Union Cabinet expansion: RK Singh, bureaucrat-turned politician, elevated to Cabinet Minister rank

NEW DELHI: Bureaucrat-turned politician Raj Kumar Singh, who steered the Narendra Modi government’s power sector reforms agenda that made India surplus in electricity, was on Wednesday elevated as a Cabinet Minister from Minister of State rank.

Singh was administered oath as Union Cabinet Minister by President of India Ram Nath Kovind this evening. During his tenure, he managed the power grid and bring reforms in the distribution sector which has been debt-laden for years.

Power demand in the country touched an all-time high of 197.06 GW on Tuesday. Besides, Singh also worked in the area of clean energy to boost capacity addition of renewables like solar and wind.

During his tenure, the solar power tariff dropped to an all-time low of Rs 1.99 per unit. Similarly, wind energy tariff has also come down to below Rs 3 per unit in auctions for projects in India during his tenure as New and Renewable Energy Minster.

Singh, who has been elected twice to Lok Sabha in 2014 and 2019 from Arrah in Bihar, had become Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power as well and New and Renewable Energy in September 2017. He held the two ministries till May 2019.

After his re-election to 17th Lok Sabha in May 2019, he retained the two portfolios. Besides he also got the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship as Minister of State.

Before becoming a minister, bureaucrat turned politician Singh was a member of many Parliamentary committees. Singh had started off his career as an Indian Police Services (IPS) officer in 1974 and became Indian Administrative (IAS) officers in 1975. 

He was District Magistrate, East Champaran from 1981 to 1983 and also District Magistrate, Patna from 1983 to 1985. He also served as Director and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence between 1991 to 1996.

He was also Home Secretary, Government of Bihar, from 1997 to 1999. He became Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, (2000 to 2005).

He was Principal Secretary, Road Construction Department, Government of Bihar from 2006 to 2009. He was also Union Secretary Defence Production from 2009 to 2011. He also held the post of Union Home Secretary from 2011 to June 2013. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Wednesday got a makeover with the induction of 43 new members in the Council of Ministers at a simple ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The major shake-up of the Union Council of Ministers represents the “lives, hopes and aspirations of 130 crore Indians.”

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