In what could be termed as historic news, IAF Chief Arup Raha announced that now women too will be inducted in the fighter aircraft stream. It should be noted hat earlier women were only allowed to fly helicopters but not fighter planes but now with this announcement that restriction has been removed.
IAF Chief Arup Raha, while Celebrating airforce 83rd anniversary in Hindon, Uttar Pradesh, said that “We have women pilots flying transport aircraft and helicopters. We are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream to meet the aspirations of young women in India,”.
The current statement by the IAF chief is in sharp contrast wth his earlier statement, which he made last year, where he said that women are physically not suited to fly a fighter plane as it is very challenging job. With this decision India will join countries like Pakistan, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland and United Kingdom, among others, who have women in active combat roles in their country’s air force.
Earlier there was some apprehension about their safety for women pilots and it was pointed out that if women are taken prisoner during combat operation then they may have to go through atrocities beyond comprehension.
This announcement should be seen in connection with the rising role of women in Indian airforce. Till few years earlier women were not given permanent commission like their male counterpart. They were allowed only for 14 years of service in the air force. In a three-year-long court battle, the women were accorded the permanent commission in IAF.
Definitely this move is historic in its own way and it will boost the moral of women of the country and empower them to prove themselves that they are equally capable like their male counterparts.
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