Historian Drew Faust, the first woman president of Harvard University said, “We educate women because it is smart. We educate women because it changes the world.”
While education is liberating and goes a long way in living independent lives, it also reflects when women assume leadership roles in society. In India, more women are keen on entering the civil service, to make a change to the society and work for a better tomorrow. Many who have made it through the training made sure that the opportunities are not wasted.
Get to know about the woman who are putting the country in shape, with honesty and courage as their weapons.
Chhaya Sharma is a 1999 batch IPS officer , who was DCP of Delhi Police when the notorious Nirbhaya case happened in 2012. She led the team of 41 members that investigated the gang rape and murder case, and nabbed the accused in a record time of just one week.
In May 2019, Sharma was awarded the 2019 McCain Institute Award for Courage and Leadership. Currently, she is serving as the deputy inspector general (DIG) at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India.
K Vasuki, an IAS officer from 2008 batch, is the district collector in Thiruvananthapuram. While practicing as a doctor, she was inspired by IAS officers rescuing people during the 2004 tsunami, and decided to join civil service. When Kerala was hit by devastating floods in 2018, Vasuki was applauded for her leadership, as the district administration managed to collect 54 truck-loads of relief material in two days.
She had earlier served as the executive director of the Kerala Suchitwa Mission.
Speaking on women in civil service, she has told media, “We are yet to see women leaders from the lower strata of society. I feel it’s our responsibility to break the glass ceiling in every profession.”
Nirupama Rao has served as Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer from 2009 to 2011 and is the second woman officer to hold the office.
The 1973-batch officer has been ambassador of India to Peru and Bolivia(1995-1998), first woman ambassador to China (2006-2008), ambassador to the US (2011-2013), and foreign secretary of India(2009-2011). She was also India’s Ambassador to the United States from 2011 to 2013.
In 2012, ForeignPolicy.com named her among the 100 Most Influential Women on Twitter with 1.41 million followers.
She served as a fellow at Brown University in the US for a year after retirement in 2014.
In July last year, she co-founded the South Asian Symphony Foundation, promoting peace in the region through music.
Chaitra Teresa John
IPS officer Chaitra is the first woman to head Anti Naxal Terror Squad in Kerala. Earlier, as the DCP of Thiruvananthapuram, she conducted raid on the district committee of the ruling party CPM while investigating an attack on police station. This had sparked controversy, and she was transferred to the lead the Women’s Battalion.
The 27-year-old holds a master degree in Sociology from Hyderabad University and was ranked 111 in India civil service exam in the 2016 batch. She had written the civil services exam five times and done the final interview three times before getting the job she wanted.
Kiran Bedi, of 1972 batch, was the woman IPS officer in India. Starting off as Assistant Superintendent of Police in in Delhi, she has served in Chandigarh, Goa and Mizoram. Hardly 10 years into her service, Bedi gained media attention when she got then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car towed away on charge of improper parking.
During her stint as the Inspector General of Prison of the Tihar jail in New Delhi, she introduced a number of reforms like yoga, meditation and redressal of prisoner’s complaints.
In 2003, she became the first woman to be appointed as the United Nations Civil Police adviser after a worldwide selection process. She currently serves as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
Roopa Divakar Moudgil
Roopa is the first woman from Karnataka to become an IPS officer.
She exposed the case of special treatment provided to politician and businesswoman Sasikala and also arrested the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.
She holds MA in Psychology from Bangalore University and cleared UPSC exam with an all-India rank of 43 in 2000.
Moudgil was previously posted as Inspector General of Police, Home Guards and Civil Defence, and is currently Inspector General of Police (Railways).
Merin P Joseph
Merin Joseph is an IPS officer from Kerala cadre and serves as the District Police Chief of Kollam city. The 29-year-old took charge in Kollam only in June. While reviewing pending cases, she came across a rape case of 13-year-old girl that was pending for two years. The accused had escaped to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Merin got in touch with the Saudi police, and she, along with her team, went to Riyadh, arrested the accused and closed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) case.
Kerala-born, she grew up in Delhi and graduated from St. Stephens college. This year, the officer secured British government’s Chevening scholarship and will be pursuing master degree in Public Policy at the University of Oxford.
Meera Chadha Borwankar
Meera has been a first in many positions in Indian civil service. She was the first woman IPS officer in Maharashtra, Pune’s first woman police commissioner, and the first woman in 150 years to lead Mumbai’s crime branch.
Having served in the Maharashtra cadre from 1981 till 2017, she has assumed positions including Director General Bureau of Police Research and Development, Director General National Crime Records Bureau, and Chief of Maharashtra Prison Department.
With a doctorate on organisational management and Bachelor of Law (LLB) from University of Pune, Meera is a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow with University of Minnesota.