Human Resource Development, Environment, Information and Broadcasting, Parliamentary Affairs and party spokesperson too, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar is the man who has played many roles for his party and government. Basking in the glory of the BJP winning 24 of 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, a state where he was poll in-charge, the incumbent HRD minister was sworn in as a minister in a grand ceremony in the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday. The 68-year-old, who has held several portfolios in the previous Narendra Modi government, has had a fairly non-controversial political career.
His various portfolios are not the only highlights of his career. He was also elected to the Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament from Maharashtra in 2008, and re-elected from Madhya Pradesh in 2014. Javadekar took over the affairs of the HRD ministry from Smriti Irani who was shunted to the Textiles ministry amid various controversies, including rollback of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in Delhi University.
Institutions of Eminence (IoEs), autonomy to IIMs, reduction in NCERT curriculum, mandatory teacher training and Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to enable major investments for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions are among the key initiatives Javadekar took during his tenure as HRD minister.
Under his leadership of the Environment minister, India participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015 during which the Paris Accord was signed. A University of Pune alumnus, Javadekar has also served as member of Press Council, Standing Committee on Human Resources and Development, Public Accounts Committee, Consultative Committee for Ministry of Power, Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Standing Committee on Defence and the Committee on Waqf.
The RSS man has also been chairperson of the government’s Working Group on “IT for Masses” and the president of National Organization of Insurance Officers (NOINO) and Khadi Commission Karmachari Union (KCKU).
Active in politics since his college days, Javadekar was a member of the ABVP, the RSS’ student wing. During the Emergency declared by then prime minister Indira Gandhi, Javadekar participated in student movements against the government. He also led a Satyagraha movement in Pune at the time and was arrested for several months.
Javakedar, who has written four books on unemployment, IMF loan, farm loan waiver and inflation, was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Council between 1990 and 2002. Javadekar’s complaints about various irregularities in coal mining led to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) directing a CBI enquiry into the matter.