indian army women
The Army said that it had the "right to determine eligibility criteria" for several posts and that a "married female candidate is barred from applying to any of the departments in the Army as a general rule." [Representational Image]Reuters

In the first ever move of its kind, a woman will head a central paramilitary force in India. Archana Ramasundram was appointed director general of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which guards India's borders with neighbouring South-Asian countries, on Monday.

The Tamil Nadu-cadre 1980-batch IPS officer will hold the position of director general until her retirement next year on 30 September, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), said a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Her previous posting was as director of the National Crime Records Bureau.

In 2014, she had made news when she was appointed additional director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) without being discharged from her previous position. She was later removed from the position as her appointment was challenged in Supreme Court. She was the first woman to be appointed additional director with the CBI.

The 58-year-old officer has reportedly asked for time before taking up the position of the chief of SSB as she is organising a conference on biometrics in Bhopal, reported The Indian Express.

Ramasundram will be manning a 76,337-strong force, which is expected to increase to 91,405 by 2018. SSB personnel are deployed in Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam, besides monitoring India's borders with Nepal and Bhutan.