Ashwini Vaishnaw, Anurag Thakur, Mansukh Mandaviya and other newly appointed ministers take charge

·4-min read

New Delhi, Jul 8 (PTI) Newly appointed Union ministers, including Ashwini Vaishnaw, Anurag Thakur and Mansukh Mandaviya, took charge of their respective ministries on Thursday.

Bureaucrat-entrepreneur-turned-politician Vaishnaw, 51, took charge as the country's new Railway Minister, while Thakur who was elevated as Information and Broadcasting Minister also assumed office.

Vaishnaw also holds two other important portfolios of Communications and Electronics and Information Technology.

'I thank the honourable Prime Minister for the great opportunity he has given me to serve the nation. Telecommunications, IT and Railways. There are lots of synergies in the three and I will be working to ensure that his vision is implemented,' Vaishnaw told reporters.

Darshana Jardosh took charge as Minister of State for Railways.

Speaking to reporters after assuming charge, Thakur said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given him a huge responsibility and that he will make best efforts to fulfil it.

'Modiji has done fantastic work in the last seven years. My endeavour will be to meet his expectations, reach out to maximum people and take the legacy of my predecessors forward,' Thakur said.

Mansukh Mandaviya, a BJP leader from Gujarat, took charge as the new Health Minister amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandaviya replaces Harsh Vardhan.

Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, who succeeded Ashwini Kumar Choubey, took charge as the Minister of State (MoS) for Health and Family Welfare.

Ram Chandra Prasad Singh and Kiren Rijiju took charge of Steel and Law Ministries respectively. Singh, a JD(U) leader, is a retired IAS officer.

Bhupender Yadav assumed charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Veteran parliamentarian Virendra Kumar took office as the country's new Social Justice and Empowerment Minister. Two junior ministers in the ministry Pratima Bhoumik and A Narayanaswamy also took office.

BJP Rajya Sabha member Yadav has also been given the charge of the Ministry of Labour and Employment amid the pandemic which has hit the working class, especially informal sector workers, hard.

Jitendra Singh took charge as the new Union Science and Technology Minister. Singh was on Wednesday allocated two new portfolios -- the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences -- with independent charge after a Union cabinet reshuffle.

Minister of Culture, Tourism and DoNER G Kishan Reddy also assumed charge.

Former Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane took charge as the new Union MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) Minister. Rane said the ministry will work in the direction of creating more jobs and promoting GDP growth. 'Today, I have taken the charge. We will think of steps to promote GDP growth and the creation of jobs for youth,' he told reporters.

Senior Gujarat BJP leader Parshottam Rupala, who has been promoted as a cabinet minister, took charge as Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying. Rupala (66), who comes from the influential Kadva Patidar or Patel community in Gujarat, is in charge of the new ministry formed in 2019 in order to promote allied farm activities for enhancing farmers' income.

Subhas Sarkar and Munjapara Mahendrabhai took charge as Minister of State for Education and Women and Child Development Ministries, respectively.

Former Railway Minister Piyush Goyal took charge as the Textile Minister and said that he will ensure improvement of the textile sector and boost exports as it holds huge opportunities.

'Textiles is a big sector for employment so this is a big opportunity.... The government will try to give a big support to the income of all the people employed in this sector, especially women,' he told reporters.

'We will ensure that this sector can be further improved and exports can be boosted,' he added.

Minister of State for Textiles Darshana Vikram Jardosh said she will help grow and promote the textile sector and make it a key sector for 'Make in India'.

Jardosh also took charge on Thursday.

BJP Lok Sabha member Bhagwanth Khuba took charge as Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy as well as for Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad took charge as the new Minister of State for Finance. Ajay Bhatt, an MP from Uttarakhand, assumed office as Minister of State in the defence ministry and bureaucrat-turned-politician Raj Kumar Singh assumed charge as the Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy. PTI TEAM ASG SMN SMN TIR TIR

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