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Updated December 5th, 2023 at 13:45 IST

IAF's Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi makes history as India's first woman Aide-de-Camp to a governor

Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi of the Indian Air Force (IAF) achieves historic milestone, becoming India's first woman Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to a Governor.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Edited by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Sqn Ldr Manisha Padhi
Sqn Ldr Manisha Padhi | Image:Governor of Mizoram
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In a historic moment for the Indian Armed Forces, Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi, a 2015 batch officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF), has achieved the distinction of becoming the first woman in the country to be appointed as Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to a Governor. Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati officially bestowed this honour on Squadron Leader Padhi in a brief ceremony held at the Raj Bhawan in the state capital, Aizawl, on November 29. 

The Mizoram Governor's office announced this groundbreaking achievement in an official release, stating, "Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi appointed as Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the Governor of Mizoram. Squadron Leader Manisha is India's first woman Indian Armed Forces officer to be appointed as Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the Governor of the country." 

Squadron Leader Padhi officially assumed her responsibilities as Aide-de-Camp to the Mizoram Governor on the same day of her appointment, November 29. Following the formalities, she was introduced to the officers and staff of the Raj Bhavan in Aizawl, marking the commencement of her historic tenure in this esteemed role. 

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Before her appointment as Aide-de-Camp, Squadron Leader Padhi served at various Air Force stations, including postings in Bidar, Pune, and Bhatinda. Her journey in the Indian Air Force, marked by dedication and excellence, has now reached a significant milestone with this pioneering role. 

Understanding the role of Aide-de-Camp in India 

In India, the title of Aide-de-Camp is a position of honour, and those holding or having held this position are conferred the post-nominal letters ADC. The service chiefs, such as the chief of the Army, Navy, and Air Staff, typically have three aides-de-camp, while the President of India has five aides-de-camp, comprising three from the Army and one each from the Navy and the Air Force. An honorary aide-de-camp is also appointed from the Territorial Army. 

The role of an Aide-de-Camp involves providing ceremonial and administrative support to high-ranking officials, and their appointments are indicative of recognition and trust. In the case of Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi, her historic appointment reflects not only her individual accomplishments but also symbolizes the breaking of gender barriers in traditionally male-dominated spheres within the Indian Armed Forces.  

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The tradition of having aides-de-camp extends beyond the national level, with governors of states having two aides-de-camp—one each from the Indian Armed Forces and the Indian and state police services. It's noteworthy that in Jammu and Kashmir, both aides-de-camp to the governor are appointed from the Indian Army. 

Squadron Leader Manisha Padhi's appointment as the first woman Aide-de-Camp in India stands as a testament to the evolving inclusivity and opportunities within the armed forces, inspiring future generations to pursue their aspirations without limitations based on gender. 

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Published December 5th, 2023 at 13:45 IST

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