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Maharashtra to set up all-women SRPF battalion; still a long way to go for gender equality, say students

In a pioneering decision, the western Indian state of Maharashtra, will have its first ever all-women battalion of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) consisting of 1400 women personnel in Kotal, Nagpur. The government will also recruit 10,000 constables to reinforce law and order. It will try to reduce the workload of the state police force. For training and induction of this battalion, a 100-acre academy will be set up. 1384 women will be recruited in the first phase.

The state government has passed an order for the recruitment which are to be completed within a year. The declaration to raise an all-women battalion was made in March, with an intention to endorse gender equality. This would help the force to address issues pertaining to violence against women and to provide better security to them.


The SRPF that was raised on March 6, 1984, as a special armed force of Maharashtra is a male-dominated unit.

Pallavi a literature student of Central University of Jharkhand said: “This is an encouraging sign and it gives us hope that in many other sectors, similar changes will be witnessed. I was very excited to see Maharashtra’s move in creating SRPF’s first women-only battalion. This is late but still a grand step.”

She added, “Inducting women in permanent posts is what many waited for. It is just one step to complete equality. The women themselves need to prove themselves worthy for their job and seize this opportunity.”
On Tuesday Supreme court pulled up the Center and gave it one months’ time for implementation of its verdict on giving all servicing SSC women officers a permanent commission in the Army.

Supreme Court had ordered 


In a landmark judgment on February 17, 2020, the apex court had ordered the center to grant permanent commission. In this regard, Delhi High Court had also given a similar judgment in 2010. It had also ruled that women officers can get “command and criteria” appointments in the army on par with their male counterparts.


Garima, who is pursuing a masters degree in gender studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi said “When we talk about gender equality, we see that this is a world of patriarchy. This is not gender quality, here we are talking about the binary so what about transgender, Agender or bigender people.  Until we don’t understand the definition lying behind the word gender, equality can’t be established. I don’t think this is a step towards equality. I really hope everyone starts talking about every human and considers every gender as equal.”

Will be considered for Permanent Commissions within three months


Now, the central government will ensure that within three months, all serving Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers must be considered for permanent commissions (PCs). It will be irrespective of them having crossed 14 years or, as the case may be, 20 years of service.

On the other hand, Narendra Modi government approved a permanent commission for women in all 10 branches in the army in March last year. Under the scheme, the women officers should indicate within four years of service whether they want a permanent commission.


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