The central government reportedly received a total of 1,78,000 applications of women candidates for the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam 2021. The supreme court delivered a landmark decision allowing women to be inducted into the NDA on August 18, 2021. The examination is being conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at different centre across India.
“Nearly 570,000 applications have been received and of these 178,000 are women,” said one of the officials .
A fortnight ahead of the exam, army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Friday set the tone for welcoming female cadets into the Khadakwasla-based academy, which currently has a maximum training capacity of around 2,000 cadets every year.
“As we open the portals of NDA to women cadets, I expect you all to welcome them with the same sense of fair play and professionalism that the Indian armed forces are known for the world over,” Naravane said, while addressing cadets during a passing out parade at the academy.
Naravane said the induction of women will be the “first step towards gender equality” in the armed forces, and added that women officers will be in the same position 40 years later that he is in now.
The army chief said he is confident that women cadets will perform better than their male counterparts. “Over the years, as we have grown and matured; as the curriculum has changed, training methodology has changed, the course content has improved. We have become more well-trained and better-equipped to meet whatever challenges that emerge. As we go ahead, we shall be inducting women cadets into the academy,” he said.