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Dr. P.C. Alexander passes away

CHENNAI: Former Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu Governor Dr. P.C. Alexander (90) died on Wednesday at Madras Medical Mission hospital. Dr Padinjarethalakal Cherian Alexander was born in Mavelikkara, Kerala on March 20, 1921. His body would be brought to Kochi on Friday and will be kept here for the people to pay homage. Funeral will be on Saturday in Mavelikkara.

A distinguished bureaucrat, Alexander had served as the Principal Secretary to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Alexander, who had also served as a Rajya Sabha member, was also considered as a candidate for the post of the President of India in 2007.

Dr. P.C. Alexander had served as Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, High Commissioner for India in London, Governor (Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa) and in senior posts in the U. N. Civil Service.

It was while serving as Assistant Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN International Trade Centre, Geneva, that Shrimati Indira Gandhi invited him to join her office as Principal Secretary. As Principal Secretary to Indira Gandhi and later to Rajiv Gandhi during the years 1981-1985, he played a very crucial role in the momentous developments of this period.

Dr. Alexander took his post-graduate degree in History arid Economics from the Travancore University and M.Litt and D.Litt. degrees by research from the Annamalai University before joining the Indian Administrative Service (lAS 1948). After serving in the districts in the then Madras and Travancore-Cochin states, he joined the Central Government in 1955 on deputation. He was later selected to the Central Administrative Pool of officers and continued to work in various capacities in the Government of India till his superannuation from service.

He had training in the Board of Trade U.K. under a Nuffield Foundation Fellowship and done research at the Stanford Research Institute, California, U.S.A. under a Ford Foundation Fellowship.

Dr. Alexander from his younger days in school and colleges had excelled himself in elocution and debates, consistently winning first prizes in inter-school and inter-collegiate competitions. While a student at the Travancore University he was the leader of the Travancore University debating team which was deputed to visit other universities for inter-university debates. He was President of the Travancore University Union during 1940-41.

Dr. Alexander has authored several books, articles and research papers and enjoys as high a reputation as a writer as he does as a speaker. His latest books are:

1. My Years with Indira Gandhi, 2. The Perils of Democracy, 3. India in the New Millennium.

Wife: Ackamma Alexander