Chennai: Seasoned bureaucrat Girija Vaidyanathan was on Thursday appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, after the incumbent P. Rama Mohana Rao was sacked, following Income Tax raids at his residence and offices.
“Dr Girija Vaidyanathan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary/Commissioner of Land Administration is transferred and posted as Chief Secretary to Government,” an order issued by Shiv Das Meena, Principal Secretary to the Tamil Nadu Government said.
Rao’s tenure as Chief Secretary became untenable after I-T officials swooped down on the home of P. Rama Mohana Rao. I-T officials raided his house in Anna Nagar as well as his office at the secretariat.
Handpicked for the top job by the former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, Mr Rao superseded 17 IAS officers to become the top bureaucrat, but Rao had seemed to come off in poor light as significant seizures were made at the home of his kin — at least Rs 30 lakh cash and 5 kg gold.
As many as 13 premises belonging to the chief secretary, his son and relatives in Nellore and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and in Karnataka were searched leading to more seizure of cash and gold across south India.
Vaidyanathan, a 1981-batch IAS officer, is currently the Commissioner of Land Administration in the rank of additional chief secretary. She has earlier served as the Health Secretary from 2011-2012 during the tenure of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Vaidyanathan has held numerous positions overseeing departments in health, education, agriculture, transportation and state planning. She completed graduate studies in physics, chemistry and mathematics.
During her tenure as Mission Director of the State Health Society, Tamil Nadu received the award for best performance among the Non EAG states. Ms Vaidyanathan has been involved in the implementation of various programmes in the health sector, with specific focus on improvement of maternal and child health and strengthening of the public health system in the state.