Rebecca Vanessa Suchiang takes charge as first Jaintia woman chief secretary of Meghalaya

The 1989 batch IAS officer stated that her most immediate priorities will be to tackle the education, health and power sectors of the state.



Rebecca Vanessa Suchiang, who took over as the new Chief Secretary of Meghalaya on September 30, became the first Jaintia woman to occupy the post. An Indian Administrative Service officer from the 1989 batch, she replaced her predecessor M.S. Rao, who retired today.

"I may be the first Jaiñtia lady to be the Meghalaya chief secretary, but I'm sure I won't be the only one. There will be many men and women in Meghalaya who will be chief secretary,” she said.

Suchiang stated that her most immediate priorities will be to tackle the education, health and power sectors of the state. She specifically mentioned that the Centre's sanction of schemes/projects for the education department is too low and made a special note of the need to sanction the upgrade of the infrastructure of 200 government schools.

The chief secretary was also keen on assessing the status of Meghalaya's targets for the Sustainable Development Goals and improving the state's Performing Grading Index.

Also on the agenda is the reform of the financially ailing Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited, which has been mired in allegations of illegalities and irregularities. Suchiang says she is looking at reforming the Corporation, and will take charge as the chairperson cum managing director of the same.

She added that there is a "need to clear stalled power projects and, with time, put in a mechanism to ensure there is no cost overrun and no time overrun, so that projects are implemented in time".

Suchiang also plans to flush money into the health sector in order to improve the state's human capital and jump-start stalled projects, especially in lieu of the ongoing crisis of pandemic.

Finally, the new chief secretary said she will aim for "no untoward incidents" in the state regarding matters of internal security and law and order. Admitting that this will be a challenging task, the senior IAS officer said, “I am not saying everything will be alright, but with the help of my team of officers and guidance of the chief minister and ministers, I am sure I will be able to march ahead".

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