Colonel Shuchita Shekhar became the first woman officer of the Army Service Corps to assume command of a Communication Zone Mechanical Transport Battalion responsible for the maintenance of the Supply Chain of the fully operational Northern Command, said Indian Army Officials on Monday.
In recent times, Indian Army has taken several steps to encourage women's presence at the top hierarchy in the services. Army witnessed several 'first timers women' as the defence sector has been widening opportunities for women.
On May 25, Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh hit headlines after flying the fighter aircraft over the Ladakh sector area amid the standoff with China. Singh shot fame after becoming Indian Air Force’s first woman pilot to fly the Rafale fighter aircraft in the multinational Exercise Orion in France. Later, she hogged the limelight after leading the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day parade in the last year (2022). She was only the second woman fighter jet pilot to be part of the IAF tableau. Last year, Flight Lieutenant Bhawna Kanth became the first female fighter jet pilot to be part of the IAF tableau.
Who is Shivangi Singh?
Singh, who is from Varanasi, joined the IAF in 2017 and was commissioned in the IAF's second batch of women fighter pilots. She had been flying MiG-21 Bison aircraft before flying the Rafale. Singh is part of the IAF's Golden Arrows squadron based out of Ambala in Punjab. The IAF tableau was based on the theme -- 'Indian Air Force transforming for the future'. Scaled-down models of Rafale fighter jet, indigenously developed light combat helicopter (LCH) and 3D surveillance radar Aslesha MK-1 were part of the float.
The first batch of Rafale fighter jets arrived on July 29, 2020, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore. So far, 32 Rafale jets have been delivered to the IAF and four are expected by April this year.