New Delhi, Oct 19 2019: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given an approval to admit girls in Sainik schools across the country from the 2021-22 academic session.
According to a press release, Singh has directed the authorities concerned to ensure availability of necessary infrastructure and adequate women staff in the educational institutes.
Following the success of a pilot project started two years ago in Mizoram, the Sainik School in Lucknow had inducted 15 girl students earlier this year. Soon after, this decision was taken.
The 26 Sainik schools across the country are feeder institutions that prepare future officers for the armed forces. This could be the first step to girls entering the National Defence Academy which is a training ground for all three services.
"The decision is in line with the objective of the government towards greater inclusiveness, gender equality, enabling greater participation of women in armed forces and strengthening the motto of ’Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, propagated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi," the statement said.
The Army, Navy and Air Force, once a domain of men, are slowly opening their doors to women with the IAF leading the way and currently employing eight women fighter pilots.
Earlier, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said though the authorities were not open to women in combat roles, but were in the process of recruiting and training the first batch of women for the military police.