Historic Milestone: Sujata Saunik Becomes Maharashtra’s First Woman Chief Secretary!

Sujata Saunik made history on Sunday by becoming the first woman to serve as Chief Secretary in Maharashtra. Prior to this promotion, Saunik was the Additional Chief Secretary in the state home department. This landmark achievement marks a significant moment for gender politics in Maharashtra.

A Pioneering Career

Sujata Saunik, an esteemed IAS officer from the 1987 batch, took over the role of Chief Secretary, succeeding Nitin Kareer, who retired on Sunday. She will serve her full term until her retirement in June of next year. The handover ceremony took place on Monday night at Mantralaya, the state headquarters in south Mumbai.

Who is Sujata Saunik ?

Sujata Saunik is an accomplished IAS officer with a distinguished career spanning over thirty years. She studied at Harvard University’s School of Public Health as a Takemi Fellow. Her vast experience includes serving at various levels in healthcare, finance, education, disaster management, and peacekeeping. She has held key positions such as Executive Director of the Central Social Welfare Board, Joint Secretary, and Advisor to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Internationally, she has worked with the UN Mission in Kosovo and as an election monitor in Cambodia.

Other Contenders

In the race for the Chief Secretary position, Saunik was chosen over veteran officials Rajesh Kumar and IS Chahal. Her appointment as Chief Secretary followed her recent promotion to secretary, making her one of the most senior bureaucrats in the country.

Significance of the Appointment

Saunik’s appointment aligns with the BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP Maha Yuti’s mission to empower women, a commitment highlighted in last week’s budget presentation. This decision underscores the administration’s dedication to promoting gender equality and supporting women in leadership roles.

With her extensive experience and groundbreaking new role, Sujata Saunik is set to make a lasting impact on Maharashtra’s governance and gender politics.

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