New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) The government Monday made it clear that it has no proposal to induct women in combat roles in the defence forces, including as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force.
Parliament was also informed that there has been a 67 percent increase in the recruitment of women officers into the army, navy and air force in the last three years.
‘There is no proposal to induct women into combat duties in the defence forces including as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force,’ Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply during question hour.
‘Induction of women in combat duties has not been recommended by the studies carried out by the headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) in 2006 and high level tri-services committee in 2011′ he added.
He also gave figures to buttress the point that there has been an increase in the women officers recruited since 2009.
In 2009, the three services had recruited 219 women, of whom 70 were for the army, 24 for the navy and 125 for the air force.
In 2010, the services recruited a total of 277 women officers. Of these, 93 were for the army, 39 for the navy and 145 for the air force.
In 2011, the figures showed a 67 per cent increase since 2009. The defence forces had recruited 366 women that year, of whom 164 were for the army, 68 for the navy and 134 for the air force.
In 2011, the total number of women officers in the three services stood at 1055 for the army, 288 for the navy and 936 for the air force.
The number of women officers the previous year (2010) was 999 for army, 191 for navy and 889 for air force. In 2009, there were 1030 women officers in the army, 176 in the navy and 915 in the air force.
Antony noted that there is no separate fixed sanctioned strength for recruitment of women officers in the armed forces and they are recruited within the overall sanctioned strength of the respective service.
Also, there is no proposal to launch any special drive for recruiting rural women into the armed forces, he added.