Out of 1,875 women officers serving in the Indian Air Force (IAF), 10 are fighter pilots and 18 are navigators. This information is given by Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik, in the Parliament on Saturday. Also Read: Indian Air Force launches ‘My IAF’ mobile app to provide career-related information to aspirants
In a written reply to a question in Parliament Naik said, “As of September 1, 2020, the number of female officers serving in the Indian Air Force is 1875. Of these, 10 women officers are fighter pilots and 18 women officers are navigators.”
He said that ten women fighter pilots have been authorized under the scheme for “induction of women SSC officers in the fighter stream of the flying branch,” so far. This scheme was commenced by IAF in 2016, after getting approval from the Ministry of Defence.
On the question about the guidelines women fighter pilots take while operating fighter aircraft across the border or around the borderline of enemy countries, Naik said, “Women fighter pilots are enlisted and deployed in IAF as per needs and working requirements within the fixed policy, which is examined from time to time.”
The government has been endorsing the participation of women in the armed forces. The Supreme Court had said that there can’t be any discrimination referring to physiological conditions. Earlier this year, the top court had allowed the permanent authorization to serve women officers in the Indian Navy in all eligible departments.
The apex court said that women can work with equivalent efficiency as male officers and there should be no discrimination regarding gender. In another judgment, the top court instructed the Indian Army to end gender discrepancy.