India gets first woman Head of Sashastra Seema Bal

2 Feb 2016 | By Vaneet Randhawa
Archana Ramasundaram: Story of SSB's new head

The government of India appointed a woman officer- Archana Ramasundramas the head of the paramilitary force, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

She is a Tamil Nadu-cadre IPS officer.

She will be succeeding Director General of the SSB BD Sharma, who retired on 31 January.

Ramasundaram will not immediately take on as DG SSB as she is organising an ongoing biometrics conference in Bhopal.

In context: Archana Ramasundaram: Story of SSB's new head

Who is Archana Ramasundaram?

Ramasundaram is a 1980-batch IPS officer, who is currently serving as the Director of National Crime Records Bureau. Sundaram holds an MSc and an MA degree and was awarded the President's Medal in 1995.

Previous Ramasundaram appointed, then moved from CBI

On 8 May 2014, Ramasundaram was appointed the first woman Additional Director of Central Bureau of Investigation.

However, her selection was disputed by the Tamil Nadu government in the Supreme Court on the very day she joined the CBI.

On 17 June 2015, she was removed from the CBI and moved to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) as Director.

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Writ Writ claims Ramasundaram appointment was a breach

A writ petition filed by a journalist in SC alleged that Archana Ramasundaram's appointment to CBI was not in "accordance with the procedure contemplated under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act."

However, the Centre requested the SC to allow her to take charge but the Tamil Nadu government resisted the appeal saying that she was still an officer with the Tamil Nadu government.

Reason Tamil Nadu's grudge against Ramasundaram

Tamil Nadu government said that Ramasundaram hadn't been "formally relieved from her duties as the DGP and Chairperson of Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board".

She was suspended and charged for 'deserting office'.

Archana Ramasundaram clarified that she'd written to the Chief Secretary that she would be joining the CBI but the government contended that her actions "lacked legal or procedural propriety."

2 Feb 2016India gets first woman Head of Sashastra Seema Bal

What is the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)?

The SSB is the paramilitary wing responsible for guarding the country’s frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan.
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2 Feb 2016BSF and CRPF get new heads

Besides the newly appointed DG of SSB, 2 other armed forces wings got new heads.

IPS officer K Durga Prasad was appointed as the Director Generals of CRPF while KK Sharma was given the post of BSF's Director General.

They will begin their terms once the incumbent chiefs of these forces leave at the end of this month.