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Navy Chief on inducting women officers: ‘…looking at being gender-neutral force’

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar Saturday said the first batch of Agniveers has been inducted, among whom 341 are women. The Navy Chief also said from next year women officers will be inducted across all branches and won’t just be limited to seven or eight as is the case currently.

“We’ve inducted 341 women Agniveers now. It’s the first time women are being inducted into the ranks. We’re not inducting women separately. They’re being inducted in the same manner as their male counterparts. It’s a uniform method of selection. They undergo similar tests,” the Navy Chief said.

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“They’ll be deployed on ships, airbases, aircraft. They will be trained for everything the way a normal sailor is trained. There is going to be no difference in training. We’re looking at being a gender-neutral force where we only look at capability of the individual,” he added.

He also hailed the commissioning of INS Vikrant as a “landmark” event and said it was “a torch-bearer of atmanirbharta”. INS Vikrant – India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier – was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kochi. “It’s been a landmark event & signifies persistent efforts of generations of naval leadership, designers, planners, shipyard workers, industry, and other supporting agencies and personnel.”

“There are very few countries that have the capability to make an aircraft carrier & we now form one of the elite or select band,” he was quoted by news agency ANI.

“It inspires self-confidence among us & it’s a shining symbol of our indigenous capability. It has contributed to enhancing the stature of the nation in the world. I’m sure Vikrant will proudly fly the Tiranga across the wide reaches of Indo-Pacific in years to come,” the Navy Chief said, addressing a press conference ahead of Navy Day.

He said the Navy has given assurances to the government that it will become ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) by 2047. “The government has given us clear guidelines on Atmanirbhar Bharat. We have given assurances that the Indian Navy will become Aatmanirbhar by 2047.”

(With ANI, PTI inputs)

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