Every day, women are breaking glass ceilings across the world. Now, India will have her first female pilot in the Indian Navy, as Lieutenant Shivangi Swaroop gets ready to make her cockpit entry on December 2, 2019.
Shivangi, who is completing her training at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi, will be authorised to fly Dornier aircraft, and will be the first Indian woman to do so.
The 24-year-old pilot hails from Muzzafarpur, Bihar, and studied at the local DAV Public School before joining the Manipal Institute of Technology in Sikkim.
She was inducted into the Indian Navy on Short Service Commission (SSC) as a pilot, as part of the 27 NOC course in Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala. Last June, she was formally commissioned by Vice Admiral AK Chawla.
Shivangi belongs to a civilian background. She told the media that her father, a government school Principal, and mother, a homemaker, have been supportive of the path she has chosen.
Within six months of training, she started practising on Pilatus (PC7) aircraft at Air Force Academy (AFA) in Dundigal. Shivangi has also completed 07 Dornier Conversion Course from Dornier Training Squadron INAS 550 in Kochi. And now, for the soon-to-be naval pilot, the countdown to fly high has started.
“I come from an ordinary background. New horizons opened up when I joined the Navy. Which other job is as good as this? You are always on top of the world. You wake up, you fly, you come back. It’s like a dream,” she told the media.
In the last couple of years, many Indian women have made their entry in the Indian armed forces, including Bhavana Kanth, Mohana Singh, and Avani Chaturvedi, who became the first women fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Army also started releasing online registration for women to join the Corps of Military Police for the first time since India gained independence.