Air Marshal Padma Bandopadhyay received a Padma Shri from President Ram Nath Kovind in the field of medicine. She was the first woman in the Indian Air Force to be promoted to the three-star rank, that of an Air Marshal. The Padma awards are the highest civilian honours of the country. The President gave 119 Padma Awards this year, including 9 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri awards. ANI reported that 29 awardees were women, one was transgender, and 16 awards were given posthumously.
Early Life And Education
Bandopadhyay was born on November 4, 1944, in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. She completed her early education at the Delhi Tamil Education Association Senior Secondary Schools. She made the difficult transition from Humanities to Science stream during college in Delhi University and later joined the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune, in 1963.
Long List of Accolades
She joined the IAF in 1968 and married Wing Commander SN Bandopadhyay. She received the Vashisht Seva Medal (VSM) for her service during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. She was the first woman in Airforce to become a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society of India and the first Indian woman to conduct scientific research at the North Pole.
The list of accolades for Bandopahyay is not short; she became the first woman officer in all Armed Forces to complete her Defence Services Staff College course in 1978. She is also a recipient of the Indira Priyadarshini award. In January 2002, she received the Ati Vashisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and the Param Vashisht Seva Medal (PVSM) in 2006.