New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi effected the first expansion and reshuffle of his council of ministers, a bulk of the new entrants Monday took charge of their ministries and departments.
Among the prominent faces who took charge were Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Health Minister J.P. Nadda and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also took additional charge of the information and broadcasting ministry.
Harsh Vardhan, who was removed from the health ministry, took charge as the new science and technology minister.
DV Sadanand Gowda, who was replaced by Prabhu as railway minister, took charge as the law and justice minister.
Some prominent names who will take over Tuesday are Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and union Rural Development Minister Birendra Singh.
Jaitley, interacting with the media after taking charge, said: "Earlier too, I have been the information and broadcasting minister, but then print media was more and very little electronic media. But now radio and digital media have grown tremendously."
Parrikar, who is a former chief minister of Goa, said indigenisation of defence manufacturing and higher transparency were his top priorities.
JP Nadda took over as the union health minister replacing Harsh Vardhan.
Nadda's appointment as health minister comes amid a controversy over AIIMS whistleblower Sanjiv Chaturvedi demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into his removal as the institute's chief vigilance officer. It was reported that Nadda had written to the then health minister, Harsh Vardhan, for Chaturvedi's removal as CVO.
Others who assumed office were Sanwarlal Jat as minister of state (MoS), water resources, Babul Supriyo, as MoS, urban development, Gen. V.K. Singh (retd.) as MoS, programme implementation, Vijay Sampla and Krishan Pal as MoS, social justice and empowerment, Y.S. Chowdary as MoS science and technology and P. Radhakrishnan as MoS road transport, highways and shipping.
Others who also assumed office included Bandaru Dattatreya as labour and employment minister, Jayant Sinha as MoS, finance, Jitendra Singh as minister for development of northeast region (DoNER), Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore as MoS, information and broadcasting and Sudarshan Bhagat as MoS, rural development.
Twenty-one new faces were inducted in the government's first cabinet expansion Sunday.