MoD ap­proves in­duc­tion of women as fighter pi­lots


The Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) has ap­proved the in­duc­tion of women into the fighter (com­bat) stream of the In­dian Air Force (IAF). This pro­gres­sive step is in keep­ing with the as­pi­ra­tions of In­dian women and is in line with con­tem­po­rary trends in armed forces of de­vel­oped na­tions. Since their in­duc­tion into the trans­port and he­li­copter streams of the IAF, their per­for­mance has been praise­wor­thy and on par with their male coun­ter­parts. In­duct­ing women into the fighter stream would pro­vide them with an equal op­por­tu­nity to prove their met­tle in com­bat roles as well.

The first women pi­lots would be se­lected from the batch which is presently un­der­go­ing fly­ing train­ing at Air Force Acad­emy. Af­ter suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of ab-ini­tio train­ing, they would be com­mis­sioned in the fighter stream in June 2016.

There­after, they would un­dergo ad­vanced train­ing for one year and would en­ter a fighter cock­pit by June 2017.

Presently, the In­dian Army is in­duct­ing women into the sig­nals, en­gi­neers, army avi­a­tion (air traf­fic con­trol), army air de­fence, elec­tron­ics & me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neers, Army Ser­vice Corps, Army Ordinance Corps, In­tel­li­gence Corps, Army Ed­u­ca­tion Corps and Judge Ad­vo­cate Gen­er­als Branches/Cadres. The In­dian Navy is in­duct­ing women in the Judge Ad­vo­cate Gen­er­als, lo­gis­tics, ob­server, air traf­fic con­troller, naval con­struc­tor and ed­u­ca­tion branches/cadres. The IAF is presently in­duct­ing women in the trans­port and he­li­copter stream of the fly­ing branch, nav­i­ga­tion, aero­nau­ti­cal engi­neer­ing, ad­min­is­tra­tion, lo­gis­tics, ac­counts, ed­u­ca­tion and me­te­o­rol­ogy branches. With this de­ci­sion to open up in­duc­tion of women in the fighter stream, women have be­come el­i­gi­ble for in­duc­tion in all branches and streams of the IAF.

The MoD has also taken up a com­pre­hen­sive re­view per­tain­ing to in­duc­tion of women in armed forces, both in short ser­vice com­mis­sion and per­ma­nent com­mis­sion (SSC & PC) and once fi­nalised more and more branches would be opened up for in­duc­tion of women to give them the space which they de­serve in the armed forces of the coun­try.

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