GS Paper - 1 (Society)

The Supreme Court on 18 August 2021 allowed women to take up examinations for the National Defence Academy (NDA) where only men can join for traning as officers in defence services, saying the bar created for female candidates was discriminatory. The top court pulled up the Army for resisting opportunities to women, and asked it to change its attitude and not wait for judicial orders to be passed in such matters.


  1. This is a policy decision based on gender discrimination... The Centre must take a constructive view, the bench said.
  2. In an interim order, the top court directed that women can sit for exams for entry in NDA, slated for 5 September. However, the court said women's admissions will be subjected to its final orders.
  3. In a fresh application, the petitioner pointed out that UPSC on 9 June 2021, had issued a notice declaring the date of examination for admission to the Army, Navy, Air Force wings of the NDA.
  4. The application said the examination notice is in complete violation of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Constitution.
  5. It pointed out that notice categorically states a condition for eligibility for the examination, that the candidate must be an unmarried male, which excludes eligible and willing female candidates.
  6. The top court was hearing a plea seeking directions for necessary steps to be taken to allow eligible female candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination and train at the National Defence Academy.
  7. On 10 March, a bench headed by then Chief Justice S A Bobde had issued notice to the Centre on the plea.