravid has triggered at the grooming ground in Bangalore. ‘The Wall’ is giving protection to precocious talent by instilling a spiritual discipline in their thinking process. This philosophical gold that Dravid manages to bring to mentorship is real gain for Indian cricket. One hopes that no other aspirant throw his hat in the ring for NCA job, for, there is hardly a person who can match the gravitas Rahul Dravid carries in his coaching style. He must continue at NCA.