Close on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling for women officers who have been fighting for an equal footing with men in the armed forces, Major General Madhuri Kanitkar was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant-General on Saturday. Lt Gen Kanitkar took charge as Deputy Chief, Integrated Defence Staff (DCIDS), Medical (under the Chief of Defence Staff) in New Delhi.
Kanitkar is the third woman in the country and first paediatrician from the armed forces. Kanitkar and her husband Rajiv, who is also a lieutenant general, will be the first couple in the armed forces to reach this rank.Kanitkar was selected for the rank of Lieutenant General last year. Three-star officers hold the rank of Vice Admiral, Lieutenant General and Air Marshal in the Air Force. Lt Gen Punita Arora was the first woman in the country to don the second-highest rank of Lieutenant General in the armed forces. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay is the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force and the second woman in the armed forces to be promoted to the three-star rank.