According to a recent news report by the Hindustan Times, the Indian Army plans to implement a joint selection board for male and female officers in 2024-25 to promote them to the rank of colonel. A joint selection board that is neutral to gender will be conducted for all officers from 2009 onwards. This decision aims to promote gender equality within the military, according to HT sources familiar with the matter.The army's decision to implement a common selection board follows a recent move to promote 108 women officers to the rank of select-grade colonel. Additionally, women officers were offered command assignments in specific branches for the first time.The women officers who underwent the special selection board were commissioned between 1992 to 2006, and they belonged to various arms and services, including Engineers, Signals, Army Air Defence, Intelligence Corps, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Conducting a common selection board is a progressive move as women officers have been demanding that they be treated on a par with their male counterparts, said Captain Shalini Singh, a former woman officer as reported by HT.Women officers will be considered for selection as brigadiers along with their male batchmates with immediate effect, and they will be graded based upon their eligibility and comparative profile, the news report said.The upcoming commissioning of women into the regiment of artillery is the latest in a series of steps taken by the army to open more doors for them. In a first, five lady cadets, who will be among the 200-odd officers passing out from the Chennai-based Officers Training Academy on April 29, are expected to get commissioned into the regiment of artillery.Women officers being commissioned from OTA Chennai will now pass out along with their male batchmates with common merit. Also, the process of granting PC to women officers from junior batches has commenced, and they are being considered for it by gender-neutral selection boards in the tenth year of service.Women in uniform are no longer on the fringes but are being assigned central roles on a par with their male counterparts across the three services they are flying fighter planes, serving on board warships, being inducted in the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) cadre, eligible for permanent commission, being assigned command roles, and undergoing training at the National Defence Academy. However, tanks and combat positions in infantry are still no-go zones for women.