Santhi Kumari becomes first woman CS of TS, thanks CM KCR for reposing faith
KCR zeroed in on Santhi considering her impressive career graph, sincerity, dedication and commitment in her previous stint in CM\'s Office
Hyderabad: Senior IAS officer A. Santhi Kumari has become the first woman Chief Secretary of Telangana State. The state government on Wednesday issued a GO appointing the 1989 batch IAS officer to the top post. She will be in service for two years and four months as she is due for retirement in April 2025.
She succeeded Somesh Kumar, a day after the Telangana High Court quashed a 2015 order of the Central Administrative Tribunal that allowed Somesh to work in the Telangana cadre although he was allotted to the Andhra Pradesh cadre in 2015 and Centre's DoPT issuing orders within hours after HC verdict directing him to join AP cadre by January 12.
In a brief interaction with the media after assuming the charge, Santhi said, "The CM has reposed faith in me and appointed me as the Chief Secretary. I thank him for entrusting me with the key responsibility. I will live up to his expectations. The state government is implementing several novel welfare schemes and development programmes. I will put up my best efforts to take them forward more effectively."
"It is a proud moment for me. I will work in close coordination with the officials and public representatives to ensure that the flagship programmes of the state government as envisioned by the Chief Minister are implemented properly."
A. Santhi Kumari is currently serving as special chief secretary in the forest and environment department.
Official sources in the CMO said that the Chief Minister zeroed in on Santhi considering her impressive career graph as an IAS officer, sincerity, dedication and commitment in her previous stint in Chief Minister's Office for four years as secretary. She is known as a 'non-controversial' and a 'no-nonsense officer' in bureaucratic circles.
Santhi assumed charge as the Chief Secretary at the BRKR Bhavan at the auspicious time of 3.15 pm on Wednesday after meeting Chief Minister at the Pragathi Bhavan and thanked him for giving her the opportunity.
She became the first Telugu woman IAS officer to occupy the Chief Secretary's post in Telangana. She also became the second Telugu IAS officer in Telangana to become CS, the first being Pradeep Chandra, who served as CS only for a month in December 2016.
A post-graduate in marine biology, she pursued MBA in the United States and also worked in the United Nations programmes for two years.
During three decades of her service, she served in various positions in the departments of education, health, poverty alleviation, skill development, and forests.
After K. Chandrashekar Rao assumed office in 2014, he appointed Santhi as principal secretary in the CMO and as special secretary in the Telangana State-Industrial Project Approval and Self Certification System (TS-IPASS), to grant online approvals for setting up industries in a time-bound period. She played a crucial role in the creation of TS-IPASS.
The CM had appointed her as special secretary of the Industry Chasing Cell in the industries department to attract investments into Telangana. She succeeded in getting major investments into Telangana by regularly holding meetings with investors, speeding up government approvals for setting up industries, constantly following up the progress of investment proposals, clearing hurdles in the process of approvals in coordination with various departments etc.
As special chief secretary of the health department, she handled the Covid situation effectively during the first wave in 2020.
In undivided Andhra Pradesh, she served as the backward classes welfare commissioner, where she played a key role in implementing the welfare schemes meant for BCs, especially fee reimbursement and scholarships for BC students, extending BC Corporation loans to BCs to set up units under self-employment schemes etc.
In Undivided Andhra Pradesh, there were two women Chief Secretaries, Sati Nair and Minnie Mathew. After bifurcation of the state, Nilam Sawhney became first woman CS of AP in 2019 and now Santhi Kumari became first woman CS of Telangana.