Gender discrimination alleged in NDA admission

SC issues notice to govt. UPSC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the government to respond to a plea alleging discrimination against women by barring them from taking the exam for admission to the prestigious National Defence Academy and the Naval Academy.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde issued notice to the government and the Union Public Service Commission on a petition filed by advocate Kush Kalra, who said eligible and willing women who aspire for a career in the Armed Forces are prohibited entry into these centres of excellence solely on the ground of gender.

Mr. Kalra said their exclusion is sheer violation of their fundamental right to equality and equal opportunity. He said the discrimination shown to women was a dishonour of the Constitution.

“The act of categorically excluding eligible and willing female candidates from appearing for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination over the years, solely on the ground of sex, is a violation of the fundamental right of equality before the law and equal protection of the law,” the petition said.

The petition referred to the apex court’s judgment in February last year which helped women officers gain a level playing ground and compete on a par with their male counterparts for permanent commission (PC).

The Supreme Court had last year upheld a 2010 Delhi High Court judgment to grant PC for women officers in the Army. It had dismissed as a “sex stereotype” the view that women were physiologically weaker than men.

“Women officers of the Indian Army have brought laurels to the force… Their track record of service to the nation is beyond reproach,” the Supreme Court had observed in the judgment.

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