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Former T.N. Chief Secretary Panikar no more

Kyei Gideon

Jan. 12, 2020

He belonged to the 1949 batch of IAS officers of the Tamil Nadu cadre and served in many positions of the State government
C.V.R. Panikar, former Chief Secretary and Chairman of the State Planning Commission, died at his residence in Besant Nagar, Chennai, on Sunday morning. He was 93. His wife, who predeceased him in 1991, was the sister of wife of former National Security Adviser and West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan.
Santha Sheela Nair, former Secretary of the Union Ministry of Mines who worked under Mr. Panikar in the early 1980s and a family friend of his, said the funeral would take place on Monday afternoon.
Born in August 1926, Mr. Panikar, who studied history at the Presidency College, Chennai, belonged to the 1949 batch of IAS officers of the Tamil Nadu cadre. He served in many positions of the State government, including Chairman and Managing Director of the Tamil Nadu Industries Development Corporation and Vigilance Commissioner.
Weeks after the DMK Ministry was dismissed in January 1976 and the State was brought under President’s rule, he was made Second Secretary, a position immediately subsequent to the post of Chief Secretary. In February 1977, he succeeded V. Karthikeyan as Chief Secretary and held the post till the end of June that year. A year after he retired from service in August 1984, he became, in July 1985 Chairman of the State Planning Commission, a position that subsequently came to be occupied by Chief Ministers and held the post for a year.
P.N. Vedanarayanan, president of the Tamil Nadu Retired IAS Officers’ Association, described Mr. Panikar as one who belonged to the school of civil servants who were “traditionally dispassionate.” C. Ramachandran, a cousin of Mr. Panikar and former Expenditure Secretary in the Union government, said the former Chief Secretary was known to be an upright and conscientious officer.
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