The Indian Air Force on Friday preferred not to comment stating the order of the Delhi High Court was being studied. The court had earlier directed the Centre to allow grant of permanent commission to women officers, some 18 of whom from the service had filed petitions.

At present there are over 2,000 women officers serving in the three services, entering through the Short Service Commission. The Army has over 1,000 officers, the Air Force over 800 and the rest belong to the Navy.

Majority of those who appealed to the High Court were from the Air Force and all of them has since retired, sources in the services said here. The sources said the issues under study include those relating to cadre strength and vacancies and the option of going in for an appeal.

The IAF first inducted women officers in 1992, who got commissioned the next year. The non-technical cadre initially serve for 5 years while the technical cadre serve a year extra. Normally, these officers were given another five years and an option of four year extension.

Permanent commission

In 2006, the Chiefs of Staff Committee recommended that grant of permanent commission would be based on military needs and not social consideration. Later in 2008 it was decided to offer permanent commission to women officers from January 2009 in education, accounts and administration in the case of Air Force.

In the case of the Army, the women officers serve in Army Supply Corps, EME, Ordnance, Engineers, Signals, Air Defence, Judge Advocate General, and Education while the Navy deploys them only for shore-based work in different branches.

As per new plans, the Army will offer permanent commission to women in Education and Legal branches while the Navy will offer in branches of Education, Legal and as Naval Constructors, a sub-division of engineering design.

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