He was particularly known for his contribution to the public-private partnership (PPP) framework in Infrastructure.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, BJP Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Odisha, will be the new Railway Minister and will also head the Ministries of Communications, and Electronics and Information Technology, the Modi government announced on Wednesday. According to reports, Vaishnaw is a former IAS Officer of the 1994 batch and has handled important responsibilities over a span of 15 years. He was particularly known for his contribution to the public-private partnership (PPP) framework in Infrastructure. Later, he held leadership roles across major global firms like Siemens and General Electric. He did his M.Tech from IIT Kanpur and MBA from Wharton School, Pennsylvania University.
According to a PTI report, the 51-year-old Bureaucrat-entrepreneur-turned-politician was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He had previously managed to wrangle support from the ruling BJD president and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik despite being in the rival camp. This took place in spite of objections and criticism by many within the ruling BJD. There were allegations that the BJD supremo succumbed to the pressure of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in supporting Vaishnaw. Barely six days ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections on 28 June 2019, he was inducted into the saffron party. Nearly two years later, Vaishnaw landed himself a job in India’s cabinet ahead of veteran saffron leaders from the state of Odisha.
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During Vaishnaw’s stint as an IAS officer, he had worked as the District Magistrate-cum-Collector of the districts of Balasore and Cuttack. Till the year 2003, he worked in Odisha before being appointed as deputy secretary in former PM Vajpayee’s office. Later, he was appointed as private secretary of Vajpayee after the NDA lost the election in the year 2004. In 2008, he quit government service and went to pursue an MBA to Wharton University. On his return from the US and after working for top companies, Vaishnaw set up his own automotive components manufacturing units in the state of Gujarat. In April, Vaishnaw was nominated as a Press Council of India member, for three years.