Independent India’s first IAS woman officer Anna Rajam Malhotra is no more

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She worked under seven chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and worked closely with Rajiv Gandhi during the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi

The Hush Post: Independent India’s first woman IAS officer, Anna Rajam Malhotra Tuesday passed away in Mumbai. The 91-year-old breathed her last at her Andheri residence.

The 9151 batch IAS officer was born as Anna Rajam George to Ottavelil O. A. George and Anna Paul in Kerala’s Ernakulum district in July 1927. She had married her batchmate RN Malhotra who served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1985 to 1990.

Anna Rajam Malhotra grew up in Calicut and completed her schooling from Providence Women’s College. She did her bachelor’s degree from Malabar Christian College in Calicut. In 1949 she obtained her master’s in English literature from Madras University. She passed the civil services examination in 1950, and was the first woman to do so.

Malhotra had opted for the Madras cadre and then then served in the Madras state under Chief Minister C Rajagopalachari.  She worked under seven chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and worked closely with Rajiv Gandhi during the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi. Anna also had a brief stint with Indira Gandhi.

She was also the first Malayali woman to hold a secretarial post in the central government.

Anna prominently contirbuted in setting up the country’s first computerized port Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). She was its chairperson during the execution.

In 1989, she was conferred with the prestigious Padma Bhushan.

After retirement, Malhotra served as a director of Hotel Leela Venture Ltd.

Esha Basant Joshi was the first woman IAS officer of India.

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