Few months ago, the Supreme Court of India ruled that women will be allowed to take the NDA exam. This means girls will have the option of choosing an alternate career and the right to be officers in the Indian Armed Forces. Beginning November 2021, they can sit for the exam. 

The NDA was established in 1955 to train aspiring officers for the Indian Armed Forces. Majority of the officers in the Armed Forces are alumni of NDA, one is eligible to take the exam after completing class 12th. The training is for a period of 3 years after which they graduate and move into their choice of field – Air Force, Navy or Army for which they receive additional training before graduating to become an officer. 

I think this is a massive shift in women equality and empowerment in India. I think there is a lot of progress to be made in how women are treated, their rights and opportunities but I hope we can encourage this opportunity and see a future where we have numerous officers serving the armed forces and who knows one day, have a lady be the Chief of Armed Forces!

Let’s give lawmakers credit where it’s due. 

The more options women have, the more empowered they can become. It’s childish to think that the role of women in India is only confined to being a homemaker and raising a family. They do that very well anyways, but there is a lot more they can do in terms of pursuing a career of their choice. Especially in the formative young age if girls grow up knowing that they have more options to choose from, that would help them have a better chance of finding their passion, purpose and how they want to express themselves. 

Nothing happens abruptly, change happens one day at a time. Let’s hope this is one day that can move the needle – however big or small – in the direction for a future where women are treated equally and we become more accepting and respectful of each other. 

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Aditya Shahi

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