For the first time in India, the government has appointed a woman IPS officer as the chief of a paramilitary force. 58-year-old Archana Ramasundram, a Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer, will take over as Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). The former chief, B D Sharma, retired on January 31.
Archana will retain the post till the date of her superannuation on September 30, 2017. Here are five things to know about her:
1. Archana Ramasundram is a 1980-batch officer. Before her appointment to SSB, she was serving as the head of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
2. She has also served as the country’s first woman Joint Director of the CBI, handling cases related to economic offences between 1999 and 2006.
3. Before becoming the Joint Director, she was the Deputy Inspector General with CBI.
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4. Prior to that she was the DGP and chairperson of Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board.
5. She was in the news in 2014 after her appointment as Additional Director of CBI.
Her appointment was challenged in the Supreme Court after which she was moved to the NCRB as its chief. The Centre approved Archana’s appointment and issued orders in February 2014, but the Tamil Nadu government did not send her relieving orders for about three months. On May 8, 2014, the officer joined CBI after informing the state chief secretary. However, the state government suspended her on charges of desertion. She was finally shifted to NCRB.
“I found her knowledgeable and extremely hardworking. More than these, she was willing to take responsibility for her decisions,” former CBI Director RK Raghavan once said about Archana.
There are five paramilitary forces – Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal. The SSB is entrusted with guarding the country’s frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan.