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In the modern world, there are no domains of work that women haven’t delved into. Words such as chairman and cameraman have been rephrased as chairperson and cameraperson, to accommodate women. Many a male dominated work place has crumbled under the power of the woman – her spirit and energy. The Indian Armed Forces, which for long was considered a male dominated workplace, now has confident, bold women, molding into every role and setting examples for everyone. Lieutenant General Puneeta Arora, a lady officer from the Army Medical Corps, heads the prestigious defense institution, the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), in Pune. In the land of Razia Sultana and Rani of Jhansi, it comes as no surprise that women make their mark in the Armed Forces.
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed services: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.
ARMY: EME, Signals, Engineers, Army Education Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Army Service Corps, Intelligence and Judge Advocate General’s branch.
NAVY: All branches of the Navy (except submariners and divers).
AIR FORCE: Flying (transport aircraft and helicopters), Technical and Administration branches.
The empowerment process aiming at “women finding time and space of their own” and their active participation in development process once they attain economic independence leading to women empowerment. The study concludes that compared to other sectors gender discrimination is high in armed forces, where as women empowerment in this sector at decision making is stable and strong than men, which could be more accurate leading to global peace.

The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of peace loving country India. The Indian Armed Forces consist of – Army, Navy and Air Force along with the Paramilitary forces and the Strategic Forces Command. The Paramilitary forces consist of the Indian Coast Guard, Assam Rifles and Special Frontier Force.

The India’s Armed Forces comprise the world’s second largest Army, the fourth largest Air Force, the eighth largest Navy and the largest Coast Guard in the northern Indian Ocean.
The Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces is the President of India. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defense (MoD), which is led by the Union Cabinet Minister of Defense.
The history of Indian Armed Forces is very long even way before the British raj.
Indian armed forces primary role, however, is the defense of India from external threats. India aspires to regional dominance and has perceived Pakistan as a constant challenge, not only to India itself but also to its position in the region. India and Pakistan engaged in open conflict in 1947, 1965, and 1971, and tension continues to this day. Another land neighbor, China, is perceived as the major threat, although it does not receive the attention Pakistan does. China attacked and humiliated India in 1962 and continues to aid Pakistan. The ending of the Cold War has not appreciably changed Indian perceptions of these two potential threats. To counter these threats and to support its aspirations as a regional and a world power, India has developed large armed forces.
Currently, the Indians maintain an army of 1.2 million personnel equipped with more than 3000 tanks, a large air force of roughly 700 fighter aircraft, and a navy possessing two carriers and 26 surface combatants. India likely possesses the capability to build nuclear weapons; however, no official details on Indian nuclear policy are available.

India’s maritime history predates the birth of western civilisation. The world’s first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BC during the Harappan Civilisation, near the present day Mangrol harbour on the Gujarat coast.
Treaty of Nanking being signed onboard “Cornwallis” on 29 Aug 1842Two Indian-built ships witnessed history in the making: the Treaty of Nanking, ceding Hong Kong to the British, was signed on board HMS Cornwallis in 1842, whilst the national anthem of the United States of America, “The Star Spangled Banner,” was composed by Francis Key on board HMS Minden when the British ships were at war and attempting to reduce Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.
Numerous other ships were also constructed, the most famous being HMS Trincomalee, which was launched on 19 October 1817, carrying 46 guns and displacing 1065 tons. This ship was later renamed Foudroyant, and is reputed to be the oldest ship afloat built in India.
The Bombay Dock was completed in July 1735 and is in use even today. The period of 4000 years between Lothal and Bombay Dock, therefore, offers tangible evidence of the seafaring skills the nation possessed in the days of sail. Thus, in the early seventeenth century, when British naval ships came to India, they discovered the existence of considerable shipbuilding and repair skills, and a seafaring people—an ideal combination for supporting a fighting force.

The Indian Air Force’s History precedes World War Two by eight years. The IAF was established by on 8 Oct 1932 when its formation was announced in the Gazette of India. No.1 Squadron formed at Drigh Road in Karachi on 1 April 1933 with a complement of six Indian Officers under the command of a British Officer. The pages in this section showcase the initial years of the existence of the IAF.
Currently, the Indians maintain an army of 1.2 million personnel equipped with more than 3000 tanks, a large air force of roughly 700 fighter aircraft, and a navy possessing two carriers and 26 surface combatants. India likely possesses the capability to build nuclear weapons; however, no official details on Indian nuclear policy are available.

India’s present-day army has emerged from the land forces set up by the British between the 1600’s and the 1800’s. But there have been many other Indian armies throughout the nation’s history. India has been ravaged by internal wars and invasions, and a number of warlike people have come to prominence over the centuries, most notably the Rajputs and the Sikhs.
The troops of the Rajputana States consisted, on paper, of more than 100,000 men, with 1,400 guns, but these figures had no military significance. The men were not, for the most part, soldiers in the service of the State, but the members of a military class. None of the guns were equipped for service.
The troops of the Sikh States were composed of good material; they were well officered, and have on occasions done excellent service for the British Crown. They are devoted to their chiefs, who are conspicuously loyal, and bound to the British Government by mutual goodwill and good offices, which had extended over many years.
The troops of no Native State possessed arms of precision ; they had no breech-loading rifles, no rifled ordnance, and very little organized artillery. They were, for the most part, an un-drilled, wretchedly armed rabble, and two or three British regiments, with a battery of horse artillery, would disperse 50,000 of them. With the few exceptions named, they could not cause the British anxiety. They were not armies in the ordinary sense of the term.
Field brigades were organized, then divisions, until at last, just before the Mutiny of 1857, the British had 311,000 native troops, forming, with the European forces, 40,000 strong, three ‘presidential ‘ armies, and various local forces and contingents. These separate armies, belonging to the presidencies of Fort William in Bengal, Fort St. George in Madras, and Bombay, had grown up into almost independent forces. The total strength of the Indian army, in 1857, the year before the mutiny, consisted of 45,522 Europeans, and 282,224 natives.
The Headquarter of Indian Army is located at New Delhi. The army of India is headed under the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is wholly responsible for the command, control, and administration. The highest rank in the Indian Army is Field Marshal, which is a largely ceremonial rank. This rank is appointed by the President of India, on the advice of the Union Cabinet of Ministers, only in exceptional circumstances. There are only two Field Marshal till now in the history of Indian army, they are – General S.H.F.J. Manekshaw and General K.M. Cariappa. The Army is divided into six operational commands (field armies) and one training command, each under the command of a Lieutenant General, who has an equal status to the Vice-Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS), working under the control of Army HQ in New Delhi.

Indian army has fought many wars including – war with Pakistan in 1947, 1965, 1971 and kargil war 1999 , with China in 1962. Indian army also have involved in the Sri Lankan Civil war as well. India had sent it’s army as UN Peacekeeping Force in countries – Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia. Indian Army is second largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping Force.

Not only wars Indian Army has acted to help peoples in Natural calamities like Earthquake, Slides and Storms etc. The army personnel’s have helped to give emergency services. Best known for its public help example in the uttarakhand floods 2013 tragedy.
The Indian Navy was founded in the seventeenth century when the East India Company had established a maritime force, thereby graduating in time to the establishment of the Royal Indian Navy in 1934. After Independence it remain same but when India became republic on 26 January 1950, the navy became known as the Indian Navy. On 22 April 1958 Vice Admiral R. D. Katari assumed office as the first Indian Chief of the Naval Staff.

The Headquarters of the Indian Navy is located in New Delhi, which is under the command of the Chief of the naval staff – Knows as an Admiral, the highest post. The Indian navy is deployed under three area commands, each headed by a flag officer. The Western Naval Command is headquartered in Bombay on the Arabian Sea; the Southern Naval Command in Kochi (Cochin), in Kerala, also on the Arabian Sea; and the Eastern Naval Command in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on the Bay of Bengal.

Indian navy has duty of saving the country sea and oceans and prevent insurgency. It has acted in protecting many leader during a submit in Sri Lanka as well as helped Somali Government to beat pirated.
The Indian Air Force was officially established on 8th October 1932 to help British in World war II. After independence the royal prefix was dismissed when India became republic. On the 1st April 1954, Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee, one of the founding members of the Air Force became the first Indian Chief of Air Staff. It’s Headquarter is at New delhi.

IAF was involved in the war against pakistan and china but more effectively used in 165 and 1971. It also sent in many UN Peacekeeping Missions includes the – Congo. The major role in Kargil war in 1999 was IAF contribution. Not only in wars IAF acted in emergency service- provides regular relief operation for food and medical facility.
Know More about the Indian Air Force.
‘Women empowerment’ is the ability to the exercise full control over one’s actions. The last decades have witnessed some basic changes in to status and role of women in our society. There has been shift in policy approaches from the concept of ‘welfare’ in seventies to ‘development’ in the eighties and now to ‘empowerment’ in the nineties. This process has been further accelerated with some sections of women becoming increasingly self-conscious of their discrimination in the several areas of family and public life. They are also in the position to mobilize themselves on issues that can affect their overall position.
• Women Empowerment as the process of challenging existing power relations, and of gaining greater control over the sources of power
In India, women empowerment is a challenging task as we need to admit the fact that gender based discrimination is a deep rooted social malice practiced in India many forms since thousands of years. One of the major tasks is to change the approach of society
towards women. Amartya Sen makes a persuasive case for the notion that societies need to see women less as passive recipients of help, and more as dynamic promoters of social transformation, view powerful evidence suggesting that the education, employment and ownership rights of women have a great influence on their ability to control their environment and contribute to economic development. Economic participation concerns not only the actual numbers of women participating in the labour force, but also their remuneration on an equal basis.
There should not be any barriers to expression of ideas, thoughts, and opinion of women.
Stringent legislative support plays a vital role to uplift women power to take part in economic participation and to acquire recognition by their distinctive work.We need to augment our efforts, attitude towards women empowering positively to enhance their progress.
It is moral, social and constitutional responsibility to ensure their progress by providing them with equal rights and opportunities without any gender inequality. Empowerment of women not just a goal in itself, but it is a key to all global development goals.
The women were inducted only in the Armed Forces Medical Core till the year 1991. In 1992, an important landmark in the history of Indian Armed Forces was the induction of women as Short Service Commissioned officers into, law, Observer, Logistics, Education, Naval Architecture, engineering and executive cadres. The government has also given approval for Permanent Commission (PC) in Education, Law and Naval Architect branch on completion of SSC tenure depending upon merit and vacancy. Thousands of spirited young women applied against advertisements and it was a turning point in the history of time. 50 lady cadets were commissioned every year with the entries presently limited to Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Army Education Corps, Judge Advocate General’s Department, Corps of Engineers, Signals and Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Approximately 100 Lady Officer get commissioned from OTA every year. These women chose a new field where they had to painstakingly pave a path for the others to follow. Initially women faced a tremendous problem to adjust in their chosen field because; most gentlemen officers could not treat their female counterparts at par with themselves. Their subordinates too, were men who came from conventional families where they saw women in concert with traditional roles. The emergence of these women into totally male dominated bastion did initially create thwarting moments for both. Men hushed their talks and behaved courteously, while women had to do with makeshift arrangements to suit their needs within units. Over the years and having come a long way now, men have realized that these women in uniform are their efficient and able co-workers. In the modern day of electronic warfare, it’s more about overcoming stress in warfare than physical combat. It has been proven scientifically that women handle stress better and are also mentally tougher. Women have done extremely well in physical training as well. Despite the good quality of life, they undergo hardships due to the nature of work and they are succeeding in it. In the first few batches at the armed forces training academies women displayed more resilience and some even outran their male counterparts in cross-country runs and long distance marches. They carry on this tradition and keep setting new records.

• Punita Arora
Born into a Punjabi family that moved to Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh during Partition, Punita Arora is the first woman in India to don the second-highest rank, Lieutenant General of Indian Armed Forces, as well as the rank of Vice Admiral of Indian Navy. Earlier, she was the commandant of the Armed Forces Medical College in 2004, the first woman at the helm of the institute. She also co-ordinated medical research for the armed forces as additional director-general of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS). Later, she moved from the Army to the Navy as the AFMS has a common pool that allows officers to migrate from one service to another depending on the requirement.
• Padmavathy Bandopadhyay
Padmavathy Bandopadhyay was the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. She joined IAF in 1968 and completed her Defense Service Staff College course in the year 1978, becoming the first woman officer to do so. Not only that, she was the first woman officer to become an aviation medicine specialist, the first woman to conduct scientific research at the North Pole (she studied the physiology of extreme cold acclimatization during the late 80s) and the first woman to be promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal and, last but not the least, she was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal for her meritorious service during the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict.
• Mitali Madhumita
In February 2011, Lt Col Mitali Madhumita became India’s first female officer to receive the Sena Medal for gallantry, a decoration given to soldiers for exemplary courage during operations in J&K and the northeast. Madhumita, who was leading the army’s English Language Training Team in Kabul, was the first officer to reach the Indian embassy in Kabul that came under attack by suicide bombers on February 2010. Though unarmed, she literally ran close to 2 km to reach the spot, personally extricated nearly 19 officers of the Army training team who were buried beneath the rubble and rushed them to hospital.

• Priya Jhingan
On September 21, 1992, the feisty Priya Jhingan enrolled as 001 — the first lady cadet to join the Indian Army. A law graduate, Jhingan had always dreamt of joining the army. In 1992, she wrote a letter to the Army Chief himself, asking him to let women in. A year later, he did, and Jhingan and the other 24 new female recruits began their journey. When she retired, she said, “It’s a dream I have lived every day for the last 10 years.”

Women entrance in Indian Armed Forces is a benchmark in women empowerment and they have extraordinary achievements through their strong determination. Compared to other sectors gender discrimination is high in armed forces and to prove their efficacy is quite challenging task and they have proved with their self confidence .Where as women in this Armed Forces at decision making is stable, distinctive and stronger than men, which could be more accurate leading to global peace.

• Aslam Bazmi, Revisiting Leadership in The Armed Forces, Air and Space Power Journal, 2007,
• Helena carreiras, The role of women in the Armed Forces of NATO countries, Minerva: Quarterly report on the women and the military, 1999.
• https://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/history.html
• https://www.indiannavy.nic.in/content/early-history
• https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/india/army-history.htm
• https://www.iaspaper.net/women-empowerment-in-india