Mohana Singh Current Affairs - 2020

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Bhawana Kanth: 1st Woman IAF Pilot to qualify for Combat Missions

Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth scripted history by becoming first woman pilot of Indian Air Force (IAF) to qualify to undertake combat missions on a fighter jet.

About Bhawana Kanth

  • She is from the first batch of women fighter pilots of the IAF and joined the fighter squadron in November 2017.
  • For the first time she flew solo in a MiG-21 Bison, in March 2018 and became second woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to fly solo. The 25-year-old flew from Ambala Air Force Station to achieve the feat.
  • In order to be declared ‘Operational by Day’, a pilot has to complete their syllabus which announces them as fit to fly and undertake day operations.
  • She has now completed Operational by Day syllabus for carrying out combat missions on Mig-21 Bison aircraft during day time and thus became first qualified woman IAF fighter pilot to undertake missions by day on fighter aircraft. She will soon be allowed to carry out night operations once her training for night missions completes.


  • Within a year of government decision to open fighter stream for women on an experimental basis, three women namely Avani Chaturvedi, Mohana Singh and Kanth were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016.
  • The IAF has already selected next batch of its three women trainee pilots for fighter stream.

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IAF creates history by inducting 3 women fighter pilots for first time

The Indian Air Force (IAF) created history by inducting 3 women fighter pilots for first time. These three women fighter pilots are Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chatuvedi and Mohana Singh.

They were officially commissioned as fighter pilots in the IAF in presence of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at a ceremony held at Air Force Academy, Dundigal, Hyderabad.

Key Facts

  • Avani Chaturvedi: She was born in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. She had completed her schooling from Adarsh School in Rewa and BTech in Computer Science (CS) from Banasthali University, Jaipur.
  • Bhawana Kanth: She was born in the refinery township of Begusarai, Bihar. She had completed her schooling from Barauni Refinery DAV Public School and BE in Medical Electronics from BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru.
  • Mohana Singh: She belongs to Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan. She had completed her schooling from Air Force School, New Delhi and BTech in Electronics & Communication from Global Institute of Management and Emerging Technologies, Amritsar.


  • In October 2015, the Union Government had decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis for five years.
  • These three women fighter pilots were inducted in IAF after all of them cleared the first stage of training in the three stages process. Now they have about 150 hours of flying.
  • Now in the second stage, they will begin advanced training on advanced jet trainer Hawks at Bidar in Karnataka. It will add 145 hours of flying before they actually get into the cockpit of a supersonic fighter in the third stage.


Women pilots were first included in IAF for choppers and transport aircrafts in 1991. At present, combat roles for women in the Indian Army and the Indian Navy are still off limits due to a combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints.

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