Modi government expands cabinet, Ashwini Vaishnaw gets Railways and IT Ministry


As part of a mega cabinet reshuffle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 77-member Council of Ministers yesterday, Ashwini Vaishnaw , the former IAS officer of the 1994 batch, will be the new Railway Minister as well as Ministry of Communications and Information under the Modi government’s mega cabinet expansion.


Vaishnaw is a Rajya Sabha MP for Odisha. He handled important responsibilities for over 15 years and was particularly known for his contribution to the PPP framework in Infrastructure.


The 50-year-old former IAS officer-turned-entrepreneur, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and Wharton School of Business. At the same time, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad resigned from the Union Cabinet yesterday ahead of Union Cabinet expansion.


With the blessings of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi ji, I will take charge tomorrow and work relentlessly to realise his vision,” Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted, shortly after the announcement of his appointment on Wednesday.


Ashwini brings with him a unique experience in and an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of civil service, entrepreneurship, engineering, corporate life, and policymaking.


The Union Minister, who graduated from IIT Kanpur with an MTech degree in industrial management and joined the IAS in 1994 representing the Odisha cadre, also has the experience of working in the private sector with blue-chip companies such as General Electric (GE) and Siemens.


Post his stints at corporate life, he also became an entrepreneur, starting a venture in the automotive component sector. He was later elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) to the Rajya Sabha representing Odisha in 2019 in a rare-bi-partisan support in recognition of his service to the people of the state, where he served in various capacities in Sundargarh, Balasore and Cuttack districts.