|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Women in forces to get promotions at par with males
August 14, 2007 18:27 IST
Pledging to improve the status of women in the armed forces, the government on Tuesday said women officers will now be eligible for promotion to the rank of Captain, Major and Lt Colonels at par with male short service commissioned officers.
Under the new scheme, women enrollees in the army will be eligible to attain the rank of Captain after two years, Major after a tenure of six years and can aspire to rise to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 13 years, Defence Minister AK Antony announced.
In his address to all ranks of the armed forces on the eve of Independence Day, Antony said to ensure equitable distribution of work, the tenure of training of women officers had been raised to 49 weeks, almost at par with their male counterparts.
Antony, in his address, touched upon all major issues confronting the men in battle fatigues particularly the rising cases of suicides and fratricides.
He asked the troops to ensure that human rights are respected during counter-insurgency and other operations conducted by the forces.
"Though the provocation can be extreme at times, you must respect human rights of innocent civilians," the minister said.
"The task is really difficult and utmost patience and tact is required to meet these and other challenges," Antony told the troops.
Lauding the role of security forces in fighting terrorism and anti-national elements, the minister said government was aware of the stressful conditions under which the forces were operating particularly in insurgency prone areas.
"The urgent need of the hour is take all possible steps to reduce stress on jawans" and for this, Antony said, it was imperative to enforce a more humane management system.
He told officers and commanders that they must be more accessible to jawans and must create conditions to enhance interaction with junior officers.
The minister's remarks assume significance in the wake of figures tabled in Parliament on Monday which said 464 armed forces personnel had committed suicide during the four-year period between 2004 and August 2007.
He admitted that while performing their duties armed forces personnel often had personal and professional problems at the back of their minds. He told the troops that the government had taken various steps to take care of their grievances.
Antony said he had written to chief ministers and asked the state governments to quickly dispose of petitions regarding family problems of personnel posted on the frontline.
He also pointed to the recent decisions taken by the government to increase the allowances of personnel posted in remote areas to Rs 3,734 and that of officers to Rs 5,600 per month.