Air Vice Marshal (Mrs) Padmavathy Bandopadhyay, Indian army

Air Vice Marshal Padmavathy Bandopadhyay, AVSM, VSM

On November 25, 2002, a lady with many firsts, Mrs P. Bandopadhyay became the first woman officer to rise to the rank of Air Vice Marshal as she took over as Additional Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services in Delhi.

Prior to this appointment, Air Cmde (Mrs) P. Bandopadhyay was Air Officer Commanding of the premier Central Medical Establishment (AFCME) of the Indian Air Force at Subroto Park. She was the first lady officer of the IAF to become an Air Commodore and also the first lady to command AFCME.

The AFCME provides medical examination to all aircrew of the IAF, Navy, Coast Guard as well as civil pilots. In her long and illustrious career in the medical branch of the 1AF spanning over three decades, Air Cmde (Mrs) P Bandopadhyay completed 23 research projects and has 27 publications to her credit.

Being the first lady Aerospace Medicine Specialist in India since 1975, she has many firsts to her credit. She is the first lady officer to have successfully completed a course at Defence Service Staff College at Wellington, in 1978. She has been the part of the first ever husband and wife team to be awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal for their contribution in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

In addition, she is the first Indian lady to have conducted research at the North Pole in 1989-1990 and the first lady officer of the IAF to be awarded the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award in 1995 for outstanding services. More-over she is the first Lady Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society of India.