Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has resigned from the Ministry, reveal sources. The minister has been keeping unwell. He had contracted the covid-19 virus earlier this year and was hospitalized last month due to post-COVID-19 complications. His health is being cited as the reason behind his resignation. Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre has also resigned.
The resignations have come hours ahead of the big cabinet reshuffle of the Modi government. The list of new ministers will be announced today evening by 6 pm. A new Education Minister is also expected to be sown-in around the same time. The new cabinet will comprise of the “youngest-ever” ministers, with a record representation of OBCs, SCs, STs. Further, more women ministers will be appointed in the cabinet, according to sources.
During his tenure as Education Minister, National Education Policy (NEP) was launched. The policy was being drafted from much before his appointment. NEP 202 and was launched jointly by Pokhriyal and ex-HRD Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani.
Several major decisions including the decision to cancel class 12 board exams etc had come after discussions between PMO and ministry officials. Such decisions usually are announced by the minister of education.
Pokhriyal has had over 23 interactions with students since the pandemic changed the course of the teaching and learning process, the last one being the announcement of JEE Main dates on July 6.
Appointed as Minister of Human Resource and Development (HRD) in 2019, Nishank’s designation had changed to Minister of Education or Shiksha Mantri with the change of name of the Ministry earlier this year. Nishank had replaced Prakash Javadekar in 2019. The political career of Pokhriyal started in 1991 when he first elected from the Karnaprayag, Uttar Pradesh.
The 61-year-old minister was chief minister of Uttarakhand before joining the ministry. He was also a member of the 16th Lok Sabha. Nishank is his pen name. He is an author and writes several novels, stories, and poems. He has written about 75 books on various subjects, in Hindi, many of which were translated to English.
Sanjay Dhotre, who holds Union Minister of State for Education, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology has also resigned. Formerly, he was the vice-chairman of Maharashtra Council of Agricultural Education & Research Pune (MCAER). He was also a consultative committee under the Ministry of Agriculture in 2014.
Several other cabinet ministers have resigned including Santosh Gangwar and Raosaheb Danve Patil, Ministers of State, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Debasree Chaudhuri, Minister of State for Woman and Child Development, Sadananda Gowda, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, and Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State for Jal Shakti.