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Lieutenant General Punita Arora is the first woman in India to don the second highest rank i.e Lieutant General of Indian Armed Forces[1]. and the first Vice admiral of Indian Navy[2].


Early Life

She was born into a Punjabi family which hails from Lahore. When she was 12 years old, her family moved to India during partition and got settled in Saharanpur, Uttarpradesh.[3]


She studied in Sophia School in Saharanpur till 8th grade. After that she moved to Guru Nanak Girls Inter-College. In 11th Standard while getting admitted to Government school for boys she decided to take science as a career. She joined Armed Forces Medical College, Pune in 1963[4] which was the second batch of the AFMC and she turned out to be the topper of that batch.[5]


Punita was commissioned in January 1968.[6] Before becoming Vice Admiral of Indian Navy she was Commandant of AFMC. She took the charge of commandant of Armed Forces Medical College in 2004 thereafter becoming the first woman officer to command the medical college.[7]. Before that She was co-ordinating Medical Research of the armed forces at the Army headquarters as additional director-general of Armed Forces Medical Services (Medical Research).[8] She moved from the Army to the Navy as the AFMS has a common pool which allows officers to migrate from one service to another depending on the requirement.[9]

Awards and Medals

She has been awarded with 15 medals in her 36 years of career in Indian Armed Forces.[10]

  • Sena Medal for providing gynae-endoscopy and oncology facilities and pioneering invitro-fertilisation and assisted reproductive techniques for infertile and childless couples in military hospitals.[13]


  1. ^ "The General in Sari". Rediff.  
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  12. ^'Cover%20Feature'&idate='26/08/2007'
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