'Believe in yourself': Meet Archana Ramasundram, the first woman DG of paramilitary forces

Soon after she became the first woman to take charge of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) as Director General, Archana Ramasundram told ANI, "If a woman like me - who comes from a middle class family - can achieve this much, it's not impossible for any woman of this country."

Ramasundram is not only the first woman to head SSB but also the first woman police officer in the country to lead a paramilitary force which guards the country's borders. SSB guards the borders India shares with Nepal and Bhutan.

Archana Ramasundram. IBNLive

Archana Ramasundram. IBNLive

None of the five paramilitary forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs - SSB, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) - ever had a woman chief till Ramasundram's appointment.

"My message to women is: Have faith in yourselves. I come from a middle class family, I believed in myself," she further said after taking charge.

The 58-year-old Ramasundram is a Tamil Nadu-cadre 1980 batch IPS officer who was Special Director, National Crime Records Bureau, till now.

She has been appointed as SSB DG till the date of her superannuation, which is 30 September 2017, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

According to a report in Indian Express, Ramasundram had sought some time to take over her new job because she is the main organiser of an ongoing biometrics conference in Bhopal.

Another IBNLive report said that Ramasundram - born on 1 October 1957 - holds an MA as well as an MSc degree. She was awarded a President's Medal in 1995.

Ramasundram has also seen her share of controversies. When she was appointed as additional director of the CBI back in 2014, her appointment was challenged in the Supreme Court because she had joined the CBI without getting formally relieved from her parent cadre Tamil Nadu, according to Hindustan Times.

It was then that she was appointed as Special Director of NCRB.

Her appointment as additional director of CBI had also resulted in a row between CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the home ministry. Her name had been recommended by the then CBI director Ranjit Sinha to the Department of Personnel and Training, nodal authority for the agency. But the CVC and then Union home secretary had recommended another officer who was opposed by Sinha, PTI had reported.

Before her appointment as CBI additional director, Ramasundram was working as Director General in the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Service Recruitment Board.

She had joined the CBI on 8 May 2014, but was suspended by the Tamil Nadu government on the same day for allegedly not following rules before joining the Central probe agency.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Feb 04, 2016 08:48 AM

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