Signalling that women could be inducted as sailors, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba has said that inclusion of women in warships was also being considered in the near future, sources said here on Friday.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who addressed the Naval Commanders Conference which concluded here on Friday, urged the Navy to give impetus to women enrolment, sources said.
The sources said Lanba stated that enrolment of women in the sailor's rank (equal to jawan in the Indian Army) was on the agenda of the three-day conference.
Lanba said the inclusion of women in sea-going cadre "is also being looked in near future but not immediately."
The sources said that the new warships are being designed in a way that they could accommodate women officers. Sea-going cadres are deployed on warships, submarines and other vessels.
At present, all non-sea going cadre are open to women and there are 639 officers, including 150 medical officers.
The sources said that women are at present being deployed as "observers" on patrol aircraft such as P-8Is and IL 38 aircraft.
They said Sitharaman also urged the Navy to optimize the use of budget allocation by "proactive and innovative means."
She also said that Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman, COSC (Chiefs of Staff Committee) would be part of the tri-services commanders' conference.
(With inputs from agencies.)