Why Did Modi Pick Mansukh Mandaviya as India’s New Health Minister?

Published: July 8,2021 07:03 PM

Story highlights

An MA in Political Science, Mandaviya’s task is cut out as he takes over at a critical juncture in India’s fight against Covid

July 8, 2021: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday was a major shakeup. Eleven ministers, including senior ministers like Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister for Environment and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar resigned just hours ahead of the rejig that saw 36 new faces including Mansukh Mandaviya being sworn in as Health Minister.

Challenges before Mandaviya are daunting. Starting from controlling the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus to getting maximum number of people vaccinated with the short supply of vaccines to saving the children and preparing the people and the health infrastructure to tackle a third wave of COVID, Mandaviya’s plate is overflowing with issues that need immediate fixing. One major challenge for the 49 years old Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat would be to address the short supply of vaccines.

Madaviya being appointed as the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertiliser is being seen by many as PM Modi’s move to fix the vaccine shortage issue.



Mansukh Mandaviya was the Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemical & Fertilisers in 2016. In 2018 he was re-elected for a second term as Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat. Being picked to be the Health Minister of the country at this critical juncture and to be given the responsibility of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertiliser is indication enough of PM Modi’s trust on him.

Mandaviya’s political career began in 2002 when he won from the Palitana Constituency and became the youngest MLA in Gujarat.

An MA in Political Science from Bhavnagar University, Mandaviya is known for his active participation in Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). He was also recently honoured by the UNICEF and others for his contribution to women's menstrual hygiene.

Born in a middle-class farmer family in a village called Hanol in the Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, he studied veterinary science at the Gujarat Agricultural University’s Dantiwada campus and later completed his Masters in Political Science from Bhavnagar University.