New Delhi: In yet another first for
women, the government has now approved recruitment of female
officers in border forces deployed along the country`s eastern
Till now, central paramilitary forces guarding
Indian frontiers had only women combatants in the ranks of
The new rules notified by the government now have
created avenues for women to be recruited as Assistant
Commandants (ACs) in the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which
guards India`s borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
"This is like the proverbial breaking of the glass
ceiling when it comes to women donning khaki for combat roles.
Women officers in border guarding forces will not only command
female units but male units too and this will be historic," a
senior woman IPS officer, who has served in a paramilitary
The AC rank is the entry-level for officers in
central paramilitary forces like CRPF, CISF, ITBP, BSF and SSB
and they are recruited through an all-India written
examination and interview conducted by the UPSC.
The two other border guarding forces -- ITBP and BSF
-- securing Indian frontiers with China and Pakistan
respectively, however, have not decided as yet on recruiting
women officers even though they have inducted a large number
of women constables.
"The new rules decided by the government in
consultation with the Home Ministry only specify women
officers for SSB as of now. Capacity building for ITBP and
BSF, which guard crucial borders, includes women being
inducted as officers," a senior officer involved in the