New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Vowing to convert challenges into opportunities, newly-appointed Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that all the three ministers of the HRD ministry will now work as a “team” for providing quality education.
“We all three ministers of the HRD will work together as a team,” Javadekar said after taking charge here.
“(Upendra) Kushwaha ji was earlier here and me and Mahendra Nath Pandey ji are new here, so we will work as a team,” he said, adding, “There are a number of challenges and opportunities in this ministry, so we will convert the challenges into opportunities.”
Kushwaha has been MoS HRD since May 2014, while Javadekar and Pandey were given the ministry in Tuesday’s reshuffle.
Emphasising on the aspirations of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide quality education to all the students across the country, Javadekar said, “Giving quality education to about 12 to 13 crore students of the country is our main priority. And I will try to deliver on all the responsibilities handed over to me by Modiji of the HRD.”
“Education is the only means of changing lives of poor and downtrodden so this will be our priority,” he added.
Javadekar, who earlier held independent charge as the Minister of State of Environment was the only minister promoted to cabinet rank in the major cabinet reshuffle by Modi on Tuesday.
He replaced Union Minister Smriti Irani, who was shunted out to the Textiles Ministry.
Asked about the demands raised by several states for not sharing the New Education Policy, Javadekar said, “We are in dialogue with all the states on all the issues. The government has emphasised most on quality education and all the states have to work for that and we are ready to help all the states on this, and all the states are the stakeholders in it.”
The minister declined to comment on the Central government withdrawing its affidavit from the court in the Aligarh Muslim University issue and said, “The matter is sub judice right now so I won’t comment on that.”
Asked about Smriti Irani’s absence from his charge-taking function, the minister said: “She was supposed to come today, but she was stuck in some personal work.”
Speaking of the controversy that jolted the ministry during Irani’s tenure, Javadekar said: “Keep on reporting our good work and there would be no controversy.”
Speaking on the no detention policy which was opposed by several states, Javadekar said: “I am aware of the feelings of all the states and we will look into the matter and will let everyone know about it.”
Javadekar refused to comment on the demand of the Delhi government for five per cent reservation in admissions for Delhi students in Delhi colleges and also on the demand for an enquiry into the high percentage of students from Kerala and Tamil Nadu getting admission in Sri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi University.
He said he has called a meeting of all the senior officials of his ministry to prioritise the work.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also said that on July 10 he will felicitate his teachers in Pune.
He also disapproved of Janata Dal-United leader Ali Anwar’s crass comment on Smriti Irani, saying: “This is the worst comment I had ever heard.”
Anwar, who represents Bihar in the Rajya Sabha, reportedly said that the Textile Ministry was given to Smriti Irani “to cover her body”.