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Modi Cabinet 2.0: Know Your Ministers
Here's a detailed count of each Minister and the portfolio assigned
Photo Credit : Courtesy: PM's twitter handle
As the much-anticipated Cabinet reshuffle concluded on July 7, 2021, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Union Cabinet expanded its council of ministers. This was the first such exercise in the third year of his second term. The development was crucial especially in the wake of the recent Covid-19 crises, as Modi government faced criticism over the ways it had dealt with the pandemic. The reshuffle was not a mere rejig of political adjustments, but an inevitable exercise for PM Modi to induct fresh energy in the Cabinet. The list of ministers also indicates that due attention has been given to the upcoming assembly elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Following are the portfolios assigned to the Ministers, and more on the achievements and prior experiences of the various leaders that should suit them to the upcoming job at hand.
Narayan Tatu Rane, Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises:
A former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Narayan Tatu Rane has been a Cabinet Minister for Industry, Port, Employment and Self-employment in the Government of Maharashtra. He was a member of Shiv Sena and opposition leader of Vidhan Sabha until July 2005, before he joined Indian National Congress party. He quit Congress in September 2017, and then launched the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha. In 2018, he declared support for BJP, and was elected to the Rajya Sabha on a BJP nomination. In 2019, he joined the BJP and his party Maharashtra Swabhiman paksha was also merged with it.
Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways; and Minister of AYUSH:
Sarbananda Sonowal was the President of the All-Assam Student Union between 1992 and 1999. He then left the Union and started his political career by joining the Asom Gana Parishad, being elected MLA from Moran in 2001. In 2004, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Dibrugarh. He returned to the lower house again in 2014 from Lakhimpur, becoming the Union Sports Minister during Prime Minister Modi’s first term. In the 2016 assembly polls, Sonowal was made the BJP’s face in Assam. The party, along with its allies, then went on to form its first BJP government in the state. Later when the BJP high command decided to make Himanta Biswa Sarma the new Assam Chief Minister, Sonowal was then offered the new responsibility at the Centre whenever there would be cabinet reshuffle.
Dr. Virendra Kumar, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment:
Hailing from Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, Dr. Virendra Kumar holds a master’s degree in economics and did doctorate on child labour from Dr. Harisingh Gaur University, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. He has been associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since his childhood and became Convenor, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Sagar District.
Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation:
Jyotiraditya M. Scindia was a member of the Congress party and has held positions such as the Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Power. He resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party on March 9, 2020. He is also the current nominal Maharaja of Gwalior, which was a princely state of the British Empire in India. He graduated in Economics in 1993 from the Harvard University. He completed his MBA in 2001 from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ramchandra Prasad Singh, Minister of Steel:
A former IAS officer, Ramchandra Prasad Singh had earlier served as principal secretary to Nitish Kumar and taken voluntary retirement in 2010 to get nominated to the Rajya Sabha from
the party. He was re-nominated to the Upper House in 2016 and has been serving as JD(U)’s general secretary (Organisation). RCP has been active in JD(U) organisation for over a decade and has been looking after party structure. An OBC Kurmi, he also hails from the CM’s home district of Nalanda.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways; Minister of Communications; & Minister of Electronics and Information Technology:
A 1994-batch IAS Officer from Odisha cadre, Ashwini Vaishnaw rose to prominence through his service when the state was hit by a super cyclone in 1999. He is a BJP Rajya Sabha member from the state of Odisha since June 2019. Vaishnaw has also served in the PMO at the turn of the millennium. He was also the personal secretary to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee till 2003. In 2006, he became deputy chairman of Marmugoa Port Trust, where he worked for next two years, and then left for US to pursue an MBA. In 2012, he quit the corporate sector and set up his own company which operated in Gujarat.
Pashu Pati Kumar Paras, Minister of Food Processing Industries:
Pashupati Kumar Paras is a five-time MLA from Alauli. He is the younger brother of late Ram Vilas Paswan, and he was also the State President of the Bihar unit of Lok Janshakti Party. He was elected as the National President of Lok Janshakti Party replacing Chirag Kumar Paswan in June 2021. He won his first assembly election in 1977 as a JNP candidate. Since then, he's contested the elections as an LKD, JP and LJP candidate. He served in as a minister for Animal and Fish Resources Department in the Government of Bihar. He won the 2019 parliamentary elections from Hajipur and become a member of parliament. Also, he is state president of the Bihar unit of Lok Janshakti Party.
Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Law and Justice:
In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Kiren Rijiju was elected an MP from the Arunachal West constituency. He was re-elected as a member of parliament from Arunachal West constituency in 2014 general elections. The NDA government named him Union Minister of State for Home Affairs in May 2014. Rijiju was born to a family of Rinchin Kharu and Chirai Rijiju, at Nakhu near Nafra in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. His father was the first pro-term speaker of Arunachal to give oath to the Members of the first State Assembly. Rijiju was an active social worker since his school days and led various social movements as a social worker and student leader. He was adjudged as the Best Young Parliamentarian by the media during the 14th Lok Sabha. Recently designated by the United Nations as Disaster Risk Champion for Asia Pacific Region due to his work in disaster management, Rijiju has emerged as a popular youth leader of India.
Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of Power; and Minister of New & Renewable Energy:
R. K. Singh is a native of Supaul district in Bihar. He was the district magistrate in East Champaran and Patna in the 1980s before joining the state home department in 1997. During the Nitish Kumar government’s term from 2004–2009, Singh, as principal secretary in the road construction department, played an important role in improving the condition of roads in Bihar.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas; and Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs:
The 1974 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Hardeep Singh Puri served as a joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs from 1994 to 1997, and then from 1999 to 2002. He was also a joint secretary in the Ministry of Defence from 1997 to 1999. Subsequently, he
became secretary (economic relations) in Ministry of External Affairs from 2009 to 2013. He joined the BJP in January 2014, became union minister for Civil Aviation and Housing and Urban Affairs in the second term of the Narendra Modi government. He was born in Delhi and studied in Hindu College of the Delhi University (DU), where he received his bachelors and master’s degrees in history. He briefly taught at St. Stephen’s college in Delhi before joining the Indian Foreign Service.
G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of Culture; Minister of Tourism; & Minister of Development of North Eastern Region
Popularly known as Ganguram Kishan Reddy, Reddy held the positions of the Minister of State for Home Affairs and MLA from Secuderabad. Reddy began his political career as a youth worker in the Janata Party in 1980’s. Soon he became the state treasurer of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha. In between 2002 to 2005, Reddy was promoted to National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and selected as an MLA from the Himayatnagar constituency in 2004.
Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of Information & Broadcasting; and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports:
A fourth time Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, Anurag Singh Thakur, served as the Minister of State, Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India. He has also served as the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT and Member of Public Accounts Committee. He was given the charge of Chief Whip, during the 16th Lok Sabha, thus becoming the youngest to assume the charge. Thakur was also commissioned as an officer in the Territorial Army as a Lieutenant of the 124 Sikh Regiment, thus, becoming the only BJP Member of Parliament to join as regular officer.
Pankaj Choudhary, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance:
Pankaj Choudhary is a fourth term Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh, who has served in Public Welfare for over three decades. Choudhary who is a graduate from Gorakhpur University, also served Gorakhpur as a Deputy Mayor. He was first elected to the 10th Lok Sabha in 1991 and followed by at the 11th Lok Sabha in 1996, 12th Lok Sabha in 1998.
Anupriya Singh Patel, Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
A Lok Sabha MP from Mirzapur Uttar Pradesh, Anupriya Patel is serving her second term as MP. Patel, who has earlier served as an MLA from Uttar Pradesh, also held the mandate of Union Minister of State under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Coming from UP’s Kurmi community, her inclusion in the Union Cabinet after two years gap plays a crucial role in the upcoming electoral arithmetic of the state, due in the coming year. Prior to begin her political career, Patel worked as a Professor in Amity University and holds MBA degree from Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur.
Dr. Satya Pal Singh Baghel, Minister of State in the Ministry of Law & Justice
An Indian politician in his early 60’s, Dr. Satya Pal Singh Baghel was elected to the Lok Sabha for the Samajwadi Party thrice, and once to the Rajya Sabha. Dr. Baghel is a serving MP in his fifth term from Agra in Uttar Pradesh. Prior to this, he has served as a cabinet minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Minor Irrigation in Uttar Pradesh government. He has a PhD in Military Science from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. Baghel has also been a MLA in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology
Rajeev Chandrasekhar is a third term MP from Karnataka, who has served in various parliamentary standing committees and has had a career as a successful entrepreneur in various industries. An M-Tech in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology, along with Advanced Management Program from Harvard University, Chandrashekar has been able to secure a seat for himself in the first rejig of the second term of the Modi government. His stint as vice-chairman of NDA in Kerala during the 2016 Assembly elections, and media and communication in-charge in the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections, were a success.
Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare:
A Lok Sabha MP from Udupi Chikmagalur in Karnataka, Sushri Shobha Karandlaje is serving her second term. She has been a one-time MLA and one time MLC in Karnataka, and a cabinet minister in Government of Karnataka, who held a range of portfolios across Food and Civil Supplies, Power, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj System. Karandlaje, an MA in Sociology from Mangalore University started her political career since her student life, about three decades back.
Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Minister of State in the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises:
A fifth term serving MP from Jalaun Uttar Pradesh, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma was also an MLA in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Holding a MA LLB degree from Bundelkhand University, Verma’s political career started back in 1980’s. He was elected the vice-president of the UP BJP’s SC Morcha in 2001 and a decade later, he became its president. He also served as the member of the Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Textiles; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways:
A Lok Sabha MP from Surat, Darshana Vikram Jardosh, brings more than four decades of public service experience to the table. Serving her third term as an MP, Jardosh has also been a Corporator at Surat Municipal Corpoation and Member of Gujarat Social Welfare Board. Holding a BCom degree from K P Commerce College Surat, Jardosh is also the Director of Sankruti, an Art and Cultural organisation.
Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture:
A Lok Shabha MP serving her second term from New Delhi, Meenakshi Lekhi has also served as a Member of New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). Lekhi holds a LLB degree from Delhi University, also practices law in Supreme Court and is a social worker. Lekhi was earlier appointed Vice President of BJP’s Mahila Morcha in 2010.
Annpurna Devi, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education:
Annpurna Devi is an MP with over 20 years of experience. She was first elected as a member of Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1998. She hails from Dumka, Jharkhand and is one of the 11 female politicians to have found a place in the Prime Minister’s Council of Ministers. She was elected in Kodarma, Bihar in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and has held positions as a member of the standing committee on Industry, Committee on Empowerment of Women and the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy since then.
A Narayanaswamy, Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment:
A Narayanaswamy is the MP of Chitradurga in Karnataka. The 64-year-old is a veteran politician, a four-time MLA, and a former Karnataka minister. Narayanaswamy contested his maiden Lok Sabha election in 2019 and won the Chitradurga seat. Post his entry into the Lok Sabha, he has served as a member on the committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, on the Standing Committee on Water Resources and on the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
Kaushal Kishore, Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs:
Kaushal Kishore, hailing from Kakori in Lucknow, is a two-time incumbent MP at the Mohanlalganj constituency in Uttar Pradesh. He was first elected member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative assembly in 2002 and subsequently won a seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the Modi government first came to power. He also serves as the national president of Parakh Mahasangh and is the state president of the BJP’s SC wing in Uttar Pradesh.
Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism
A Lawyer by education, Ajay Bhatt is the incumbent member of parliament from Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar. Born in Almora, Uttarakhand, he rose to power as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1996. He was the leader of the opposition in Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly between 2012-2017, during the last UPA regime. Since 2019, he has held standing committee memberships in Estimates, Defence and joint committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.
B L Verma, Minister of State in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Cooperation
Hailing from Badaun, B L Verma is an incumbent MP in Uttar Pradesh and was recently elected to the Rajya Sabha in November 2020. Verma is also the UP state vice-president of BJP and the national vice-president of the BJP OBC Morcha. Starting as a party worker and RSS tehsil chief, he has risen to prominence in the state, particularly among OBC communities.
Ajay Kumar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs:
Ajay Kumar, also known as Ajay Misra, is a two-term incumbent MP from Kheri in Uttar Pradesh. Rising to power in 2012 as a member of the UP Legislative Assembly, he was inducted into the Lok Sabha in 2014. Since 2019, he has held membership in the standing committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, committee on Absence of Members from the Sittings of the House and the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Food Processing Industries. He has a BSc LLB from Kanpur University.
Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications:
Devusinh Jesingbhai Chauhan is a two-term MP from Kheda, Gujarat. Before winning his seat in the 16th Lok Sabha elections, he served two terms as the MLA in the Gujarat Legislative assembly from 2007 to May 2014. He has held portfolios as a member of the Standing Committee on Defence and the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Food Processing Industries since coming to power the second time. Prior to his political career he served as an Engineer in All India Radio.
Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
Bhagwanth Khuba is a two-time MP hailing from Bidar in Karnataka. He has held portfolios as member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture since 2019 and as a member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Railways since 2014. He is a mechanical engineer by education from Sree Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur.
Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Minister of State in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj:
Born in Thane, Kapil Moreshwar Patil is the two-term MP of the Bhiwandi constituency in Maharashtra. Starting out as a Sarpanch of Dive-Anjur Gram Panchayat to President of Thane Zila Parishad, Patil has held various positions in his three-decade political career. He holds a BA degree from Mumbai University.
Sushri Pratima Bhoumik, Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment:
Born in Sepahijala, Tripura, Sushri Pratima Bhoumik is the incumbent MP from Tripura West. She is one of the seven women MPs who were inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's New Council of Ministers. She holds a Graduate degree in Bio-Science from Women's College, Tripura University. Since 2019, she has held standing committee memberships in Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution.
Dr Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education:
An Indian politician and BJP MP in his mid-60s, Dr Subhas Sarkar was elected to the Lok Sabha on a BJP ticket from Bankura, West Bengal in 2019. Dr Sarkar has won from Trinamool Congress’s Subrata Mukherjee by 1,74,333 votes and served his first term as MP. He is a medical practitioner (gynaecology) with an experience of 28 years and currently, he is a board member of AIIMS Kalyani. He holds an MBBS degree from Calcutta University and Certificate in Ultra Sonography, Infertility and Laparoscopy. Sarkar has been in public life for around five decades and is associated with Ramakrishna Mission.
Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance:
A former mayor of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation and Chairman of Marathwada Legal Development Corporation, Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad recently took on his first term as MP. The 64-year-old is a Rajya Sabha MP for Maharashtra. Dr Karad is a known face in Aurangabad - a district dominated by the Shiv Sena. A doctor by profession, he owns and runs Dr Karad Multi Specialty Hospital & Research Center in Aurangabad. He holds MBBS, MS (General Surgery), MCh (Pediatric Surgery), and FCPS (General Surgery) degrees from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. He belongs to the Vanjari community and the Marathwada belt of Maharashtra.
Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Education:
A 68-year-old Lok Sabha MP for Inner Manipur Constituency in Manipur, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh was assigned his first term as BJP MP. Popularly known as RK Ranjan, the MP won the Inner Manipur seat in the 17th Lok Sabha elections 2019 on BJP ticket. Before his political career, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh had a four-decade-long career as Geography Professor, ending as Director of College Development Council in Manipur University. Dr. Singh holds an MA and PhD in Geography from Guwahati University.
Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare:
A Lok Sabha MP for Dindori in Maharashtra, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar was assigned her first term as MP. Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, 42-year-old served as Member of Nashik Zila Parishad and intensively worked on concerning social issues like eradicating malnutrition and providing clean drinking water. Prior to joining public life, she was a medical practitioner. Dr. Pawar holds an MBBS degree in surgery from NDMVPS Medical College, Nashik.
Bishweswar Tudu, Minister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Jal Shakti
Bishweswar Tudu is a first-term MP from Mayurbhanj in Odisha who has worked as a senior engineer in Water Resources Department in Odisha. A 56-year-old Lok Sabha MP, he hails from the Cuttack region of Odisha. He holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Utkalmani Gopabandhu Institute of Engineering, Rourkela. Tudu has formerly served as a Member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Shantanu Thakur, Minister of State in the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways:
Shantanu Thakur is a Lok Sabha MP for Bongaon in West Bengal, who served his first term as MP after he became the first non-TMC MP to be elected in this constituency since its delimitation when he was elected on BJP's ticket. He is also a senior leader of the Matua community. On the educational front, he holds a BA in English from Karnataka State Open University and Diploma in Hospitality Management. Manjul Krishna Thakur, an Ex-minister from Bengal is the father of Shantanu Thakur.
Dr. Munjapara Mahendrabhai, Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development; and Minister of State in the Ministry of AYUSH:
Building on a three-decade-long distinguished career as a cardiologist and professor of medicine in Gujarat, Dr. Munjapara Mahendrabhai is a Lok Sabha MP for Surendranagar in Gujarat, serving his first term as MP. He holds an MD in general medicine and therapeutics from Gujarat University. Apart from this, being a social worker, he offered medicines at Rs 2 and served as many as 8 lakh patients through various medical camps in his journey.
John Barla, Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs:
John Barla is a Lok Sabha MP for Alipurduars in West Bengal, who served his first term as MP. Hailing from a tribal family, he began his political career in 2007 as a member of Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP). Coming from a humble background, he had started as a tea garden worker at the age of 14 and has worked for the rights of tea garden workers, primarily in North Bengal and Assam for over two decades.
Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting:
Dr. L. Murugan has practiced as a lawyer in Madras High Court for 15 years before getting himself involved in public life. He holds an LLM and Ph.D. in Law from Madras University. He has served as the Vice-Chairman of the National Commission of Scheduled Castes from the year 2017 to 2020. He has also been a member of ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad)
Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:
Nisith Pramanik is a Lok Sabha MP for Cooch Behar in West Bengal, serving his first term as an MP. Being in the new cabinet, Pramanik will be the youngest member of Team Modi at 35. He was also a member of the All India Trinamool Congress before joining the BJP in 2019.
Holding a BCA degree, he has also worked as an Assistant Teacher in a Primary School in his career.