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Women’s NDA entry not this year: Govt

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21

Women cadets’ entry into the National Defence Academy (NDA) will not be possible this year as various facilities have to be developed for them before they are allowed into the academy, hitherto open to men alone, the Centre has told the Supreme Court.

Notification in May

A notification allowing women candidates to take the entrance exam for entry into the NDA will be released in May 2022. Ministry of Defence

In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the Ministry of Defence said a notification allowing women candidates to take the entrance exam for entry into the NDA will be released in May 2022.

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On September 8, the Centre had told the top court that it had decided to allow women cadets into the NDA, which was hitherto open to men alone. However, it had sought an exemption from implementing the decision for this year’s examination scheduled for November 14 as certain procedural and infrastructural changes would be needed before the entry of women cadets into the NDA.

The decision followed the top court’s August 18 interim order that said debarring women amounted to gender discrimination. It had directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to issue an appropriate notification, taking into account its order and give it due publicity.

The NDA entrance exams are held twice a year and the government proposes to have necessary mechanisms in place by May 2022, the time by which the UPSC is required to publish the first notification next year, for the exam. A Bench led by Justice SK Kaul is expected to consider the MoD affidavit on Wednesday.

Placing on record its “clear and categorical stand” that the women candidates shall be considered for entry in the three Defence Services, in the existing streams, through the NDA, the Centre said a study group had been constituted by the Defence Services, comprising experts to expeditiously formulate the comprehensive curriculum for women cadets at the NDA.

A Board of Officers had also been convened to give a holistic and futuristic proposal for training of women cadets at the NDA, incorporating all relevant aspects, it submitted.

Noting that any dilution of physical training and service subject such as firing would invariably impact the battle worthiness of the armed forces adversely, it said, therefore, facilities such as equitation, swimming, games and sports were needed to be developed for the women candidates.

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