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PM Modi strikes balance to give SCs, STs & women a fair share in new rainbow council of ministers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new council ministers has the highest number of Scheduled Caste Ministers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone in for a perfect balance of the country’s diverse castes and regions along with administrative experience in his new rainbow council of ministers which has the highest number of scheduled caste ministers ever at 12, as many as 27 OBC ministers and 11 women. 

The new council has been packed with ministers who are seasoned administrators to anchor and guide their departments with 46 having served in the Central government, four former Chief Ministers and 18 former ministers in state governments. Besides, there are 23 ministers who have been elected to Parliament for 3 or more terms, bringing in more than a decade of legislative experience.

Earlier, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Environment & Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar resigned on Wednesday in what appears to be a result of a performance appraisal by the Prime Minister.

Ravi Shankar Prasad was Minister for Law and Electronics and IT and had been dealing with social media giants such as Twitter who have been defying the government over the new IT rules. 

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan along with deputy health minister Ashwani Chaube has resigned in the morning itself while news of Prasad’s and Javadekar’s resignation came later in the day.

The others ministers who have been asked to reign include DV Sadananda Gowda, Thawarchand Gehlot (he was named Governor), Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Babul Supriyo, Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao, Rattan Lal Kataria and Pratap Chandra Sarangi.

There are 14 ministers below the age of 50. The council of ministers will also have a mix of experienced professionals with 13 lawyers, six doctors, five engineers, seven civil servants, seven with research degrees and three with degrees in business.

There will be 11 women ministers from across nine states. To ensure adequate regional representation there will be four ministers from the five North-east states.

Wednesday’s reshuffle is the first in PM Modi's second term. The Union Council of Ministers, which can have up to 81 members at present has only 53 ministers.

The reshuffle is taking place after a detailed performance evaluation of the ministers by the Prime Minister. According to sources, Kiren Rijiju and Hardeep Singh Puri are likely to be promoted.

Thirty-six new ministers are joining the government and seven have been promoted.

List of ministers taking oath today for their new departments:

1. Narayan Rane

2. Sarbananda Sonowal

3. Dr. Virendra Kumar

4. M Scindia

5. Ramchandra Prasad Singh

6. Ashwini Vaishnaw

7. Pashupati Paras

8. Kiren Rijiju

9. Raj Kumar Singh

10.Hardeep Singh Puri

11. Mansukh Mandaviya

12.Bhupender Yadav

13.Parshottam Rupala

14.G. Kishan Reddy

15.Anurag Singh Thakur

16.Pankaj Choudhary

17. Anupriya Singh Patel

18.Dr. Satya Pal Singh Baghel

19. Rajeev Chandrasekhar

20.Shobha Karandlaje

21.Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma

22. Darshana Vikram Jardosh

23. Meenakshi Lekhi 

24. Annapurna Devi

25. A. Narayanaswamy

26.Kaushal Kishore

27.Ajay Bhatt

28.B. L. Verma

29.Ajay Kumar

30.Chauhan Devusinh

31.Bhagwanth Khuba

32.Kapil Moreshwar Patil

33.Pratima Bhoumik

34.Dr. Subhas Sarkar

35.Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad

36.Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh

37.Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar

38.Bishweswar Tudu

39.Shantanu Thakur

40.Dr. Munjapara Mahendrabhai

41.John Barla

42.Dr. L. Murugan

43.Nisith Pramanik.