Senior IAS officer Nalini Netto took charge in Thiruvananthapuram as Kerala’s new Chief Secretary on April 2nd, thereby becoming the fourth woman to hold the top post. She was also the state’s first woman Chief Electoral Officer and served for a period of 11 years.
On taking charge, Nalini Netto stated that there will no changes in her working style and that she would continue to work hard and with sincerity.
For those who are curious to know about Kerala’s new Chief Secretary, here are 6 things to know:
1. Prior to taking charge as Kerala’s new Chief Secretary, she was serving as the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) and as Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
2. Nalini Netto, an IAS officer of the 1981 batch, has held several important positions earlier to this such as State Tourism Director, Secretary in Transport department, Tax and Irrigation.
3. She had also functioned as District Collector in Thiruvananthapuram, which is the state’s capital.
4. Nalini Netto, who took charge on April 2, will have only some months in this post before she retires.
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5. While Nalini Netto served as Transport Secretary in 1999, she boldly raised allegations of sexual harassment by naming the then Transport Minister Neelalohitadasan Nadar. This caused a huge political controversy at the time and finally resulted in his resignation. The impact of a lady IAS officer boldly reacting to a Minister’s advances and making it public sent out a strong message to all political parties and their leaders.
6. Remember, the Puttinghal temple fire in Kollam that took the lives of 112 people last year? As Additional Chief Secretary (Home) at the time, Nalini Netto’s letter to the state’s police chief Loknath Behera triggered a political row as she raised 9 tough questions pertaining to the Crime Branch investigation into the tragedy.
Nalini Netto is known for her tough stance on a number of issues. She is also known for expressing her views strongly even when it can lead to political rows and controversies. Her tenure, as Kerala Chief Secretary, is short. However, given her working style so far, she is most likely to create a meaningful impact before she retires in few months, as in her own words, Nalini Netto has talked about not changing her style of functioning by ”working hard and with sincerity.”