New Role of Women in Indian Navy
- The Indian Navy on 21st Sep’20 announced new role of women officers in Indian Navy as Observers in the helicopter stream, making them first women airborne combatants who would be operating from warships.
- Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh would, in effect, be the first set of women airborne tacticians in India who would operate from the deck of warships.
- The two women are a part of a group of 17 officers of the Navy, including four women officers and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard, who were awarded ‘Wings’ on graduating as ‘Observers’ at a ceremony held on 21st Sep at INS Garuda.
- The ceremony was presided over by Rear Admiral Antony George, Chief Staff Officer (Training) who presented the awards and coveted wings to the graduating officers.
- The Rear Admiral Antony highlighted the fact that it was a landmark occasion wherein for the first-time women are going to be trained in helicopter operations which would ultimately pave way for the deployment of women in frontline warships of Indian Navy.
First Women Pilot in Indian Navy
- Sub-Lieutenant Shivangi on 2nd December became the first women pilot in the Indian Navy as she joined operational duties at the naval base in Kerala’s Kochi.
The sub-lieutenant, who was born in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, will be flying the Dornier surveillance aircraft of the Indian Navy.
“Women were always there in the Navy. They were not in the cockpit. Observers were there. This is something different… Woman in the cockpit for the first time,” Shivangi said.
Permanent Commission & New role of Women in Indian Navy ahead :
- In yet another milestone for women in the Navy, the Supreme Court in March this year upheld the right of serving women officers from the Short Service Commission in the Navy to be eligible for the getting permanent commission (PC).
- Short service Commission tenures in the Armed forces are of 10 years, extendable by four years after which officers can be eligible for permanent commission.
- In the said ruling in the matter of case Union of India & Others Vs Annie Nagaraja & Others, Apex Court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi have said, “The battle for gender equality is about confronting the battles of the mind. History is replete with examples where women have been denied their just entitlements under law and the right to fair and equal treatment in the workplace.
- In the context of the Armed Forces, specious reasons have been advanced by decision makers and administrators. They range from physiology, motherhood and physical attributes to the male dominated hierarchies.
- A hundred and one excuses are no answer to the constitutional entitlement to dignity, which attaches to every individual irrespective of gender, to fair and equal conditions of work and to a level playing field. A level playing field ensures that women have the opportunity to overcome their histories of discrimination with the surest of responses based on their competence, ability and performance.”
Women officers in new streams
- On Monday 21 Sep, the Navy announced induction of two women officers as observers for the helicopter stream. Observers are airborne tacticians who fly on board helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft operated by the Navy.
- Till now women were inducted as observers for fixed wing aircraft which take off and land ashore. Entry in the helicopter stream means that women officers can now be deployed on frontline warships from which helicopters can operate.
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