In March this year, the government also granted permanent commission to women in all 10 branches of the army — even to those who had joined the army through the Short Service Commission Women (non-technical) entry scheme announced in 1992.
Now: The Corps of Military Police is the Indian Army’s internal police organisation, which handles traffic, enforces discipline, law and order, and checks civilians passing through army encampments. The CMP is also trained to handle prisoners of war.
Danvir Singh, associate editor of the Indian Defence Review and a retired colonel, believes this move will allow the army to create an image of being gender equal. “This is also a way to show that India is a progressive country,” he says. Singh explains that combat roles for women are not a possibility for now due to a lack of “logistical infrastructure”. “The military police operate at the divisional level, where the infrastructure required to sustain women is available,” he says.
Raghavan says the integration of women with men in the armed forces has been a historical bone of contention. This scepticism was there even when women were first inducted as officers in non-medical branches of the army. Hopefully, through their induction as jawans, male soldiers at all levels will get more accustomed to their presence in the army. And the glass ceiling will one day get shattered.