“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” ― Diane Mariechild
The exponentially increasing number of women IAS officers in India is a living example of how extensively women have contributed towards the progress of the country. Women in India are often considered as the second gender when it comes to contributing to the economy of the country.
However, contrary to that women candidates are mostly seen outshining the male candidates in the toughest exam of the country i.e. That is the civil service exam. For the last 3 years or so, the women have continued to dominate the list of toppers of IAS exam and inspired hundreds of young girls in our country to pursue civil services as a career.
The job profile of an IAS or ips officer is very challenging and dynamic; it requires a lot of dedication and commitment towards this job. But these women are courageous with strong will power and a sharp mind. Here we are presenting the top women IAS officers in India who are inspiring the largest underprivileged section of our society.
Aruna Sundararajan is the Kerala cadre IAS officer who played a significant role in the development of e-governance in Kerala. She is best was described by the Forbes magazine as ‘an IAS officer who thinks like a businesswoman’.
She is best known for her role during tenure as IT secretary in the state of Kerala. As of now, we all know Kerala state is par excellence when it comes to e-governance, but now it is evident how hard our officers work to achieve it.
She also headed the Kudumbashree Project, which is a female-oriented, community-based, poverty reduction project of the Government of Kerala and now it is a shining example of women’s empowerment for working class women.
Poonam Malakondaiah is a 1988 batch IAS officer who is widely known as an honest and dedicated officer. She is a simple and strong woman who was honoured as India’s third honest IAS officer in the recent India Today survey.
Her most talked about the Monsanto Seeds Project where the corporation was banned from supplying BT cotton seeds to farmers. The reason was the failure of the company’s seeds in previous crops and its refusal to pay compensation to farmers as decided by the agricultural commissioner of the state.
She may keep a low profile, but she has a high profile when it comes to her work. She has worked in education, social welfare, transport and civil supplies. She is also known for efficiency in every department.
Shantha Sheela Nair
She is an administrator par excellence. She is known as the administrator who saved Chennai from water crisis of the early 2000s by making rainwater harvesting compulsory with specialised drainage tank and dedicated pipes to be built. And if the guidelines were not followed, licences were to be revoked.
In the villages she served, people named their daughters after her to honour her and in hopes that their daughters will live up to the name of the legendary Shantha Sheela Nair.
Mugdha Sinha is a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer who is the first woman collector of Jhunjhunu and she was transferred for taking on the local mafia. Organisations of farmers, traders and students came out in support of Sinha, who was posted in the district for a short span of time.
She was honoured as India’s fourth honest IAS officer in the recent India Today survey. Although, she had to join as Ganganagar collector, but she had not come to the district from serving a select few, but the common man. If this had annoyed the powers that be, she couldn't help it.
Smita Sabharwal is the first lady IAS to be appointed to the Chief Minister Office, which is indeed an inspiration to all. Smita Sabharwal strongly believes everyone should do something for the society, especially today’s youngsters who should give civils a shot as they can do a lot through this service.
She is best known for her “Fund Your City” project during her tenure as Municipal Commissioner, Warangal where a large number of public utilities such as traffic junctions, foot-over bridges, bus stops, parks were created by the Public-Private partnership (PPP).
Smitha Sabharwal is a much-loved youth icon and a true inspiration to many women. Smitha has always given public health and basic education high priority which can be seen as her hard work in upgrading the government hospitals. She has also been monitoring the government doctors over Skype calls and this has changed the face of public health tremendously.
Durga Shakti Nagpal
Durga Nagpal obtained an all India rank of 20 in the UPSC civil services exam in 2009, after which she joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). She began in the Punjab cadre of the IAS and joined the Mohali administration in June 2011. She is known for her sticking work against the sand and land mafIAS. As a trainee IAS officer in Punjab, she exposed a land scam in Mohali.
In August 2012, she moved to the Uttar Pradesh (UP) cadre as the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Sadar, Noida where she came into public notice after acting against the "sand mafia" in Uttar Pradesh by forming special investigation teams to stop the illegal sand-mining in the Yamuna and Hindon river banks.
Later she was targeted due to her campaign against illegal sand-mining. She was suspended by the U.P. Government, but after strong criticism from the opposition, her suspension was revoked.
It is said that it was the man’s world till the world war, as it was the women only who worked for the economy of their respective countries when the men were busy fighting wars. This women’s day we provide all the young indian minds with the hard working women IAS officers who are working day and night to move our country towards a brighter future. All young aspirants should try to draw wisdom as well as motivation to achieve the impossible.