The Gujarat government has a representation of just two women among 25 ministers. Only four out of 76 PA-PS (Personal Assistant-Personal Secretary) officers appointed by the government are women. So far, the Gujarat government has only two women as state-level ministers. And it still does not have a woman cabinet minister.
The Gujarat government, which provides reservations in local swaraj and public jobs, obviously forgets the promises of women’s equality while appointing ministers and allocating important posts at Swarnim Sankul.
Swarnim Sankul 1 and 2 are two blocks on either side of the Vidhan Sabha Legislative Assembly building in Gandhinagar to accommodate various ministers of the state.
The government’s other initiatives like women empowerment and girl-child education are laudable. It has also created 50% reservations for women in Panchayat and local Swaraj elections. Additionally, the government has allocated 33% reservation for women to provide them equal opportunities in government jobs and help them secure their future.
However, it has failed to provide equal opportunities to women at Swarnim Sankul, the state’s power palace. Where significant decisions are concerned, Gujarat women barely have an adequate representation to influence change.
PS, PA and APS (Additional Personal Secretary) are appointed at Swarnim Sankul. Usually, when a new government comes to power, the PS, APS and PA officers are changed. It may be noted that those holding PS and APS positions are not ordinary government servants. They are the government’s Class-I officers. PA level officers have a Class-II rank.
The government makes new appointments, but as is evident in this regime, the women of Gujarat are conveniently forgotten for critical posts.
Women officers deputed at Swarnim Sankul:
- Avantika Singh: IAS and secretary to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel
- Sejalben Modh: PA to cabinet minister Purnesh Modi
- Pushpaben Ninama: State-level Minister
- Manishaben Patel: APS to state-level minister Nimishaben Suthar
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