India’s 1st woman Air Marshal conferred Padma Shri

Air Marshal Dr Padma Bandopadhyay (Retd.) received the Padma Shri award in the field of medicine on November 8 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. India’s first woman Air Marshal received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind. The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honors of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.

Bandopadhyay is a decorated former flight surgeon in the Indian Air Force. She was the first woman to be promoted to the level of Air Marshal in IAF and the second woman in the Indian Armed Forces to be promoted to a three-star rank, after surgeon Vice Admiral Punita Arora. She continues to serve people as a civilian now. 

She joined the Armed Forces Medical College Pune in 1963 after studying pre-medical at the University of Delhi’s Kirori Mal College. After completing her higher studies, Bandopadhyay joined the Indian Air Force in 1968. She was the first woman to become a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society of India and the first Indian woman to conduct scientific research at the North Pole. Not just this, she was the first woman Armed Forces officer to have completed the Defence Service Staff College course in 1978. 

Now, Bandopadhyay is an aviation medicine specialist and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. 

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: ANI)

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