Colonel Time Scale Rank: A Selection Board of the Indian Army, for the first time, has approved the promotion of five women officers to the rank of colonel (time scale) rank, post completion of 26 years of reckonable service.
Note: Army officers are given the rank of time scale colonels after they complete 26 years in service.
- The five women officers selected for Colonel Time Scale rank are Lt Col Sangeeta Sardana from the Corps of Signals, Lt Col Sonia Anand, and Lt Col Navneet Duggal from the Corps of EME and Lt Col Reenu Khanna and Lt Col Ritcha Sagar from the Corps of Engineers.
- Previously, only women officers serving in the Army Education Corps (AEC), Judge Advocate General (JAG), and the Army Medical Corps (AMC) were applicable for promotion to the Colonel Time Scale rank.
- In a landmark verdict in February 2020, the Supreme Court had directed that women officers in the Army be granted a permanent commission, rejecting the Centre’s stand of their physiological limitations as being based on “stereotypes” and “gender discrimination against women”.
- In yet another feat, on August 18, 2021, the Apex Court passed an interim order to allow women to take the admission exam to National Defence Academy (NDA) where only men could appear.
- The exam is scheduled for September 5, 2021.
- The bench added that admissions, etc be subjected to its final order.
- The widening of promotion avenues to more branches of the Indian Army is a sign of increasing career opportunities for women officers.
- Along with permanent commission to women officers as well as allowing women to appear for NDA exam are steps of the Indian Army towards a gender-neutral Army.