Women Talk

Birthday Special: Kiran Bedi, India’s Real Durga!

First female IPS Kiran Bedi, here is how she has inspired generation!

India welcomed its first Female IPS Officer in the year 1972. Kiran Bedi, a woman of many accolades and many firsts. Fighting stereotypes and gender biases, she became the first female IPS officer in a batch of 80 male officers. It’s funny that we can’t say the same for any male officers as they were appointed in batches, while it took 25 years for India to have its first Female IPS Officer.

So, on Kiran Bedi’s birthday, let us know more about her journey.

Early Life

She was born in Amritsar on 9th June, 1949, born in a family of 4 daughters. Although in a well-to-do family, her parents, Prakash Peshwaria and Prem Lata, had to fight against their elders to send their daughters to Christian School to attain education. Bedi with her sisters went to Sacred Heart Convent School, rebelling against the prevalent misogynistic values of society. From an early age, she was interested in sports and science. She participated in National Cadet Corps (NCC) and started playing tennis from the tender age of 9. She achieved several titles like Junior National Lawn Tennis Championship, 1966, Asian Lawn Tennis Championship, 1972, and All India Interstate Women’s lawn tennis Championship, 1976.



In 1968, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English (Hons.) from the Government College for Women.

In 1970, Master’s degree in Political Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh.

In 1988, she obtained a degree in Law (LLB) from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, simultaneously doing her active duty as a police officer.

In 1993, she obtained a Ph.D. in social science from IIT, Delhi, with her thesis on Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence.



Throughout her career, Kiran Bedi has served various rigorous job roles. She began her career as a lecturer at Khalsa College for Women in Amritsar in 1970. In 1972, Kiran Bedi became the first woman to join the IPS (Indian Police Service) and became the highest-ranking officer. Her profile range includes:

Traffic Commissioner of New Delhi

Deputy Inspector General of Police in insurgency prone Mizoram

Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Chandigarh

Director-General of the Narcotics Control Bureau

In 2003, Bedi became the first woman and the first Indian to be appointed to the United Nations in New York as the Civilian Police Advisor to the Secretary-General in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. She was awarded a UN medal.

She has represented India in International forums on crime prevention, police and prisoner reforms, drug abuse, and women’s issues.

In 2005, her last appointment was as the Director-General of India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development, from which she voluntarily retired in 2007 to take up other social challenges.

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In 2016, she took over as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry, but she was recently removed from the position due to some political rivalries with the opposition.

Trivia / Social Media Post:

Kiran Bedi is often referred to as ‘Crane Bedi’ because she towed the car of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, for a parking violation.

In 1994, in the capacity of Inspector General of Prisons, she brought many reforms in the management of Tihar Jail, addressing the corruption and human rights abuses in prison and implementing many programs like detoxification programs and yoga vipassana meditation, literary programs, and redressing prisoner complaints, etc.

Awards and Titles


Kiran Bedi has received many awards, including:

  1. The President’s Gallantry Award (1979)
  2.  Women of the Year Award (1980)
  3.  Asia Region Award for Drug Prevention and Control (1991)
  4.  Ramon Magsaysay Award (1994) for Government Service
  5.  Mahila Shiromani Award (1995)
  6.  Father Machismo Humanitarian Award (1995)
  7.  Lion of the Year (1995)
  8.  Joseph Beuys Award (1997)
  9.  Pride of India (1999)
  10.  Mother Teresa Memorial National Award for Social Justice (2005)
  11.  Amity Woman Achiever for Social Injustice (2007)
  12.  Public Service Excellence Award (2007)
  13.  Zee Astitva Award (2007)
  14.  The Indian Society of Criminology (2008)
  15.  Pride of Punjab (2008)
  16.  Women Excellences Awards (2009)
  17.  The Nomura Award (2013) for humanitarian works                                                 

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