Cabinet Reshuffle
India gets first woman Defence Min as Nirmala replaces Jaitley; Piyush gets Railways
- TEAM PT
India gets first woman Defence Min as Nirmala replaces Jaitley; Piyush gets Railways



Nirmala Sitharaman was on Sunday named the new defence minister, she has become the first dedicated woman defence minister of India and only the second woman to hold the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi.
 
Sitharaman emerged as the biggest gainer of the cabinet reshuffle on Sunday as Prime Minister Modi gave her the heavyweight Defence portfolio, while Piyush Goyal replaced Suresh Prabhu in the Railway Ministry in a major rejig.
 
Madurai-born Sitharaman, who was earlier minister of state for commerce, has a masters in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and has worked for PwC, London and briefly with BBC World Service.

She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2008, and was made a member of the National Executive and then nominated as party spokesperson in 2010. She attributed her promotion to "cosmic grace".

"Somebody who has come from a small town, grown into the party with all the support of the leadership, and if given such responsibility, it just makes you feel sometimes that cosmic grace is there. Otherwise it is impossible," she told reporters here after taking oath.
 
Sitharaman takes over from Jaitley who also holds the heavy-workload finance ministry. He was keen to be rid of defence and said as much. On Friday, he indicated he may not be defence minister for much longer.

"At least, I hope, not very long," Jaitley had quipped, when being asked about the reshuffle.
 
Jaitley said Sitharaman will be "an extremely competent successor" to him.

Jaitley has been handling the ministry after Manohar Parrikar quit to become the Goa's chief minister. The abrupt departure of Parrikar from the ministry left several critical tasks unfinished, including military reforms that are midway and a battle with the bureaucracy over steps to boost local manufacturing 

The post of Defence Minister is crucial, considering the fact both eastern and western fronts are on high alert. 

Sitharaman's elevation was totally out of the blue as Nitin Gadkari's name was also in the vine for the post while others expected Jaitley to keep the post following his success in the Doklam crisis. 
 
To a query over the opposition's criticism of her working as commerce minister, the BJP leader said she was neither averse nor frightened by criticism. 

"Every criticism is a message and we have to learn from it. I am not averse to criticism and also not frightened of it (criticism), but certainly take messages from them. 

"Criticism per se do not reflect on performance, it only adds to your performance if you are ready to take on-board the corrections that may be workable," she said. 

Sitharaman was also quick to highlight a number of initiatives by the commerce ministry like Start up India and Make in India. 

"With the support of the prime minister, so many things have happened in the ministry like Start up India, Make in India etc. There is some misconception about 'Make in India', but it will be answered," she said. 
 
Modi, in his third Cabinet reshuffle today inducted 13 new ministers. Nine new faces were inducted in the Cabinet as Ministers of State, including Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Virendra Kumar, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Anant Kumar Hegde, Satyapal Singh, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Alphons Kannanthanam, Raj Kumar Singh and Hardeep Singh Puri. Four junior ministers, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, were promoted to the Union Cabinet.
 
Piyush Goyal gets Railways
 
Former Power minister Piyush Goyal has been elevated to cabinet rank and given charge of as the new Railway Minister.
 
He has replaced Suresh Prabhu who had offered to resign from the railway ministry after a series of train accidents in the country. Prabhu has been appointed as new commerce and industry minister.
 
Suresh Prabhu on Sunday took to Twitter to express gratitude to the railway fraternity for their support, love and goodwill.
  
Goyal, who was earlier the minister of state for power, will have his task cut out as the railways battles a creaking infrastructure and revenue shortage on back of low fares and stiff competition from budget airlines.
 
Meanwhile, Goyal, who was serving as the power minister is considered among the top performers in the Modi government. He was the Minister of State (MoS) with independent charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy.
 
His work in improving power generation capacity of Coal India, especially in the renewable energy sector has been widely lauded. Under his charge, since 2014, the number of villages in the country that have still not electrified has reportedly come down from over 18,000 to 4,000. He also claimed to have added another 60 GW capacity in his tenure of two years as compared to the addition of 240 GW in last 65 years.
 
In July 2016, during the second cabinet reshuffle of the Narendra Modi ministry, Piyush Goyal took over as the Minister of Mines (Minister of State with Independent charge) from Narendra Singh Tomar.
 

Here is the full list of Cabinet Ministers and Council of Ministers: 

Shri 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

Raj Nath Singh Minister of Home Affairs

Sushma Swaraj Minister of External Affairs

Arun Jaitley Minister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs

Nitin Jairam Gadkari Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Shipping; and Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce and Industry

D.V. Sadananda Gowda Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation

Uma Bharati Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation

Ramvilas Paswan Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Minister of Women and Child Development

Ananthkumar Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers; and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs

Ravi Shankar Prasad Minister of Law and Justice; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology

Jagat Prakash Nadda Minister of Health and Family Welfare

Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati Minister of Civil Aviation

Anant Geete Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Harsimrat Kaur Badal Minister of Food Processing Industries

Narendra Singh Tomar Minister of Rural Development; Minister of Panchayati Raj; and Minister of Mines

Chaudhary Birender Singh Minister of Steel

Jual Oram Minister of Tribal Affairs

Radha Mohan Singh Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

Thaawar Chand Gehlot Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment

Smriti Zubin Irani Minister of Textiles; and Minister of Information and Broadcasting

Harsh Vardhan Minister of Science and Technology; Minister of Earth Sciences; and Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Prakash Javadekar Minister of Human Resource Development

Dharmendra Pradhan Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Piyush Goyal Minister of Railways; and Minister of Coal

Nirmala Sitharaman Minister of Defence

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Minister of Minority Affairs


MINISTERS OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE)

Rao Inderjit Singh Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers

Santosh Kumar Gangwar Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment

Shripad Yesso Naik Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

Jitendra Singh Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; 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

Mahesh Sharma Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Culture; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Giriraj Singh Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Manoj Sinha Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Communications; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Raj Kumar Singh Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Power; and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

Hardeep Singh Puri Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Alphons Kannanthanam Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Tourism; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

MINISTERS OF STATE

Vijay Goel Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

Radhakrishnan P. Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Shipping

S.S. Ahluwalia Minister of State in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation

Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi Minister of State in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation

Ramdas Athawale Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Vishnu Deo Sai Minister of State in the Ministry of Steel

Ram Kripal Yadav Minister of State in the Ministry of Rural Development

Hansraj Gangaram Ahir Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs

Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary Minister of State in the Ministry of Mines; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal

Rajen Gohain Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways

V. K. Singh Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs

Parshottam Rupala Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj

Krishan Pal Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor Minister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Shiv Pratap Shukla Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance

Ashwini Kumar Choubey Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Sudarshan Bhagat Minister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Upendra Kushwaha Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development

Kiren Rijiju Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs

Virendra Kumar Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs

Anantkumar Hegde Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

M. J. Akbar Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs

Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Y. S. Chowdary Minister of State in the Ministry of Science and Technology; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Earth Sciences

Jayant Sinha Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation

Babul Supriyo Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Vijay Sampla Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Arjun Ram Meghwal Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources,
River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

Ajay Tamta Minister of State in the Ministry of Textiles

Krishna Raj Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

Mansukh L. Mandaviya Minister of State in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of State in the Ministry of Shipping; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers

Anupriya Patel Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

C.R. Chaudhary Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry

P.P. Chaudhary Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Subhash Ramrao Bhamre Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

Satya Pal Singh Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

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