The government made Nirmala Sitharaman the Defence Minister, making her the first woman to hold the post independently. In the rejig, Piyush Goyal took over as the Rail Minister from Suresh Prabhu and Rajyavardhan Rathore took over as the sports minister from Vijay Goel.
The Cabinet reshuffle of Sunday and the newly appointed Cabinet Ministers have their task cut out for them. The rejig has given a fillip to the third generation of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. The government made Nirmala Sitharaman the Defence Minister, making her the first woman to hold the post independently. In the rejig, Piyush Goyal took over as the Rail Minister from Suresh Prabhu and Rajyavardhan Rathore took over as the sports minister from Vijay Goel. The reshuffle also saw civil servants and a diplomat take slots in the expanded cabinet. Here are the challenges faced by the new cabinet ministers, as per Indian Express:
Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister
Sitharaman is the first woman to be a full-time Defence Minister. Before this Indira Gandhi had held the portfolio when she was the Prime Minister. The 58-year-old minister is the third Defence Minister of the current government. Her biggest challenge will be to tackle delays in procurement procedure of the armed forces and to streamline the process of ‘Make in India’.
Piyush Goyal, Railway Minister
Goyal has a mountain of challenges in front of him. He has to implement a Railways roadmap already approved by the PMO. The new rail minister has to hasten the process to showcase perceptible change by May 2019. In the last financial year, the Rail Ministry has clocked the worst operating ratio in 16-odd years.
Rajyavardhan Rathore, MoS (Independent Charge), Sports & Youth Affairs
Rathore is India’s first sports minister who is not just a sportsman, but also an Olympic medal winner. The pressure on the minister will now be to deliver medals on the world stage. The minister has to implement the roadmap which has been recommended by an Olympic Task Force for the next three Olympics.
Alphons Kannanthanam, MoS (Independent Charge), Tourism
Kannanthanam has a daunting task cut out for him. The latest mid-year Economic Survey states that India has a lot of untapped tourism potential. Tourism industry sources say that the size of the sector in India was USD 117.7 billion in 2014 and is expected to cross USD 418.9 billion by 2022. Kannanthamam is confident that he can capitalise on India’s civilisational heritage to boost tourism.
MoS (Independent Charge), Housing & Urban Affairs
Hardeep Puri has taken charge of a ministry which had only recently been formed after the merger of the Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Urban Poverty Alleviation. Puri will be watched for how he handles the task of an expanded ministry independently. His ministry also looks after important projects such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), Smart City Mission and the Metro policy.