The UPSC exam is one of the toughest exams to get through in India, which why getting access to the best IAS Coaching Centre is crucial to groom and motivate students. That said, there is one more way to inspire an IAS aspirant – telling the success stories of past and present IAS officers. In this post, we keep the focus on women IAS officers.
Even though women are considered as the weaker sex in many parts of the country, a surprising trend has emerged in the USPC Exam. For the past few years, more girls are dominating and topping the civil services tests than their male counterparts. Most of these girls turn out to be IAS and IPS officers, which helps fuel the courage and drive of female aspirants. We have weeded through the many examples to bring to you the top women IAS officers in our nation.
Shantha Sheela Nair And Aruna Sundararajan: The Icons
Shanta Sheela Nair is the woman recognized as the savior of the Chennai water crisis that struck at the beginning of the early 2000s. The administrator par excellence made rainwater harvesting mandatory in the city. She built and installed dedicated pipes that collected and stored rainwater in specialized drainage tanks. Nair created specific guidelines for rainwater harvesting and anyone who failed to comply got their licenses revoked. The proof of her success lies in the villages she served where people named their daughters after her in the hope that their girls would achieve the same level of success.
Aruna Sundararajan is the officer credited for the development of Kerala’s e-governance system, which is touted as an example across the nation. Described by Forbes as “an IAS officer who thinks like a businesswoman”, Aruna was pivotal to the e-governance system. At the time, she was the IT secretary of Kerala and along with her team officers, she created something that has made a lasting impression.
Besides the governance platform, she also headed the Kudumbashree Project, a poverty reduction project which focuses on the poor women of Kerala. Through the community-driven project, the working-class females of the state are being empowered to do better. In fact, according to The Better India, “nearly 5 million women are a part of Kudumbashree, making it the world’s largest women empowerment project.”
Smita Sabharwal And Poonam Malakondaiah: The Leaders
Smita Sabharwal was the first female IAS officer to ever be appointed to the Chief Minister’s Office. A feat on its own, it is not the only feather in Smita’s cap. Her pet project, through which she established her name, was the ‘Fund Your City’ project. The project started in Warangal where she was posted as the Municipal Commissioner. Through it, a Public-Private Partnership was built that funded numerous public utilities like:
• Traffic junctions
• Foot over bridges
• Bus stops
Today, Sabharwal is a youth leader who has motivated many youngsters to work for their society, primarily through civil services.
Hailing from the batch of 1988, Poonam Malakondaiah is one of the oldies, but as they say old is gold. She is classified as one of the most dedicated and honest officers the country has ever seen. Poonam was also recognized as the third most honest IAS officer of India in a survey. She is also acknowledged for the Monsanto Seeds Project, wherein she took charge of banning the multinational when their seeds failed to yield crops.
This is how the story goes: American company Monsanto supplied farmers with genetically modified cotton seeds known as BT seeds which failed to produce any crop. Poonam enforced the ban when the agrochemical company refused to compensate farmers for the loss – even after a decision from the agricultural commissioner of the state demanded it.
So there you go – these were the stories of four inspiring female IAS officers who, against all odds, made the country proud. The role of an IAS or IPS officer is complicated. It demands commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. Moreover, it is challenging, as well as dynamic. It is no surprise then that it takes immense courage and dedication to be a faithful civil servant – more so if you are a woman. But all the four IAS officer we have talked about prove that as long as you have a sharp mind and a brave heart, you too can be a future icon for the youth of the country.
So let the stories of these trailblazing women be the fuel to your fire. Take a leaf out of their books and represent the most significant underprivileged segment of our nation aka women at a higher level!
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