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The Chief Secretary is the executive head of the state secretariat. He is the administrative head of the state administration and stands at the apex of the hierarchy of state administration. In fact, he is the chief of the secretaries and controls all the secretariat departments. He is the senior-most civil servant in the state. He has the powers and functions mentioned in the 'Rules of Business' framed by the state government. He also receives some of his powers from conventions. He performs the following primary and other functions.
1. As an advisor to the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary explains the administrative implications of the proposals forwarded by the state ministers.
2. As secretary to the cabinet, he prepares the agenda for cabinet meetings and keeps the records of its proceedings.
3. As the head of civil service, he deals with all cases related to appointment, transfers and promotion of senior state civil servants.
4. As chief coordinator, he works towards ensuring inter departmental coordination. He is the chairman of coordination committees set up for resolving the inter-departmental disputes.
5. As the head of certain departments, he supervises and controls them; and
6. As crisis administrator, he plays a very significant role in the time of crisis like flood, drought, communal disputes, etc in the state.
1. The Chief Secretary acts as the residual legatee, ie, he looks after all the matters not included within the purview of other secretaries.
2. He exercises general supervision and control over the entire secretariat.
3. He acts as the secretary, by rotation, of the Zonal Council in which the state concerned is a member.
4. He has administrative control over the secretariat building, staff attached to the ministers, the secretariat library, the conservancy and ward staff of the secretariat departments.
5. He is the principal channel of communication among the state government, the central government and the other state governments.
6. He plays an important role in the administration of law and order and planning.
7. He acts as a spokesman of the state government.
8. He attends the meetings of the National Development Council.
9. He acts as the chief public relations officer of the state government; and
10. He acts as the chief advisor to the governor when president's rule is imposed in the state under Article 356 of the constitution, when the central advisors are not appointed.
Thus, the Chief Secretariat of Tamil Nadu is the nerve centre of state administration in general. As such, the Chief Secretary who is the chief all secretaries, is the nerve system of secretariat administration in particular in the state of Tamil Nadu.
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