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Sujata Saunik takes over as first woman Chief Secretary of Maharashtra

Sujata Saunik takes over as first woman Chief Secretary of Maharashtra

Mumbai, June 30 (SocialNews.XYZ) Sujata Saunik, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch and presently the Additional Chief Secretary in the Home Department on Sunday took over as the 45th Chief Secretary of Maharashtra from the outgoing Chief Secretary Nitin Kareer.

She is the first woman IAS officer to be appointed as the Chief Secretary since the formation of Maharashtra on May 1, 1960.


Besides, Saunik, the Additional Chief Secretary from the Revenue Department Rajesh Kumari (1987 batch) and Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister Iqbal Chahal (1989 batch) were two other front runners for the Chief Secretary’s post.

Saunik told IANS that Maharashtra is truly a great state which has a very large industrial and start-up base, excellent flow of revenue from GST and one of the highest gross state domestic products in the country.

“My effort will be to ensure that all government services and the new schemes meant for the beneficiaries reach them in the manner intended. My team shall work hard to ensure the implementation of all the new schemes that have been announced recently by the government. I look forward to all support and feedback from not only my officers but also from the people’s representatives, leaders and community members. I thank the government for giving me this opportunity,” she said.

Incidentally, the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet on Friday had approved Saunik’s elevation as Secretary equivalent. The MahaYuti government was left with no option but to appoint her as the Chief Secretary, especially at a time when the government on Friday had announced a slew of proposals for women and girls.

Furthermore, her selection comes at a time when the government has recently launched the implementation of the Fourth Women Policy which aims at the empowerment and development of women.

It is quite interesting in the state bureaucracy that both husband and wife have held the post of Chief Secretary. Her husband Manoj Saunik, who also belonged to the 1987 IAS batch, despite being junior to her, had already held the Chief Secretary’s post during April-September 2023.

This is also for the first time that the two women officers are holding key posts the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police. Saunik is the new CS while Rashmi Shukla, an IPS of 1988 batch is the DGP.

Known as a strict and no-nonsense officer, Saunik has three decades of public policy and governance experience in healthcare, finance, education, disaster management, and peace-keeping at the district, state, and federal levels and in international organisations as part of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the United Nations.

Earlier, she had held several posts including the Additional Chief Secretary in the General Administration Department, Additional Chief Secretary in the Skill Development Department, and Principal Secretary in the Finance and Public Health Departments.

Despite being a senior in the 1987 batch, Sujata Saunik was not considered for the Chief Secretary’s post earlier as the government appointed her husband from April to December 2023.

After his retirement, the government for the second time bypassed Sujata Saunik and picked up her junior from the 1988 batch Nitin Kareer as the CS.

Kareer, who was appointed on December 31 last year, was to retire in March this year but he was given a three-month extension till June 30 in the wake of Lok Sabha elections.

Source: IANS

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Sujata Saunik takes over as first woman Chief Secretary of Maharashtra

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