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Aero India 2023

Induction of women fighter pilots into IAF made permanent scheme

NEW DELHI (PTI):  The defence ministry has decided to convert the experimental scheme for induction of women fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force into a permanent one.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that the decision is a testimony to the capability of India's 'Nari Shakti' (women power) and the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards women empowerment.

"The MoD has decided to convert the Experimental Scheme for Induction of Women Fighter Pilots in the Indian Air Force into a permanent scheme," he said on Twitter.

"It is a testimony to the capability of India's 'Nari Shakti' and our PM Shri@narendramodi's commitment towards women empowerment," he added.

The decision came months after the Supreme Court paved the way for the entry of women into the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA), which has been a male bastion, for recruitment into the three services.

In 2018, flying officer Avani Chaturvedi of the Indian Air Force scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo.

She flew a MiG-21 bison in her first solo flight.

Chaturvedi was part of a three-member women team commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.

In 2020, the Navy announced deploying its first batch of women pilots on the Dornier maritime aircraft.

It has deployed 28 women officers on board around 15 frontline warships including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and the number is set to go up with more such appointments being planned.

In a significant move, the Army in 2019 began the process of inducting women into the military police.

The role of the military police includes policing cantonments and army establishments, preventing breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war and extending aid to civil police whenever required.

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