Mumbai: Independent India's first woman IAS officer, Anna Rajam Malhotra died in Mumbai on Monday. She was 91.

Anna Rajam Malhotra was born Anna Rajam George to Ottavelil OA George and Anna Paul. The former IAS officer hailed from Kerala’s Ernakulam district. Anna cleared the civil services exam in 1950 and joined the Madras cadre. 

Anna later married RN Malhotra, who served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1985 to 1990, reported the Hindu. She was also the first woman secretary of a central government department.

Anna, in her career, had to allegedly face sexism despite being capable. In an interview with the Hindu, Anna said how the Chief Minister of then Madras State, C Rajagopalachari, did not want women entering public service and was not keen on posting her in the field.

“He was convinced that I would be unable to handle the law and order situation,” she told the Hindu. However, after seeing her work and dedication, Rajaji, as he is fondly called, often cited her as an example for others to follow.

She worked with Rajiv Gandhi in 1982 when he was in-charge of the Asian Games project in Delhi. She is credited with building India's first computerised port, Nhava Sheva, in Mumbai and was its chairperson.

Anna breathed her last at her residence in Marol, Andheri in Mumbai. The funeral was held in Mumbai.