Navjot Khosa has taken charge as the new District Collector of Thiruvananthapuram. She secured 95th rank in the Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Taking over from K Gopalakrishnan, the 2012 batch officer is focused on combating the national crisis brought by COVID-19 and several other issues the district faces such as monsoon rain and communicable diseases like dengue and leptospirosis.

“My primary focus is on the COVID-19 strategy,” Khosa told TNIE. “We have done well to contain the virus, so far. However, with the lockdown being relaxed, we expect a possible rise in cases, and the district administration needs to be prepared to handle such a situation. We are working on it.”Having attended a review meeting on an inaugural day, the district collector expressed confidence that her team is on the right track. But there is no scope for complacency, she said.

As the nation grapples the contagious COVID-19 pandemic with cases rising exponentially. The officer also spoke regarding Kerala’s strategy on COVID-19.

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“We will ensure that all the instructions given by the health department are followed, and that home quarantine is actually being implemented. There will be a series of meetings happening this week and the process has already started,” Khosa said.

The officer said that focusing on the coronavirus pandemic should not come at the expense of tackling diseases like chikungunya, dengue, malaria , and leptospirosis. Plans are in place to handle them effectively with the help of the health department, she added.

Monsoon is at its peak in Kerala with occasional rainfall. Measures are being constantly taken to control flooding.

“I have called a meeting of the stakeholders regarding monsoon cleaning and preparatory work. I understand that most of the work is being done already. I will evaluate the situation and give the necessary instructions. I will also visit coastal areas, if possible, this week itself after a briefing with the authorities concerned,” the collector said.

Being a administrative officer, Khosa expressed her dream of becoming a district collector.

“It is always the dream of an officer to be a district collector. There will never be a perfect time to be in the post. We have to be mentally prepared to take on the mantle any time. I have been in Thiruvananthapuram for a few years now and I have thoroughly enjoyed the city which has given me a lot of experiences. There is a sense of familiarity. Let’s see how I fare as the collector. I am looking forward to my tenure here,” she said.

Navjot Khosa a BDS graduate from a Government Medical College in Amritsar, secured gold medal every year and also remained the university topper. She felt the need to serve society and the Indian Administrative Services was the best way to achieve her goal, following which she took coaching from Delhi.

“It was my father’s dream to clear the UPSC exam and later it became my aim too’’ 

Khosa started her career in public administration as an assistant collector in Thrissur, she later became a sub-collector in Thalassery and then the food safety commissioner. The administrative officer served as the managing director of the Medical Services Corporation and the National Ayush Mission, Kerala, before she was appointed  the Thiruvananthapuram collector.

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Ritu Yadav is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

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