21 April 2016 Current Affairs: The Indian Navy has now also granted permanent commission (PC) to seven woman officers who were inducted as short-service commission (SSC) officers in the education and naval constructor cadre in 2008-2009.
The Navy will also allow woman officers to join as pilots of maritime patrol aircraft like P-8Is, IL-38s and Dorniers from next year onwards. But the force is yet to finalize a policy for allowing woman officers on board sea-faring warships.
There are currently only about 340 woman officers who have been granted permanent commission in select branches of the Army and IAF, even though they have been allowed to join the three Services since the early-1990s as SSC officers for a maximum tenure of 14-15 years. Overall, women number just 1,436 in the Army, 1,331 in IAF and 532 in Navy.
With 51 woman officers already serving as "observers" on maritime patrol aircraft, the Navy on Wednesday said "additional avenues" were now also being opened up for them. "Starting in 2017, woman officers can choose to join as pilots of maritime reconnaissance planes, as also in the naval armament inspectorate cadre
Thus, eight branches\cadres will now be open for women in the Navy. These are education, law, meteorology, air traffic control, logistics, observers, pilots (maritime reconnaissance aircraft, not naval fighters like MiG-29Ks) and naval constructor. The Navy is also finalizing the policy for women officers to serve on select (new) warships that have appropriate facilities for them