Though the Bharatiya Janata Party has remained in power for the second term and party supremo Narendra Modi continues to serve as Prime Minister of India, there have been some major reshuffles in the cabinet of ministers after the recent elections. With the major chunk of the population being young, human resource is one of the strong points of the country. The Ministry of Human Resource Development is crucial to the education and skill development of the youth of the country. Till before the Lok Sabha elections, Prakash Javadekar was the minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) but now the responsibility has been given to Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, from whom hopes are high.
Dr Pokhriyal has served as the chief minister of Uttarakhand from 2009 to 2011. A member of the parliament, he represents the Haridwar Lok Sabha Constituency after the 17th Lok Sabha Elections. He was born in 1959 in the little village of Pinani, Pauri Garhwal, then Uttar Pradesh. Dr. Pokhriyal has been active in politics since 1991 when he was elected from Karnaprayag to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. From then on for five consecutive terms, till 2012, he has been a member of the assembly of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In 1997, he got his first big post in politics as the Uttaranchal Development Minister. Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal has also served as cabinet minister for Uttaranchal Development in the ministry of Kalyan Singh and has also been responsible for Cultural Fulfillment and Endowments under the leadership of Ram Prakash Gupta.
After the state of Uttarakhand was created, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal has been responsible for numerous departments including finance, revenue, water etc. He was also appointed the Minister of Health and Family Welfare in 2007. At the same time, he was also heading the departments of Language and Science in Uttarakhand. He also wears the tag of the youngest chief minister of Uttarakhand. He is one of the senior members of the BJP and currently he also serves as the Chairman of the Assurance Committee.
With a pseudonym ‘Nishank’, he is famous for his literary prowess. He has been an author even before he had any major political recognition. His first anthology of poems – ‘Samarpan’ was published in 1983. He has written numerous collections of poems, collections of short stories, children’s fiction, books on personal development and grooming and also novels. His literary work has been published also in other languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Gharwali, English, German and French.
No politician can be free from some kind of controversy or the other. Pokhriyal too came under the scanner recently on his comments relating to the superiority of Astrology over other branches of science. Pokhriyal is a strong proponent of the belief that Hindu mythology has its roots in reality and ancient science. Pokhriyal has openly stated that he believes that nuclear science and medical procedures of transplanting heads have existed in India lakhs of years ago. There is also much controversy regarding the PhD degrees conferred to Pokhriyal by the International Open University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Pokhriyal has displayed a unique attitude throughout his career. From his dedication to literature to his passion in politics and his belief in ancient science – Pokhriyal is innovative in a new way! As citizens of the country, we can just hope that this innovativeness will affect the future of human resource development in the country in a positive way.