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Army not yet ready for women in combat roles: General Rawat

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

PTI Pune, Maharashtra, India Nov 30, 2018, 08.06 PM (IST)

The Indian Army is not yet ready to have women in combat roles, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said Friday.

The Army chief, however, said there are several other fields where the Army is thinking of inducting women, such as information and psychological warfare.

"We are not yet ready for that (women in combat roles) as facilities have to be created... Women also need to be prepared for that kind of hardships," he said.

"It is not easy. Let us not compare ourselves with Western nations, which are more open," Gen Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of the Passing Out Parade of the 135th course at the National Defence Academy here.

"Yes, we may be more open in our big cities, but our Army personnel are not coming from big cities only. They are coming from rural areas too, where the inter-mingling, which is expected, is still not there," he said.

"They are already there in education and law, so the other field we have identified for them is information warfare, psychological warfare and (we are) also considering the accounting field where women can be inducted," he said.

"Women officers are being inducted into all the three services. But what we have to decide is whether some of them can be given permanent commission," General Rawat said.

The Army has taken a call that there are some aspects and fields where "we need some kind of continuity and permanency," he said.

"In a command-oriented army, male officers do not fit the bill everywhere. The Army needs language interpreters as military diplomacy is gaining ground. The basic requirement is understanding the language while talking to other nations, military to military. So we are looking for women as interpreters," he said. 

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The Army chief, however, said there are several other fields where the Army is thinking of inducting women, such as information and psychological warfare.