New Delhi: Amid unwarranted row over the Agnipath scheme, the country’s Naval force has taken a unique decision now to boost women enrolment into the blue water force.
Top Naval officials said INS Chilka in Odisha, which is the premier basic training establishment for the Indian Navy, will now accommodate women recruits.
“As we speak, 30 women officers are sailing on board ships. We have decided that time has come to recruit more women sailors,” Vice Admiral Dinesh K. Tripathi, Chief of Personnel, said at the tri-service press conference on Sunday (June 19).
In fact, the training of the first batch of Agniveers under the Navy will begin in November this year.
The Navy’s top bosses would be soon formulating the exact ratio of women sailors to be recruited through the Agnipath scheme.
The women sailors will be posted on board warships as well. Of course, the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy–have had women officers. This will be the first time that positions of Personnel Below Officers’ Rank will be open to women in the Navy.
Sources said when the Navy takes in the next batch of sailors through the Agnipath scheme, around 20 per cent will be women.
About the Indian Air Force’s plan for induction of recruits under the Agnipath scheme, Air Marshall S K Jha said the registration process would start on June 24, and the process for online examination for phase one of the recruitment will begin on July 24.
Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi said the naval headquarters would come out with a broad guideline for the recruitment by June 25. The first batch of recruits will join the training programme by November 21.
Lt Gen A Puri, the additional secretary in the Department of Military Affairs, strongly defended the Agnipath scheme, saying that reducing the age profile of the three services has been on the table for quite some time, and the Kargil review committee had also made recommendations on those lines.
About the Army’s recruitment plan, Lt Gen Bansi Ponappa said the Army would issue a draft notification on Monday, and subsequent notifications will be issued by various recruitment units of the force from July 1 onwards.