INDIA. Mumbai: The Indian Army inducted its first batch of 83 women soldiers as part of its military police at a low-key attestation parade organized by the Corps of Military Police Centre & School (CMP C &S) at the Dronacharya Parade Ground in Bengaluru in Karnataka on Saturday.
The parade was conducted observing all COVID protocols. The soldiers went through an intense 61 weeks of training on aspects related to basic Military training, Provost training to include all forms of policing duties and management of prisoners of war, ceremonial duties, and skill development to include driving and maintenance of all vehicles and signal communications, an army statement said.
The Commandant of the CMP Centre & School while reviewing the parade complimented the newly attested women soldiers for their impeccable drill and congratulated them on their successful completion of training. While extolling the virtues of dedication to duty, righteousness, and selfless service to the nation, he expressed confidence that the training imparted to them and the standards achieved would hold them in good stead and help them prove to be a force multiplier at their new units, located across varied terrain and operational conditions in the country.
The proposal to induct women into the military police was first moved by the Army in December 2017 and was finally approved by the government in January 2019. The Army plans to have 1700 women soldiers by 2036, in batches of 100 recruits per year. Women in the age group of 17-and-a-half years to 21 years, who must have cleared their Class 10 board exam, are eligible for recruitment.
The first batch of women military police started training in January 2020 at the Corps of Military Police Centre and School. They will be deployed to different units in the rank of Lance Naik.
Army sources said women military police personnel in the future will have a role in the counter-insurgency environment as well as ceremonial and police duties such as crowd control and investigation of offenses involving women and children. Their terms and conditions of service, covering promotions, pay, and allowances, will be similar to their male counterparts both during peacetime and operational work.
The recruitment comes at a time when the Army has deployed nearly 30 women soldiers from Assam Rifles near the Line of Control (at Tangdhar) for the first time and is looking at inducting women recruits in branches other than the military police.
The Army has been the only defence service to have initiated recruiting women below the rank of officers. The Navy and the Air Force do not have women in ranks below officers.