In Modi Cabinet 2.0, a new face has emerged who will be handling the reins of IT & Railway departments. The man is Ashwini Vaishnaw – who is an IITian IAS with an MBA from Wharton business school in Pennsylvania. With multiple degrees from Ivy League institutes and years of experience as a bureaucrat, Mr. Vaishnaw seems a rare combination of a corporate maverick who’s well versed in bureaucracy.


The reshuffling of the Union Cabinet came as a shock to several. The reshuffling included some big names being dropped out from the cabinet and saw some new names emerge that were sitting behind the veil of sincere anonymity.

When it comes to the names that were dropped, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s resignation came as the biggest surprise. In the past year, Vardhan had not only vocally defended PM Modi’s decisions and his COVID-19 related management, he also took opposition leaders to task. Meanwhile, former Union Education Minister and Union Labour Minister too submitted their new resignations.

After the dust was settled, Indians looked into the new political leaders of different ministries, and one name and the resume behind it came as a pleasant surprise to them. Since time immemorial, citizens have loved to call out uneducated and inexperienced political leaders taking the shots, however, this time, the new IT and Railways Minister’s is not only well-educated, but also arguably over-qualified.

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Everything You May Want to Know About Ashwini Vaishnaw

Mr. Vishnaw’s inclusion in PM Modi’s new cabinet is both dramatic and meteoric given the fact that the ministries were held by the likes of Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad – both who had years of experience in political landscape.

When one would look at the career trajectory of the new IT Minister, they will get to know that not only does he have strong foundational academic knowledge, but he also has vast experience in bureaucratic world – all this while being a silent and sincere public servant.

Gold Medalist in Graduation – MTech from IIT – Cracking IAS Exam

Mr. Vaishnaw was born and bred in Jodhpur and showed the testament of his intellect in the first few years of his life. He graduated in Electronics and Communications engineering (gold medal) and post that pursued M.Tech from IIT.  The gold run of the future IT Minister didn’t end there – and he cracked civil examination in 1994 – with an All-India rank of 27.

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Working as District Collector of Cuttack, Averting ‘Stormy’ Crisis

He then worked as the District Collector of Cuttack and was lauded by his peers for carrying out his job with efficiency while keeping a low profile. Not many know that the then young Collector analysed Super Cyclone prediction by US Navy and took to the top administration. His proactiveness helped the state to take proactive measures and evading a crisis.

Working with PM Vajpayee, Meeting Future PM Modi

In 2003, he started working as then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Deputy Secretary. In 2004, after Mr. Vajpayee lost the general elections, Mr. Vaishnaw started working as his private secretary. And this is when he came in contact with high-profile BJP leaders – the current PM, Mr. Modi being one of them.

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MBA From Wharton School, Working in MNCs

After a few years of bureaucracy, he left India to pursue an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, one of the most prestigious B-Schools in USA. After that, Mr. Vaishnaw worked for a few MNCs like General Electric, Siemms, etc.

Induction in BJP (for less than an hour)

In 2019, Mr. Vaishnaw was inducted in Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for Rajya Sabha by the current Odisha CM, Naveen Patnaik. Interestingly enough, the winds of change blew wild and within 30 odd minutes, he filed a nomination as a BJP candidate.