Weeks after a showdown with two Punjab ministers, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh was on Friday replaced by Vini Mahajan, who becomes the first woman to head the bureaucracy in the state.
The Indian Administrative Services officer was shunted out just ahead of his retirement next month, the move following protests by two Punjab ministers over his behaviour at a meeting.
While Vini Mahajan, a 1987-batch IAS officer, is now the top bureaucrat in Punjab, her husband Dinkar Gupta heads the state police force as Director General of Police.
Mahajan's last posting was as Additional Chief Secretary, Investment Promotion, Industries & Commerce, IT and Governance Reforms and Public Grievances, said a government statement.
She also headed the state's Health Sector Response & Procurement Committee.
Mahajan is currently the only Punjab cadre officer in the state empanelled to hold a Secretary's post at the Centre.