India’s first woman IAS officer passes away at 91

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Anna Rajam Malhotra

Anna Rajam MalhotraIndia’s first woman IAS officer after Independence, Anna Rajam Malhotra, is no more. She was 91.

She was an IAS officer of Madras cadre 1951 batch under then Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari and also served at the Centre.

Born Anna Rajam George in Kerala’s Ernakulam district in July 1927, she moved to Chennai after her schooling in Kozhikode. She pursued higher education at the University of Madras.

She is often credited for the successful completion of India’s first computerised port Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) in Mumbai as its chairperson.

She has joined civil services at a time when according to rules, a woman who got married was terminated from the services. But the rules got changed and she married to R N Malhotra, who served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1985 to 1990.

The Central Government has persuaded her to join the Foreign Service and Central Services, deemed more suitable for women at that time but she insisted on the allotment of IAS cadre.

She was a trained horse rider and shooter and got her first posting at Hosur as a Sub Collector. One of her famous incident is not killing six elephants who have entered a village but marching them successfully to the forest without causing the animals any harm.

She successfully drove many campaigns under seven Chief Ministers. She got an opportunity to work with Rajiv Gandhi in 1982 also, when he was heading the Asian Games Project in Delhi.

She did an eight nation tour with former prime minister Indira Gandhi and had served in the personnel section of the Union Home Ministry.

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