Red Tape Vs Maj. Gen Promotion
Even as the Supreme Court has ordered the Indian Army to grant command function to women officers and also ensure permanent commission in all branches except in combat arms, some elements in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are working overtime to deny a woman Major General of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) her rightful promotion to the rank of Lt. General due from March 1. Attempts are currently under way to promote the woman Major General’s junior before her ostensibly because he is set to retire at the end of February. The reasoning: the lady officer has age on her side and can therefore wait for her promotion until the next vacancy arises later this year whereas the male officer (approved for Lt Gen but not promoted like the lady officer since vacancies in the AMC are limited) has less than a fortnight to retire. At a time when the government is pushing for more woman empowerment, especially in uniform, this move by some civilian bureaucrats (AMC promotion process has not been transferred to the newly created Department of Military Affairs but still remains with the Department of Defence) is raising a lot of eyebrows in South Block.