Woman IPS officer breaks glass ceiling


You can create sense out of nonsense, wealth out of dearth and viable ventures out of turbulent adventures. This is the motto of Dr Navjot Simi, IPS, who is among the select few band of women who have made it to the civil services from Gurdaspur, a small town where educational and Human Resources (HR) development resources are at a premium. A 2018 batch officer, she is, at present, posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in Rohtas district of Bihar. She knows that in the game of life, everyone receives a set of variables and limitations in the field of play. You can either focus on the limitations or create better situations with the pieces you play the game with. “Believe in your infinite potential. Believe in yourself, your abilities and your own potential. Never let self-doubt hold you captive. You are worthy of all that you dream and hope for,” says the doctor. She was in the city recently meeting old friends. Simi is an alumnus of the local Sunrise Public High School. Later, she did her BDS from the Baba Jaswant Singh Dental Hospital and Research Centre, Ludhiana.She was in the Ludhiana dental institute when she started preparing for the civil services. “I had a dream to become a first class officer. My parents and relatives stood behind me like the rock of Gibraltar. I had decided to clear the IAS, come what may. I always tell my friends to be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.” Simi’s parents encouraged her from day one. She studied and studied till she found her name in the rankings. She was at school when she read that modern classic Paulo Ceolho’s The Alchemist. She was so engrossed with the lines — When you desire something strongly enough in life, the universe conspires to ensure you get it — that she wrote them on her bedroom wall. She would read them in the morning, afternoon and night. That was reinvigorating and reassuring for her.

She is a firm believer in Occam’s Razor, an eponymous law, which states that “all things being equal, the simplest explanation is likely the right one.” When confronted with a challenge, and she has had many, she follows the simplest solution instead of complicating things. “After all it is not the load that breaks you down. It is the way you carry it,” she says. During her preparations, she not only read textbooks but also read classics like ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’- a story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan in the backdrop of the Soviet’s invasion and the post-Taliban rebuilding of the nation. She was also motivated by Viktor Frankl’s ‘A man’s search of meaning’ in which the author tells about his experiences in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. She is married to Tushar Singla, an IAS officer of the 2015 batch. He belongs to the Bengal cadre. Last month he got an inter-cadre transfer to Bihar by virtue of his marriage to Simi.

Police, BSF join hands to fight drones, drugs

Ever since the counter-intelligence cell of Punjab police recovered 10-kg heroin from two peddlers from near the International Border (IB), the police and the BSF have joined hands to fight the scourge of dopes and drugs. A few days ago, in a joint operation, the security agencies had nabbed three smugglers whose Pakistani handlers used drones to fly in the contraband over the IB. Officers say they are now engaged in a do or die battle. An antidote to the drones has yet to be found. Hence, they will keep coming. And they will keep on dropping arms, ammunition and dope. Officers have been holding regular meetings with border area villages and have been educating them on how to report a drone flight. However, there is a catch here. Almost everyone engaged in the business knows that till the BSF finds a way to shoot down the drones, nothing concrete is going to happen. (Contributed by Ravi Dhaliwal)