The Indian Military Academy (IMA) is ready to open its doors for women. “We are ready to welcome women at IMA and there is absolutely no problem,” said IMA Commandant Lt Gen Rajinder Singh Sujlana, on the sidelines of the passing-out parade today. Lt Gen Sujlana, however, made it clear the proposal to recruit women cadets in IMA had to come from the highest level or the defence ministry.
The IMA decision comes on the back of a historic Delhi High Court verdict in March this year, which recommended permanent commission for women in the armed forces. Since its inception in 1932, IMA had been commissioning only male officers to the Indian Army following rigorous training in modern warfare at the prestigious centre.
Sources, however, said discussions were already on to give women permanent commission in the army. So far, women are only eligible to get permanent commission in nursing, dental and medical services.
A grand passing out parade at the academy in Dehradun witnessed the induction of 602 cadets in the armed forces. In addition, 30 officers were also trained in the IMA’s technical course. The Indian Army faces a shortage of over 11,000 officers. This was the first time that the batch comprised over 600 cadets — in previous occasions the numbers usually hovered around the 500-550 mark.
The IMA has also been addressing the growing security concerns in India, with a spurt in naxalite and terrorist activities from across the border. The cadets are getting trained in guerrilla warfare to take on the insurgent groups in jungles and rocky terrain.