Harsh Vardhan gets ministerial berth again

Handled 3 portfolios in the previous govt.

Chandni Chowk MP Harsh Vardhan, on Thursday, took oath as Cabinet Minister for the second time here.

An experienced party hand with decades of experience in the Capital’s politics, speculation was rife about him being placed at the helm of the party’s State unit to focus on the Delhi Assembly elections early next year. However, it is now a closed chapter after his swearing-in for the Cabinet berth.

2.11 lakh vote margin

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who handled three portfolios in the previous BJP-led NDA government, won by a margin of over 2.11 lakh votes this time. Earlier, he served as Minister of Health and Family Welfare before being moved to the Ministry of Science and Technology. In May 2017, he was given additional charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change following the death of the then incumbent Anil Madhav Dave.

As Environment Minister, he initiated the ‘Green Good Deeds’ movement in 2018 as part of which he appealed to individuals and organisations to take small positive actions to strengthen the cause of environmental protection.

Achievements

Under his leadership, the Ministry of Environment also launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) that aims to reduce toxic particulate matter by 2024 in which plans for 84 cities are ready and the committee formed for it has already met and taken stock of the situation.

An ENT specialist by profession, Dr. Harsh Vardhan is a five-time MLA from Krishna Nagar Assembly seat in east Delhi.

During his tenure as the Health Minister of Delhi from 1993-1998, he also undertook the polio prevention programme which was replicated at the national level.

He was awarded the Director-General’s Polio Eradication Champion Award Commendation Medal by the World Health Organization in 1998. He was also at the forefront of the battle against tobacco and drug abuse and was instrumental in the enactment of several laws, including the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act. Subsequent to this, the Supreme Court had directed all States to replicate this law and 12 States enacted similar laws.

An MBBS and MS from GSVM Medical College in Kanpur, from where he specialised in ENT, Dr. Harsh Vardhan did his schooling from Anglo-Sanskrit Victoria Jubilee Senior Secondary School in Daryaganj.

He joined the Indian Medical Association’s Delhi Chapter in 1984 and also held various posts in the Delhi Medical Association from secretary and president (East Delhi) to state secretary and president.

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