The head of State administration, Minnie Mathew, has brought about a semblance of order in the usually Secretariat. But many know that the situation will be back to square one once her tenure is over.
She took over the mantle of the State administration just 40 days ago. But within the short span she is trying to leave her mark when it comes to work culture.
Chief secretary of Andhra Pradesh Minnie Mathew, the second woman chief secretary of the State after Sati Nayar, has done something unprecedented: Soon after she took over she administered an oath to the employees not to resort to gender bias. She took this up from her rich and vast experience in the State administration, and it was, in a way, admitting that there did exist a gender bias loaded against women employees.
Another ‘Minnie factor’ was introducing punctuality in the Secretariat works, which was sadly lacking in all these time. Most employees languished in the canteen and compound while the air conditioners and fans and lights were all working in their rooms.
She has set a deadline for work, say the staff. This calls for working beyond 5 pm, and employees don’t mind, as a visit to the corridors of power in the after hours reveals. Employees associations say some minor irking issues were sorted out by her quickly.
“The secretaries have asked us to process the files within the given deadlines and without any undue delay. This was being done after she took over,” one section officer of the State secretariat told Postnoon. The secretariat employees union leaders too say there is a change in the work style now. “She is known for her strict adherence to rules and regulations. It is getting reflected in administration. There is a lot of change in terms of solving employees problems. The CS had promptly solved many of the problems raised by us,” AP Secretariat Employees Union president M Hanumantha Reddy said.
After taking charge, Minnie has not only held a series of review meetings with the heads and officials of various departments but also set up targets for prompt implementation of many welfare programmes. She has also put her focus on the ensuing prestigious International Bio-diversity Meet (COP-11) scheduled to be held in October this year by reviewing the status of various arrangements.
Minnie personally took stock of the preparations being made for the mega event by visiting the main venue of the event HICC recently. Apart from this, the CS, who would superannuate in February next month, is also shifting her focus on tackling farmers’ problems in the wake of drought in the State.
One thing she did which is not to the liking of many secretaries is showing respect to the people’s representatives.
“They now get up when we go to meet them. Earlier, most of the IAS officers did not care a damn about us,” observed Anglo-Indian MLA Christine Lazarus.