Allow women to appear for November NDA entrance: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the central government to allow women candidates to appear for the entrance exam to the National Defence Academy (NDA) scheduled in November. The Centre had earlier sought time until May 2022 to allow women to participate in the NDA entrance, citing infrastructural and curriculum changes. The court argued that the defense forces are well-trained to deal with emergencies.
Inclusion of women cannot be postponed: SC
A bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was hearing a petition by Kush Kalra seeking directions to pave the way for the allowance of women in the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination. The bench observed that the inclusion of women cannot be postponed, noting that allowing women to appear in the 2022 exam would push their admissions to 2023.
'Armed forces deal with emergencies'
According to LiveLaw, Justice Kaul said, "The armed forces deal with emergencies. So I don't believe that the armed forces response team will not be able to deal with the scenario....not many have enrolled for the exam this time. So numbers might be smaller." "Instead of skipping the exam, try to work out something for them," Justice Kaul said.
Court says it does not want to let women down
The court, hence, refused the Centre's prayer to vacate its interim order allowing women candidates to appear in the NDA exam. It said that the interim order had given hope to women candidates and it does not want to let them down. The exam is scheduled to be held on November 14. The next hearing has been adjourned till the third week of January.
Centre had argued logistical challenges to seek delay
Appearing for the Ministry of Defence, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati had argued in court that a study group has been formed to examine the changes in curriculum, infrastructure, fitness training, accommodation facilities, etc. These changes were required to allow the inclusion of women, Bhati argued, adding that the interim order will put the defense forces in a "tight position."
Court asks Centre to collaborate with UPSC to issue notification
Further, the court told the Ministry of Defence to collaborate with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to ensure that the latter issues a corrigendum notification allowing women candidates to appear in the November exam.
Earlier, Court asked Centre to present plan to include women
During the last hearing, the Centre had accepted the plea to allow women into the forces through the NDA. However, it had requested time until May 2022. Justice Kaul had then asked the Centre to present a plan by September 20. The Ministry of Defence filed an affidavit before the court seeking more time to ensure the smooth induction and seamless training for women.Share this timeline