First Indian women jet pilots- three Indian women made history; to them sky is the limit

Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh

Above image: Three  Indian Air Force Women Pilots making History, Set To Fly Military Jets soon after training......................

Gender parity, women empowerment, equal rights for women  in job opportunities, etc., are some of the animated  topics  more often than not widely discussed, and debated on TV  and  written in news paper articles in the past several years. Unfortunately, the same enthusiasm and interest is  not shown in implementing them.  However, in the area of women empowerment, it is a matter of satisfaction  that  considerable progress has been made in the past decades. Thanks to countless reformers and  women's groups that toiled relentlessly to reach the present status. Since the ancient to medieval times and later periods the history of women's progress in the matter of  equal rights had been  slow and eventful. In modern India, women have adorned high offices such as the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, Governors, justices, etc. the list goes on. But, it is a long way to see the light at the end of the tunnel in gender equality in many fields; a case in point is entry of women in certain places of worship where divinity is involved. But in the realm of aviation, definitely women rule the sky.

Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh NDTV Khabar

In the last  couple of decades or so, Indian women have come out of the closet and already begun to look upward. That in the past decade more and more  daring Indian women scale the world's tallest roof Mt. Everest and fly commercial and fighter planes is a piece of good and inspiring  news that may induce the young women in the future to be adventurous.


Above image: India has the highest proportion of female commercial pilots in the world at 12 percent. The percentage of female pilots in India is twice as high as in most Western countries, including the United States and Australia. Globally, less than 5 percent of pilots are women, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.(

Indian airlines have 1092 female pilots against 8797 male pilots.  At any given time, we have to presume that more Indian women are in the cockpit up in the air than their  counter parts from western countries.  ....................................................................

Aviation, world over, is a male-oriented domain and only courageous women  would venture into the sky like angles with wings and wander their way . Urmilla K. Parakh, in 1930, became the first woman pilot to get the license to fly. Since then many women have taken to flying to prove that they are not far behind when it comes to guts and taking risk.  Just last year in July, three Indian women  created history in India by becoming first women fighter jet pilots. They are:  Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh formally commissioned by the Indian Air Force. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, Chief Guest at  Air Force Academy, Dundigal, Hyderabad said, "It is a golden letter day...," "step-by-step", "total gender parity" will be achieved in the armed forces in the coming years.. He termed the event a "milestone" as it also the first time that women have been given a combat role.  It wasn’t until 1991 that women were inducted to fly aircrafts.  They were taken in to fly helicopters and transport aircraft to conduct non-combat missions and there was no induction of fighter pilots. 

As for the three new fighter jet pilots, after their stage-III training for a year on Hawk advanced jet trainers in Bidar, Karnataka, they will get a chance to  fly supersonic warplanes. The three  young women were happy about their achievement and were excited to take on their responsible duty.

Indian women fighter

Women in Indian Air Force.

For the Indian women  aspiring a career in the Indian Armed Forces, 2020 was an unforgettable   year for women in the Indian armed forces. Recruitment of women began for the first time under Permanent Commission. Earlier this year, they  were  selected only  under the Short Service Commission. 

As on September 1, 2020  the strength of women officers serving the IAF is 1,875, according to Minister of State for Defense Shripad Naik  in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.  This does not include  18 women navigators in the IAF. Since 2016 when the opportunities were opened up for women, ten women officers had  been commissioned into the fighter stream till 2020.  On September 14 2020 a selection board  was constituted  for grant of  Permanent Commission (PC) by the army in response to court orders. Though 13% of the Indian Air Force is made up of women, the largest percentage of women among all the armed forces in India, it is mentioned in the media that  they weren’t always given the same opportunities as men. Initially, women  were  primarily in support roles. As a matter of fact  all the nursing officers in the IAF are women. Women make up 21.63% and 20.75% of medical and dental staff respectively in the armed forces.