Ashwini Vaishnaw is new Minister for Communications, India

Ashwini Vaishnaw is new Minister for Communications, India

Dr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, a Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament of India) Member of Parliament (MP) from the state of Odisha, and former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer has been allocated with three portfolios - Telecom, Electronics and Information Technology, and Railways.

The 51-year-old bureaucrat, MBA, techie, and politician has replaced Ravi Shankar Prasad as a new telecom minister in a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday evening.

He has an MBA from the Wharton School, Pennsylvania University, an MTech from IIT Kanpur. Vaishnaw also had a brief stint in the Prime Minister Office when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in office, and quit civil service in 2010.

"A former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1994 batch, he handled important responsibilities over 15 years and was particularly known for his contribution to the PPP (public-private partnership) framework in Infrastructure," the government said in a note.

Vaishnaw, a bureaucrat-turned-entrepreneur-turned politician held multiple leadership positions across multinationals such as General Electric and Siemens and worked as a Managing Director with GE Transportation.
According to Vaishnaw's Linkedin profile, he has 17 years of experience in leadership positions in infrastructure development.

He authored a controversial law that required social media firms to remove and identify the "first originator" of posts deemed to undermine India's sovereignty, state security, or public order.

Social media companies and privacy activists fear the vagueness of the rules means they could be forced to identify the authors of posts critical of the government.

Dr. Vaishaw tweeted yesterday announcing his induction in the Union Cabinet and thanked the Prime Minister.

Devusinh Chauhan has been entrusted with the charge of the Minister of State (MoS) for Communications, replacing Sanjay Dhotre who was also holding the portfolios of IT and HRD.

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