Female IAS Officers: List of 15 Inspiring Women IAS officers in India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Female IAS Officers: A decent number of lady IAS Officers in India have succeeded in the toughest exam and were able to set an example for other female IAS candidates. The Union Public Service Commission is constantly making extra efforts to encourage more and more women to appear in the UPSC exam. To urge female students, UPSC also waives the application fee for Prelims and Mains examinations.

As per the report issued by the Trivedi Centre for Political Data, out of a total of 11,569 IAS officers recruited between 1951 and 2020, only 13% were women IAS officers, comprising only one-third of the total IAS recruitments in the country. This article will provide you with information about the Female IAS Officers of all times, along with their educational background, IAS ranks, personal life, and other relevant information.

Female IAS Officers in India

Aspiring young girl prospects usually take inspiration from the success stories of past women IAS officers. Whether male or female IAS officers, both hold the responsibility to sustain the nation together so that the country can operate smoothly. The main role of an IAS officer is to monitor the proper functioning of the Indian administration system.

There is no distinctive standard dress code for female IAS officers, they just need to wear formal clothing at official events. Additionally, they are permitted to wear normal clothing for other business days or events. IAS officers do not even have a uniform guideline to obey and are hence not publicly identifiable.

List of Female IAS Officers 2023

After India attained its independence, many women broke the glass ceiling and evolved into successful women IAS officers. Let us understand some of the most renowned lady IAS officers in India along with their backgrounds.

Famous Female IAS Officers Officer Name Year of Accomplishment
1 Anna Rajam Malhotra 1951
2 Santha Sheela Nair 1973
3 Aruna Sundararajan 1982
4 Preeti Sudan 1983
5 Rajni Sekhri Sibal 1986
6 Smita Sabharwal 2001
7 Durga Shakti Nagpal 2009
8 Anu Kumari 2009
9 Hari Chandana Dasari 2010
10 Surabhi Gautam 2016
11 Pranjal Patil 2017
12 Shweta Agarwal 2017
13 Tina Dabi 2018
14 Srushti Jayant Deshmukh 2018
15 Pari Bishnoi 2019

1. Anna Rajam Malhotra

Anna Rajam Malhotra is the first lady IAS officer in India and belonged to the 1951 batch. She is from Kerala, India, and got married to the 17th Governor of RBI, R. N. Malhotra (who served the country from 1985 to 1990).

  • Anna was honored by Padma Bhushan.
  • She was responsible for making the first computerized port in India, Nhava Sheva, in Mumbai, and is also the first Malayali woman to hold a secretarial position in the central government.
  • Anna Rajam worked under 7 chief ministers and was closely associated with Rajiv Gandhi during the Asiad Project and concisely with Indira Gandhi.

2. Santha Sheela Nair

Nair is an ideal female IAS officer from the batch 1973. She did several jobs and worked as a Vice-Chairperson of the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission (2011–2016), Secretary (Steel and Drinking Water Supply, Center), and Secretary of the Tamil Nadu government (Rural Development, Municipal Administration and Water Supply).

  • Before Santha resigned, she was allotted Post-Retirement Officer on Special Duty at the Chief Minister’s office in Tamil Nadu.
  • She left her position in July 2010.

3. Aruna Sundararajan

Yet another senior civil servant of the Indian Administrative Service in India is Ms. Sundararajan. She is a retired female IAS officer of the 1982 batch of the Kerala Cadre. Aruna is known to acquire many crucial positions in her lifetime, including that of Secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

  • She has also served as the Chairperson of the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) and was liable for reshaping the telecom sector policies.
  • Ms. Sundararajan brought a significant change in the digital revolution in India by contributing to the domain of E-Governance.

4. Preeti Sudan

Preeti Sudan, from the 1983 batch, is a lady IAS officer who got trained in the Andhra cadre. She held several important positions at the state and national levels, such as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defense and posts in disaster management and tourism. In addition to this, Preeti was previously the Secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution.

  • She worked at the World Bank as a consultant.
  • Preeti Sudan supported the growth and implementation of the National Health Policy, Ayushman Bharat Yojana (A government program) which aims to provide free coverage for secondary and tertiary health to the base 40% of poor and helpless residents of India.

5. Rajni Sekhri Sibal

Rajni Sekhri Sibal is one of the lady IAS officers in India, who is an Indian Administrative Services member and even the secretary of the nation. Rajni was designated to the Indian Government, Ministry of Home Affairs, as Additional Secretary (Disaster Management). She is a well-known female IAS officer from the 1986 batch.

She emerged as in charge of systemizing the response and relief measures along with devising policies for global association and disaster management. Rajni organized methodologies for the following calamities in the respective Indian States:

  • Kerala Floods, Gaja, Pabuk, Titli, and Pethai Cyclones – Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu;
  • Drought – Andhra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra;
  • Cloud bursts, Floods, Landslides – Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura

6. Smita Sabharwal

Smita Sabharwal is a female IAS officer from the batch 2001, who was allocated Telangana cadre. She is recognized as the “Officer for the People” as she got involved in serving the public and solving issues that were related to the citizens of the country.

  • Smita Sabharwal is the first ever woman IAS officer who held the position of Chief Minister.
  • Presently, she functions as the Secretary to the Chief Minister of Telangana and is also the Secretary of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department (Mission Bhagiratha Department).

7. Durga Shakti Nagpal

Durga Nagpal became another popular female IAS officer by obtaining an exceptional rank (20) in the UPSC exam in 2009. Nagpal is the OSD (Officer on Special Duty) of the Indian Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister.

  • While working as an IAS trainee officer in the Punjab cadre, she courageously exposed land fraud in Mohali.
  • As the Sub-divisional magistrate of Sadar, Noida, she was repositioned in 2011 to the Uttar Pradesh cadre, where she encountered the sand mafia (robbing sand from the Hindon and Yamuna river banks without a pass).
  • After fearlessly battling against the sand conspiracy, she was eventually suspended on suspicious grounds by the State authority.

8. Anu Kumari

The next on the female IAS officers list is Anu Kumari residing in Haryana, who belonged to the 2009 batch. With her continued determination and hard work, she secured the 2nd rank in the 2017 Civil Services Exam, motivating many other women aspirants to become an IAS officer through her accomplishment. She functioned as the sub-Collector of Thalassery, in Kerala, and has created a powerful effect in all her projects.

9. Hari Chandana Dasari

Hari Chandana Dasari has been a pioneer in the public services area belonging to the 2010 batch. She was an IAS woman officer from Telangana state, responsible for bringing considerable influence through her work.

  • Her unwavering actions in boosting the marginalized sections of society have earned her several awards and honors, including the respectable Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.
  • Hari Chandana also worked as the Joint Collector of Hyderabad, where she is famous for commencing a Green Revolution in Hyderabad for plastic recycling projects.

10. Surabhi Gautam

Surabhi Gautam is a woman IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh belonging to the 2016 batch. She has been a driving force behind many initiatives that strived to empower women and facilitate rural development.

  • Surabhi meticulously worked to improve the living standards of citizens in rural areas, and her measures have resulted in notable advancements in the field of education, health, and infrastructure.
  • She has also contributed to the execution of countless Government schemes, such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

11. Pranjal Patil

One of the most convincing female IAS officers in India is Pranjal Patil, who is the first visually impaired IAS officer in the women category and was from the 2017 batch. She is included in the list of female IAS officers in Maharashtra and motivated millions of individuals to never give up hope.

  • Even with such a disability, she remained firm and discovered a way to her dreams after fighting many challenges.
  • Pranjal Patil is known to be very hard working and dedicated towards her goals, which made her earn admirable tribute and prizes, like the NCPEDP – Mphasis Universal Design Award.
  • She has been a vocal advocate of inclusivity and has been functioning towards making society a freer and an all-rounder place to live in.

12. Shweta Agarwal

Shweta Agarwal is believed to be the most innovative lady IAS officer possessing a completely out-of-the-box thought. She was from the 2017 batch and belonged to West Bengal. She supported the enactment of several schemes, like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan.

  • The latter scheme which aided in preserving water in the State has been successfully implemented because of her.
  • Shweta Agarwal’s commendable work has earned her honors and praise, and she was also awarded the Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Service.

13. Tina Dabi

Tina Dabi topped the UPSC exam in 2015. She is one of the famous lady IAS officers who has been in the headlines on social media. She has served as a Sub Divisional magistrate since 2018.

  • To stop the spread of CoronaVirus during the pandemic, she divided areas in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, and moved the patients to isolation in quarantine zones.
  • Tina Dabi kept an eye on the accommodations, and it is known that Bhilwara experienced lockdown even before the rest of the country.
  • She is married to Pradeep Gawande, who is also an IAS officer in India.

14. Srushti Jayant Deshmukh

She is one of the foremost names that comes to mind when naming female IAS officers in recent years. Srushti Jayant Deshmukh is from Madhya Pradesh and belongs to the 2018 batch. She acquired 5th rank in the 2018 Civil service examination.

  • She is working towards enhancing the living requirements of rural citizens.
  • Srushti Jayant played a major role in the undertaking of the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana.

15. Pari Bishnoi

Pari Bishnoi, an Ajmer dweller, cleared the UPSC examination in 2019 on her third attempt. She did her graduation from Delhi University. She is one of the most popular lady IAS officers in India and is also a qualified NET-JRF. Pari Bishnoi pursued her Post Graduation in Political Science from MDS University, Ajmer.

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