Girls break the glass ceiling: NDA to train first batch of female cadets from June 2022
A total of 19 vacancies namely, 10 for the Army, 6 for the Air Force and 3 for the Navy have been allotted by the respective Service HQs for the first batch of girls at NDA
National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, the prestigious tri-services military training institute of the nation is all ready to induct the first batch of girl cadets for training with effect from June 2022. A defence release issued by the headquarters southern command stated that akin to their male counterparts, girls of the age group 16½ to 19 years will undergo three years of military training after successfully clearing the UPSC NDA written exam, Services Selection Board (SSB) interviews and medicals. A total of 19 vacancies namely, 10 for the Army, 6 for the Air Force and 3 for the Navy have been allotted by the respective Service HQs for the first batch of girls at NDA.
The training objective at NDA shall continue to remain as a centre of excellence for producing military leaders equipped with professional, moral and physical attributes required for leading the troops to victory in the future battlefields. With minimal changes to the existing curriculum, the training in academics, drill, outdoor training, etc. will be conducted in an absolutely gender-neutral manner. However, owing to physiological differences between male and female cadets, the aspect of physical training may entail certain changes in the training of girl cadets, the release added.
Dedicated support staff will be provided for facilitating the training of female cadets. Majority of training activities shall be conducted jointly keeping their employability in mind, wherein the women officers are required to command the troops of men. Similar training methodology already exists in other pre-commissioning training academics like OTA Chennai, INA Ezhimala and AFA Hyderabad.
For the accomodation of the female cadets, one of the squadrons has been identified and is being refurbished with amenities and requirements specific for their training. Actions are underway to augment the existing infrastructure. Requisite modifications will also be undertaken to conform to gender specific lifestyle requirements. Whereas, in the long term, a separate squadron is being envisaged exclusively for female cadets.
The Indian Army chief General MM Naravane while addressing the 141 course of NDA in Pune in Oct 2021 had st said “it is expected that the women cadets are welcomed with the same sense of fair play and professionalism, and further stressed that their induction will be the “first step towards gender equality” in the armed forces. The women officers will be in the same position forty years later in their life at the current position he stands before the audience. “As we open the portals of the NDA for women cadets, we expect you to welcome them with the same sense of fair play and professionalism as Indian Armed forces are known globally ,” he had said.