“Can’t Deny Girls Hope”: SC On NDA Exams

Now women should be allowed to take the National Defence Academy (NDA) exams this year

“Can’t Deny Girls Hope”: SC On NDA Exams

“Can’t Deny Girls Hope”: SC On NDA Exams

Now women should be allowed to take the National Defence Academy (NDA) exams this year, Supreme Court said that, rejecting the government's request to postponed the move until next year to establish a new system. "We gave hope to the girls. We cannot deny them that hope now," said the judges.

The Supreme Court directed the Centre to allow women candidates to appear for the 14  November 2021 entrance exam to the National Defence Academy (NDA), by saying "gender equality issues cannot be postponed".

The government suggested that the women candidates for NDA take the exams in May next year. There was not enough time to let women take the exams this year, the government had told the court.

"The armed forces have to deal with very difficult situations and emergencies. They are also trained in dealing with emergencies.

The bench noted that they are postponing the process of allowing women to write the NDA exam to May will delay their induction to 2023.

The bench repeat that the admission of women cannot be postponed while taking note of the submissions made by senior advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma, representing the petitioner Kush Kalra, that the two exams are held by the NDA during a year for the admissions to the next year.

The government had said that it is in the process of establishing "appropriate" medical and physical fitness standards, and building "required infrastructure", which includes "strong physical separation between male and female residential areas".

The government had also said that there were "no parallel (physical) standards for women candidates", so these were being put together; “ the issues were needs detailed analysis, including expert inputs to maintain operational readiness." Gynaecologists, sports medicine experts and counsellors, nursing staff and female attendants would also need to be in place for women cadets, it had said.

The government had told the Supreme Court women could now sit for the NDA entrance exam.

This was after the court underlined a "mindset problem" and "gender discrimination" when it came to equal service opportunities for men and women in the country's armed forces.

"It is a pleasure to share this. Women will be admitted in the NDA," Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, had said.

A petition had argued that the categorical prohibition of eligible female candidates from the NDA was unconstitutional and done entirely on the basis of their sex. The government's previous attitude on the petition was that a "different kind of training" was needed and "ultimately it (barring women) is a matter of national security".