Finally a woman as head of India's aviation security body
Usha Padhee, a 1996-batch IAS officer, is a joint secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation as well
“At last, a Smt. in the incumbency list of Director General, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security!” This is how Odisha cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Usha Padhee announced her new role on social media. Padhee, who is also the joint secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), has been given the additional charge of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
This is, however, an interim arrangement till the new incumbent takes over as the head of the BCAS, Padhee mentioned on Twitter.
At last, a Smt. in the incumbency list of Director General, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security! pic.twitter.com/Aqw2vQGnYr— Usha Padhee (@ushapadhee1996) August 28, 2020
Padhee has been instrumental in expanding the government flagship scheme of regional connectivity – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN). She will now be looking after the security procedures of all the airports and airlines through the BCAS. Interestingly, she is the first woman and third IAS officer who will be heading this crucial department. In April last year, she became the first woman Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD) of Pawan Hans Limited when she was given an additional charge.
Like most other security agencies, the aviation security body has usually been headed by an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The BCAS has so far had 14 IAS officers as its chief. Before Padhee, IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was heading the department who is now been moved to the Border Security Force (BSF) as director-general.
The BCAS is the security regulator for the civil aviation industry and comes under the MoCA. The director-general is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP). Created in 1987 as a cell in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the BCAS has come of age as an organisation, working to implement international security standards.
The 1996-batch IAS officer Padhee was sent on Central deputation in July 2015 which is scheduled to end on July 16, 2022. Padhee is an alumnus of Gulbarga University, Karnataka, where she had pursued civil engineering.
Padhee has done a lot of work at the grassroots level. She has served as sub-collector of Baliguda, Kandhamal district of Odisha and worked as collector and district magistrate of Nabarangpur, Koraput and Dhenkanal districts. During the stint in her parent state, she was also the additional project director (watershed) of District Rural Development Agency, Kalahandi, and then additional district magistrate of Balangir. Her husband Arvind Padhee is also a 1996-batch IAS officer.