The Navy has allowed the wives of five Navy personnel who died in accidents aboard two submarines to apply for becoming officers in the maritime force.

The wife of the late Commander Kuntal Wadhwa, who lost his life in an accident onboard the under-construction warship INS Kolkata in Mumbai, has cleared the Service Selection Board and medical examination and would soon be joining the force.

The Navy lost 21 personnel in these accidents and 17 families sought its help to get jobs.

“Based on the educational qualifications, five of the widows of officers and sailors have been given relaxations in several categories to appear for the selection procedure to become officers in the force,” a senior Navy officer told PTI here.

Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan has directed officials in the Naval headquarters and the respective commands to help the families get their dues.

The officer said the women would be allowed to become officers only after they cleared mandatory tests and the SSB selection process.

Family members of officers and sailors, who were not eligible to become officers, are being given jobs as civilian employees in Group B and Group C posts.

The Navy took the requisite permissions from the Defence Ministry to give relaxation to these women in several categories, including age and marital status. Since the Kargil war of 1999, the Ministry started allowing the wives of dead officers and jawans to join the services if they met the educational and other requirements.

The Navy had earlier given this relaxation to the families of its personnel who died in 2002 in an air crash over INS Hansa air base in Goa.

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