6 women officers to enter prestigious Indian Army’s Staff College for the first time

The completion of the DSSC course enables the Army personnel for staff appointment to Lt Col Rank and also gives them an advantage in the promotions to the rank of Colonel, which takes place via selection.

Defence Services Staff College
Defence Services Staff College

Women in the Indian Army: For the first time in the history of the Indian Army, 6 women officers will attend the prestigious Defence Services Staff College (DSSC). Out of 15 women officers who appeared for this year’s examination for DSSC, six cracked the competition. Every year, 1,500-1,600 officers sit in the prestigious exam, however, only around 300 get selected.

Unlike the other courses in the Indian Army- National Defence College, High Command, and Higher Defence Management- which are all nominated, selection to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) is based on a competitive examination.

6 Women officers to enter Indian Army’s Staff College: Key Points

1. DSSC Course is the only course conducted by the Indian Army for which the officers have to compete and clear all six papers that include tactics, law, and military history.

2. The DSSC Course is run for Major and Lt. Col equivalent ranks of the three services.

3. The other courses such as the Higher Command, Higher Defence Management, and National Defence College are based on nominations.

4. DSSC Course begins at the end of June every year and goes on till May of the subsequent year.

5. It is also attended by around 50 officers from foreign countries.

What is the significance of attending DSSC course?

After the completion of the DSSC course, the officers will be eligible for critical staff appointments into higher formations of the Indian Army as well as for foreign postings.

The completion of the course enables the Army personnel for staff appointment to Lt Col Rank and also gives them an advantage in the promotions to the rank of Colonel, which takes place via selection.

Till the Colonel Rank, all the promotions are based on a time scale- one becomes a Major after 7 years of service and Lt Col after 13 years.

Defence Services Staff College (DSSC)

The Defence Services Staff College was established in 1905 and it is the merit that decides the candidature and not the gender, as the identity of the candidates is hidden from those checking the answer sheets.

DSSC is also the only institution of its kind in India that had moved from Quetta to Pakistan and has completed 74 years at Wellington.

Several Service Chiefs have done the DSSC course, including the former Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat.

Background

The six women officers will enter the prestigious war college in Wellington, a move that came after the grant of a Permanent Commission to women officers by the Indian Army in 2021. They will start their academic session at DSSC in April 2023.

The Permanent Commission to women offices in the Indian Army means that they will have the same opportunities as their male counterparts to grow in ranks and structures within the Army.

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