New Delhi: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has seen another change of guard as the Prime Minister of India has reshuffled the portfolios of his ministers with the assignment of few temporary changes in wake of the Finance Minister Arun Jaitely’s Kidney transplant surgery.
The major and permanent change was effected in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as Smriti Irani, who held the ministry along with the Textile portfolio for the past 10 months, was removed and the same got assigned to Minister of State (Independent Charge) Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who has been MoS in the Ministry since November 2014.
Apparently, Smriti Irani’s tenure in I&B ministry was dogged by controversies due to the way her Ministry had handled issues like National Film Awards ceremony, blacklisting journalists in the name of cracking down on fake news that prompted PMO to intervene, her running battle with Prasar Bharati played out in public raising questions of institutional autonomy and government interference.
After moving out of Ministry of Information and Broadcast, Smirti Irani will now be responsible only for the Textile Ministry and Rajyavardhan Rathore will be at the helm of the Information and Broadcast Ministry with independent charge.
Rathore’s elevation as full-time minister with independent charge comes after what is seen as a decent performance in I&B ministry as an MoS. Also he is seen to have brought positive changes in the sports ministry as minister with independent charge since last year.
I&B ministry under the PM Modi’s government has seen frequent changes that worries the Media and Broadcast Industry as the stake holders expect positive policy changes from the government in issues related to ease of doing business as suggested by TRAI. The frequent changes makes things difficult for the industry, as they have to keep pushing every new comer to address there pending issues. However, the elevation of Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore will be of some help as no stranger to the ministry and will be familiar with the issues that are to be addressed in top priority.