Ex-IAS, Wharton MBA Ashwini Vaishnaw Gets Railways, IT Ministry: Who Is He?

Vaishnaw has taken over the duties of former Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal, and former IT Minister RS Prasad.

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Rajya Sabha MP Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday, 7 July, was given the charge of the Ministry of Railways as well as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, after the Prime Minister's first Cabinet reshuffle in his second term.

A member of the BJP, the newly-inducted Union minister has been serving as a representative of Odisha in the Rajya Sabha since June 2019.

Vaishnaw has taken over the duties of former Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal, and former Union Minister RS Prasad – who had resigned from his post ahead of the Cabinet expansion on Wednesday.


Who is Ashwini Vaishnaw?

Vaishnaw, 50, was elected as Member of Parliament on 28 June 2019, with a bipartisan support by the ruling BJD and opposition BJP. He represented the state of Odisha in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament of India.

He has completed his bachelor's degree in the Electronics and Communication field of engineering, from Jai Narain Vyas University, in his hometown of Jodhpur.

The newly-inducted Union minister has completed his MTech in Industrial Management at IIT Kanpur (1992-1994), and later went on to pursue his MBA from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania (2008-2010).

After completing his MTech, Vaishnaw attained an all-India rank of 27 in the IAS examination, and served as an IAS officer for seventeen years.

Initially working as a collector from the districts of Balasore, Sundargarh and Cuttack, Vaishnaw was later appointed as Deputy Secretary in former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's office.

As deputy secretary to the prime minister, Vaishnaw led public-private-partnership model of developing infrastructure, as per his LinkedIn page.

After the BJP-led NDA lost the national elections in 2004, Vaishnaw transitioned to the appointment of Vajpayee's private secretary.

In 2006, Ashwini moved on to manage Mormugao Port Trust, Goa, one of the major ports in India, as the Deputy Chairman of the trust.

The former bureaucrat, on completing his MBA, had also ventured into entrepreneurship, and had held the posts of Managing Director of GE Transportation for South Asia, and Head of Urban Infrastructure Strategy in Siemens.

In partnership with other entrepreneurs, he also set up four auto component units serving the OEMs Suzuki, Honda, and Hero.

He joined the BJP in 2019.

The new Cabinet boasts of a lower average age of 58 years, and a number of doctors, engineers and civil servants at its fore.

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