Today is the eighth day of the Navratri popularly known as Ashtami according to the Hindu calendar. Navratri is a festival that celebrates women power and so do we. We have started this series to revisit the journey of some of the finest women of our nation who have made such an impact through their existence that we can still feel their presence. Today we are bringing you the story of one such lady who opened the door for women in Civil services by becoming the first women IAS officer. Yes we are talking about none other than Anna Rajam Malhotra
About Anna Rajam Malhotra
Malhotra was born in 1927 in Niranam, Alleppey. She completed her bachelor’s from Malabar Christian College in Calicut. she obtained her degree in masters in 1949 and 1950 she cleared the civil service exam in the first attempt and become the first woman to achieve this feat.
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She was discouraged from joining the service by the board which consisted of four ICS Officer. She was suggested to opt for foreign service and central services as they are more suitable for women than Indian Administrative service but Malhotra was very much determined that she only wanted to opt for I.A.S. Her first posting was in Madras state and reportedly Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari was very skeptical about giving a woman the charge of a district as a sub-collector and instead offered her a position in the secretariat.
Malhotra had worked under seven chief ministers with full dedication toward the nation. She had also closely worked with Rajiv Gandhi in the Asiad Project and briefly with Indira Gandhi.
Anna Rajam Malhotra also holds the credit for building India’s first computerized port, Nhava Sheva, in Mumbai and was also the first Malayali woman to hold a secretarial post in the central government. She was a Padma Bhusan Awardee as well.
We salute the first I.A.S Officer of India for bringing such a positive change in the nation.
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