New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre on a plea questioning lesser intake of women candidates in the National Defence Academy, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Rashtriya Military Schools and Sainik Schools in the year 2022.
Informing the court that 19 women candidates will be admitted in NDA this year, the Centre told a bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh that the intake of women candidates in the National Defence Academy depends on the requirement of three wings of the armed forces.
Petitioner has informed the court that out of 370 candidates to be admitted in NDA this year, there will be 10 women out of 208 candidates for army, three women candidates out of 42 candidates for the Navy and six women candidates out of 120 candidates for the IAF.
The bench told Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, that the government will have to explain why the figure of 19 women has been fixed for the year 2022 as per the notification issued by UPSC.
“The figure is the same as for the 2021 test. Last year, you said that it was due to infrastructure problems that the intake of women will be less. Now, again for the year 2022, you have proposed to take the same number of women candidates. Why have you fixed this figure? You have to explain this. 19 seats cannot be for all times to come. It was only an ad hoc measure,” the bench said.
The top court gave three weeks to the Centre to file an affidavit and asked the parties to file their rejoinder in two weeks thereafter and listed the matter for further hearing on March 6.
On September 22, the court had permitted female candidates to appear for the entrance exam to the NDA which was to be held in November 2021 saying their induction cannot be postponed by one year as sought by the Centre....