By Perkriti Malhotra
Edited by Namitha Sadanand, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
With a total of 66 Ministers, 4 Cabinet Ministers, 3 Ministers of State (independent charges) and 14 Ministers of State (MoS) – here is our new cabinet salad bowl, served fresh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to expand the council of ministers has been much appreciated. It has been seen as a move to revive the Indian economy and ensure a fair and just representation of power across various regions. But is it the perfect amalgam? Let’s have an insight into our new 66 member council to decide.
- Inclusion of Various Castes and Social Groups
The new council of ministers has been formed with a view to give more representation to various castes and social groups. With the new council, the BJP has tried to overcome its image of being a party of the upper castes. With the appointment of Punjab MP, Vijay Sampla and Agra MP, Ram Sankar,, the Modi cabinet now has a total of five Dalit ministers.
Whether this is a smart and planned political move or a genuine concern for the lower class,cannot be decoded but the fact that the council has tried to include various castes is a step more than welcome.
- State-wise Representation
In our new council of ministers we have 13 ministers from Uttar Pradesh, 8 ministers from Bihar and 5 ministers from Madhya Pradesh. With these figures, the BJP surely has tried to more towards equitable regional representation and distribution of power. However, it would be unjust to say that all states have been given the due recognition. The representation in the Council is highly skewed towards the North as there are just nine representatives from five southern states in the new council. Not just the south, but north east has also been neglected- there are no ministers from this region except for Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The government sure has made a move in terms of more representation to various states, but there is still a long way to considering the status quo.
- Diverse Talent Pool
The 66 member council has tried to capture a diverse talent pool. Suresh Prabhu who is a Chartered Accountant by profession is our new Railway Minister, Former Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parikhar who is an IIT graduate is the Defence Minister and Jayant Sinha who is an IIT and Harvard Business School alumnus is the new support system for our Finance Minster, Arun Jaitley. Mr. Modi has left no table unturned. To add to the diverse talent pool, we have the popular singer Babul Supriyo from West Bengal and Olympic medalist, Rajyavardhan Rathore.
Looking at the diversity of talent and credentials of our new ministers, we surely have some big reforms and a huge economic push to look forward to.
After having done a critical analysis of our new 66 member council, it seems like the government is extremely serious about its stand on reviving the Indian economy and making it reach new heights. More caste inclusion, more state representation and diverse talent pool tapping, these surely are great steps towards better development. But now is not the time to settle, this is just the first step. Only when the new council proves its mettle in developing the Indian economy will India have a reason to rejoice. It may be too soon to judge if the new cabinet salad bowl is the perfect amalgam, but it definitely is the first step in the right direction.
Perkriti Malhotra is a student of Commerce at Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. As a co-founder of a Start-Up Society and an editor of the College magazine, she loves coming up with new creative ideas. She writes about anything and everything that catches her eye. Community service is something she finds solace in. She is a passionate tennis lover and Roger Federer is someone who inspires her. A foodie, she loves to try out new places to eat. She spends her leisure time baking cupcakes and brownies and searching for new and interesting ideas on the Internet.