Army Chief MM Naravane (Photo Credit: ANI)
There are around 15-20 terrorist camps that are still active in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), said Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Thursday. “Over 15-20 terrorist camps inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir where there are around 250-350 terrorists at any time and numbers may fluctuate,” Naravane said. The Army chief also welcomed the Supreme Court's judgement on the permanent commissioning of women. Calling the judgement 'very enabling', he said, the Indian Army does not discriminate any soldier based on religion, caste, creed, or even gender. The outlook of the Indian Army has been throughout like this and that is why we started inducting Women Officers as early as in 1993.
Naravane further added that their first task at hand is to comply with Supreme Court's order.
Naravane’s comments came days after the Supreme Court directed that all serving women officers recruited under the short service commission (SSC) scheme will have to be considered for Permanent Commissions (PCs). The judgment has to be implemented within three months. A group of 332 women Army officers, recruited under the Short Service Commission (SSC) since 1993, had approached the top court seeking permanent commission.
"I must assure that everybody in the Indian Army including Women Officers will be given equal opportunity to contribute to the Nation as also progress in their careers. The Army has taken the initiative to induct women in rank and file, and the first batch of 100 women soldiers is undergoing training at Corps of Military Police Center and School," the Army Chief added.
At present, the Army offers permanent commission to women officers in two branches -- judge advocate general (JAG) and education. Under SSC, women officers are initially taken for a period of five years, which is extendable up to 14 years. Permanent commissioning will allow them to serve till the age of retirement. The Army recruits women officers under SSC for streams like air defence, engineering, signals and services and they can serve up to a maximum of 14 years.
However, a sizeable number of women officers recruited under SSC scheme were allowed to serve beyond 14 years due to court cases as well as on the basis of their overall service records.