Profile of Shri AnanthKumar, Chief Patron, Adamya Chetana
Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals & Fertilizers
Member of Parliament of the Lok Sabha from Bengaluru South
Elected six consecutive times
Shri Ananth Kumar was born in a family with a long history of social service. He was a member of the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) as a college student and toured the length & breadth of Karnataka. He responded to the call of Late Shri Jaya Prakash Narayan and participated in the movement against the Emergency in 1975-77. During the Emergency, he was imprisoned at the age of 16.
He joined the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in 1987 and was assigned the responsibility of State Secretary and State President of the BJP Yuva Morcha. In 1988 he was appointed the General Secretary of BJP, Karnataka and continued until 1995. He worked to improve the vote share of the BJP in Karnataka from 2% in 1989 to 28.6% in 1994. BJP emerged from being a peripheral party in Karnataka to being a centre stage party. In 1995, he became a National Secretary of the BJP.
In 1996, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bengaluru South for the first time. He became member of various committees under the Ministries of Railways and Industry. In his subsequent term as an MP in 1998, he became the youngest minister in the Vajpayee cabinet and was appointed the Minister for Civil Aviation.
As a Civil Aviation Minister, he transformed the industry and ensured that Civil Aviation played an integral part of the Indian economy. He oversaw the framing of policy for the country’s first real public-private partnership in the civil aviation space, the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. The detailing of this project was so thorough that it became a model for more such airports across the country – notably in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Route Dispersal Guidelines were specified to allow hinterland connectivity and AI (Air India) ran a profit. Also, as a member of the National Infrastructure Task Force, AnanthKumar ensured that Bengaluru was included in the Golden Quadrilateral National Highways project, one of the top projects of the Vajpayee government.
Civil Aviation was followed by stints in other ministries like Tourism, Sports, Youth Affairs & Culture, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation. As an Urban Development Minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet, a mega housing project VAMBAY (Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana), with housing & toilets for the urban poor, was launched. He began to put together a National Urban Transport Policy, which was used as a basis for developing Metro Rail projects at Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad & Bengaluru. He worked to ensure that the Namma Bengaluru Metro project was approved by the then Vajpayee Cabinet in 2003.
In 2003, AnanthKumar was made the President of the state unit of the Karnataka BJP. He worked to build the BJP organization in Karnataka from the grassroots. As a result, BJP emerged as the single largest party in the elections in 2004 with 79 seats in the State Assembly and 17 seats in the Parliament. As a National General Secretary of the BJP from 2004 onwards, he has been successfully discharging responsibilities at the national level. He played an important role in building the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
In the Parliament, he has served as the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Coal, Steel & Mines; Standing Committee on Finance; Standing Committee on Chemicals & Fertilizers and Standing Committee on External Affairs. In 2012, he represented India in the United Nations and spoke about the topics of global warming and on empowerment of women. He was the first person to greet the assembly in our Kannada language.
As a member of the BJP parliamentary board, he worked to ensure that the BJP bagged an absolute majority in the 2014 elections. He became the Union Cabinet Minister for Chemicals, Fertilizers & Pharmaceuticals in the Modi Cabinet in 2014 and has had an outstanding stint. Over the last year Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi has spoken about many of his Ministry’s achievements in his speeches at home & abroad.
He oversaw a record production of Urea in fiscal 2015-16. By moving to 100% Neem Coated Urea, he created a revolution in fertilizers in India. Neem Coated Urea makes it impossible to divert the fertilizer meant for farmers to industrial consumers. He has ensured the highest ever availability of fertilizers for farmers in India.
He has promoted Make in India by reviving & restarting closed fertilizer plants and restructuring ailing plants. He ensured that the Assam Gas Cracker Project, a promise of the 1985 Assam Accord, was dedicated to the nation in Feb 2016. He has promoted Make in India by fast tracking Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions, Chemical Hubs & Polymer Parks. He has ensured skill development by promoting Central Institutes of Plastic Engineering & Technology and National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.
On the issue of availability of medicines for consumers, he has taken strong action to regulate the prices of essential medicines and is working towards 3000 Jan Aushadhi Stores across India. He is promoting Make in India by providing support for Pharma Clusters, Bulk Drug Parks and Medical Devices Parks. Under his watch, India’s pharmaceutical exports continued its lead over China in 2015.
In July 2016, he was assigned the portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs in addition to Chemicals, Fertilizers & Pharmaceuticals. As the Minister for Parliamentary affairs, he ensured that the historic constitutional amendment for the GST (Goods & Services Tax) was passed unanimously in the Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha. The swift passage of key reform bills and the high productivity of the monsoon session of Parliament reinforced people’s confidence in the Parliament,
He has been strong advocate for Bengaluru in the Parliament & the Cabinet. Some of his notable contributions include the metro rail project, inclusion of the city in the Golden Quadrilateral highway network, setting up a modern art gallery in the city, launching the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and building a cargo-handling facility for perishables that put Bengaluru on the global map for export of flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Shri Ananthkumar has extensive diplomatic experience and has visited the following countries to represent India in official delegations: Germany, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., U.K., and U.S.A. (as part of International Exchange Programme; and as Special Emissary of the Government of India to hoist the Tri-colour in Washington for the celebration of 51st Year of Indian Independence, August, 1998)
He is the Chief Patron of Adamya Chetana, an NGO which continues to render yeoman service to the people in Karnataka & Jodhpur (Rajasthan) by providing midday meals to schools and in promoting green initiatives. Adamya Chethana pioneered a zero-garbage and a zero fossil-fuel kitchen at Bengaluru and is working to implement this concept at college kitchens across India. AnanthKumar is a big proponent of adopting a green lifestyle. He has launched an initiative called Green Bengaluru 1:1, which aims to increase the green cover in Bengaluru by planting 1 crore saplings. This initiative has seen regular planting & nurturing drives on every Sunday in 2016.
He has a BA and LLB degree from Karnatak University, Dharwad. He is married to Tejaswini and has two children.