Seeking to open new avenues for women officers in the force, the Indian Army is planning to deploy them as cyber warriors to deal with online threats.
The proposal has been discussed by the army chief, Gen Bipin Rawat, with his senior commanders and would be implemented in the near future as the force wants to utilise female officers ‘more advantageously’.
‘The force has plans of utilising the women officers more effectively in new cadres such as cyber which is a fast emerging trade in the armed forces, as they face a major cyber security threat from both state and non-state actors,’ army sources told Mail Today.
Women are set to be placed in cyber warrior roles in the near future, as the force also looks to female officers for support in language training, among other areas
The women officers would also be included in the field of language training to the army personnel and architecture as permanent commission officers, they said.
Cyber warfare is fast developing as one of most important fields of concern for the forces as their networks and computers are continuously under the threat from adversaries in countries such as China and Pakistan.
The three services are coming up with a cyber warfare agency under the integrated defence staff to tackle the attacks as well as to create an offensive capability to deal the issue.
Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat has discussed the proposal with senior officers
Recently, the Shekatkar Committee also recommended that officers of the army education corps could also be used as cyber warriors as the branch is getting disbanded.
The sources said the intention of the army is to provide more opportunities for the women officers in the fields where they can contribute their best.
Sources said the force would also be favourably considering the grant of permanent commission to the women officers provided they meet the benchmark.
The army has been granting permanent commission to women officers in a limited number of branches such as legal and education, but is yet to induct them in direct combat units such as infantry.
Sources said a large number of troops and officers are being trained in important international languages such as Mandarin and Arabic to deal with emerging threats.
The Army is also planning to induct 850 women as jawans in the military police branch where they would help the troops to handle situations where women are involved, like females pelting stones at forces carrying out operations.
After having 850 of them initially, their numbers would be increased gradually in the lower ranks as females have until now been limited only in officer cadre.
The roles of military police include policing the cantonment and army establishments, prevent 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.
Very few countries including Germany, Australia, Canada, the US, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Israel have allowed women in combat roles.
The Indian Air Force has also inducted three women officers as fighter pilots and would be joining a MiG 21 squadron in near future.