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Mansukh Mandaviya, Health Minister During Covid Crisis, Back In PM Modi Cabinet


Ahmedabad:

For BJP leader Mansukh Mandvaiya challenges are no deterrent as he faced one of the most gruelling tests when he took charge of the Union Health Ministry in 2021 while the country was battling the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

The 51-year-old leader from Gujarat led from the front and oversaw the implementation of the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination programme in the country, during which more than 220 crore doses of vaccines were administered.

This time, the BJP fielded the two-term Rajya Sabha member from Porbandar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat and Mandaviya emerged victorious in his maiden general poll contest by a comfortable margin of more than 3.83 lakh votes.

He became a Union cabinet minister again on Sunday.

The BJP leader was earlier elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and 2018.

Mandaviya is a political science postgraduate from Bhavnagar University. He has also studied veterinary science and holds a PhD from the Gujarat Institute of Development and Research, Ahmedabad.

He became the Union health minister during the second Modi government in 2021, when the nation was still battling the COVID-19 crisis. He then replaced Harsh Vardhan, who was dropped from the Council of Ministers as part of a reshuffle.

Mandaviya was also simultaneously given charge of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, replacing D V Sadananda Gowda as a consequence of a similar reshuffle.

During the severe second wave of COVID-19, Mandaviya’s ministries were tasked with ramping up the supply of oxygen and medicines and overseeing the vaccination programme.

Born in a farmer’s family in the small village of Hanol in Palitana taluka of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, Mandaviya has been actively involved in politics since his youth days when he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students’ wing of RSS.

He soon became an executive committee member of the ABVP’s Gujarat unit.

Mandaviya became the youngest member of the Gujarat legislative assembly in 2002. He was appointed as the secretary of BJP Gujarat in 2013 and general secretary the next year.

In 2014, he was appointed as the Gujarat state in-charge of BJP’s high-tech and mega membership drive campaign which saw more than 1 crore people joining the saffron party in the state.

Mandaviya got his first big break in administration when the then state chief minister Narendra Modi appointed him as the chairman of Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Limited in 2010.

He was first inducted into the Union cabinet as Minister of State (MoS) for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilizers on July 5, 2016.

On May 30, 2019, he was again sworn in as MoS for Chemicals and Fertilizers with the independent charge of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

Under his leadership, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has set up more than 10,600 Jan Aushadhi stores, which provide over 850 kinds of medicines at affordable rates under the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana.

Mandaviya has also been instrumental in rolling out the flagship Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission to make health services accessible in an efficient and safe manner and to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country.

One of the major highlights during his tenure as Union minister has been the launch of Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, aimed at eliminating the disease five years ahead of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) target of 2030.

During his tenure, the Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry in 2022 launched an ambitious scheme of converting more than 3.3 lakh retail shops of fertilisers into the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samruddhi Kendras. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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