Signing in: PM Modi-led new govt starts work as ministers assume charge

New Delhi: Signalling both change and continuity, India’s new government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a third consecutive term, got into work gear on Tuesday with cabinet ministers and ministers of state filing into their respective offices to assume charge.

A day after the much anticipated portfolios were announced and two days after Modi and 71 ministers were sworn in at a grand ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan, there were flowers and felicitations aplenty in the corridors of power. In a seamless transition from the previous government to the present one, the four big frontline portfolios stay the same -- Amit Shah for Home, S Jaishankar for External Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman for Finance and Rajnath Singh for Defence. Bharat First and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family) will be the two guiding axioms of Indian foreign policy, Jaishankar said shortly after taking over. On ties with China going forward, Jaishankar said some issues remained along the border with that country and efforts will be made to resolve them. “Our focus with regard to China will be on how to resolve the remaining issues,” he said. BJP president J P Nadda assumed charge of the Health as well as the Chemical and Fertilisers ministries. Ashwini Vaishnaw who continues to hold the key portfolios of Railways and Electronics and Information Technology, assumed charge as Information and Broadcasting minister in the presence of senior officials, including Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sanjay Jaju.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made service to the poorest of poor the motto of his life and the main aim of the government. He has taken measures for welfare of the farmers, youth and empowerment of women,” Vaishnaw said. Donning his MeitY hat as he resumed charge of the ministry, he said the government will push ahead with its tech-driven agenda of cementing India’s global lead in semiconductor and electronics manufacturing. Jitendra Singh, who took office as Union Minister of State (MoS) for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions at his North Block office, said good governance reforms undertaken in the last decade will continue to increase citizen-centricity and ensure ease of living for every citizen. “Last 10 years have witnessed a series of revolutionary governance reforms happening under the guidance of PM Modi, which were basically inspired by the spirit of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ and increasing citizen centricity to bring ease of living for every citizen of the country,” Singh said. Jyotiraditya Scindia, appointed Communications minister, said both the telecom sector and the India post division have key roles to play at the global as well as local stage.

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