Rajnath Oka Says Army Conductors Exam for Women Soldiers of All Ranks, Not Just Matriculates

New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that the Indian Army will conduct recruitment examinations for women soldiers of all ranks, not just matriculates, in the upcoming Agnipath recruitment cycle. The defense minister said that the Army should soon finalise the modalities to allow women candidates to take the Common Entrance Exam (CEE) for recruitment into the force. “I have been regularly reviewing the progress of enrolment of women soldiers in the Army. I am glad to inform that Indian Army is working on a proposal to conduct the Common Entrance Examination for recruitment of women soldiers of all ranks, not just matriculates, in the upcoming Agnipath recruitment cycle,” Singh said while addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen on the occasion of Vijay Diwas in Delhi. Army chief General Manoj Pande, who was also present at the function, said that the Army has already taken a number of steps to increase the enrolment of women soldiers, and that the force is committed to providing them equal opportunities to serve the nation. “We are committed to providing women with equal opportunities and creating an environment in which they can excel,” he said. The Army has been inducting women soldiers into its ranks since 1992. Initially, women were only recruited into the Corps of Military Police and the Army Medical Corps. However, in 2019, the Army opened up 10 streams for women officers, including combat roles in the infantry, artillery and armoured corps. In 2020, the Army announced that it would start inducting women soldiers into the Corps of Engineers. The Agnipath scheme is a new recruitment scheme that was launched by the government in June 2022. Under the scheme, young people between the ages of 17.5 and 21 years are recruited into the armed forces for a period of four years. After four years, 25% of the Agniveers will be retained in the regular cadre of the armed forces, while the remaining 75% will be demobilized. The Agnipath scheme has been met with mixed reactions from the public. Some have welcomed the scheme as a way to attract more young people into the armed forces, while others have criticised it as a way to reduce the size of the armed forces and save money. The Army has said that the Agnipath scheme will not affect the recruitment of women soldiers. The force has said that it will continue to induct women soldiers into its ranks through the traditional recruitment process..

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