Meet the techie who quit her MNC job to join the Indian Air Force
Rucha Surendra Sial has always been passionate about joining the Indian Air Force. She was working as a software engineer in Baner, Pune until three women pilots were selected to be in the fighter squadron. That was all the push she needed to take a leap of faith and work towards her dream.
After completing a degree in computer engineering from Pune Institute of Computer Technology, she turned down a job with a reputed company in Bengaluru just so that she could have the time and flexibility to prepare for the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT). According to The Times of India, she said,
"When I was in my last semester in college, a Bengaluru-based software company offered me a job with a good salary package. I did not take it up because I wanted to stay in Pune and prepare for the IAF. Today, I'm really happy with my decision."
She further added,
"I studied two hours every morning and three hours during the evenings. I could have a morning slot because of flexible working hours set by my company. So, some credit goes to them too."
Rucha cleared the exam with less than a year of preparation and is now all set to head to Hyderabad next month, where she will undergo 78 weeks of training before joining the technical branch of the Air Force.
Her supportive parents have had a big part to play in making this possible. Rucha's father is a businessman and her mother Deepali is a superintendent with the Central Excise and Service Tax Department in Pune.
Around the same time one year ago, three women—Bhawana Kanth from Bihar, Mohana Singh from Rajasthan, and Avani Chaturvedi from Madhya Pradesh—created history by becoming the IAF's first women fighter pilots.
These three women will most likely be flying supersonic Sukhoi-30 jets in September, when they finish their training. They are currently undergoing training in West Bengal. According to The Hindustan Times, retired Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said,
“I would prefer that the women go to a Su-30 squadron. It’s one of the most modern fighters in the IAF fleet and we also have the jets in large numbers. It’s a frontline plane and the women will learn to handle the systems faster.”