Sujata Saunik Becomes Maharashtra’s First Female Chief Secretary

    On Sunday, Sujata Saunik, an IAS officer from the 1987 batch, succeeded retiring Chief Secretary Nitin Kareer to become Maharashtra’s first female chief secretary. By the way, Manoj Saunik, the spouse of Saunik, had handed over control of this position to Kareer.

    Career and Contributions of Sujata Saunik 

    Sujata Saunik was previously employed by the Maharashtra government as an additional chief secretary in the departments of home and general administration. Since the state of Maharashtra was established in 1960, she will be the 45th Chief Secretary.

    In March 2024, following the conclusion of the Lok Sabha elections on June 4 with the publication of the results, the departing Chief Secretary was granted a three-month extension by the central government. Senior bureaucrats Rajesh Kumar and IS Chahal were also vying to become Chief Secretary, in addition to Saunik.

    But after she was elevated to the position of secretary earlier this week, placing her among the nation’s most senior bureaucrats. The administration was forced to name her the state’s chief secretary.

    Leadership in Maharashtra

    The two most important positions in Maharashtra, Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP), are currently held by women. In January 2024, Rashmi Shukla, a senior IPS officer, assumed leadership as the Maharashtra DGP. She was the first woman to hold the position as well.

    Saunik has served as the state’s Principal Secretary of Public Health and Financial Reform and Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of the Skill Development, Employment, and Entrepreneurship Department (SDEED) for the past ten years.

    She took part in an Oxford Policy Management study that compared outlays to outcomes for two main government departments: Women and Children and School Education. She has worked in the Federal Women and Children’s and Disaster Management departments, as well as two UN humanitarian missions.


    Sujata Saunik’s appointment as Maharashtra’s first female Chief Secretary is a historic occasion. With her considerable experience in state and international capacities, she is poised to lead Maharashtra’s administration. With Rashmi Shukla in representing women at the highest levels of state leadership.



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