Global Ambassadors

Smt. K. Ratna Prabha IAS (Retd.)

Global Ambassador

Smt. K. Ratna Prabha has an exemplary record in public service, spanning over 37 years. She has left a mark wherever she has worked and made a special name for herself in the society for being innovative and people friendly in approach. Smt. K. Ratna Prabha, through her years of service, has gained immense and varied experience in various sectors of government, especially IT, Industry & Commerce, Skill Development and Women Entrepreneurship.

Hailing from the 1981 batch of Karnataka cadre, she retired as the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka in June 2018. Starting her career as the First Lady Assistant Commissioner Bidar, and then as Special Deputy Commissioner (Development), Chikmagalur, she worked as the Deputy Commissioner of two important districts, Raichur and Bidar Districts. She is still remembered by the people of these regions with great fondness and reverence for the public work done during her tenure. She resolved sensitive issues such as the eradication and rehabilitation of Devadasi women (Temple Girls Prostitution) by allotting lands and government jobs to them and their offspring. She implemented the national literacy campaigns successfully at the regional level. She was a pioneer in empowering women--allotting houses and auto-rickshaw (three-wheeler passenger transport) to women in the backward districts of Raichur in 1995. As Special DC, Chikmagalur she implemented the pilot project on Women Empowerment called DWCRA (Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas) where women were motivated to take up non-traditional activities like furniture making, poultry, rabbit rearing, blanket weaving, traditional handicrafts.

In 1996, as the Development Commissioner of the newly created VEPZ, Andhra Pradesh, she transformed a vast remote barren land into a thriving industrial hub with a turnover of over Rs. 1000 Crores (about 140 million USD) that generated employment for over 4000 young boys and girls. Initiative included the first diamond processing unit in South India and the first STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) which opened the doors for software exports in Tier II cities. 

As Information Technology Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, she framed the Andhra Pradesh IT Policy 2005 of 2005 and 2010, which were instrumental in attracting several MNC’s and IT majors to invest in Hyderabad. Her IT Policy paved the roadmap for women-centric initiatives such as women's safety in the workplace and transport and maternity benefits to women in the IT sector. Further, she developed a unique programme called Jawahar Knowledge Centres (JKC), where JKC’s were setup in far flung rural engineering colleges to train the young girls and boys and employ them across various MNCs in the state. 

Similarly, as Additional Chief Secretary, Industry & Commerce, Government of Karnataka she created the 2014-19 Industrial Policy which laid emphasis for the first time on developing industries beyond Bengaluru City. For the first time, the policy gave sector specific and area specific incentives. The Women Entrepreneurship friendly component of the policy created five exclusive industrial parks for women. Karnataka State attained the 1st position in the country for attracting domestic and foreign investments during this period. Due to her contribution, Karnataka Government was awarded the title of “Most Supportive State for Women Entrepreneurship” by WEConnect International at Washington D.C, USA. 

During her tenure as Additional Secretary, Women & Child Department, Govt. of India, she held the post of Mission Director, NMEW (National Mission for Empowerment of Women) and also Secretary, Women’s Commission. She drafted an action plan for the declining girl child ratio now called “BETI BACHAO BETI PADHAO” (Save the Girl Child...Educate the Girl Child). She proposed the establishment of One-Stop Crisis Centres and One-Stop Service Centres for women, run by women. She gave new impetus to the UJWALA Scheme to combat women and child trafficking, which provided for Prevention, Rescue, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration and Repatriation of victims trafficked for commercial sexual. 

She founded and chairs UBUNTU: A Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs, which was the first of its kind in the world. She also created a website called SHEFORHER which serves as a platform for motivating budding women entrepreneurs to succeed. She also organized Asia’s largest Women Entrepreneurs Meet called ThinkBig 2016 in association with Walmart’s Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEEI) and WEConnect International. She was instrumental in proposing a “Women Centric-Women Sensitive” budget for Karnataka State where each department was encouraged to be conscious of the needs of women.

Ratna Prabha is fluent in Kannada, Konkani, Telugu, Hindi and English. She has Master’s degrees in English, Sociology and Public Administration. She has won numerous awards including the Karnataka Government Award for Devadasi Rehabilitation, Vishweshwaraiah Memorial Trust Award, Manager of the Year award by Rotary Club, Waltair (Visakhapatnam), Woman of the year for 1999 and 2000 by American Biographical Institute, USA, Ugadi Puraskaram from ‘Vedic Seva Trust’, Partners in Progress Award by Hyderabad Software Exporters Association, Ugadi Puraskaram from Madras Telugu Academy for 2002 and Award for Excellence in Administration by Delhi Telugu Academy in the year 2006 and 2007.

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