Story Of Captain Ganeve Lalji
Ganeve Lalji is the first woman to be appointed as a key aide to an Army Commander as part of Indian Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh’s efforts to provide more avenues to women in the force.While the Navy for long has posted women officers as 'flag lieutenants' to their admirals, this is the first time there will be a woman ADC in the Army. Lt Lalji will be the ADC to Lt-General Rajan Bakhshi, slated to take over the reins of the Central Army Command at Lucknow from Lt-Gen Anil Chait on July 1.
There are just 1,200 women officers in the Army, 300 in Navy and 1,100 in IAF despite them being inducted in the armed forces since 1992-93. Till recently, they could serve just a maximum of 14 years in branches like signals, engineers, aviation, intelligence, ordnance, air traffic controller, air defence and the like.
Now, the government has allowed women officers to get permanent commission in a few avenues like the legal, education and naval constructor wings. They, of course, are not allowed to serve in combat arms like infantry, artillery or armoured corps, nor serve on board operational warships or fly fighter jets.
A third generation Army officer, Lt Lalji was commissioned in the Corps of Military intelligence in 2011 and has recorded several achievements during here Young Officers course in Pune, an Army official said on Friday.She has been selected for the appointment after a rigorous selection process, the official said.The step was apparently taken by Gen Singh after a study was ordered to measure the motivational and aspirational levels of women officers in the force.As many as 350 women officers were interviewed and were assessed on level of toughness and their ability to withstand hardships.An official said though a number of women wanted to be inducted for a combat role they were assured by authorities this could be done in a phased manner and they could get bigger and more important roles in the near future.The study commissioned by the Army compared the roles of its female officers with their counterparts in the US and other countries.The study also looked at the impact an increased role for women officers might have on their male counterparts.