THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Cabinet’s decision to appoint Nalini Netto as the new chief secretary has an interesting dimension to it. With her appointment, the top two bureaucratic posts down south will be held by cousins.
Netto’s cousin--her uncle's daughter--Girija Vaidyanathan is the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu since last December.
The connections do not end just with the family ties. Both the officers belong to the 1981 Indian Administrative service (IAS) batch. Netto is slated to take over the post on April 1, with S M Vijayanand set to step down on March 31. In fact, all three officers - Netto, Vaidyanathan and Vijayanand belong to the same batch of the IAS.
The Tamil Nadu government had issued orders naming Girija Vaidyanathan-- the daughter of S Venkitaramanan, the 18th RBI governor--as chief secretary on December 22, 2016. She replaced Rama Mohana Rao, who stepped down following allegations of corruption after an income tax raid at his residence.
Girija, who hails from Nagercoil, obtained her masters in Physics from the University College, Thiruvananthapuram. Prior to her posting as chief secretary, Girija Vaidyanathan was additional chief secretary and commissioner of land administration, Tamil Nadu. A postgraduate in physics, she has held the Land Revenue Commissioner’s post since 2013.
Nalini will have a relatively short tenure as Chief Secretary. Her term ends in August this year.