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Arun Jaitley gets I&B ministry, Col Rathore is MoS

MUMBAI: In a move that has surprised many, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has divested Prakash Javadekar of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry and handed it over to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The task of managing the I&B has gone to the virtual number three man in Modi’s Cabinet. Being close to Modi, Jaitley also retains the Finance and Corporate Affairs portfolio.

In his first Cabinet reshuffle, Modi has also named first-time Member of Parliament Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore as Minister of State (MoS) for I&B.

This is after a long time that the I&B Ministry will have a Cabinet as well as an MoS. Earlier, Javadekar was MoS (independent charge) for I&B. In UPA II also, I&B was served by MoS (independent charge) Manish Tewari.

Javadekar will continue to hold the reins of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

As the new I&B minister, Jaitley’s immediate task will be to steer the last two rounds of cable TV digitisation. Earlier, Javadekar had announced 31 December 2015 as the new deadline for Phase III and 31 December 2016 for Phase IV of cable TV digitisation.

Jaitley will also have to deal with regulatory issues like cross-media ownership, exempting free-to-air (FTA) channels from ad cap, approving new DTH guidelines, and Radio Phase 3 auction.

A prominent leader of the BJP, Jaitley is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court and a former Additional Solicitor General of India. He was also the VP of the BCCI but resigned after the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

Col Rathore, 44, became famous after winning a silver medal in Men’s Double Trap at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. He joined the BJP in 2013 after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian Army and was elected MP from Jaipur (rural) in the 16th Lok Sabha election.

List of ministers:

Cabinet Ministers

1. Rajnath Singh: Home Affairs
2. Sushma Swaraj: External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs
3. Arun Jaitley: Finance, Corporate Affairs, Information & Broadcasting
4. M Venkaiah Naidu: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs
5. Nitin Jairam Gadkari: Road Transport and Highways, Shipping
6. Manohar Parrikar: Defence
7. Suresh Prabhu: Railways
8. DV Sadananda Gowda: Law & Justice
9. Uma Bharati: Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
10. Najma A Heptulla: Minority Affairs
11. Ramvilas Paswan: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
12. Kalraj Mishra: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
13. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi: Women and Child Development
14. Ananthkumar: Chemicals and Fertilizers
15. Ravi Shankar Prasad: Communications and Information Technology
16. Jagat Prakash Nadda: Health & Family Welfare
17. Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati: Civil Aviation
18. Anant Geete: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
19. Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Food Processing Industries
20. Narendra Singh Tomar: Mines, Steel
21. Chaudhary Birender Singh: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation
22. Jual Oram: Tribal Affairs
23. Radha Mohan Singh: Agriculture
24. Thaawar Chand Gehlot: Social Justice and Empowerment
25. Smriti Zubin Irani: Human Resource Development
26. Dr Harsh Vardhan: Science and Technology, Earth Sciences

Ministers of State

27. General VK Singh: Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs
28. Inderjit Singh Rao: Planning (Independent Charge), Defence
29. Santosh Kumar Gangwar: Textiles (Independent Charge)
30. Bandaru Dattatreya: Labour and Employment (Independent Charge)
31. Rajiv Pratap Rudy: Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs
32. Shripad Yesso Naik: AAYUSH (Independent Charge), Health & Family Welfare
33. Dharmendra Pradhan: Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)
34. Sarbananda Sonowal: Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge)
35. Prakash Javadekar: Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)
36. Piyush Goyal: Power (Independent Charge), Coal (Independent Charge), New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge)
37. Dr Jitendra Singh: Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space
38. Nirmala Sitharaman: Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)
39. Dr Mahesh Sharma: Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), Civil Aviation
40. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Minority Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs
41. Ram Kripal Yadav: Drinking Water & Sanitation
42. Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary: Home Affairs
43. Sanwar Lal Jat: Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
44. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya: Agriculture
45. Giriraj Singh: Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
46. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir: Chemicals & Fertilizers
47. GM Siddeshwara: Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
48. Manoj Sinha: Railways
49. Nihalchand: Panchayati Raj
50. Upendra Kushwaha: Human Resource Development
51. Radhakrishnan P.: Road Transport & Highways, Shipping
52. Kiren Rijiju: Home Affairs
53. Krishan Pal: Social Justice & Empowerment
54. Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan: Agriculture
55. Manuskhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava: Tribal Affairs
56. Raosaheb Dadarao Danve: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
57. Vishnu Deo Sai: Mines, Steel
58. Sudarshan Bhagat: Rural Development
59. Prof. (Dr) Ram Shankar Katheria: Human Resource Development
60. YS Chowdary: Science and Technology, Earth Science
61. Jayant Sinha: Finance
62. Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: Information & Broadcasting
63. Babul Supria (Babul Supriyo) Baral: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
64. Niranjan Jyoti: Food Processing Industries
65. Vijay Sampla: Social Justice & Empowerment