Modi Rejigs Cabinet With 36 New Faces

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Modi and members of Council of Ministers at the Swearing-in Ceremony on July 07. Pic: PIB

New Delhi: In a major overhaul of the Indian government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier on Wednesday brought in 36 new faces to the Union Cabinet and promoted seven existing ministers.

Eleven union ministers – Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Animal and Husbandry Minister Pratap Sarangi, Women and Child Welfare Minister Debasree Chaudhuri and Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre, Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, MoS Jal Shakti and Social Justice and Empowerment Ratan Lal Kataria, Asansol MP and MoS Environment, Forest & Climate Babul Supriyo, Jalna MP and MoS for Consumer Affairs Raosaheb Patil Danve and MoS Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Choubey have resigned from their respective posts.

The new team of ministers will take charge of bringing the Covid-ravaged economy back on path of revival. The rejig comes at a time when India’s growth has been heavily dented by the second wave of Covid.

At present, major multilateral organisations have cut India’s growth rate for FY22. The performance of key economic ministries are expected to hold the key to bring back Indian economy on the growth path.

While Piyush Goyal has now been given additional charge of Textiles along with his Commerce and Industry and Consumer Affairs, and Food and Civil Supplies portfolios, Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri will now also take charge of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry.

In the reshuffle, both ministers have also lost out on one of their earlier portfolios with Goyal losing Railways that will handled by Ashwini Vaishnaw, who will also hold additional charge as Minister of Communication and Information Technology.

Puri has also lost out on additional charge of Civil Aviation Ministry that now goes to Jyotiraditya Scindia who joins the government after moving to the BJP from Congress in March last year.

The cabinet reshuffle has also taken the load off from Roads and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari as the all important Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry has gone to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Tatu Rane while Port, Shipping and Waterways Ministry will now be looked by another former Chief Minster Sarbananda Sonowal, of Assam.

Dharmendra Pradhan, who held the charge as Petroleum Minister in the two from terms of Modi government so far, is now the new Education Minister. He continues to hold the charge of the Skill Development Ministry. Nirmala Sitharaman continues to hold all charge of the Finance Ministry along with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

The new ministers would hold several round of talks with her in coming days to give inputs on next phase of economic stimulus. Senior BJP leader Mansukh Mandaviya was given charge of the key Health and Family Welfare Ministry, and the Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry. Modi has taken experience and qualification to account.

There are now four former Chief Ministers, 18 former state ministers, 39 former MLAs and 23 MPs who have been elected for three or more terms.

“This demonstrates the wealth of experience in the new Cabinet as the government has been criticised for lack of bench strength and not having enough heft in administrative experience,” an analyst said.

The new Council of Ministers is also be an eclectic mix of distinguished qualifications, including 13 lawyers, six doctors, five engineers, seven former civil servants, and 46 ministers with experience in Central government. This is also a young-looking Cabinet with an average age of 58, with 14 ministers below the age of 50 years.

Eleven women are part of the Council of Ministers, including two with Cabinet rank. BJP MP from Himachal Pradesh and former MoS for Finance, Anurag Thakur, got the plum portfolio of Information & Broadcasting. Thakurhas also been allotted the Youth Affairs and Sports portfolio.

The new Indian Cabinet: Narendra Modi – Prime Minister and also in-charge of:Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; All important policy issues; and ; All other portfolios not allocated to any Minister

Cabinet Ministers

1. Raj Nath Singh – Minister of Defence

2. Amit Shah– Minister of Home Affairs; and Minister of Cooperation

3. Nitin Jairam Gadkari -Minister of Road Transport and Highways

4. Nirmala Sitharaman – Minister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs

5. Narendra Singh Tomar -Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

6. Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar – Minister of External Affairs

7. Arjun Munda – Minister of Tribal Affairs

8. Smriti Zubin Irani-Minister of Women and Child Development

9 Piyush Goyal – Minister of Commerce and Industry; Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; and Minister of Textiles

10. Dharmendra Pradhan – Minister of Education; and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

11. Pralhad Joshi – Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal; and Minister of Mines

12. Narayan Tatu Rane – Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

13. Sarbananda Sonowal – Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways; and Minister of AYUSH

14. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi – Minister of Minority Affairs

15. Dr. Virendra Kumar – Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment

16. Giriraj Singh – Minister of Rural Development; and Minister of Panchayati Raj

17. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia – Minister of Civil Aviation

18. Ramchandra Prasad Singh – Minister of Steel

19. Ashwini Vaishnaw– Minister of Railways; Minister of Communications; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology

20. Pashu Pati Kumar Paras – Minister of Food Processing

21. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat– Minister of Jal Shakti

22. Kiren Rijiju– Minister of Law and Justice

23. Raj Kumar Singh– Minister of Power; and Minister of New and Renewable Energy

24. Hardeep Singh Puri – Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs

25. Mansukh Mandaviya – Minister of Health and Family Welfare; and Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers

26. Bhupender Yadav – Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; and Minister of Labour and Employment

27. Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey – Minister of Heavy Industries

28. Parshottam Rupala– Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying

29. G. Kishan Reddy -Minister of Culture; Minister of Tourism; and Minister of Development of North Eastern Region

30. Anurag Thakur– Minister of Information and Broadcasting; and Youth Affairs and Sports.

There are two Ministers of State (Independent Charge):

1.Rao Inderjit Singh – Minister of State of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation; Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs

2. Dr. Jitendra Singh– Minister of State (of the Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences; – Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office; Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy; and Minister of State in the Department of Space There are 45 Ministers of State attached to the different Cabinet Ministers, all of whom are qualified for their posts.

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