New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The strength of women officers serving in the Indian Air Force (IAF) is 1,875, out of which 10 are fighter pilots and 18 are navigators, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said in the Parliament on Saturday.
After getting approval from the Ministry of Defence, the IAF commenced a scheme for “induction of women SSC officers in fighter stream of flying branch” in 2016, under which 10 women fighter pilots have been commissioned till date.
“Women fighter pilots are inducted and deployed in IAF as per strategic needs and operational requirements within the laid down policy, which is reviewed from time to time,” Naik said.
Currently, IAF’s strength is 1,41,606 out of which around 12,159 are officers and 1,29,447 are airmen.
The government has been promoting the representation of women in the armed forces. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had allowed permanent commission to serving women officers in Indian Navy in all eligible branches and directed the Centre to comply with its order within three months.
The top court had said that there can’t be any discrimination citing physiological conditions etc. The order will make women officers eligible for permanent commission in ATC.
The apex court said that women can sail with the same efficiency as male officers and there should be no discrimination. The court observed that performance at work and dedication are the only answers to stereotypes within the Navy.
In another judgment, the top court directed the Indian Army to end gender disparity.