Madhuri Kanitkar is a three-star Lieutenant General of the Indian Army. She has served the Indian Army for more than 37 years. She serves as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Medical) under the Chief of Defence Staff. Madhuri Kanitkar is also part of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
Madhuri Kanitkar was born on 15 October 1960 (age 60 years; as of 2020) in Dharwad, Karnataka. She did her schooling at Fergusson College in Pune, and then, she went to the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune to study medicine. After completing her graduation from AFMC, she underwent medical training and military training in Lucknow. During her training in Lucknow, Madhuri and her fellow batchmates would run five kilometers, do rope climbing, jump a ditch, etc. Along with this, they were also given training for weapons, firing, and other things. Madhuri’s first posting was in the outskirts of Jodhpur, Rajasthan where she worked from a field ambulance and stayed with the deployed mobile temporary unit. She was posted all across the country, and in the 35 years of their marriage, Madhuri and Rajeev were posted together for only 12 years. They both raised their two kids together with the support of their in-laws and parents.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Eyes Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Grey
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
Madhuri Kanitkar’s father’s name is Chandrakant Gopalrao Khot, and her mother’s name is Hemalata Chandrakant Khot. Madhuri has two sisters- Nilima Kadambi and Rashmi Haritwal.
Husband & Children
On 16 November 1982, Madhuri Kanitkar got married to Rajeev Kanitkar, a retired Lieutenant General of the Indian Army. They both are the first couple in the history of the Indian Armed Forces to achieve the three-star rank. They have a daughter, Vibhuti Kanitkar, and a son, Nikhil Kanitkar. Vibhuti works as a UX Designer in Washington, USA. Nikhil Kanitkar works as the head of sourcing, marketing, and business development for his company in Pune.
Madhuri was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps in the year 1982, and she was posted in the outskirts of Jodhpur in Rajasthan where she worked with a mobile medical unit from an ambulance. In 1990, she completed her post-graduation and earned the Doctor of Medicine degree in Pediatrics. Madhuri then joined the training in Pediatric Nephrology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Along with this, she completed fellowships at the National University Hospital in Singapore, and the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. After completing her fellowships, Madhuri was appointed as the associate professor in the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, and later, she became the head of the Department of Pediatrics. Apart from being the H.O.D., Madhuri has also worked as a professor at the Army College of Medical Sciences. Madhuri took the initiative of setting up the first Pediatric Nephrology service at the Army Medical Corps. She has served as the President of The Indian Society of Pediatric Nephrology as well as, the Deputy Director-General Armed Forces Medical Services in the office of DGAFMS in New Delhi. On 28 January 2017, Madhuri was appointed as the Dean and Deputy Commandant of the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune.
Awards & Honours
- Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014
- Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2018
- President Gold Medal for standing first in her batch in graduation and outstanding performance in extra-curricular activities
- Madhuri is the third woman from the Indian Armed Forces to reach the three-star rank in her service. The two other women who have achieved this feat are Dr. Punita Arora, a surgeon vice-admiral and former three-star officer of the Indian Navy, and Padma Bandopadhyay who is also considered the first woman Air Marshal (rank similar to Lieutenant General) in the Indian Air Force.
- Madhuri’s decision of joining the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune was opposed by her father as he wanted her to study at BJ Medical College in Pune and become a civilian doctor. However, Madhuri informed her father after taking admission in AFMC, and he agreed to let her pursue her dream with two conditions – he won’t pay the bond money, and Madhuri will have to join the armed forces.
- Madhuri passed with 19 other girls of her batch but by the time they reached permanent commission, only six or seven girls were left in the army. As of 2020, she is the only one from her batch who has remained in the army.
- Madhuri was always keen to learn more in the medical field, and to study ambulatory dialysis for children, she went to Singapore and spent four months there to learn the course. She then went to Royal College, UK to study urinary bladder dysfunctions, and it helped her in setting up medical and testing centers in the armed forces.
- In 1999, Madhuri was planning to go on a trip to Singapore with her family during their holidays. The vacation was planned to spend time with her family as she was posted in Pathankot, her husband was posted in Hisar, and her kids were living in Pune. Two days before the flight, they were called back in the field to serve during the Kargil War.
- Gen Kanitkar has been awarded the GOC-in-C Commendation Card and has been awarded the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Card five times.
- Madhuri was appointed as the Lieutenant General on 29 February 2020, and she wore her husband’s cap during the pipping ceremony. The ceremony was carried out by her husband Retd. Lt. General Rajeev Kanitkar and the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS).
- When Madhuri is away from her desk, she likes to spend time with her family and get herself involved in various fitness and fun activities. She likes to play golf and horse riding. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, Madhuri manages to slow-pace run for 10 km in a single session. She even likes adventure sports like paragliding.
- The fashion and lifestyle magazine, Femina, featured Madhuri on the cover of the magazine’s August 2020 issue. Madhuri Kanitkar shared the cover with Alisha Abdullah (champion racing driver), and Harmanpreet Kaur (Indian women’s ODI/T20 cricket team captain).