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Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar moots the idea of women’s entry in NDA, on warships and in Sainik schools

Parikkar believes that this status quo, which resists women in these roles, needs to be challenged

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Women officers at medal parade in Monrovia. Image Source: un.org
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  • Parikkar believes that this status quo, which resists women in these roles, needs to be challenged
  • The army and the navy are yet to accept the women power in combat roles
  • He also gave thumbs up to admitting girls in Sainik schools and allowing them into NDA as well

Seems like women will soon foray into combat roles and march into new frontiers in the armed forces.

Addressing the Ladies organisation at FICCI on July 4, the Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, said, “I support women rights, empowerment, but I believe changes have to be done in a gradual manner because if you don’t do that there will be problems.”

While it took more than two decades for women to be inducted as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force (IAF), the army and the navy are yet to accept the women power in combat roles.

First batch of women fighter pilots. Image Source: Indian Express
The First batch of women fighter pilots. Image Source: Indian Express

Parikkar believes that this status quo, which resists women in these roles, needs to be challenged.

Though there still are some “no-go” areas in the armed forces, barring women to take up bigger roles, the Defence Minister wants these obsolete notions to be buried in the history.

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Talking about India being the land of women with impeccable strength, Parrikar said that women have been kept away from the armed forces for far too long.

He also feels that before this acceptance to come along, a great battle of mind needs to be fought.

Debunking general notions that soldiers will not listen to their lady commanding officer, the Defence Minister said, this is not the case. The only limiting factor is the “infrastructure”, he said.

He added, “In combat roles also there can be women. Why not have a complete women’s team; a battalion of women? So the question of women officers leading a men’s team – if there is a question of initial resistance – can also be taken care of,” quoted India Today.

Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar. Image Source: Wikipedia.org
Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar. Image Source: Wikipedia.org

Parrikar also advocated that women officers should be allowed on warships, once the ships are modified into women friendly warships, said IndiaToday report.

Stressing that this change would be a gradual one, he said that for now, he can’t allow women on submarines and warships as the current infrastructure lacks necessary facility.

Parrikar explained, “I don’t understand why we can’t place women on ships. At this stage, I will not support a submarine operation because submarines are designed for male staff.”

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Apart from the entry of women in the combat roles, Parrikar also gave thumbs up to admitting girls in Sainik schools and allowing them into NDA as well.

The defence minister did not merely end at giving suggestions, but he also assured to take up the issues with the service chiefs.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This is really helpful in upliftment of women. This will make them independent in terms of security and financially.

  • AJ Krish

    It is good to see that changes are wiling to be made. Breaking the tradition and creating history, women will serve crucial roles in the defense of our country.

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Accenture, Grameen Foundation’s apps to boost women’s financial inclusion

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women's access to financial services

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Accenture releases app to empower women. IANS

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women’s access to financial services.

The apps — Emotional Analytics for Social Enterprises (EASE) and Grameen Guru — will be rolled out by Grameen Foundation India across 300 villages in the states of Maharashtra and Odisha, Accenture Labs said in a statement on Wednesday.

Leveraging AI and AR-based technologies, the applications will help users better understand financial products and services, enabling them to make informed choices that positively impact their financial and social well-being.

mobile apps that all women should have
This app will empower rural women. Wikimedia Commons

“This is a tremendous example of how technology can help bridge the vast cultural and educational divide in places like India, having a real impact on the way people work and live,” said Sanjay Podder, Managing Director, Accenture Labs India.

EASE is an AI-based web and mobile app that helps microfinance advisors gain real-time insights into the emotional and cognitive status of their clients, based on video and audio inputs.

Helping to improve cross-cultural communication, the tool provides deeper insights on precisely what topics or keywords attract attention, or cause clients to disengage. On the other hand, Grameen Guru is a smartphone-based multilingual chatbot that leverages AR technology to help clients who cannot read and understand written material.

Also Read: Twitter allows third-party apps for account verification

Using the app, a user can hold their phone over a brochure that details available financing options, for example, and the Guru virtual assistant will pop up and prompt a conversation in the local language to explain the material.

“Barriers — ranging from illiteracy to a lack of bank branches in rural areas, coupled with a lack of confidence and access to information — hinder adoption for millions of low-income women in India,” said Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India. The use of these new technologies will enable effective economic empowerment of women, he noted. IANS