Vini Mahajan Becomes First Lady Chief Secretary of Punjab
Recently Vini Mahajan, who was a 1987 batch IAS officer became the first woman Chief Secretary of Punjab to take the charge at this position and this is the first time that a woman is going to take the charge for a top post in Punjab. Along with that, it happened for the first time in Punjab that an IAS-IPS couple headed the whole Punjab’s police and civil administration resulted in being the power couple of the state. Vini Mahajan is the wife of DGP Dinkar Gupta and who has already taken the charge as a Chief Secretary after replacing Karan Avtar Singh from his position who has now become the Special Chief Secretary for public Grievances and Governance Reforms. The news of being the new chief secretary is rumoring for a week and everybody is waiting for the final decision over this matter.
According to some of the news, it is found that her husband comes up in the way of his elevation as he was a DGP and she cannot deny this position because her husband is holding one of the most important positions of the government.
The thing which makes her different from others is that she surpassed five seniors and became the chief secretary of Punjab which is a proud moment for her and for her family. This article will give a complete detail about Vini Mahajan’s early life, education, ranks, and many other things, which is an important requirement to know about the new Chief Secretary of the State.
Vini Mahajan will now remain at the post until her retirement in October 2024.
Who is Vini Mahajan?
Vini Mahajan is an IAS officer from 1987 batch and currently working as a new Chief Secretary of Punjab. She started her career with working in the relief camps at Pathankot where she separated herself from the other elders of her family. Her father was an IAS topper in 1957 and then he worked at the Union Food Secretary department. Her father’s dream was that his children will become successful one day and his dreams are now completed as Vini Mahajan took the charge at the top position.
She started her career from becoming the first Lady commissioner of Punjab Police in 1995 and then she also worked at PMO office for seven years when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister. At that time she also raised the bar for most of the people as her husband was the Punjab Police Chief and she was heading the department of bureaucracy. Currently, when the whole country including Punjab and other states are fighting with the problem of Covid-19 she is being privileged and more responsible while taking charge after Karan Avtar. As now she needs to maintain the decorum and fight with the pandemic. This time the situation is completely different for her as the whole state requires proper alignment of helping hands from the government and she is the only one who is leading everything from the front. Accordingly, this has become a reason for her opponents to point out her work and criticize her decisions. But, these things will not make any difference for her as she is a determined officer and will stick towards her goals and aim.
Vini Mahajan is an Economics graduate who has completed her Bachelor’s degree from the Lady Shri Ram College of Delhi University. After this, she completed her post-graduation from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta and got her Master’s degree. Then she decided to become an IAS officer and to achieve her goal she started her preparation under the guidance of her father and cleared the exam in 1987. She was the youngest one in the batch of five other IAS officers and surpassed other five batch mates which include KBS Sidhu who is from 1984 batch and Arun Goel, Kalpana Mittal Baruah, C Roul, Satish Chandra, they all are from 1985 batch. This has been already cleared from the side of the government and got its confirmation when Viswajeet Khanna took the charge as the financial commissioner of Punjab after removing K B S Sidhu. This has been found out by few resources that the suspension order of K B S Sidhu was indirectly called up by the party leaders of Congress.
Vini Mahajan was awarded numerous honors like Roll of honour and alumnus awards during her academic career, when she was pursuing her economics graduation from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University and pursuing her post-graduation from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta. She played a crucial role in the state’s success and attracted about Rs 20,000 crore fresh investments in her tenure of Investment Promotion and Industries and Commerce.
Because of her efforts and investments, for the first time, Punjab entered the World Economic Forum which is at Davos in 2019 and they also had a very successful investor summit in which they mainly focus on MSMEs in December last year.
Under her ability of leadership, the department faced a high number of improvements in their infrastructure and in the mega industrials parks were also raised. For the promotions of startups, they launched a center of excellence and several incubators. They also took part in some of the governance reforms which is a completely new public grievance redressal policy that was launched after extreme efforts.
As these things happened during her tenure as ACS, the development of houses and urban areas, along with that the development of 5000-acre land which is now considered as the newly formed Mohali Airport. Also, under her leadership, Punjab became the first state to enrolled in the National Generic Document Registration System. Vini Mahajan also served in the PMO office under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also managed the matters that are related to the fields like industries, finance, telecom, IT and commerce. She also played a major role in the team for the central government who tried to put India’s domestic responses together and also followed the global financial meltdown. She also took part in the global responses of the G-20 mechanism.
Between 2004 to 2005 she became a part of the department for economic affairs and ministry of finance. In this, she also worked for the external assistance program and some of the issues that are related to the infrastructure.
Now if we look at her role in Punjab then she worked over various capacities which include MD PIDB and she worked as a director and disinvestment. In 1997 she was appointed as the chief administrator of the new Anandpur Sahib Development Authority and also appointed as the CEO of Anandpur Sahib Foundation for the arrangement of the tercentenary birthday celebrations of Khalsa in 1999. She also worked as a chairperson for the committee of anniversary celebrations for Guru Nanak Dev in 2019.
First Women DC of Punjab
Vini Mahajan became the first women officer who had been posted as a deputy commissioner of Punjab, in 1995. As a DC of Punjab, she was posted in Ropar, where she had worked tremendously by carrying out a total literacy campaign, not only this because of this immense work Ropar received the National Literacy Award for the best performance in the country. Vini Mahajan got the impaneled from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and got the position which is equivalent to the DC of the center and this happens for the first time that both the chief secretaries of Haryana and Punjab are women.
Vini Mahajan is the only Punjab-cadre officer in the state who is empanelled to hold the position as a secretary of Government of India. Mahajan has served as an additional chief secretary, investment promotion, industries and commerce, IT & Government reforms, and also in public grievances. Till now she has played a very crucial role in steering the response of the state government to the ongoing COVID crisis pandemic as a chairperson, health sector response, and procurement committee. Mahajan has played very important roles in the government of India and now she is serving as the Chief Secretary of Punjab. Her hard work and dedication take her to this position. Though she has been always pointed out by the opposition and few other people but will not change the decision and Vini Mahajan will work continuously like this. Although this is a very proud moment as already mentioned Vini Mahajan is the first women chief secretary of Punjab and will remain in the position till retirement that is October 2024.