Supreme court allows women to take NDA exam- slammed the Indian Army.
The Supreme Court passed an Interim order allowing women to appear for the NDA Exam; it slammed the Indian Army on their “regressive mindset.”
The Supreme court has now allowed women to appear for the entrance exam to the National Defence Academy scheduled for November 14.
The bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy added that the result would be subject to final adjudication.
It also directed the UPSC to take out suitable corrigendum notification and “give due publicity so that intent of the order is translated into effect”.
Prior, Women were only allowed to appear for selective exams and were not eligible for the NDA or Naval academy based on “Policy Decision.”
The petition filed by Kush Kalra seeking permission to sit for the NDA entrance exam raised the issue of the violation of articles 14,15,16, and 19 of the constitution of India by denying the opportunity to the eligible candidate.
Senior Advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma representing the petitioner, stated that the Union government had filed a counter-affidavit, “policy decision, should not be interfered with by the court and that that because girls are not allowed to enter into NDA does not mean there is any difficulty in their progression or in their career.”
Why is “co-education” a problem?
Kaul inquired from additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati that when the government allows male candidates having 10+2 qualification to take the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination, why eligible women are excluded from the same training based on their sex?
She further added that this later becomes a ‘hurdle’ in their career.
The Additional Solicitor General stated that there are three modes of entry in the Army- NDA, Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA).
Women are permitted entry through OTA and IMA.
Justice Roy added to this that even if it is a matter of policy, allowing women’s entry only through the two sources.
In contrast, the additional source is closed for women, which is discriminatory towards gender principle and otherwise.
The bench agreed that the policy decision is based on gender discrimination and expressed their displeasure for the regressive “mindset”, even during the previous judgement, which held up the ruling that the government should ensure that women short service officers are given a permanent commission in the Army.
The bench moreover asked the respondents to take a constructive view of the matter given the judgment of this court, “You must begin with some tokenism! don’t compel judicial intervention all the time….the broad principle of gender neutrality you must understand and adapt it in the backdrop of your peculiarities.”