Who Is IAS Durga Shakti Nagpal? Why Is She Trending On Social Media?

Durga Shakti Nagpal was born in Agra, Uttar Pradesh on 25 June 1985. Her father is a retired government officer who was awarded the President’s Medal for distinguished service at the Delhi Cantonment Board. Her grandfather was a police officer who was murdered in 1954 while on duty in Sadar Bazaar, Delhi. She graduated from the Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University in 2007 with an undergraduate degree in computer engineering. She obtained an All India Rank of 20 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination in 2009, after which she joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). In her first attempt to pass the civil service exam, she was accepted into the Indian Revenue Service, but chose to take the UPSC exam another time. She is married to Abhishek Singh, who is also an IAS officer.

Why is she trending on Social Media?

In 2013, the then sub-divisional magistrate of Noida Durga Shakti Nagpal was in the limelight for months, front-paging national newspapers, first, for raiding sand mafias in multiple locations and then, for her suspension and final reinstatement. Nine years later, a biopic is being made on the life of this 2010 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, a first-of-its-kind experimentation on a serving officer. In an interview to ET, Nagpal, 36, talks about the progress of her biopic, women power in general, her recent book on pregnancy and the present status of sand mining across India.

She came into public view after launching a massive drive against corruption and illegal sand mining within her jurisdiction of Gautam Budh Nagar. She was later suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government for allegedly demolishing an illegal mosque wall in a village in Greater Noida, which resulted in severe opposition as it was perceived to be based on flimsy grounds. There was a growing demand from various political parties, associations of Indian bureaucrats, and by the general public on online social media for her suspension to be revoked. Her suspension was revoked by the then Uttar Pradesh government ruled by the Samajwadi Party on 22 September 2013.

What followed was a series of interesting events that will form part of a Deepika Padukone-starrer biopic being made on Durga Shakti’s life. Sunir Khetarpal of “Kesri” fame is producing the film. The biopic will feature Durga Shakti’s “honourable reinstatement” by the UP Government within 45 days of the suspension and her subsequent appointment as the OSD to former Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in 2015.

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