How many women are there in the Indian Armed Forces?

IAF, SLAF, Indian Air Force,Sri Lanka Air Force, India, Sri Lanka, 70 anniversary celebration

New Delhi, February 9, 2021: Raksha Rajya Mantri Shripad Naik answered a question asked by Dr Fauzia Khan in Rajya Sabha on February 8, 2021, with regards to gender ratio in the Indian Armed Forces.

Here is what he replied. The number of men and women employed in the Indian Armed Forces are as under:

  Men Women % Women
Indian Army 1218036 6807 0.56%
Indian Air Force* 146727 1607 1.08%
Indian Navy 10108 704 # 6.5%

* Excluding Medical and Dental personnel.

# Figures are in respect of Women officers only as women are inducted at officer level presently.

There has been an increase in the number of women personnel in the Indian Armed Forces (excluding Medical, Dental and Nursing cadres) during the year 2020 compared to the figures in the year 2019.

In addition to the provision of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in Judge Advocate General and Army Education Corps, the Government of India has recently announced grant of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in all other Arms/ Services in which they are eligible for commission.  Further, the Government of India has sanctioned 1700 women in Military Police Corps in a phased manner.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) undertakes various induction publicity measures to encourage youth including women to join IAF.  Modules like direct contact programme, print and electronic media is extensively used to create awareness about IAF and educate students about various mode of entries.

Women are employed as officers in Indian Navy since 1992 wherein only three avenues were available to Women viz. Law, Education and Logistics. However, over a period of time, number of other avenues has been opened for Women induction as follows:

Year Avenue available
1992 Law, Education, Logistics
2001 Naval Constructor Cadre
2008 Observer Specialisation (Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft)
2016 Pilots (Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft)
2017 Naval Armament Inspectorate
2019 Sports and Musician Cadres, and Lateral Induction into Provost Specialisation

Lieutenant General CP Mohanty takes over as Vice Chief of the Army Staff