June 17, 2005
Storming male bastions comes naturally to Lieutenant General Punita Arora, the first woman in the defence services to reach the second highest rank in the Armed Forces. Now, she will be the Indian Navy’s first lady Vice- Admiral.
‘‘I was extremely happy here,’’ Lt-Gen Arora says before a farewell function by civilian staff at Armed Forces Medical College today.
At present, Commandant of the city-based Armed Forces Medical College, Lt-Gen Arora will take up her new appointment as Director-General of Medical Services (Navy) on June 20. The post was lying vacant since May 1 last when Vice-Admiral Vijay K. Singh took over as Director-General of Armed Forces Medical Services.
Her stint in Pune came to an end today, in time for a survey which found that after AIIMS, New Delhi, AFMC, was the second-best leading medical institution in the country. ‘‘You must work unitedly to ensure that the college remains the best institution in the country,’’ she urged the civilian staffers today. At a lunch hosted by the Command Hospital, the Lt- Gen recounted memories of her stay in Pune as an AFMC alumna.
Lt-Gen Arora’s appointment as DGMS (Navy) will be another landmark with two of the three Services wings under the DGAFMS being headed by women — the other being Air Marshal Padma Bandhopadhyay, who took over as DGMS (Air) in October 2004.
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