Memo for the Coast Guard: Gender diversity is good for decision-making

When asked why the Coast Guard had made an exception, Attorney General R. Venkataramani, the government’s counsel, reportedly said that this defence force functions “a little differently from the army and navy.”
When asked why the Coast Guard had made an exception, Attorney General R. Venkataramani, the government’s counsel, reportedly said that this defence force functions “a little differently from the army and navy.”

Summary

  • The Supreme Court has pulled up the Centre over its refusal to grant permanent jobs to women employed by the Coast Guard. The Centre’s stance is inexplicable.

The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Centre for its refusal to grant permanent jobs to women employed by the Coast Guard. “If you do not do it, we will do it. So, have a look at that," the court said. The reason for the government’s stance remains unclear, especially since women are being given permanent commission in front-line services, including the army and navy. 

When asked why the Coast Guard had made an exception, Attorney General R. Venkataramani, the government’s counsel, reportedly said that this defence force functions “a little differently from the army and navy." The top court, however, had a sharp rebuke. Such arguments, it held, do not hold water in 2024: “Women cannot be left out." The Centre must now file its response, which may reveal the exact reason for its objection. It is hard to understand what the discomfort might be. 

If women can be drafted for command roles in the main armed forces, denying them Coast Guard jobs that may see them rise to leadership positions is bizarre. Studies have shown that gender diversity in all forms of decision-making tends to deliver superior outcomes. This would also apply to defending India’s shoreline.

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