Armed Forces to induct women in NDA: Centre tells SC
   Date :09-Sep-2021

Armed Forces_1  
THE Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the Armed Forces have decided to induct women into the National Defence Academy (NDA). Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice S K Kaul that a decision has been taken at the highest level of the Armed Forces as also the Government that females will be inducted for permanent commission through the NDA. The ASG sought apex court’s permission to place the details on record through an affidavit and sought status quo in this year’s exams as they need procedural and infrastructural changes. The top court said, it has been periodically nudging the authorities to take such steps themselves and believes that they are best suited to evolve the whole.
The bench said, it would like the defence forces to take more proactive approach towards gender equality instead of court directing them to do so. “The idea is when nothing happens, the court steps in. Let me assure you it’s not a happy situation to step in and we would like the armed services to do it themselves. They are very respected forces of the country but on gender equality they have to do more and sometimes the resistance does not come out well,” said the bench, also comprising Justice M M Sundresh. “I am happy that the heads of Armed Forces have taken a positive decision. Put on record, we will take up the matter. We are happy with the stand. let us hear the matter next week. Reforms cannot happen in a day. We are also conscious of that,” it said. The ASG told the bench that the thought was already there in their minds but it was only at the seeding stage.
The matter has been listed after two weeks. The apex court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Kush Kalra which has raised the issue of exclusion of eligible and willing female candidates from joining the prestigious NDA solely on the ground of sex which allegedly is a violation of fundamental right of equality. The plea said the authorities allow unmarried male candidates having adequate 10+2 qualification to take the ‘National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination’, but eligible and willing female candidates are not allowed to take the examination on the sole ground of their sex and without any reasonable or justifiable explanations within the Constitution.