Dharmendra Pradhan: From ABVP activist to Education and Skill Development Minister

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jul 08, 2021

New Delhi: Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan briefs the media on cabinet decisions, at NMC, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Dec.30, 2020. (PTI Photo/ Manvender Vashist) (PTI12_30_2020_000148B) | Photo Credit: Manvender Vashist

To head Ministry at a time when there is lot of uncertainty among students

Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday is given the Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship portfolios. He is among the 43 Ministers who were part of swearing-in, in a major cabinet reshuffle amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

He will take over from Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', who put in his papers on Wednesday citing health issues. Pradhan who hails from Talcher in Odisha is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha representing Madhya Pradesh. He was earlier a member of the 14th Lok Sabha.

Hurdles

The Education Ministry is to be headed by Pradhan at a time when there is lot of uncertainty among students both at the school and higher level. So far the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has cancelled the board exam of Class X and XII. In the higher education too, the ministry recently announced competitive exams such as Joint Entrance Exam 2021 and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (UG), 2021.

However, there are lot of issues such as clarity on the dates on the other competitive exams, providing better internet access to rural students, reaching out to maximum number of students during pandemic and steps to be taken to improve online education in the coming years.

Political career

Pradhan started his career in politics as an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist in 1983, and has served in ABVP as Secretary. He has also worked as an election in - charge in Bihar and as an in- charge of party affairs in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Odisha.

He holds a post - graduate degree in Anthropology from Utkal University in Bhubaneswar.

His father Debendra Pradhan is also a BJP leader and was a member of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Pradhan who till now was handling the Petroleum Ministry is India's longest serving Petroleum Minister. He took charge of the Ministry in 2014 and continued till July 2021. After Pradhan, it is former Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik who comes second with his five year stint as an Oil Minister in the NDAgovernment.

Published on July 08, 2021
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