(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
Two more women inducted as fighter pilots in Air Force
17 Dec 2017
Two more women have been inducted into the Indian Air Force as fighter pilots, taking their total number to five.
Pratibha and Shivangi Singh graduated from the IAF Academy, Dundigal.
In June'16, Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh became the first women to be commissioned in the IAF.
They are likely to be commissioned into the fighter wing by 2017 end.
A national-level javelin thrower and daughter of an army soldier
Shivangi, a basketball player and javelin thrower, hails from a businessman's family in Varanasi.
She said she's ready for "any eventuality" and to "face the consequences of being at the forefront of battles".
Pratibha, daughter of an Indian Army soldier from Rajasthan, asserted women had to work just as hard as men at the IAF Academy.
For both, it was a "dream come true".
Pratibha and Shivangi to fly MiGs, Sukhois after a year
Pratibha and Shivangi will next be trained in Bidar on Hawks for a year. Then they will fly Sukhois and MiGs.
Apart from them, Rutika Desai and Indrani Saha (helicopters); Renuka Sharma and Akshaita Jamwal (transport); Armeen Sahneela, Ankita Choudhary and Sukanya Rai (administration); Nidhi Dubey, SCA Kusum and WCA Naaz (logistics); and Pooja Sharma and Jasleen Kaur (meteorology) also graduated from the Academy.
The last few years have seen major landmarks for women
The last few years have seen several milestones for women in the forces. In 2010, the army and IAF granted permanent commission to women; the navy followed in 2016.
In March'17, Tanushree Pareek became the BSF's first woman field officer. In September, the army decided to induct women in military police.
However, women are still excluded from many benefits that men get.
Air Force leads in terms of women recruitment
In terms of share in non-combat roles, the IAF has the highest percentage of women officers: 13%, compared to the army's 3.64% or the navy's 4.49%. However, it is noteworthy that recruitment of women has decreased in the last one year.