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Meet Avani Chaturvedi: First Indian woman to fly fighter jet

Avani Chaturvedi flew MiG-21 Bison in her first training solo sortie, in Jamnagar, Gujarat

ANI  |  Jamnagar (Gujarat) [India] 

Avani Chaturvedi
Avani Chaturvedi: 1st Indian woman to fly a combat jet | Photo Twitter @ANI

has created history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly solo.

Chaturvedi flew a in her first training solo sortie, in Jamnagar, Gujarat on Monday. Air Commodore Prashant Dixit said, "It is a unique achievement for Indian Air Force and the country."

It is pertinent to mention here that has the highest landing and take-off speed in the world - 340 kmph.

She is from Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh. She was declared as the first combat pilot along with two of her cohort, Mohana Singh, and The trio wa

and Bhawana have also completed training to fly a fighter plane and will soon fly fighter planes. All three were given training in January.s inducted into the on June 18, 2016. They were formally commissioned by then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The three women were commissioned as flying officers into the fighter stream after basic training in June 2016 on "an experimental basis" for five years initially.

Chaturvedi completed her training at Hyderabad Air Force Academy. She did her schooling from Deoland, a small town in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh. Completing her Bachelors in Technology from Banasthali University, Rajasthan in 2014, she passed the Indian Air Force exam.

Chaturvedi is inspired by her brother who is in the Army. She always wanted to conquer the skies and hence joined the Flying Club in her college.

Her father, Dinkar Chaturvedi, is an executive engineer in Water Resource Department of M.P. government and her mother is a home maker. Chaturvedi likes to play chess, table tennis and to do sketching, painting.

Chaturvedi's achievement has put India on the list of the countries such as Britain, the United States, Israel, and Pakistan, where women are allowed to fly fighter jets.

It was in October 2015 that the Indian Government took the decision to open the fighter stream for women. Meanwhile, combat roles in the Army and the Navy are still off-limits for women, due to a combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints.

It was only in 1992 that the armed forces began recruiting women to streams, other than the medical stream.

Presently, women are recruited in Indian Army as officers through on all India merit basis along with men candidates. Women officers are inducted in Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Army Education Corps, Judge Advocate General Branch including Engineers, Signals, Intelligence and Electrical & Mechanical Engineering branches.

In addition, they are also commissioned in Medical Branch Army Medical Corps (AMC), Army Dental Corps (ADC) and Military Nursing Service (MNS). Further, women officers are eligible for grant of Permanent Commission in Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department and in Army Education Corps (AEC) of Army.

In Indian Navy, women officers are inducted through short service commission, in Logistics, Law, Observers, Air Traffic Control (ATC), Pilots (Maritime Reconnaissance Stream), Naval Armament Inspectorate cadre (NAIC), Naval Architecture and Education Branch.

The has pioneered the entry of women as officers in flying and ground duty.

In the IAF since 1993, women officers have been inducted in all branches and stream as Short Service Commissioned Officers except in the fighter stream. However, IAF has revised Short Service Commission scheme to induct women into the fighter stream on experimental basis for five years.

The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.

First Published: Thu, February 22 2018. 10:17 IST