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 which was the second batch of the AFMC and she turned out to be the topper of that batch.
Punita was commissioned in January 1968. 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. 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). 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.
Awards and Medals
She has been awarded with 15 medals in her 36 years of career in Indian Armed Forces.
- Vishisht Seva Medal for providing efficient and timely help to victims of the Kaluchak massacre in 2002.
- 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.
Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2006
- "The General in Sari". Rediff.
- "Navy gets its 1st lady vice-admiral". The Times Of India. 16 June 2005.