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SC asks govt to explain admission of just 19 women in NDA

The top court gave three weeks to the Centre to file affidavit. File image.
Legal CorrespondentJanuary 18, 2022 14:10 IST
Updated: January 18, 2022 20:05 IST

Court gives Centre three weeks to file affidavit

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Union government to explain the admission of merely 19 women in the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) for 2022.

A Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul made it clear to Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Union, to come clear why the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) had restricted women’s admissions to just 19 for the year.

The court also asked the Centre to place the figures on record the total number of candidates, including women, who appeared in the NDA, Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) and Rashtriya Military School (RMS) entrance tests.

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“The figure is the same as for the 2021 test. Last year, you said that it was due to infrastructure problems that the intake of women will be less. Now, again for the year 2022, you have proposed to take the same number of women candidates. Why have you fixed this figure? You have to explain this. Nineteen seats cannot be for all times to come. It was only an ad hoc measure,” the Bench addressed the government.

Case listed on March 6

The court gave the Centre three weeks to file its affidavit. The case was listed on March 6.

Petitioner Kush Kalra said they have filed an additional affidavit stating that on November 14, 2021, the NDA exam was held and 8,009 candidates qualified for the Service Selection Board test as also medical tests, out of which 1,002 candidates were women and 7,007 men. The government advertisement had said NDA would take in 400 cadets in the current NDA-II 2021 intake.

“Of these, 208 candidates, including 10 women, will go to the Army. The Navy will take in 42 candidates including three women, while the IAF will admit 120 candidates, of which six will be women. Thus, the total number of women to be inducted into the NDA in June 2022 is 19,” the petitioner said.

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