Indian Defence Minister Supports Combat Role For Women

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:46 PM, October 9, 2015
  • 2394

Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has shown support today for combat role of women in the nation's armed forces.

A policy decision will soon be made after studying the implications as it may have some “operational” or “training difficulties”, Parrikar was quoted as saying by various media today.

“The procedure is on. I am still not aware as to why an in-principle approval should not be given. There could some hurdles, difficulties during the training. Keeping all this mind, we will soon announce a policy," Parrikar said.

The proposal to induct women into a fighting arm is a first in the three services which were earlier not open to the idea of women taking part in combat role. Parrikar commented after Air Chief Marshal Raha said that the air force has moved a proposal to induct women as fighter aircraft pilots.

However, there are some operational difficulties. "Barring that, why can’t women participate in the combat operations (of Indian Air Force). I also have some questions related to this and I am discussing with them. This takes time,” he said after a parade to mark the 66th anniversary of Territorial Army.

On the contrary considering the safety of women, Parrikar in May had ruled out against recruiting women for combat operations in the armed forces but he had said they would be encouraged to join other operational areas with their inclusion being stepped up in phases.

Similarly Raha, who had said in March that women are physically not suited to fly fighter planes, said on Thursday that he has “no doubt” that women could become fighter pilots.

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