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Monday, March 28, 2011

First Indian Woman Air Vice Marshal

Padmavathy Bandopadhyay (born 4 November 1944) is the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. She is the second woman in the Indian armed forces to be promoted to a 3 star rank (after Indian Army's Lt. General Punita Arora).

Bandopadhyay was born in 1944 at Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh. She grew up in New Delhi and obtained her education at the Kirori Mal College. She joined the Indian Air Force in 1968. She married S. N. Bandopadhyay, a fellow air force officer. She was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for her conduct during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. In her career she has been first woman to become a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society of India and the first Indian woman to have conducted scientific research at the North Pole. She is also the first woman officer to have completed the Defence Service Staff College course in 1978. She was the Director General Medical Services (Air) at the Air Headquarters. In 2002, she became the first woman to be promoted to Air Vice Marshal (2 star rank). Bandopadhyay is an aviation medicine specialist and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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