There are only a few cabinet ministers in Modi government that have so many portfolios and Prakash Javadekar is one of them. Currently serving as the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, the 1951 born politician was elevated as a Cabinet Minister on July 5, 2016 and assigned the HRD (Human Resource Development) portfolio. Earlier, he was first inducted into the Council of Ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 26, 2014 as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Additionally, he was given the responsibility of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs until November 9, 2014. He continued and concentrated thereafter as MoS (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change until July 5, 2016.

Major Initiatives by Javadekar

When the nation is facing the menace of Fake News, PIB started Fact Check Unit which aims to counter misinformation on Govt. policies and schemes. The twitter handle gives prompt replies from the users by expediting the process of obtaining replies from Central Government Ministries/ Departments to whom the query has been referred for fact check. Similarly, when Covid19 hit the nation, on popular demand Javadekar announced the re-telecast of the famed Hindi serials like Mahabharata and Ramayana.

As I&B minster he launched the free News SMS service of News Services Division of All India Radio in five Indian languages viz. Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Dogri and Nepali. Focusing the attention on north east of India, I&B Ministry through the Directorate of Film Festivals and in coordination with North East Division (HM)  and Ministry of Culture organized a three-day North East Film Festival in New Delhi from 22- 24 Aug. 2014.

Career as Legislator

Proactive Rajya Sabha Member

Javadekar has been three times Rajya Sabha member where he was first elected to the Upper House from Maharashtra in May, 2008.  He was elected as Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh in June 2014 to March 2018. Since April 2018 Javadekar has been a member of Rajya Sabha representing Maharashtra.  As a proactive parliamentarian he served with distinction in Parliamentary Standing Committees of Defence, HRD and Consultative Committee of Power.  He was also member of Committees on Paper Laid and Subordinate Legislation.

Maharashtra Legislative Council

Javadekar was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from Pune Region Graduate Constituency in June 1990.  He got re-elected in 1996 and continued till 2002. During this period, he was actively raising issues of criminalization of politics and corruption within and outside the House. He was also given the responsibility of a Spokesperson of BJP, Maharashtra. Acting as Chief of Publicity Wing of State BJP and he produced six very popular docu-dramas, films for various elections.

Javadekar was made Executive Chairman of the State Planning Board, Maharashtra between 1995 and 1999 and tasked to chalk out the IXth Five-Year Plan of the State.  He was also appointed as Chairman of the State IT Task Force where he submitted various reports and initiated vigorous computerization and citizen-friendly IT applications in the State. After his appointed as the Chairman of the Working Group on “IT for Masses” by Government of India he successfully negotiated MIT Media Lab Asia project.

ABVP shaped his ideas

Javadekar joined Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1969 that proved a stepping stone to public life. While doing graduation from M.E.S. College of Commerce in Pune, he came close to the renowned Professor of History Shreepati Shastri and RSS Pracharak Damu Anna Date. The two professors have played a major role in shaping Javadekar’s political ideas and thoughts. Being a proactive student leader all this while, he led various students agitations successfully. In consequence to his popularity among students for his selfless and dedicated work, he was elected to the Senate of the Pune University from the Graduate Constituency in 1975.

Nonetheless, a glorious moment came in 1972 whe he was bestowed with the responsibility as Secretary of a Committee of students to felicitate Gandhian leader Jaiprakash Narain. Under the leadership of Late Gopinath Munde, Javadekar welcomed Jaiprakash Narain and paid huge respect on behalf of the students. Prof. Yashwantrao Kelkar and Prof. Bal Apte have been of great influence in Javadekar’s ABVP days as the two professors guided him through his ABVP days.

Emergency Days of 1975

The darkest period of India’s democracy came in 1975, the call of the nation was to fight and restore democracy and freedom. Javadekar was not aloof from the developments taking place in the nation. While he was still working in Bank of Maharashtra between 1971 and 1981, he continued to remain active in student movement. To fight emergency and restore democracy, under his leadership ABVP organized Satyagraha in 11 colleges on 11th December at 11 a.m. in Pune. Javadekar as a student leader and member of the Senate offered Satyagraha in Pune University premises. Soon he was arrested and put in Yerwada Jail, first under preventive detention, in which he was sentenced for 3 months and later under MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) for over 13 months.

However, the authoritarian regime could not stop Javadekar fight for democracy as in jail started a weekly wall paper titled ‘Nirbhay’ which became very popular among the 400-odd political prisoners. Influenced deeply by the then RSS Chief Balasaheb Devras, who was also detained in Yerwada Jail, he organized various programs along with his colleagues inside the jail against emergency. 

Young Turk of BJP

After coming out of jail, Javadekar wholeheartedly campaigned for the Parliamentary Polls in Pune City from where Mohan Dharia was the Janta Party candidate in 1977. Between 1978 and 1980, he worked on a tribal project of Bank of Maharashtra in Manor, Tehsil Palghar, District Thane. Later he worked in Sick Unit Cell & Employment Promotion Programme for Bank of Maharashtra. Javadekar was made member of the Youth Welfare Board of Government of Maharashtra during this period and started informally working for the Janata Party.

To focus and concentrate on the party work, Javadekar resigned from Bank of Maharashtra in 1981 and started working as a full-time worker of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was assigned the responsibility of General Secretary, Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morch (BJYM). He worked relentlessly in the State of Maharashtra and in the subsequent year was made the Member of National Executive of BJYM and National Convener of Unemployment Cell of BJYM. He wrote extensively on the issues relating to unemployment and organized various protests in the State and at the national level on the issue of unemployment.

Javadekar spearheaded ‘Sangharsha Rath’ throughout Maharashtra and mobilized thousands of youth in Mumbai on March 10, 1989. This was the first of its kind ‘Rath’ deployed by the BJYM/BJP. He was later elevated as All India Secretary and General Secretary of BJYM under the leadership of Kalraj Mishra, Satyadev Singh, Pramod Mahajan and Rajnath Singh. He was part of each of the program of young political leaders (ACYPL) to USA in 1985.

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