The apex court on Friday heard a petition of a female NDA candidate who claimed that she was not selected and even people with lower marks got through. The apex court said that it cannot assign a 50-50 quota for women candidates currently. The prestigious National Defence Academy has been opened to women candidates as well.
Justice Arvind Kumar said that the opening of seats for women candidates will occur over some time. As it is not possible to provide 50% of seats to women at once. He also said all relevant issues are being looked into on how best the women candidates can be accommodated.
Each course of the NDA has 370 vacancies for the three services. Of these, 208 cadets get commissioned into the Indian Army, 120 into the Indian Air force and 42 into the Indian Navy. Under the current intake of women, candidates are only limited to 19 per batch.
The NDA exam is conducted by the Union public service commission. It has two exams per year: NDA-1 and NDA-2. After the examination, UPSC releases the list of successful candidates who then appear in the Services Selection Board (SSB). It is a five-day process which involves three assessments and a screening test.
The screening test is first conducted where candidates are assessed based on Intelligence and PPDT test. After this, the candidates are assessed by three assessors mainly psychologists, Interviewing Officers and Group Testing Officers (GTO). After this, the final results are made on the fifth day when the successful candidates go for medical tests. Then the final merit list comes where the candidates whose names are mentioned in the list join the prestigious academy.
In 2021, 19 women candidates were successful in the examination. Women’s headcount in the military has increased over the years. In February 2020, the short-service women officers were entitled to permanent commissions in the Army and Navy.
This judgment granted a permanent commission to 5,040 women officers. The court also said that they are also monitoring the matter in different petitions where larger issues regarding this issue were under consideration.