On the occasion of Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India unfurls the national flag as a part of the ceremony that takes place at Red Fort, Delhi. And the PM is assisted in the process, by an army officer.

This year, it was Major Shweta Pandey, the EME (electronics and mechanical engineers) officer and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) defense expert, belonging to the 505 base workshop of the army.

Her appointment for the role during the 74th Independence Day celebrations, was announced by the Ministry of Defence a few days ago:

Major Shweta Pandey will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling the national flag. The unfurling of the Tricolour will synchronise with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (ceremonial). The ceremonial battery will be commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jitendra Singh Mehta and the Gun Position Officer will be Naib Subedar (AIG) Anil Chand.

Major Shweta, who belongs to Lucknow, led the first-ever Tri-Services Indian Armed Forces contingent at the Victory Day parade in Moscow, a few months ago. 

She was also the first woman officer from the country to hold the tricolour during the event. 

In service since 2012, she has done B-Tech in Computer Science and has won over 75 medals and 250 certificates through participation in events like debates, speeches etc. 

In fact, she also stood first in tactics and won a medal for Garhwal Rifles when she was in officers training academy, Chennai. 

Major Shweta’s mother, Amita Pandey, is a Sanskrit and Hindi professor, meanwhile her father, Raj Ratan Pandey, worked as additional director, finance, for the UP government.

It is inspiring to see women army officers taking charge of important duties. They truly deserve it.