Par panel slams ‘negativism’ over inducting women in Services

NEW DELHI, May 18: A Parliamentary panel today slammed the Defence Ministry for its “discriminative” policies in granting permanent commission to women and accused it of turning a blind eye to its recommendations on inducting more females in armed forces.
In its report on ‘Women in Armed Forces’ tabled today, the Committee on Empowerment of Women said it “fails to understand the negativism” when it comes to employing more women in the three Services.
“The Committee takes strong objection to the way their recommendation is brushed aside without attaching importance that it needs to be given…. The tone and tenor of the reply of the Government clearly communicates the nonchalant attitude towards the concerns of the Committee.
“We fail to understand the negativism when it comes to employing more women in the armed forces and reiterate their earlier recommendation to enhance intake of women in various branches of armed forces,” the report said.
On its recommendations for opening more branches for Permanent Commission to women, the Committee said, “Defence Ministry has turned a blind eye to this recommendation by sticking to their earlier stand that women officers would be considered only in specific branches.”
The report stated that Committee’s suggestions to explore possibility of having more women officers in branches such as Military police, Army Postal Service and General Service have been dismissed with a grim reply by the Ministry.
“It is extremely disturbing to note that Ministry has not even bothered to try even exploring a single other option for women officers and instead relied heavily on the existing discriminative policies,” it said.
The Committee reiterated that it strongly believed in the inner strength of women in upholding the pride of the nation and protecting its territorial integrity and asked the Ministry to grant permanent commission in more branches.
The Committee said it was “more than surprised” on the rejection of its recommendation of giving pension to lady officers retiring after 14 years of Service saying “we take serious objections to the overall approach of the Ministry which seems to be totally biased and self righteous leaving no scope for anyone else’s suggestions.”
The Committee said the “arrogance and indifference” on the issue could be seen on the pension issue when it stated that SSC officers were entitled for pension and war disability pension only in event of acquiring disability of 20 per cent or more. (PTI)