Cracking the UPSC exam is one of the toughest jobs, and the bigger challenges come after one’s journey as an officer starts. Let us take you through the journey of 10 such IAS/IPS officers who are popular for doing something different, and have made the country proud.
1. Ashok Khemka
Ashok Khemka is an Indian civil service bureaucrat. He is an IAS officer of 1991 batch. He is best known for canceling the mutation of Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s illegal land deal in Gurgaon. As of October 2021, he has been transferred 54 times in 29 years by state governments after he exposed corruption in the departments he was posted in. He is a whistleblower of several scams that took place under Bhupinder Hooda’s regime, including the Robert Vadra DLF land grab scam, Sonepat-Kharkhoda IMT land scam case and Garhi Sampla Uddar Gagan land scam. Ashok Khemka is Haryana’s second-most transferred bureaucrat, after another retired IAS officer Pradeep Kasni, who had been transferred 71 times in 35 years.
2. Ajit Doval
Ajit Doval is a name which has been in the news headlines recently; thanks to India’s proactive action to defend its border against terrorists and anti-national elements. Mr Doval is currently appointed as the National Security Advisor to the PM and he is the 5th person to hold this title. Prior to this, Ajit Doval served the country as an IPS officer who was appointed in 1968 in the Kerala cadre. Popularly known as India’s spymaster; Ajit Doval earned this nickname during his stint as the director of Intelligence Bureau in 2004-05. He also headed the operations wing of IB for over a decade.
3. Vinod Rai
Vinod Rai (born 23 May in parsa, 1948) is a former IAS officer who served as the 11th Comptroller and Auditor General of India. He assumed office on 7 January 2008 till 22 May 2013. He is the current chairman of UN Panel of External Auditors and Honorary Advisor to the Railways and a member of the Railway Kaya Kalp Council. He holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Delhi, and Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. Vinod Rai currently serves as the chairman of the UN Panel of External Auditors. He is also an honorary advisor to the railways and served as the interim president of BCCI in 2017. However, the highlight of his career was when he filed a report through the office of CAG that charged the then UPA government of incurring a loss of 1 lakh crore rupees with the allocation of 2G spectrum. This was a major blow to the government and another reason why the anti-corruption movement in India gained momentum in the early 2010s.
4. Aruna Sundararajan
Aruna Sundararajan is India’s Telecom Secretary and Chairman of the Telecom Commission. A 1982 batch IAS officer from Kerala Cadre, Ms Sundararajan, is one of the most senior civil servants of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the country. Ms Sundararajan has over three decades of experience in a variety of leadership roles in the Central and State Governments, especially in Economic and Development Administration, Investment Promotion and IT/Telecom Domains. She was also the feminist torchbearer who headed the Kudumbashree project, which has created benchmarks in the field of women empowerment and has created significant employment opportunities for women.
5. Anshul Mishra
As the collector of Madurai, Anshul Mishra made some significant changes in the system. He took the charge in 2012, soon after which he launched a Facebook page to interact with the public and address their grievances. His tenure ended in 2013, but before that he successfully rectified a major chunk of the issues that needed immediate attention.
6. Dr. Samit Sharma
Samit Sharma was born in 1972. He wanted to become an IAS officer since his childhood days. This seed of joining Civil Services was implanted by his science teacher after he secured the highest marks in 10th standard in his district. Many of us would remember watching him on Aamir Khan’s popular show Satyameva Jayate, where he was appreciated for his contribution to a generic medicine project. His aim had always been to make generic drugs affordable and available for every Indian.
7. Smitha Sabharwal
Smita Sabharwal (born 19 June 1977) is an Indian Administrative Service officer of 2001 batch belonging to Telangana cadre. She is popularly known as The People’s Officer for addressing citizen issues by involving people. She is the first lady IAS Officer to be appointed to the Chief Minister’s Office. She is presently working as, Secretary to CM, Government of Telangana and holds additional charge as Secretary, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department (Mission Bhagiratha Department). After acing her UPSC exams by ranking in 4th position in the country, Smitha took over as Municipal Commissioner of Warangal. One of her most notable initiatives was the ‘Fund your city’ scheme which was started with an aim of building more parks, pathways and traffic intersections and were managed through public-private partnerships.
8. Krishna Gopal Tiwari
He is the first visually-challenged Collector in the country. Krishna Gopal Tiwari is an inspiration for many. Before taking over as the District collector of Umaria, MP, he served as CEO Zilla Panchayat in Hoshangabad and SDM in Berasia. He does not let his visual disability become a barrier and often visit construction sites to test the progress of the work with an iron rod.
9. IAS Hari Chandana Dasari
For most of us, landing a well-paying job in a cozy European city is what dreams are made of. Hari Chandana Dasari, however, left behind this very dream when she quit her job at BP Shell in London. She had also previously worked at the World Bank. Dasari was born to a housewife for a mother and a civil servant for a father, and it was her father’s desire to do good for society that motivated her to become an IAS officer.
10. Armstrong Pame
He belongs to the Zeme Naga tribe of the Zeliangrong community from Manipur. The first IAS officer from Zeme Tribe of the Naga People, Armstrong is often referred as the ‘Miracle Man’ by the people of his town. After appearing and clearing the UPSC exam in 2008, Pame took over as the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Tousen in 2012. He is a recipient of India’s Most Eminent IAS Award 2015 and also a recipient of India’s Distinguished IAS Officer Award 2021. Armstrong Pame is also popularly known as the “Miracle Man” for his initiative in building a 100 km road in one of the most remote parts of the country through public contribution.