Meet Dr Renu Raj, the first woman sub-collector of Devikulam


Thodupuzha: Big challenges relating to land issues await Dr Renu Raj, who has been posted as the first woman sub-collector of Devikulam. She is replacing V R Premkumar.

Renu Raj, an IAS officer of the 2015 batch, is Premkumar's junior. An MBBS graduate, Renu Raj had cleared the civil services exam with second rank. She belongs to Kottayam.

After her training in Ernakulam, Renu Raj served as a sub-collector in Thrissur for a year. Her role in organizing the state school youth festival held in Thrissur had received widespread appreciation. She also launched strong measures against the quarry mafia. The flood relief activities carried out under her directives, too, were noteworthy.

Renu Raj speaks about her new role and plans.

Did you have any prior knowledge regarding the transfer?

My appointment in Thrissur took place a year ago. Sometimes, transfers are made after serving a year at a place, but there were no indications.

When will you take charge?

Though the state cabinet has taken the decision on the transfer, the order is yet to reach me. The order is expected in a couple of days and I may need a week's time to complete the official procedures in Thrissur and take up the new responsibilities at Devikulam.

Devikulam is infamous for land controversies. What are your plans?

I am yet to study the details regarding the land issues in Devikulam. However, the new posting would be an entirely new experience compared to my earlier stints at Ernakulam and Thrissur. Each place has its own attractions as well as challenges.

Now, Renu Raj also has the distinction of being the first woman sub-collector of Idukki district. The government has not appointed women to the posts of district collector and district police chief in Idukki so far.

However, women have held the position of ASPs in Thodupuzha and Munnar earlier. While R Nishanthini was Thodupuzha ASP, Merin Joseph occupied the post in Munnar.