06 July 2016 Current Affairs: Nineteen new Ministers of State (MoS) were inducted in the Union Council of Ministers in a major expansion. These new ministers were administered oath of office and secrecy by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
This was the second expansion of the NDA government led by PM Narendra Modi. Of the 19 new ministers, 17 are from the BJP, one each from Apna Dal and RPI.
Besides, induction of these new ministers, Minister of State (MoS) Environment, Forests and Climate Change with independent charge, Prakash Javdekar was elevated to the Cabinet rank.
The Ministers of State inducted are :
- Faggan Singh Kulaste : Health and Family Welfare
- Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia : Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Parliamentary Affairs
- Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi : Drinking Water and Sanitation
- Vijay Goel : Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge); Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
- Ramdas Athawale : Social justice and empowerment
- Rajen Gohain : Railways
- Anil Madhav Dave : Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)
- Parshottam Rupala : Agriculture and farmers welfare; panchayati raj
- MJ Akbar : External affairs
- Arjun Ram Meghwal : Finance; corporate affairs
- Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor : Tribal affairs
- Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey : HRD
- Ajay Tamta : Textiles
- Krishna Raj : Women and child development
- Mansukh L Mandaviya : Road transport and highways, Shipping; chemicals and fertilizers
- Anupriya Singh Patel : Health and family welfare
- CR Chaudhary : Consumer affairs, food and public distribution
- PP Chaudhary : Law and justice; electronics and information technology
- Subhash Ramrao Bhamre : Defence
Among the newly inducted Ministers, three each are from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Rajasthan got four berths while Maharashtra got two. There is one Minister each from Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
With the induction of 19 MoS, total number of Ministers in the Union Council has gone up to 83, exceeding the constitutional cap of 82. As per provisions of Article 75, the total number cannot exceed 82 i.e. 15% of the total number of members of Lok Sabha. This provision of constitutional cap for total number of Ministers in the Union Council was added by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003.