Tamil Nadu: New chief secretary Dr Girija Vaidyanathan is a workaholic

She has revolutionalised the health system in Tamil Nadu.

Chennai: The 1981-batch IAS officer Girija Vaidyanathan, who replaces P. Rama Mohana Rao, as chief secretary, was in fact the choice for the top most post before Rao superseded her and several others. Her elevation, say sources, will help the state government to manage the affairs in an efficient manner as she has a clean image. A workaholic and a dedicated bureaucrat, Girija currently an additional chief secretary and commissioner of land administration, will also hold the additional charge of the posts of vigilance commissioner and commissioner for administrative reforms, the two posts handled additionally by Rao.

A post-graduate in physics before becoming IAS officer, Mrs Vaidyanathan hails from Thanjavur in the state and has handled many assignments in the ministries such as power, infrastructure development, personnel, health, school education, environment and forests. She served as member of the state planning commission and in 2010, she undertook two short training programmes in USA – a leadership for 21st century and another on mastering negotiations: building agreement across boundaries. As part of her mid-career training programmes, she studied financial management, administrative environment, administrative law, quantitative methods and operational research.

Her appointment comes in the wake of searches by the income tax department on Wednesday at the houses and chamber of Mr Rao. When the AIADMK stormed to power in May 2011, she was made health secretary and she held the post for one year. During her tenure as Mission Director of the State Health Society, Tamil Nadu received the award for best performance among the Non EAG states. Mrs Vaidyanathan is widely credited for revolutionising the public health system with specific focus on improvement of maternal care and child health in Tamil Nadu.

She played a key role in the launch of the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme and had been school education secretary too. Like Mohana Rao, Girija Vaidyanathan too has not worked at the Centre on deputation. She will retire from service in July 2019.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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