Bengaluru: With the appointment of Ms Ratna Prabha K. as the state’s third woman Chief Secretary, Karnataka becomes the only state in India which has the unique distinction of breaking the glass ceiling, twice!
Incoming Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha’s appointment was preceded last month by another stellar pick, when Ms Neelmani N. Raju (IPS officer of 1983 batch) was named as the first woman DG&IGP. Ms Raju was appointed on October 31.
Ms Ratna Prabha (IAS,1981 batch) takes charge this Friday after the Siddaramaiah government signed the order on Tuesday evening.
She succeeds the outgoing Chief Secretary, Mr Subhash Khuntia on November 30. "This is a unique and simply fantastic situation. There is no other state in India, which has two women at the helm of affairs in bureaucracy and police force. Karnataka is in safe hands," said former chief secretary Kaushik Mukherjee. "There is no glass ceiling in Karnataka and no invisible biases. When it comes to recognition, women officers are on par with their male colleagues."
"The government has given a strong signal of gender parity," said a senior IAS officer, with another officer noting that both women were not native to Karnataka.
Noted sociologist G.K. Karanth said that with two women at the helm of the State administration and police, it's time to re-gender the state of mind of (male dominated) bureaucracy. "Both of them (DG&IGP and CS) will come with a new template and I’m sure the effect will trickle down to the common man," he said.
Officers from the State IAS and IPS cadre have welcomed the appointment of Ms Raju and Ms Prabha, calling it a "progressive" move. "Both women chiefs have been appointed by seniority and merit. They haven’t been overlooked for being women, which speaks for itself. They are both capable of leading from the front," said another officer.
The only downside? While Ms Raju has a long tenure of more than two years - she will retire in January 2020, Ms Prabha has a very short tenure and will demit office on superannuation in March 2018. "Her tenure is her only disadvantage. The CS should have a longer tenure. Four months is too short a time for a chief secretary to deliver," said Mr. Mukherjee....