Dr Usha Titus (1993 batch of the IAS), an exemplary officer, retires today after a long and successful career spanning 27 years. In her stint at the Department of Economic Affairs in Delhi, she has rubbed shoulders with former Reserve Bank of India Governors Raghuram Rajan and Urjit Patel as well as the late Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other senior bureaucrats and diplomats.
She assisted former Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sherpa at the G20 deliberations in Australia’s Brisbane in 2014. The negotiations she led that day culminated later in the setting up of the BRICS New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Dr Usha joined the service with an MD in General Medicine. She was the first lady posted as District Collector in Kozhikode and in Palakkad. Later on, she went on to become Registrar of IIT Madras, where she had a major role in its infrastructural development. She has left her mark in every department she has worked in. As Health Secretary of Kerala, she was instrumental in stopping the private practice of doctors of medical colleges. As Environment Secretary, she brought in the ban on single-use plastic. As Higher Education Secretary, she organised Hackathons for students, and ensured that the University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education regulations were followed for all faculty.
She has also recently been empanelled as the Additional Secretary to Central government.
Usha’s husband Dr Titus P Koshy (IRTS) retired as the Executive Director of Indian Railways and daughter Amreeta Titus is the Joint Commissioner of Customs in Goa. Usha’s sister is Dr Asha Thomas, an IAS officer currently serving as the Addl Chief Secretary of Kerala.