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There should be more women in the armed forces, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today, noting that women have achieved great heights in all spheres of life. Speaking at an event organised by women officers of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) here, Sitharaman called upon them to grab every opportunity coming their way saying "blanket rejection" of males or females should be completely avoided. "I think there should be more women in the armed forces," she said. Women achievers in India have a very different environment, she said, pointing out that a number of women have achieved great heights in their area of specialisation but such examples were not sustained. Three distinguished veterans of the AFMS, including the first woman Air Marshal, Padmavathy Bandopadhyay, Vice Admiral Punita Arora and Lt Colonel Farida Rehman were felicitated by the minister at the event organised to celebrate the International Women's Day. In her inspiring tale, Air Marshal Bandopadhyay, retired Director General of the AFMS, narrated her evolution from a Tamil-speaking arts student to a doctor and her subsequent rise to the highest rank of the Indian Air Force. She asserted that there was no gender discrimination in the IAF and termed it the best place for women to work at. Lt General Bipin Puri, Director General of AFMS, said women officers and staff were its "extremely important assets".