Established in 1954, the National Defence Academy is a top joint services training facility for cadets of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. Women were finally admitted into the academy more than 66 years after it was founded thanks to a temporary injunction issued by the Supreme Court. Women were allowed to take the NDA recruitment exam in August 2021 after a bench led by Justice Kaul flatly rejected the centre’s claim that the prohibition against them was a matter of policy. Prior to this historic decision, the examination was only open to male candidates between the ages of sixteen and a half and nineteen who had successfully completed higher secondary education.
In the recent case of Nidhi Chaudhary v. Union of India & Anr. | Writ Petition (Civil) No. 33 of 2023 An applicant’s request that 50% of places at the National Defense Academy be reserved for women was denied by the Supreme Court. Although the applicant did not meet the minimum requirements for her category, in terms of “total merit,” she would have received higher marks than some of the male applicants accepted into the military academy.
A division bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Aravind Kumar held:
The bigger problem is already being investigated. The opening of female candidates must be done within a certain period of time. Fifty percent of women’s places are not immediately available, and we have already studied this issue. Therefore, while we sympathize with the petitioner, we cannot grant
relief in the circumstances.