Nalini Netto will take charge as the 42nd Chief Secretary of Kerala on Friday. The 1981-batch IAS officer is the fourth woman Chief Secretary to assume office in Kerala.

 

Presently serving as the Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Home and Vigilance and as the Secretary to Chief Minister, Netto was the first woman to hold the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).  She served as the CEO for 11 years.

 

Interestingly, Nalini Netto is joining the small group of woman chief secretaries in the country together with her cousin Girija Vidyanathan, the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu. Girija is the daughter of S Venkitaramanan, the 18th governor of the   Reserve Bank of India. She was appointed the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu in December last year.

 

In her long career, Nalini Netto has held key posts including the State Tourism Secretary, Irrigation Secretary and District Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital.

 

In 1999, Nalini, who was the Transport Secretary then, boldly reacted to alleged sexual harassment by Transport Minister Neelalohitadasan Nadar, leading to the resignation of the latter. The lower court awarded three month's simple imprisonment to the politician in the case and a fine of Rs. 50,000. Though Nadar was later acquitted in the case, the IAS officer sent out a strong message by pursuing the case against the top politician.  

 

Nalini Netto became the Additional Chief Secretary in 2014. However, the IAS officer has only a short tenure left at the top position as she would retire in August this year.