The union council of ministers under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone far beyond reshuffling portfolios..New faces have been given weighty responsibilities..some of the old faces have added workload as well..One look at the Cabinet Committee on Security has two new faces of Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar standing out..The country has also got its first full time woman Finance Minister in Nirmala Sitharaman..while Rajnath Singh has been put in charge of defence..While he keeps the national security thinking cap on from the previous tenure..new challenges will include modernisation of the country’s armed forces..indeginisation of arms manufacturing & stengthening India’s cyber as well as space defence capabilities..
Amit Shah has taken over the Home Affairs portfolio from Rajnath Singh..He’s essayed the same role in Gujarat when Prime Minister Modi was the state’s Chief Minister..He is known as an able strategist and administrator and is expected to deliver big on India’s internal security challenges..be it Pak sponsored terrorism and unrest in J&K or left wing extremism..
Transitioning from Defence to Finance..Nirmala Sitharaman will have to hit the ground running..She has to present the full union budget in a matter of weeks after taking over where she’ll be expected to chart a course of high economic growth with job creation while sticking to the fiscal discipline path..
Prime Minister Modi has always held merit in high esteem..and it is reflected in his appointment of career diplomat S Jaishankar as External Affairs Minister..He has served as India’s ambassador in both the US and China..His experience & skills should stand India in good stead as India remains on a mission to carve out its own space in a multi-polar world getting dragged into a new cold war over trade & technology..
Another reassigned responbility to a new face is the Ministry of Human Resource Development which has been given to former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank..The author turned politician can be expected to bring new perspective to education in the country..A new education policy could also be on the cards where medical and technical education are better attuned to global demand..
After having a whole in the sky by beating Congress Chief Rahul GAndhi is his bastion of Amethi..Smriti Irani is the new Women & Child Development Minister..while retaining the Textile portfolio as well..She can be expected to bring a unique perspective to her departments guided by Prime Minister Modi’s New India mission..
Prakash Javadekar has been given the dual responsibility of the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change along with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting..He has ably fulfilled the responsibility to taking the govt’s policies and initiatives to the people in the past as well..
For any govt..one of the toughest challenges is to get its bills passed during sessions of Parliament..Maintaining smooth functioning of the house while making efforts to take the opposition along is a core responsibility of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs..The PM has picked Prahlad Joshi for role this time around..He will face his first test soon in the upcoming budget session..
For the first time..the new govt under the PM’s leadership has carved a new water related portfolio dubbing it Jal Shakti..The new ministry had also been promised in the BJP’s manifesto..Scarcity of water is a challenge in several parts of the country..The goal to supply water to every home by 2024 has aslo been set with Gajendra Singh Shekhawat being put in charge of the efforts apart from being elevated to cabinet rank from independent charge..
One of the declared goals of Prime Minister is to double farmers’ income by 2022..With this in mind..a new portfolio of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has been carved out of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare..Begusarai MP Giriraj Singh has been handed this responsibility with cabinet rank giving clear indication of the importance of additional income for farmers apart from boosting fishermen..