The Supreme Court today issued an important interim order allowing women candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) examination for the year 2021.
By Vaishali Pandey
The Supreme Court of India issued a landmark interim order on 18th August 2021, allowing women candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) examination. The apex court in its order on NDA examination said that the army’s ‘policy decision’ is discriminatory in terms of gender equality.
NDA examination is scheduled to be held on 14th November 2021.
The top court in its order slammed “mindset problem” of the government. “This is a mindset problem. You (the government) better change it… don’t force us to pass orders”, the apex court said.
The court further added that, “This policy decision is based on gender discrimination. We direct the respondents to take a constructive view of the matter in view of the judgement of this court.”
The SC court warned the government “you better change” and hopes that the interim order would coax the army and other concerned authorites to do things on their own accord rather being compelled to do so by judiciary whip.
A division bench of Supreme Court Judges Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy issued the interim order on a writ petition seeking permission for women to appear in the NDA entrance examination.
The writ petition was filed by Kush Kalra. The petition said that depriving eligible women candidates of the opportunity to join NDA is a violation of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Constitution of India.
The petition said that eligible women candidates have been denied the opportunity to join the National Defence Academy based on their gender, which hinders career advancement opportunities for women officers.
NDA examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) that consists of two papers related to Mathematics and General Ability Test. Both the papers are for 2 hours and 30 minutes. 300 marks are prescribed for the math paper and 600 marks for General Ability Test.
The candidates who are declared successful based on their performance in the NDA examination have to undergo an intelligence and personality test to be conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB) in the next phase.
As per the notification, applications for 400 vacancies through the NDA-2 examination were invited from Indian citizen unmarried male candidates on 29th June. The examination was then scheduled to be held on September 5, but the Commission had changed the exam date in the revised programme.