Bhawana Kanth, the first Indian woman who qualified for combat mission in a fighter jet, adds another feather to her cap on January 26. She joins the Indian Air force Woman fighter pilot to participate in the Republic Day flypast. She is part of the IAF’s tableau displaying indigenously-manufactured Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter Rudra.! BrahMos and Rohini radars.
Bhawana is now posted at Rajasthan airbase and commissioned on a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane. The news of her participating in the 2021 Republic parade came out after Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technogy Harsh Vardhan tweeted – “marking the dawn of empowered women-led #NewIndia. Fit Lt Bhawana Kanth is set to become the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day parade. Indeed a proud moment for the entire country!”
She became a combat pilot along with two of others – Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi after the Air Force inducted them in 2016. Bhawana became a fighter pilot in 2019.
She was born on December 1, 1992 in Darbhanga, Bihar. She is born to Tej Narayan Kanth, an electrical engineer in Indian Oil Corporation and Radha Kanth, a homemaker. She completed her schooling from DAV Public School in Barauni refinery. She got her Bachelor of Engineering in Medical Electronics from BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru in 2014 and joined Tata Consultancy Services.
Always willing to fly, Bhawana took the Air Force Common Admission Test and got selected to be commissioned into the Air Force. She joined the fighter stream as a part of her Stage 1 training. She underwent six-month long stage-II training in 2016 on Kiran Intermediate Vet Trainers at Hakimpet Air Force Station, Hyderabad. After this, she was commissioned as Flying Officer at Combined Graduation Parade Spring Term at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal the same year.