Lt Shivangi Swaroop from Muzaffarpur scripted history as she became India’s first woman naval pilot on Monday. She earned her wings at a ceremony in Kochi. She will join the naval operations in Kochi and will fly the navy’s Dornier aircraft. The indigenously-built Dornier has been deployed by the Navy to carry out a short-range maritime reconnaissance mission. After six months of mission-based flying, she will aim for the P8I long-range maritime aircraft. Shivangi belongs to Bihar’s Muzzafarpur and completed her schooling from DAV Public school, Muzzafarpur. She was inducted into the Indian Navy as SSC (Pilot) as part of 27 NOC course in Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala and got formally commissioned by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, in June last year.
The Navy's Aviation branch has had women officers operating as air traffic control officers and as 'observers' in the aircraft who are responsible for communication and weapons. Shivangi underwent rigorous training at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi.
Joining the operations ahead of the Navy Day on December 4, the young officer said that ‘gender is immaterial, only skills are important.’ The path-breaking achievement comes days after the Supreme Court told Centre to rethink about women officers in the Indian Army. The top court made observation on permanent commission demand for the nearly 1,000 women serving the army as short services commission officers.
“These are women in service of the nation. If you give them permanent commission, just think what message you will send to the world,” the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi said. The bench frowned at Army's move to grant permanent commission to women officers who joined the forces under SSC after March 2019, and not to include those who are already serving under SSC before March 2019. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has supported the idea of permanent commission for women and announced the change in policy in his Independence Day speech last year. Some women officers have been in the job for nearly twenty years, while SSC term terminates in 14 years.