The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Union government to explain why it selected only 19 women candidates for the National Defence Academy in 2022, PTI reported.

The proposed intake of 19 women candidates is the same as last year.

The court sought the explanation from the government while hearing an application that questioned the proposed intake of women in the National Defence Academy, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Rashtriya Military Schools and Sainik Schools, according to Live Law.

The applicant, Kush Kalra, said that the Centre had told the court that it will put in place the necessary infrastructure for women candidates by May 2022 and despite that, it has limited the number of women candidates to 19.

“Last year, you [Centre] said that it was due to infrastructure problems that the intake of women will be less,” a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, according to PTI. “Now, again for the year 2022, you have proposed to take the same number of women candidates. Why have you fixed this figure?”

The court remarked that the intake of 19 women candidates was an ad hoc measure and could not be in place “for all times to come”.

The bench has asked the respondents to file their responses in two weeks and has posted the case for hearing on March 6.

Examinations for induction into the National Defence Academy are held twice a year. The first of these examinations, NDA-1, will be held on April 10.

On August 18, the Supreme Court allowed women to appear for the admission examination for the National Defence Academy.

The results of the examination would, however, be subject to the final verdict on the matter.