The Narendra Modi government has decided to induct women in the Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) of the military police corps for the first time ever, the ruling BJP declared through its Twitter handle on Friday. The "historic decision" was yet another milestone in the centre's efforts to provide women with more opportunities in the armed forces, it added.
The responsibilities of those appointed in PBOR include investigation of offences such as rape, molestation and theft; military operations where the army needs police assistance; assistance in evacuation of villages during cross-border hostilities; crowd control of refugees comprising women and children; frisking of women during cordon-and-search operations (mostly in Jammu and Kashmir); and ceremonial as well as policing duties. Besides this, PBOR personnel also man prisoner-of-war camps in conflict situations.
In a historic decision, Modi govt has decided to induct women, for the first time in Personnel Below Officer Rank, in corps of Military Police. It's a huge step towards further empowering women and improving their representation in our armed forces. pic.twitter.com/kuVvNKSj8T- BJP (@BJP4India) January 18, 2019
The BJP administration at the centre claims that it has done more than previous governments in ensuring greater participation of women in India's defence infrastructure. In his Independence Day speech last year, PM Modi announced that women officers recruited into the armed forces under the short-service commission will henceforth have the option of taking up permanent commission. He described this as a "gift" to the country's "brave daughters".
The government also takes credit for facilitating the smoother induction of fighter pilots into the Air Force and creating a woman officers' wing in the Navy.
However, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat claimed last year that the Indian army was not ready to have women in combat roles yet. "It's because appropriate facilities have to be created for them," he said, adding that a comparison with armies of Western countries cannot be made because they are "more open".
He, however, said that there were plans to induct women as interpreters.
(With inputs from PTI)
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