A large number of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers have been fighting at the forefront in this battle against the coronavirus pandemic. There are many working round the clock in grim times and pushing boundaries to ensure we contain the spread of coronavirus. Here’s the story of Preeti Sudan as a part of our series spotlighting female IAS officers. She is the incumbent Union Health Secretary and has the arduous task of keeping India informed and ensure all states are containing the virus spread.
Battle against the coronavirus
Sudan is a part of PM Modi’s top COVID-19 top generals fighting the spread of the virus. She has been communicating across states on the plan of action to contain the fast spread of the novel coronavirus. Continuous video conferences have been held by the officer to instruct and guide states in the management of the health crisis we’re stuck in. She has ensured that all the concerned departments are executing the Centre’s policies since the initial stages. Preeti played a significant role in the evacuation of the 645 students from Wuhan, China. She is currently the first point of contact if any disease-related query is directed to the Prime Minister’s Office.
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An LSE graduate
Hailing from Haryana, Preeti did her graduation in English and attained a master’s degree and an M.Phil in Economics. She then went on to pursue a course in social policy and planning from the London School of Economics, one of the most coveted universities worldwide. Moreover, she has been trained in public finance management in Washington and also has a doctorate in Economics. She has been a university topper and built a foundation strong enough to be able to give her best as an Indian officer of the premiere national service. She is a 1983 batch officer of the Andhra cadre.
A long journey
Preeti Sudan has held various posts in several other areas before being appointed as the Health Secretary in June 2019. She started her career in the services as an assistant collector and took up several positions at the state and central levels, including a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence and a Special Secretary in the Ministry of women and Child Development. Before her current footing, Sudan was a secretary in the Department of Food and Public Distribution. She also served as a Consultant in the World Bank in Washington.
Other than this, she has been an integral part of the Ayushmann Bharat Yojana, National Health Policy scheme that provides free medical coverage to the most vulnerable sections of the society. Preeti is widely appreciated for her exemplary strategizing skills and is known to tackle emergencies with acumen.
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Exceptional Policy-making during Kerala floods
One of the most tragic floods hit Kerala in 2019 and Preeti took the responsibility of serving the civilians on her shoulders. She was praised by colleagues as well as the commoners for her excellent policy-making skills. Her post-flood disease control mechanism safeguarded a huge number of people across the state who had harboured in the relief camps. She looked after the three main fronts of concern at the same time in a very efficient manner, the health facilities, medical requirements to tackle a possible disease outbreak post the flood and the management of makeshift camps for the people stranded in the affected areas.
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Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV