Beela Rajesh: Doctor & an IAS Officer in Tamil Nadu
Beela Rajesh (born 15 November 1969) is an IAS officer who is considered to be at first hand in the battle of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as the Secretary of Commercial Taxes and registration.
Born on 15 November 1969, Beela Rajesh has been based since then in Kottakkam, in Chennai. Her mother, Rani Venkatesan, is the senior congressman and a former MLA and her father, SN Venkatesan, is a retired police director. She was born into a family that already has great power. Rajesh is an MBBS graduate of Madras College of Medicine and an IAS batch exempt in 1997.
The government of Tamil Nadu has commissioned a team of senior IAS officials to monitor the application of guidelines in the polluted zones in Covid-19 in different districts in response to the spread of Covid-19 in the State.
In order to prevent coronavirus from the spread in the state, the state government has established a task force of top officials. These officers are charged with reviewing and inspecting various welfare measures in the districts and providing district officials with the appropriate advice for resolving bottlenecks and paving the way for rapid programme implementation.
Beela Rajesh is the head of the Covid 19 Taskforce in Krishnagiri District, the Senior Bureaucrat and former Health minister.
Beela’s career and life
To many in the state, Dr Beela was surprised to be appointed to the position of Health Secretary. Before this posting, few had learned of it, since she never handled this important portfolio.
Dr Beela Rajesh has completed her MBBS from Madras Medical College by qualification (MMC). She was married in 1992 to Rajesh Das, who is an Odisha batch IPS officer. The other General Director of Police in Tamil Nadu currently acts as Rajesh Das.
And there’s no end to the power of the family. Dr Beela’s mother, Nagercoil native Rani Venkatesan, was a senior Congressman and a former MLA candidate. Her father, meanwhile SN Venkatesan, is a retired police director.
She passed her civil services examination in 1997 and, before being transferred to Tamil Nadu, was posted initially in Bihar, then in Jharkhand.
It was a substitute collector for Chengalpattu, the Fisheries Commissioner and the City & Country Planning Commissioner in the Province. Her last post was a Commissioner for Indian Medicine and Homeopathy until she became the Principal Secretary of Health.
“The media, or such a huge battalion of officers, under it, she never had to deal with. And this reflects often its impatience at any issue of its decisions or function during the pandemic,” a senior TV journalist claims, suggesting a view held by a number of others who spoke with TNM.
We have spoken to this journalist and agree that Dr Beela only had minimal contact with the media.
“Critical information is often not disclosed about the need for increased test numbers or about infection sources of people who have not travelled abroad or are not in touch with patients. Although she is prepared to state the obvious, she appears to avoid questions that are unpleasant,” he adds.
A source in the office of Chief Minister acknowledges that there is an interdepartmental contact divide. “Intelligence and health have struggled to cooperate, except in the case of the Tablighi Jamaat. This resulted in an unnecessary pause in finding the participants,” he says.
He differs from the journalists, however, and says that Dr Beela has done her job well in terms of communication.
“At this point, it is more a question of implementing plans and strategies than of continuous contact and information,” says the source. “Her job is to send the figures, and that is what she does. I accept that, but that’s just their personality, it doesn’t seem so accessible. In bureaucratic circles even those to which she has to report, she is considered to be curtailed and confined,” he said.
Sources tell TNM that it was a deliberate decision to bring the health secretary to the fore when the number of cases of COVID-19 started to rise in March. Initial information on COVID-19 updates was presented to the media by Minister of Health C Vijayabaskar.
“It didn’t make sense to have a party person at the forefront when it came to daily news and press conferences. To send bad news, you don’t need a politician.” “Her activities satisfy the Chief Minister and cabinet,” he adds.
In addition, many in the administration agree that the medical history of Beela ensured she knew the complexities and that her media meetings were never vacuous.
TNM bureaucrats have agreed that it is appreciable to have a doctor at the helm.
“A retired bureaucrat tells us that someone who understands the issue, Dr Beela Rajesh, would have a firm grasp of what is going on. “No one else would be taken in that role by other officials on a journey. But other agencies, revenue and disasters, are required to exercise their authority and participate in these press conferences in order to detail the actions that are taken. The Department of Health will be under enormous pressure, but now is the time to step up.”