Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted nine new members to his council of Ministers this morning keeping in view the passion, proficiency, professional and political acumen to deliver his vision of a new India, official sources said. He is welcoming men who bring in domain expertise.
Narendra Modi is committed to his vision of a new India, which will be built on the foundations of development and good governance, to further the cause of the poor, marginalised and the deprived segments of the society, the sources said.
Arun Jaitley, who retained the finance and corporate affairs portfolio, said that the prime minister has laid down certainly a high standard of accountability in governance.
The NDA’s choices show a certain blend of political considerations, and how the Modi government seemingly wants to improve its delivery mechanism. The political considerations, however, don’t seem to be in play as much as they were in 2014, when Modi first came to power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inducting four former administrators with solid reputations and little political experience in his government today. Two of them, former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri and ex-IAS officer KJ Alphons aren’t even members of parliament. The other two, Satya Pal Singh and RK Singh are first-time MPs.
Former Union home secretary R K Singh was today appointed the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and the MoS (Independent Charge) for New and Renewable Energy while former IFS officer Hardeep Puri was made the MoS (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Development.
The other new ministers are Ashwini Kumar Choubey from Bihar, Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Shiv Pratap Shukla from Uttar Pradesh, AnanthKumar Hegde from Karnataka and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan. Three are from states where elections will be held next year.
Ex-IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam will be the MoS (Independent Charge) for Tourism and the MoS Electronics and Information Technology, Shiv Pratap Shukla the MoS Finance, Ashwani Kumar Choubey the MoS Health and Family Welfare.
Virendra Kumar was appointed the MoS Women and Child Development and the MoS Minority Affairs, Ananth Kumar Hegde the MoS Skill Development, Gajendra Singh Sekhawat the MoS Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Ex-Mumbai Police chief Satya Pal Singh the MoS Human Resource Development and the MoS Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Nirmala Sitharaman, elevated to the cabinet rank position, has been appointed as a full-time defence minister to help contain China’s belligerence, even as the foreign policy framework recalibrates its approach against the backdrop of the Doklam stand-off and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) reflects the new security paradigm.
With the elevation of ministers, the PM is sending a clear signal that performance will be rewarded.
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been elevated to the cabinet rank along with the new charge of the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship. Pradhan’s additional remit will have to play an important role to address the challenge of creating jobs for a predominantly young population, with around 18 million people entering the workforce every year.
Also, Piyush Goyal has been made the new railways minister at a time when the national carrier is trying to improve its abysmal safety record. Goyal’s elevation in the cabinet comes along with him retaining the coal ministry portfolio at a time when the fuel forms an integral part of the railway’s strategy to revive its freight revenue.
The sources said that, they come from varied walks of life, bringing in their unique professional perspective and proficiency to the Council of Ministers. Many of them also bring rich administrative and governance experience. The prime minister has recognised and appreciated their service to the nation.
The elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore clearly shows that the Prime Minister has given preference to ministers who have been proactive in promoting and implementing some of NDA’s flagship schemes.
Sitharaman was instrumental in promoting schemes like Stand-up India, Startup India and Make in India. She also was in the forefront to promote the government’s message of Digital India. Sitharaman indulged in deft diplomacy for untying several knots for Make in India.
Nirmala Sitharaman became the first woman to be a full-time defence minister in India on Sunday. Her journey in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started as a spokesperson and grew in rank soon with her speaking style and debating skills.
The newly-inducted junior ministers in the Centre on Sunday expressed their resolve to work towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘New India’ vision.
The agenda has already been drawn up by Prime Minister Modi who in his Independence Day speech asked the citizens to build a New India in the next five years where people will have access to basic facilities like housing, power and water.
‘I congratulate all those who have taken oath today. Their experience and wisdom will add immense value to the Council of Ministers,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.