Women inductees in the military police will be done in a graded manner, and will eventually comprise 20 per cent of its total strength, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Friday.
The decision to induct women in the military police with an aim to enhance their representation in the armed forces was announced by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat last year.
In a series of tweets, the official handle of the defence minister said,"to improve representation of women in our armed forces Smt @nsitharaman takes a historic decision to induct women for the first time in PBOR (Personnel Below Officer Rank) role in Corps of Military Police."
It further said, "the women will be inducted in graded manner to eventually comprise 20% of total Corps of Military Police."
Their role would range from probing rape and molestation cases to assisting the Army wherever required.
Last year, Rawat had said the process to allow women in combat role, currently an exclusive domain of men, was moving fast and initially women will be recruited for positions in military police.
To improve representation of women in our armed forces Smt @nsitharaman takes a historic decision to induct women for the first time in PBOR role in Corps of Military Police 1/2 pic.twitter.com/PmEVEZ9h03— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) January 18, 2019
Accordingly, the Army chalked out induction of approximately 800 women in military police with a yearly intake of 52 personnel per year.
Currently, women are allowed in select areas such as medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the Army.
The role of the military police includes policing cantonments and army establishments, preventing breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war, handling prisoners of war and extending aid to civil police whenever required.
Earlier this month, in a written response to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said the Army has 3.80 per cent of its work force as women, the Air Force has 13.09 per cent and the Navy six per cent.