Tamil Nadu government on June 6, Sunday, announced new members of the Tamil Nadu State Development Policy Council (SDPC). The council will be headed by Chief Minister MK Stalin. Professor Dr J Jeyaranjan, an eminent research scholar with over 35 years of research experience on the state’s economic changes, has been appointed the vice president of the council. Dr J Jeyaranjan has authored over 50 research essays that have been published in many research journals.
In an announcement that has been receiving warm welcome from many in the state, it has also been said that Professor Raam Srinivasan will be its full time member. The council’s part-time members include Professor M Vijayabaskar, Professor Sultan Ahmed Ismail, Dheenabandhu (retd. IAS), TRB Raja (MLA from Mannargudi), Mallika Sreenivasan, Dr Jo Amalorpavanathan, Siddha practitioner K Sivaraman and Professor Narthaki Nataraj.
Tamil Nadu State Development Council was constituted by M Karunanidhi in 1971 to function as an advisory council, making recommendations with respect to developmental plans for the state. In 2020, the State Planning Commission was reconstituted to become the SDPC. The SDPC at present is made up of an eminent mix of research scholars from different fields. The Council’s full-time member Rama Srinivasan is a professor and head of Madras University’s Econometrics department, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He is also the University’s Dean of Research Department. He was a member of the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission between 2006 and 2011.
Professor M Vijayabaskar from the Madras Institute of Development Studies has served as consultant with the International Labour Organisation, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). Padma Shri and Kalaimamani awards recipient professor Narthaki Nataraj is a Thanjavur style classical dancer and Bharatanatyam exponent. With her entry, Narthaki becomes the first trans woman on the council.
Professor Sultan Ahmed Ismail is a soil biologist and ecologist who was the former Director and Advisor of the Ecoscience Research Foundation. Deenabandu IAS has worked in different departments during his service years. Notable contributions during his service are housing for Eelam refugees, expansion of Chennai Corporation limits, underground sewage for all municipalities, to name a few.
Mallika Srinivasan, also a Padma Shri recipient, is the Chairman and Managing Director of Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE Limited). Dr Jo Amalorpavanathan, an eminent vascular surgeon who served and retired from government services was the Convenor of the Tamil Nadu State Cadaver Transplantation Program for about eight years. Siddha practitioner K Sivaraman has over 28 years of experience in the field and is notable for his role in increasing the awareness of the health benefits millet gains.