India: New Legacy of Women in the Army

By Dialogo
October 01, 2010

Another step for us women…

Indian Army Chief Gen. Vijay Kumar Singh, right, congratulates Cadet Divya
Ajith Kumar, 21, after receiving the coveted “Sword of Honour” during the graduation
parade at the Officers’ Training Academy in Chennai in September 2010. Kumar became
the first female cadet to receive the distinction in the history of the Indian Army.
According to the news agency BBC, Kumar surpassed almost 230 other cadets,
including 70 female peers, to earn the prize after 49 weeks of grueling training.
Upon graduation, all the cadets will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
The Indian Army began recruiting female officers in 1992. Weapons training,
endurance tests and obstacles are part of the academy’s curriculum. However, women
do not participate in the Indian Army’s combat units; instead, they serve in areas
such as engineering, education and intelligence.