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IAS officer Sujata Saunik creates history, becomes Maharashtra's first female Chief Secretary

Incidentally, this is also for the first time in the state that the two top civil services posts are held by women - Sujata Saunik as Chief Secretary and Rashmi Shukla as Director General of Police.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 13:11 IST

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Mumbai: In a move reflective of women power, IAS officer Sujata Saunik was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra on Sunday.

Sujata Saunik is the 45th Chief Secretary of Maharashtra since 1960, when the state was carved out - and the first woman to occupy the top bureaucratic post. 

Sujata Saunik, an officer of the 1987-batch of the IAS, replaced Dr Nitin Kareer following his retirement. 

Before taking over the top job, she was the Additional Chief Secretary heading the General Administration Department besides Home Affairs. 

Incidentally, Dr Kareer had taken over as Chief Secretary from Manoj Saunik, the husband of Sujata Saunik. 

Manoj Saunik is the current Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister.

Incidentally, this is also for the first time in the state that the two top civil services posts are held by women - Sujata Saunik as Chief Secretary and Rashmi Shukla as Director General of Police. 

The two other contenders were Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Rajesh Kumar Meena and Additional Chief Secretary (Chief Minister’s Office) Dr Iqbal Singh Chahal.

A career civil servant, Sujata Saunik has three decades of experience in public policy and governance experience in healthcare, finance, education, disaster management, and peacekeeping at the district, state, and federal levels and in international organizations as part of the IAS.

She is a Takemi Fellow from Harvard University’s School of Public Health.

In the past, she had assumed important posts like Advisor and Joint Secretary to the  National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Executive Director, Central Social Welfare Board, Ministry of Women & Child Development.

She had also been Municipal Administrator and Civil Affairs Officer, United Nations’ Mission in Kosovo. She had also been Civil Affairs Officer and Election Monitor for Cambodia. 

The decision to appoint Saunik, who was superseded twice earlier, was in line with the BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP Maha Yuti's mission to empower women - which also reflects in the budget presented last week.  

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Published 30 June 2024, 13:11 IST

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