Wed. Oct 4th, 2023

New Delhi: India’s first woman IAS officer post-Independence, Anna Rajam Malhotra, has been a name that has inspired several women to join the civil services. She was one of the finest women officers who shattered the glass ceiling with their determination and hard work and paved the way for future generations of women in India.

Born as Anna Rajam George in Kerala’s Ernakulum district in 1927, she shifted to Chennai after her schooling in Kozhikode to pursue higher education at the University of Madras. 

Anna Rajam Malhotra joined civil services in 1951

Getting into civil services was not an easy task for Anna because of the then gender stereotypes. She joined the civil services in 1951 and opted for the Madras cadre. She then served in the Madras state under the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C Rajagopalachari. 

She married her batchmate RN Malhotra, who served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1985 to 1990.

India’s first woman IAS officer known for setting up modern port 

India’s first woman IAS officer Anna Rajam Malhotra was also known for her contribution in setting up the country’s modern port — Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) — near Mumbai. She was the chairperson of the JNPT during the execution. 

Malhotra was given the task of JNPT as a part of her deputation in the Central government.

Anna Rajam Malhotra received Padma Bhushan award

Anna Rajam Malhotra was honoured with the Padma Bhushan Award for her civil service in 1989. 

It is the third-highest civilian award in India.

India’s first woman IAS officer Anna Rajam Malhotra worked with 7 CMs

Anna Rajam Malhotra had worked under seven chief ministers of Tamil Nadu. She had also worked closely with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi when he was in charge of the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi. 

She also served in the personnel section of the Union Home Ministry during her central services.

Post-retirement, Malhotra was serving as a director of Hotel Leela Venture Ltd.

She died aged 91 at her residence in suburban Andheri in Mumbai.

Anna Rajam Malhotra’s journey shows how remarkable determination, resilience, and dedication help you pursue your dreams. 

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