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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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NATO Advances Its Weaponry And Technology

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said increasing military spending by NATO members would help tackle some of the challenges.

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NATO
A general view of USS Mount Whitney of the US Navy at sunrise as it approaches the port during the NATO-led military exercise Trident Juncture, Nov. 3, in Trondheim, Norway. VOA

NATO is developing new high-tech tools, such as the ability to 3-D-print parts for weapons and deliver them by drone, as it scrambles to retain a competitive edge over Russia, China and other would-be battlefield adversaries.

Gen. Andre Lanata, who took over as head of the NATO transformation command in September, told a conference in Berlin that his command demonstrated over 21 “disruptive” projects during military exercises in Norway this month.

He urged startups as well as traditional arms manufacturers to work with the Atlantic alliance to boost innovation, as rapid and easy access to emerging technologies was helping adversaries narrow NATO’s long-standing advantage.

NATO
British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for the NATO summit in Brussels, May 25, 2017.Source-VOA

Lanata’s command hosted its third “innovation challenge” in tandem with the conference this week, where 10 startups and smaller firms presented ideas for defeating swarms of drones on the ground and in the air.

Winner from Belgium

Belgian firm ALX Systems, which builds civilian surveillance drones, won this year’s challenge.

Its CEO, Geoffrey Mormal, said small companies like his often struggled with cumbersome weapons procurement processes.

“It’s a very hot topic, so perhaps it will help to enable quicker decisions,” he told Reuters.

NATO
A Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon is prepared for testing at the Eglin Air Force Armament Center on March 11, 2003. VOA

Lanata said NATO was focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, connectivity, quantum computing, big data and hypervelocity, but also wants to learn from DHL and others how to improve the logistics of moving weapons and troops.

Also Read: Weapons, Bombs Easily Detected by Wi-Fi: Study

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said increasing military spending by NATO members would help tackle some of the challenges, but efforts were also needed to reduce widespread duplication and fragmentation in the European defense sector.

Participants also met behind closed doors with chief executives from 12 of the 15 biggest arms makers in Europe. (VOA)