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News18 » India
3-min read

People's Cabinet revealed: Nilekani for Telecom

Most people also want Jairam Ramesh to take on a bigger role in the government.

News18 |

Updated:January 18, 2011, 6:34 PM IST
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People's Cabinet revealed: Nilekani for Telecom
Most people also want Jairam Ramesh to take on a bigger role in the government.

New Delhi: Architect of India's ambitious Unique Identification (UID) project, the largest biometric database in the world, Nandan Nilekani is the man majority of people want to see heading the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, according to an IBNLive poll.

We conducted a poll asking people to vote for the people they want to see heading the various portfolios. It turned up some interesting results.

Minister of Communications and IT

People overwhelmingly picked Nilekani for Minister of Communications and Information Technology with 36 per cent of the total votes polled going in his favour.

Nilekani, who formerly co-chaired IT major Infosys Technologies Ltd, India's No. 2 outsourcer, resigned from the company's board to join the government in 2009.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited him to head the Unique Identification Authority of India in the rank of a cabinet minister.

The UID project, named "Aadhar" that aim to provide most of India’s 1.2 billion citizens a Unique Identification, was launched last year a Maharashtra’s Tembhli village.

The project is a brainchild of Nilekani and aims to give millions of Indians the means to open a bank account, buy a mobile phone, and access welfare services easily, while saving companies and government agencies the expensive and time-consuming process of verifying and establishing identities.

Ministry of Environment and Forests

The feisty Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, remained a popular choice for several portfolios. The ministry, under Ramesh, is increasingly becoming more proactive in checking whether projects across India are following regulations. Previously, it was criticised for merely rubber-stamping investment decisions.

Most want him to take on a bigger role in the government. Forty-six per cent of people wanted to see him elevated to Cabinet rank. Ramesh is a popular choice for both Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas with 18 per cent and 11 per cent of the votes favouring him in these portfolios.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jitin Prasada came in a close second for the top position in the Ministry after Ramesh, with 10 per cent of the votes. Former Union sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar was also a popular choice for the position.

A majority of people want Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for the post of Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports with over 20 per cent of the votes polled in his favour.

Ministry of Finance

Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, is the people’s choice for Minister of Finance with 34 per cent votes going in his favour.

Railways and Home

In an apparent show of confidence in their performance, people voted that Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee and Minister of Home Affairs P Chidambaram continue with their ministerial portfolios.

External Affairs

Surprisingly, the popular opinion is in favour of bringing back controversial Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor with 35 per cent voting in favour of allotting him the External Affairs ministry.

Tharoor's use of his political website and Twitter quickly earned him a celebrity status and he went on to get 100,000 followers on Twitter. Tharoor resigned from his post in 2010 following allegations that he had misused his office to get shares in the IPL cricket franchise of Cochin. He denied the charges.

Defence Ministry

Will Finance Minister Pranab Munkherjee do a better job of managing the of Defence portfolio? Our readers seem to think so with 17 per cent voting in favour of him for the post. Mukherjee is a political stalwart who first entered parliament four decades ago and has been a member of almost every Congress party ministry since 1973.

Similarly, people backed Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad for the Civil Aviation portfolio.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal would do a better job of managing Human Resource Development, 39 per cent of the people said.

People wrote in to back Pranab Mukherjee for the post of the Prime Minister, and said Defence Minister A K Antony should retain his current position.####

<b>Detailed results: IBNLive Pick your own Cabinet poll</b><br>

<img src="http://ns.ibnlive.in.com/embeds/img/peoples-cabinet-results-190111.png" border="0" width="100%">

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