The Indian Army proposed to increase intake of women in more non-combat roles such as interpreters and cyber specialists, its Chief General Bipin Rawat said today.
Besides, it also was mulling recruiting women for the military police, he told reporters, on the sidelines of the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, near Pune.
"We are saying, we are going to increase the intake. Women are already there in the Army. We are now going to take them more into some other cadres gradually, we are expanding the Indian Army to women officers," he said.
Women were there in the legal and education areas already and the army wanted interpreters, cyber specialists, people in the information warfare domain and in accounts and audit services, the General said, replying to a question about Army increasing intake of women.
"I am also looking at women jawans in the military police. Women joining as soldiers in the military police service and then we will see whether there is any scope for expansion later," the army chief said.
Last month while speaking at the Passing Out Parade of the 135th course at the National Defence Academy in Pune, Gen. Rawat had said the army was not yet ready to have women in combat roles.
Extending best wishes to the young officers who joined the services, Gen. Rawat expressed hope they would make the defence force proud. I am confident that the Air Force will continue to touch the sky with glory always and every time, he said. Referring to 24 women among the graduating cadets he said it was heartening to see so many being commissioned.
The potent capabilities, especially the lethal punch of the Indian Air Force, would continue to grow with infusion of new technology into the war-fighting systems, Gen Rawat said.
Among the graduating officers was a woman fighter pilot Priya Sharma, who is the seventh woman fighter pilot in the IAF and the third from Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan.
She was inspired by seeing Jaguars and Hawk aircraft flying since her childhood, she said recalling her childhood days when her father was posted in Air Force Station in Bidar, Karnataka.
"It was initially difficult to adapt to a different cockpit (as part of training) and changing aircraft but I got used to it... It is wonderful flying," she added.