As the Covid scenario continues to take a huge toll in Tamil Nadu, the state government has made a major reshuffle in the senior posts in the health department. J Radhakrishnan has been appointed as the new health secretary to the state. The former health secretary Beela Rajesh has been transferred. 

J Radhakrishnan and Beela Rajesh
J Radhakrishnan and Beela RajeshTwitter

The transfer order comes at a time when Tamil Nadu has seen over 38,000 cases of Covid-19 across the state with Chennai seeing 27,000 patients. By the new order, Radhakrishnan is reinstated to the post.

The incumbent Health Secretary to the Government Dr Beela Rajesh, IAS has been transferred and posted as Secretary to Government, Commercial Taxes and Registration Department in the place of N Muruganandam IAS, who was holding the additional charge.

J Radhakrishnan reinstated as Health Secretary

The 1992 IAS batch officer, Radhakrishan has been serving as the health secretary to Tamil Nadu till 2019. Known for his charm over the media, Radhakrishnan has made an impeccable record of managing the state's health crisis. 

After his role as the state health secretary, Radhakrishnan was appointed as the Principal Secretary of the Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation Department as Special Nodal Officer for the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), thus playing a crucial role in controlling the Covid-19 preventive measures in the state capital. 

He also served as the sub-collector of Madurai and Thoothukudi before holding charge of Chennai Corporation Commissioner in 2000.

J Radhakrishnan
J RadhakrishnanTwitter

He was the district collector of Thanjavur when applauded for his work in handling the tragic aftermath of the 2004 Kumbakonam school fire which killed 94 students.

Later, the bureaucrat went on to serve as the Assistant Country Director, Disaster Management for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

After a long tenure as the state's health secretary, J Radhakrishnan was transferred to the Transport Department and subsequently appointing him to the posting as Principal Secretary of Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation. 

Beela Rajesh- a doctor turned bureaucrat

A 1997 IAS batch officer, Beela Rajesh studied MBBS at Madras Medical College. She had earlier served as the sub-collector Chengalpattu, special officer CM Cell, Commissioner Fisheries, and Commissioner Town and Country Planning. She was also the Commissioner to Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, before being transferred as the health secretary.  

Beela, as the state's health secretary had large shoes to fill, particularly when the state was terribly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Besides effectively conveying messages to the public through the media, Beela has helped the government take all wise decisions aptly needed during the pandemic scenario.

She reportedly worked for over 18 hours a day taking a count of Covid-19 spread and making most effective efforts to combat it.

Beela Rajesh
Beela RajeshTwitter

Born to Rani Venkatesan, a senior Congress leader and a former MLA and S N Venkatesan, a retired DGP, Beela compeleted her medical studies from Madras Medical College.

She was later married to Rajesh Das, an IPS officer from Odhisha batch of 1982. After clearing the UPSC Civil Service examination in 1997, Beela was first posted in Bihar and was later given a temporary transfer to Tamilnadu.

As a senior IAS officer, Beela took charge as Health Secretary of Tamilnadu after Radhakrishnan was transferred to the Transport Department as Principal Secretary.