Kiran Bedi (born 9 June 1949) is a retired Indian Police Service officer, social activist, former tennis player and politician who is the current Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. She is the first woman to join the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1972. She remained in service for 35 years before taking voluntary retirement in 2007 as Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development.
As a teenager, Bedi became the national junior tennis champion in 1966. Between 1965 and 1978, she won several titles at national and state-level championships. After joining IPS, Bedi served in Delhi, Goa, Chandigarh and Mizoram. She started her career as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in Chanakyapuri area of Delhi, and won the President’s Police Medal in 1979. Next, she moved to West Delhi, where she brought a reduction in crimes against women. Subsequently, as a traffic police officer, she oversaw traffic arrangements for the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi and the 1983 CHOGM meet in Goa. As DCP of North Delhi, she launched a campaign against drug abuse, which evolved into the Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation (renamed to Navjyoti India Foundation in 2007).
In May 1993, she was posted to the Delhi Prisons as Inspector General (IG). She introduced several reforms at Tihar Jail, which gained worldwide acclaim and won her the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994. In 2003, Bedi became the first Indian woman to be appointed as a Police Advisor to Secretary-General of the United Nations, in the Department of Peace Keeping Operations. She resigned in 2007, to focus on social activism and writing. She has written several books, and runs the India Vision Foundation. During 2008–11, she also hosted a court show Aap Ki Kachehri. She was one of the key leaders of the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement, and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in January 2015. She unsuccessfully contested the 2015 Delhi Assembly election as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate. On 22 May 2016, Bedi was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
Born Kiran Peshawaria
9 June 1949 (age 67)
Amritsar, Punjab, India
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Brij Bedi (1972–2016; his death)
Children Saina (born Sukriti), daughter
Parents Prakash Lal and Prem Lata
Education BA (Hons) English, 1968
MA Political Science, 1970
Alma mater Panjab University, Chandigarh
University of Delhi
Occupation Politician, social activist, retired police officer
Awards United Nations Medal, 2004
Ramon Magsaysay award, 1994
President’s Police Medal, 1979