Supreme Court Allows Women To Sit For NDA Examinations 2021

After much struggle and so many efforts, finally, all the girls are getting the chance to sit for the NDA or the National Defence Academy exam. I am sure that after watching the news, all the women who dreamt of working in the defence of our country, have started preparing for the NDA examination. This is such a big step towards equality in our nation.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court called for the armed forces, which are known as “the best response team in the country,” to make history, respond to an emergency, iron away creases, and allow women to write the National Defence Academy, also known as the NDA exam this November.

supreme courtThe Supreme Court says it will not delay NDA exams for women, rejecting the Center’s request, which was to delay it to May next year.

Since there cannot be a one-year delay in inducting women into the NDA, the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed this year’s candidates to take the exam rather than trying to postpone it until May 2022 as the government had requested.

The Central government broke the 65-year-old glass ceiling by allowing women to study at the National Defence Academy (NDA) after being nudged by the Supreme Court.
The Centre, however, requested that the apex court delay the exam for women until 2022 and taking issue with the Centre’s request to allow women candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance exam next year, the court said it does not want women to be denied their right to participate in the entrance examination.

According to the top court, the centre notified the court that women candidates will be allowed to sit for the NDA exam by May next year.

A Study Group has been constituted by Defence services of experts to work out a comprehensive curriculum for women in the NDA, it had said, and a board of officers has been convened to develop an innovative and futuristic proposal for women in the NDA taking into account all relevant aspects.

In a judgment led by Justice S K Kaul, the court stated that the armed forces were the best responders in emergencies, and hoped that the necessary arrangements would be made to accommodate women in the NDA as soon as possible.

In his opening remarks, senior advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma told the bench that two exams take place in a year – the NDA I exam and the NDA II exam.

The UP Supreme Court announces notifications for the first exam in January, and notifications for the second exam are announced in May or June. In April, the exams for January notification take place, and in September, the exam for June notification takes place. As part of the process, joining takes place within the next year. Therefore, if the government announces the notification in May 2022, the intake will be in June 2023, Sharma explained.

Women are permitted to take part in the NDA exam of the bench, he said. It is very clear in the interim order permitting women candidates to take part in the exam that this exam will be held in November this year because of the Covid-19.

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As for the absorption process of women candidates, the bench said it cannot be pushed back by one year to create some element of infrastructure for the Centre.

As the additional solicitor general, Aishwarya Bhati stated that the study group has been constituted by the defence services to examine changes in the curriculum, infrastructure, fitness training, accommodation facilities, etc, and asked for the upcoming NDA entrance exam, scheduled to take place on November 14.

ASG, however, was informed by the bench that the process must commence and other issues may be dealt with in phases.

The bench said that they understand problems faced by ASG, but they are confident that the ASG is capable of finding solutions and not depriving another batch. In the interim order, the bench had said the women would take the examination and see how many of them passed. The planning can continue.

The bench even added that they appreciate ASG’s endeavour to put before the bench the different areas which will have to be addressed. They said that ASG has referred to fitness tests etc but the bench is finding it difficult to accept is to postpone everything by a year. Having given some hope to the women to take the examination in November, the bench does not want to belie that hope now and say that somebody will get it in future.

Specifically, Bhati said that the delay would not be a year, but we can’t deny it for 2022.
According to her, there is a fixed number for every course of NDA, and standards must be established.

According to the top court, the issue is not at all complicated. The bench said the examination has already been ordered to be held and the interim orders have already been issued.

Taking into account the fact that many girls may not have participated in this exam this time, the numbers may be smaller this time. We can arrange for a bigger number in the future. Instead of skipping the examination, let’s try to work out different arrangements for them, the bench said.

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Nevertheless, the ASG believed it was likely to be given some latitude by the bench at the last hearing that six months would be enough time to be fully ready. There will be a lot of pressure and difficulty for them.

Candidates have been scheduled to take the examinations and the apex court said that it can’t unwind the clock.

What do we recommend for people who are about to take an examination? After going through this far, we will advise you to try your luck next time. That is what you are trying to say. We acknowledge the issues, but do not ask us to effectively vacate the order,” the bench said.

As a result of the top court’s decision, the petition will now be heard in the third week of January 2022, for further directions if required.

A lawyer for the petitioner, Mohit Paul, stated after the bench dictated its order that the UP Supreme Court has yet to announce the correction. In his reply to the bench, the lawyer representing the UP Supreme Court said that the Authority is awaiting certain instructions from the Defence Ministry.

Consequently, the apex court ordered that the Defence Department collaborate with the Supreme Court to take the necessary measures in this regard.

A bench member said, “This is a transition phase, we do not wish to delay the transition. These results may not be the best, but we are looking forward to the future.”.
Before this announcement, the Centre had informed the top court that women were to be inducted into the NDA and the Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Kush Kalra in which she raised the issue of excluding eligible and willing female candidates from joining the prestigious NDA solely based on their gender, according to her, which is a violation of their fundamental right to equality.

A Big Step Taken

In its decision, the court said it understood that inducting women into the NDA was a “big step” for the armed forces, but that the process of women taking the exam must begin immediately.

Justice Kaul stated, that they won’t tolerate anything that diminishes the aspirations of women and it is not their intent to “allow you [the armed forces] to set the clock back, but we will allow you to smooth out the wrinkles.”

A federal court has ordered the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) not to delay the publication of a corrigendum to the NDA notification announcing that women candidates can now sit for the exam.

The UPSC, represented by advocate Naresh Kaushik, was told not to reverse the flow by Justice Kaul.

The UPSC is waiting for the Defence Department to lay down the medical and fitness requirements for women candidates before issuing a corrigendum, said Mr Kaushik.

The department has been asked to do the needful in this regard by the court. As the study group was still examining the issue, the department should have “leeway” in setting tentative parameters for the selection of women candidates. The court observed that the case would remain pending. As part of its evaluation, it hoped to see how many women applied to the November exam and cleared it.

To sum up with:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pti-women-officers-1023237-1629868486.jpgAs we all know Article 14 of our Indian Constitution talks about equality before the law. So, today Supreme Court proved it to the whole world by letting the women sit for the NDA exam and accepting it as their legal right. All the eligible female candidates can sit for the NDA examination this year.

So all the girls, who are reading this article and wish to sit for NDA Examinations, your prayers are fulfilled. What are you waiting for? Start preparing now!

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