Tamil Nadu-cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Archana Ramasundram created history on 1 February when she was appointed as Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Director General. She is the first woman police officer to lead the central paramilitary force that guards the borders.
Ramasundaram, a 1980-batch IPS officer, is the Director of National Crime Records Bureau. She will take over from BD Sharma, a 1980-batch police officer of the West Bengal cadre, to head the SSB, a force that guards the Indo-Nepal and the Indo-Bhutan border.
Born on October 1, 1957, Sundaram holds an MA as well as MSc degree and has been a President's Medal awardee in 1995.
Her brush with controversy
Ramasundaram courted controversy during her tenure as the first woman chief of Central Bureau of Investigation. She took over in May 2014 after receiving orders from the centre. But the Tamil Nadu government claimed that she was not formally relieved from her duties as the DGP and Chairperson of Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board, the post she then held. Subsequently, she was suspended on the charges that she "deserted office."
While she wrote to the Chief Secretary saying that she was proceeding to New Delhi to take charge of her new post, the state government maintained that her action lacked legal or procedural propriety.
The Supreme Court halted her move - acting on a writ petition filed by a journalist who submitted that the her appointment was not in accordance with the procedure contemplated under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
Defending her appointment, the Centre pleaded that the apex court allow her to take charge, but the Tamil Nadu government opposed the plea saying that she continued to be an officer in the State.
After the controversy died down, Ramasundaram took over as the National Crime Records Bureau Director in June 2015.