FOCUSING on gender-neutrality in all its branches, the Indian Navy will recruit women sailors through the newly-unveiled ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme and these new recruits will be posted on board warships upon completion of training. While all the three services - Army, Air Force and Navy - have had women officers, this will be the first time that positions of Personnel Below Officers’ Rank (PBOR) will be open to women. “We are still formulating the exact number of women sailors to be recruited through the ‘Agnipath’ scheme,” Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Chief of Personnel said in a tri-service press conference at the Ministry of Defence here on Sunday, adding that the training of the first batch of ‘Agniveers’ will begin in November this year.
“Indian Navy has 30 women officers at present sailing on different Indian Navy ships. We have decided that under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, we will recruit women also. They will be deployed on warships also,” he added. He further informed that the arrangements are being made at INS Chilka in Odisha - the basic training establishment for the Indian Navy, to accommodate the women sailors.