Big-ticket resignations, surprise additions and eye on poll-bound states — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet has it all, and a little more. Team Modi 2.0 also boasts of being the “youngest-ever”, with an average age of 56 years.
Of the 36 new ministers, the youngest is 35-year-old Nisith Pramanik, while the eldest is 69 years old. There are five ministers above 65 and none above 70 years of age. Apart from Pramanik, the younger lot comprises Shantanu Thakur (38), Anupriya Patel (40), Bharati Pravin Pawar (42), John Barla (45).
Compared to 12 important exits of leaders such as Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Prakash Javadekar and Harsh Vardhan, the difference in the average ages is eight years. The average age of those who resigned is 64, with the youngest at 50 years and the eldest at 73. There were eight people above 65, while three were above 70.
This is the first reshuffle in his Council of Ministers by PM Modi since he assumed charge for a second term in May 2019. It is expected that with youth power, the prime minister will take on the challenges of unemployment and lack of skills, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic rages.
Apart from focusing on the youth factor, the prime minister also ensured record representation for SCs, STs and OBCs. PM Modi has on multiple occasions reiterated the government’s motto of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (development for all), and said it was Centre’s responsibility to ensure justice for all. There is also a mix of regional and geographical variations, experience, gender and communities.
The new cabinet took oath at 6pm on Wednesday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the announcement of portfolios is expected soon.