Jyotiraditya Scindia takes charge as civil aviation minister; holds review meeting

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI) Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia took over the reins of the civil aviation ministry on Friday and V K Singh also assumed office as the Minister of State at the ministry.

Soon after taking charge, Scindia chaired a meeting to review the ongoing work in the civil aviation ministry and discussed the way forward. The meeting was attended by Singh, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola and other ministry officials.

Scindia, a prominent leader from Madhya Pradesh who joined BJP in March last year, is a Rajya Sabha member. He was sworn in as a Cabinet minister on Wednesday.

In a tweet, Scindia, who has served as a Union minister during the Congress-led UPA government, said he was delighted to take the baton of the ministry from Hardeep Singh Puri. 'I resolve to discharge my duties with earnestness & continue the good work undertaken by him,' he said.

General (Retd) V K Singh and Puri were present when Scindia took charge.

Scindia's late father Madhavrao Scindia had served as the civil aviation minister in the early 90s under Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao.

On Friday, the ministry, in a tweet, said that Scindia chaired a meeting to review the ongoing work in the ministry and discussed the way forward.

The ministers have taken charge of the ministry at a time when the civil aviation sector is grappling with strong headwinds due to the coronavirus pandemic that has adversely impacted travel demand and has also resulted in financial woes for airlines, airports and other industry players.

The ministry is also pursuing efforts with respect to the disinvestment process for the loss-making Air India apart from working on various other matters, including privatising more airports and ways to boost the pandemic-hit sector.

In a tweet, Singh said, 'I am humbled by the faith that our respected PM Shri @narendramodi has placed in me. Today, I took charge as Minister of State, Civil Aviation. It shall be my constant endeavour to work with Shri @JM_Scindia ji for a better and progressive India'.

He is also the Minister of State at the road transport and highways ministry.

Scindia resigned from Congress and joined BJP in March 2020. His move triggered a chain of events that finally culminated in the collapse of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh and paved the way for the saffron party to assume power which it lost towards the end of 2018.

The scion of the former royal family of Gwalior was inducted into the UPA government in 2007 and remained a part of the Union Cabinet till 2014.

Scindia had served as MoS at the communications and information technology ministry from 2007-2009, commerce and industry ministry (2009-2012) and as MoS (Independent Charge) at the power ministry from 2012 to 2014.

He has traversed a long way after contesting his maiden election as a Congress candidate in 2002, a bypoll in the Guna Lok Sabha constituency, which was held because of the sudden death of his father, Madhavrao Scindia, in a plane crash.

Born on January 1, he is an Economics graduate from Harvard University and also did Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Stanford University.

Singh first got elected to the Lok Sabha in May 2014 and has held various responsibilities since then. He was re-elected in May 2019.

Following the Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, Puri was allocated the petroleum and natural gas ministry. He is already in charge of housing and urban affairs ministry. PTI RAM MR MR

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