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THE Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday (22) turned down a request of the Narendra Modi government to allow women candidates to appear for the entrance examination to the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) from 2022. The apex court said it doesn’t want women to be denied their right.
The court said the induction cannot be deferred by one year after the government told it that a notification allowing women candidates to appear for the NDA’s entrance exam will be out by next May.
According to a bench headed by Justice SK Kaul, the armed forces are the best response team to deal with emergency situations and expressed optimism that necessary arrangements will be put in place to make way for the induction of women in the NDA without any delay. It also said the defence department should do whatever is required in collaboration with the Union Public Service Commission, India’s premier central recruiting agency for the central government public servants.
The Supreme Court also noted the submissions made by senior advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma who appeared on behalf of petitioner Kush Kalra and said it cannot postpone the women’s induction by one year.
Additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati said a study group has been formed to facilitate the entry of women and the necessary mechanism to facilitate that can be put in place by May 2022. She sought skipping the next NDA entrance examination, scheduled to be held on November 14.
“We appreciate your problems. I’m sure you people are capable of finding solutions. Let us see the results. The planning can go on…It is difficult for us to accept this submission from the Centre in view of the aspirations of the candidates willing to take the exam,” the bench, which also featured Justice BR Gavai said, adding, “Armed services have dealt with very difficult situations. To deal with emergencies is a part of their training. We are sure that they will be able to come at par with this “emergency too”. We would thus not like to vacate the order effectively passed by us.”