The training for the first batch of Indian Army’s women soldiers will commence in December this year. Around 100 women soldiers are likely to be commissioned by March 2021 into the Corps of Military Police, after the successful completion of the training programme, according to the Army sources.

The government made the announcement last year that women would be inducted as soldiers in the military police from 2019 onwards. The recruitment process for women Jawans began in April this year with the aim to fill the 20 per cent of military police cadre from their ranks.

A senior Army official said, “The training period of 61 weeks is similar to that of male soldiers. Batches comprising similar number of soldiers will be trained and commissioned every year.”

The Army is going to maintain a 17,00 strong women cadre with recruitment process being done in batches. The recruitment process was done through an online registration form.

Last week Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Military Police, Lieutenant General Ashwani interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Nandani for training instructor’s position.

In the Corps of Military Police, women soldiers will take up duties of policing cantonments and other Army establishments. They will also work in co-operation with civil police of various state governments as well as the Centre, besides handling prisoners of war and maintenance of rules in military formations. They will also assist in investigating criminal cases like rapes and molestation, crowd control and frisking women protesters.

Until date only women in Officer Ranks have joined the Army. They were not recruited for combat positions or operational war zones and allowed in select areas such as medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the Army.

Last year the government announced that women officers would be allowed to opt for permanent commission in some branches of the Defence Forces.

Last year, General Bipin Rawat, the Army chief said, “The process to allow women in a combat role, currently, an exclusive domain of men was moving fast and initially, women will be recruited for positions in the Military Police.”

Prime Minister Narendra also in his Independence speech last year announced permanent commissioning of women officers in the armed forces.

Permanent commissioning allows officers to serve till the age of retirement, while Short Service Commission (SSC) allows tenures ranging from five to 14 years.

Both the Navy and the IAF recruit women pilots under the SSC scheme. The Indian Army recruits women SSC officers in air defence, engineering, signals and services streams.

Female representation in the Army is just about 1500, 1600 in the IAF and 500 in the Navy which comes to about 3.80 per cent, 13.09 and 6 percent respectively.