A 1981-batch IAS officer, Mr. S. M. Vijayanand cleared his Civil Services examination securing seventh rank. During his 11 years as Secretary, Local Self-Government, Government of Kerala, Mr. Vijayanand pioneered the People’s Plan movement. Subsequently he has held many important positions in the Government of Kerala, including as the Director, Institute of Management in Government, and as Chairman, KILA. He also conceptualised and operationalised ‘Kudumbashree’, the women’s self-help group movement in Kerala. He became the Chief Secretary in 2016. Post retirement, he has also been active in the academic field as Visiting Professor in Gandhigram Rural University and Expert Faculty of National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad. Presently he is the Chairperson of the 6th Finance Commission of Kerala. A passionate crusader on the matter of democratic decentralisation and local self-governance, Mr Vijayanand is constantly pursuing the cause of Panchayats and Panchayati Raj in the country.