New Delhi: In a historic move, the Indian Navy has decided to opened the doors of its elite forces to women. This development would allow them to serve as commandos for the first time in any of the three defence services, reports said. The social forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force comprise some of the toughest soldiers who undergo training. They are also capable of mounting a swift and stealthy response in tough territories.

An official quoted in the report said that women in the Navy can now become marine commandos or Marcos if they choose to meet the criteria. People have to volunteer for this and it a truly a watershed moment in the Indian military history, the official also added.

The Marcos, who are trained for a raft of missions can operate in the sea, air or land. These commandos can conduct clandestine attacks against the enemy warships, offshore installations and other vital assets. They can also fight terrorists in a maritime environment and have been deployed in Kashmir's Wular lake area in a counter terror role.

19 state legislatures have less than 10 per cent women lawmakers: Govt data19 state legislatures have less than 10 per cent women lawmakers: Govt data

With this decision no wing of the Indian Navy bars women and it has transformed itself into a fully gender-neutral force. There is no dearth of opportunities, if you have what it takes an official cited in the report said.

The development comes at a time when the force is on the threshold of inducting them in the personnel below officer rank cadre for the first time. The Navy is also closely monitoring the training of the first batch of Agniveers, including women at the INS Chilka training establishment in Odisha. The Nay's first batch of Agniveers comprises 3,000 trainees including 341 women.

The INS Chilka is a lakeside campus and had earlier got plenty of facilities to make life easier for women. The changes include setting up of more toilets for women trainees, installation of security cameras and hiring women as matrons, swimming instructors and safai kamcharis.