"On Wednesday, 7 July 2021, former petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan was sworn in as the new Education Minister."
On Wednesday, 7 July 2021, former petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan was sworn in as the new Education Minister. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet underwent dramatic changes, which included the Office for Education and Skill Development. It is the first ministerial reshuffle since May 2019. Pradhan and the 43 other newly appointed ministers have coalesced into the “youngest Union cabinet in history.”
Pradhan is succeeding the previous Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. Henceforth, the ministries of Education and Skill Development will merge. Dharmendra Pradhan, 52, is a BJP-affiliated parliamentary member originally from Deogarh, Odisha. He had overseen his previous petroleum and natural gas administration since 2014. During his term, Pradhan became known as the “Ujjwala Man”, and signed several key national energy initiatives such as the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licencing Policy.
Minister Pradhan plans to guide a ministry tasked with restoring balance to the Indian education sector, which the COVID-19 pandemic has severely shaken. Additionally, Pradhan’s ministry will soon implement the National Education Policy. The former Union cabinet signed the new policy in July 2020. Hence, students across the country are awaiting the minister’s imminent decisions regarding popular national entrance exams. These exams include the NEET 2021 and the CUCET 2021.
One of Pradhan’s key focuses for his early term is the stabilisation and growth of skill education. According to experts, the issue with the current skill education format in India is a “mismatch between demand and supply”. Due to this, aspirants struggle with vertical mobility. Thus, there is a crucial need for the development of industry synchronisation regarding vocational education and VET research. Hence, there will be a boost in the sector through the new education policy.