Modi’s New 19: Average Age 57; All But 3 Are Graduates or Post Graduates


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expanded the Union Council of Ministers by inducting 19 new faces, two of them women.

Among the newly inducted ministers, CR Chaudhary is the oldest at 68-years-old. The youngest is Anupriya Patel from Uttar Pradesh, who is just 35-years-old.

10 of the new ministers are in their 60’s, four in their 50’s, another four in their 40’s, and only one minister in her 30’s. The average age of the new group is 57 years. The PM has strictly followed the rule of not inducting those above the age of 70.

Only two of the 19 new ministers are women.

Prakash Javadekar, the lone Minister of State in the Modi government to have been elevated to Cabinet rank, has been rewarded for his work in the Environment Ministry, especially his pro-active role in the climate change talks in Paris.

Sixty four-year-old Ramesh Jigajinagi from Bijapur in Karnataka is the most experienced. He was first elected to Karnataka Assembly in 1983 and has held important portfolios like Home, Revenue, Social Welfare, Excise, Transport etc in the Ramakrishna Hegde, Bommai, Deve Gowda and JH Patel governments in the state.

CR Chaudhary, Lok Sabha MP from Nagaur in Rajasthan, has a degree from Birmingham University in the UK. Before joining the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) as a bureaucrat he also worked as a college lecturer. The youngest, Anupriya Patel, is a graduate from New Delhi’s prestigious Lady Sri Ram College and also has a masters in business administration. The 49-year-old Dalit woman MP from Uttar Pradesh, Krishna Raj, is a Post Graduate in Arts.

Sixty three-year-old Dr Subhash Bhamre from Dhule LS seat in Maharashtra is a cancer surgeon. He has done his MBBS, MS and a specialised course in oncology. He hails from a backward class background.

There are five advocates among the new faces. Vijay Goel is from Delhi’s famous Sri Ram College of Commerce. He has done his LLB and M.Com.

The tribal face from MP, Faggan Singh Kulaste, has an MA and LLB. It is another matter that he was caught in the “Cash-for-vote scam” in 2008. The first-time minister MJ Akbar holds a BA degree from the Presidency College of Kolkata. He was the editor of ‘Sunday’ magazine at a very young age of 25. He later edited ‘The Telegraph’ and ‘The Asian Age’ newspapers.

The Brahmin face from UP, Mahendra Nath Pandey, has a PhD in Hindi literature. Only three ministers – Ajay Tamta, Ramdas Athavale and Mansukhbhai Mandavia are undergraduates.

Four of the ministers are Dalits, three are tribals and three are OBCs. There are also on each from the Brahmin and Jat communities. SS Ahluwalia is a Sikh and MJ Akbar is a Muslim.

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