New Delhi: Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth on Tuesday (January 26, 2021) became the first Indian woman fighter pilot to participate in a Republic Day flypast at Rajpath.

Bhawana Kanth was part of the Air Force tableau which had a theme ‘Indian Air Force: Touch the Sky with Glory’ on the 72nd Republic Day parade. They showcased scale models of the Light Combat Aircraft, Light Combat Helicopter, Su-30 MK-I aircraft and the Rohini radar.

Notably, 28-year-old Flight Lt Kanth is also one of the first three women chosen for the IAF fighter stream in 2016. She was selected along with Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi

In 2015, ten women were commissioned as fighter pilots following an experimental plan to join the Indian Air Force’s combat stream. After training for class first, Kanth got a chance to choose a fighter stream. 

Bhawana joined the Fighter Squadron in November 2017 and a year later, she flew the MiG-21 aircraft solo over the Indian skies for the first time. 

Flight Lt Bhawana Kanth has also received Nari Shakti Puraskar in March 2020. 

Kanth, a resident of Begusarai in Bihar, is currently posted in Rajasthan and flies a MiG-21 Bison jet. In an interview, she had also expressed that she likes to fly Rafale and Sukhoi. 

Bhawana’s father worked at the Indian Oil Corporation in Begusarai and she did her schooling from the same city. She then went to Bengaluru to earn her engineering degree from the BMS College of Engineering.

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