A third of the candidates who will appear for the National Defence Academy (NDA) examination on November 14 for entry into the premier joint services training institution are women. UPSC NDA 2021 for women candidates will be in its maiden phase this time. Nearly 570,000 applications have been received and of these 178,000 are women.The landmark judgement by Supreme Court has given an opportunity to many women's dreams getting fulfilled. The apex courts order making women eligible to join the NDA, which was formally inaugurated 66 years ago and was, thus far, a male preserve, came almost three decades after they were allowed to serve in select branches of the army, air force and navy as short-service commission (SSC) officers.While addressing cadets during a passing out parade at the academy, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said, As we open the portals of NDA to women cadets, I expect all to welcome them with the same sense of fair play and professionalism that the Indian armed forces are known for the world over. Naravane said the induction of women will be the first step towards gender equality in the armed forces, and added that women officers will be in the same position 40 years later that he is in now.The aspects that NDA plans to work on include medical standards for women, accommodation, training capacity, security and privacy arrangements, physical segregation of living quarters, associated physical and electronic surveillance measures, and additional gender-specific requirements. The physical and medical standards for men for entry to NDA are extremely stringent. Equivalent standards for women in the NDA entry age group (16.5 to 19 years) are being formulated, according to a news report in the Hindustan Times.