President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and vice-president Hamid Ansari with newly inducted ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.(Sonu Mehta/ HT Photo)
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and vice-president Hamid Ansari with newly inducted ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.(Sonu Mehta/ HT Photo)

Cabinet expansion: Modi promotes Javadekar, inducts 19 ministers, drops 5

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expanded his council of ministers by elevating Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar in the cabinet and also inducted 19 new Ministers of State.
By Kumar Uttam | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 05, 2016 07:31 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejigged his council of ministers on Tuesday, drafting in 19 new colleagues in an exercise aimed both at pleasing voters in states headed for elections next year as well as speeding up efforts to boost economic growth.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who impressed Modi with his global climate change negotiations and pro-industry policies that often angered green activists, was promoted to cabinet rank.

Among those dropped was Mansukh Bhai Vasava, a junior minister in the tribal affairs ministry that has in the past locked horns with Javadekar, mostly over tribal rights and diversion of forest land for industry.

Read: Oppn skips swearing-in of new ministers

But Modi surprised many by retaining two ageing ministers -- Najma Heptulla and Kalraj Mishra – and denying cabinet berths to two important colleagues, power minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

“The selection framework clearly laid out by the PM was to bring in doers and performers who would deliver on his vision of Development and Good Governance, and further his central priority of Gaon, Garib and Kisan,” a government source said.

“People were assessed on the value they would bring to the council of ministers.”

At least seven of the new ministers are from states going to elections next year and five from the Dalit community, part of the BJP’s broader plan to appeal to the scheduled castes in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The states vote next year and have a substantial population of scheduled castes that has traditionally stayed away from the BJP.

With the expansion, the size of Modi’s cabinet has swelled to 78 - one of the biggest in years and a far cry from Modi’s 2014 election promise of “minimum government and maximum governance”.

The reshuffle was the second by Modi’s two-year-old government. The prime minister had said on Monday the rejig will help push the priorities identified in the 2016-17 national budget.

The government placed emphasis on the social and rural sectors in this year’s budget, promising to double farm incomes in just over five years, a tough target that would mean the sector growing faster than the rest of the economy at the current clip.

Modi swept to power on a promise of jobs and growth. However, critics have questioned his government’s performance and political analysts say the ruling party suffers from a shortage of experienced members.

Government sources said an exhaustive vetting and selection process was used to find the best talent. A diverse range of factors were considered. New ministers were identified from various backgrounds.

Of the 19 new faces, two are Scheduled Tribe and 5 from the Scheduled Castes. The new ministers come from more than 10 states - UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Assam.

(With input from agencies)

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It took many hours for forest officials to remove the calf to a nearby elephant rehabilitation centre after firing sedation shots. (K Santosh/HT PHOTO).
It took many hours for forest officials to remove the calf to a nearby elephant rehabilitation centre after firing sedation shots. (K Santosh/HT PHOTO).

Wild elephant found dead in Kerala’s Kallar, calf’s plight moves forest staff

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“I am urgently soliciting the assistance of your Government to have access to 200,000 doses (for 100,000 citizens) of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being manufactured in your country," she wrote.(Facebook/@SupportMiaMottley)
“I am urgently soliciting the assistance of your Government to have access to 200,000 doses (for 100,000 citizens) of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being manufactured in your country," she wrote.(Facebook/@SupportMiaMottley)

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PM Modi arrived in Kolkata on Saturday afternoon to take part in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.(Photo: PMOIndia/ Twitter)
PM Modi arrived in Kolkata on Saturday afternoon to take part in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.(Photo: PMOIndia/ Twitter)

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Ministry of Labour and Employment tableau at the Republic Day parade this year will depict the labour reforms brought in by the government.(PIB)
Ministry of Labour and Employment tableau at the Republic Day parade this year will depict the labour reforms brought in by the government.(PIB)

R-Day: Tableau by labour ministry to depict changes brought in by labour reforms

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The e-EPIC initiative would be launched in two phases. In the first phase from January 25 to 31, all new voters who have applied for the voter-ID card and registered their mobile numbers in Form-6 will be able to download the e-EPIC by simply authenticating their mobile number.
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Last year too, the state election commissioner had been involved in a controversy in the run-up to the Panchayat polls. In the polls, more than one third of the seats were won by the TMC without any contest..(HT)
Last year too, the state election commissioner had been involved in a controversy in the run-up to the Panchayat polls. In the polls, more than one third of the seats were won by the TMC without any contest..(HT)

Andhra gram panchayat polls will be held as scheduled: State election commission

ANI, Andhra Pradesh
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 03:26 PM IST
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West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee leads a massive crowd during the celebration rally to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI PHOTO).
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee leads a massive crowd during the celebration rally to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI PHOTO).

4 rotating capitals in 4 corners of India, demands CM Mamata ahead of PM’s visit

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PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 03:23 PM IST
  • The Bengal CM made the remark a few hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to arrive in Kolkata for six-hours to celebrate Netaji’s birth anniversary.
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Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the officer trainees attending the foundation course at the MCR Human Resource Development Institute of the Telangana government in Hyderabad to mark the birth anniversary of Bose.
Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the officer trainees attending the foundation course at the MCR Human Resource Development Institute of the Telangana government in Hyderabad to mark the birth anniversary of Bose.

Youngsters should take inspiration from Netaji's life: Venkaiah Naidu

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PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 03:03 PM IST
The vice president recalled that Bose believed in giving an equal pedestal to women in every sphere of life -- be it social, economic, or political.
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Farmers on Friday presented a masked man who himself admitted that he was sent to Singhu to create violence. (Photo: ANI)
Farmers on Friday presented a masked man who himself admitted that he was sent to Singhu to create violence. (Photo: ANI)

Masked man's 'plot' to incite violence at Singhu, 'U-turn': What we know so far

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A statue of Indian nationalist leader Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is pictured with a garland, as supporters celebrated his 125th birth anniversary, in Amritsar.(AP)
A statue of Indian nationalist leader Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is pictured with a garland, as supporters celebrated his 125th birth anniversary, in Amritsar.(AP)

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The tunnel appears to be over six years old, said the BSF.(Sourced Photo)
The tunnel appears to be over six years old, said the BSF.(Sourced Photo)

Another Pakistan terror-tunnel found in Jammu, 4th in last 6 months

By Ravi Krishnan Khajuria | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Jammu
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 02:44 PM IST
  • The tunnel appears to be six to eight years old and it has been found at the same place where BSF had shot down a Pakistani drone last year on June 20, said the BSF IG.
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On January 19, New Delhi announced its grant assistance of vaccines to the neighbouring countries.(AP)
On January 19, New Delhi announced its grant assistance of vaccines to the neighbouring countries.(AP)

WHO chief thanks India, PM Modi for 'support to global Covid-19 response'

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AAP MLA Somnath Bharti along with party workers protest after police officials stopped party MLAs to meet CM Arvind Kejriwal outside party office, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)
AAP MLA Somnath Bharti along with party workers protest after police officials stopped party MLAs to meet CM Arvind Kejriwal outside party office, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

Somnath Bharti gets 2 years in jail for assaulting security staff at AIIMS

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Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey also imposed a fine of one lakh on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.
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