Online NDA application for women opens; admissions to be 'provisional'
The Union Public Service Commission on Friday said it opened the online application for women candidates to apply for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination, 2021. Women candidates can now apply through an application window on the UPSC website from September 24 to October 8 This comes days after the Supreme Court rejected the Centre's prayer to postpone women's entry till 2022.
Only 'unmarried women' can apply; no fees for application: UPSC
In a statement, the UPSC said it opened the application window for "unmarried women candidates only" complying with the apex court's interim direction. Physical standards and the number of vacancies for women candidates would be notified after it is received from the Defence Ministry, it added. "Women candidates are not required to pay the fee for their application for this examination," it maintained.
'Admission of women to remain provisional, subject to pending petition'
The UPSC said admissions of women candidates in NDA and the naval academy will remain"provisional" and subject to the outcome of the pending writ petition or any such order that may be passed by SC and "action by the Government of India in the matter."
SC earlier rejected Centre's prayer to postpone women's entry
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had rejected the Centre's prayer to postpone women's participation in the NDA entrance scheduled on November 14. The Centre had sought time until May 2022 to allow women candidates, citing infrastructural and curriculum changes. However, the SC did not agree to postpone it by a year, saying, "We gave hope to the girls...We cannot deny them that hope now."
SC had allowed women to appear for NDA exam
Last month, the SC passed an interim order allowing women candidates to appear for the NDA examination. The order came while hearing a plea filed by lawyer Kush Kalra that claimed the categorical exclusion of eligible female candidates to join the NDA is done simply based on sex. Therefore, it violates the Fundamental Right of Equality, the plea had argued.
Why is women's entry into NDA important?
Admission of women into NDA is important as it is a step toward ensuring gender equality in the armed forces. Notably, those recruited through NDA are granted Permanent Commission in the armed forces. While hearing this case, the SC had earlier observed that the Armed forces "need to do more for gender equality in the forces."