STATE TIMES NEWS
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday permitted female candidates to appear for the upcoming entrance exam to the NDA in November this year, saying their induction cannot be postponed by one year as sought by the Centre.Accepting the Centre’s submission would effectively mean “no jam today, jam tomorrow” — an expression for a never-fulfilled promise, the apex court said.The Centre had told the top court that a notification allowing women candidates to appear for the entrance exam to the National Defence Academy will be out by May next year.A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul took note of the submissions made by senior advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma, appearing on behalf of the petitioner Kush Kalra, and said that it cannot delay absorption of women by one year.Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati submitted that a study group has been formed to facilitate the entry of women, and the necessary mechanism to facilitate that can be put in place by May 2022.The ASG sought skipping the next NDA entrance examination, scheduled to be held on November 14.The Bench said: “A report has been filed by the Armed services. Some of the areas which need to be addressed have been set out in the affidavit. These are stated to be preparatory action for induction of women in the NDA. Suffice to say the aspects refer to medical fitness intake strength, proposed training strength, requirement of infrastructure, accommodation etc and all these are expected to be addressed by a study group which is to lay down a comprehensive curriculum.“The only caveat that has been set out is in Para 4 which says that the necessary mechanism will be in place till May 2022. Mr Chinomy Sharma submits that two exams are held if women would not be allowed to take the exam of November 2021, this would lead to postponing of the whole aspect by one year. We have given a thought to the matter and the difficulties by armed services. What effectively would mean if we accept the submission of ASG is the principle of ‘no jam today jam tomorrow”.The bench also comprising Justice B R Gavai in its order said: “It would be difficult for us to accept such a position as the aspiration of women have arisen in view of our order. The Armed services have dealt with very difficult situations at the border and in the country.“To deal with emergencies is part of their training. We are sure that they will be able to come at par with this “emergency” if so. For larger gender interests, this cannot be postponed. We would thus not like to effectively vacate the order effectively passed by us, We will keep the plea pending here so that directions can be sought as situations arise”.
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