Ashwini Vaishnaw (born 18 July 1970) is an Indian politician and former IAS officer currently serving as the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology in Government of India, since 8 July 2021. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In June 2019, he became a member of the Parliament of India representing Odisha State in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house. On 7 July 2021, he was appointed as a Cabinet Minister and was given the charge of Railways and Information Technology ministries. Earlier in 1994, Vaishnaw joined the Indian Administrative Service in the Odisha cadre, and has worked extensively in Odisha. Vaishnaw was born in a Hindu Swami (Bairagi Brahmin) Family.
He is originally a resident of Jeewand Kallan village of Rani in Pali District, Rajasthan; and later his family settled in Jodhpur.
Vaishnaw did his schooling at St. Anthony's Convent School, Jodhpur, and at Mahesh School, Jodhpur. He graduated from MBM Engineering College (JNVU) Jodhpur in 1991 with a gold medal in an electronic and communications engineering course and then completed his M.Tech from IIT Kanpur, before joining the Indian Administrative Services in 1994 with an all-India rank of 27. In 2008, Vaishnaw left for the US to do his MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
After his MBA, Vaishnaw came back to India and joined GE Transportation as Managing Director. Subsequently, he joined Siemens as the Vice President - Locomotives & Head Urban Infrastructure Strategy. Previously, he has also worked as deputy chairman of the Mormugao Port Trust, and thus has experience in both public and private sector enterprises.
In 2012, he quit the corporate sector and joined Three Tee Auto Logistics Private Limited and Vee Gee Auto Components Private Limited, both automotive components manufacturing units in Gujarat.
Vaishnaw is currently a Member of Indian Parliament, representing Odisha state in the Rajya Sabha. He won the Rajya Sabha election unopposed with the help of Biju Janata Dal members in Odisha. Vaishnaw was appointed as member of Committee on Subordinate Legislation and Petitions and Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests.
Vaishnaw has argued in Parliament that the current economic slowdown is cyclical in nature and is not a structural slowdown and that it is likely to bottom out by March and would be followed by solid growth. Vaishnaw firmly believes that the way to build the country is to put the money in investment rather than putting money in consumption.
Vaishnaw has also supported the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 5 December 2019 in Rajya Sabha. He believes the step of reducing or rather rationalizing the tax structure will increase the competitiveness of the Indian industry and will also develop the capital base of the Indian industry. While supporting he further argued that the particular rationalization of tax structure will help the corporates to de-leverage and increase the retained earnings and reserves and surplus which will lay the foundation of the structural growth of the economy.
Apart from these, he has also spoken on issues ranging from Ship Recycling Bill to Women Protection in Rajya Sabha to further the public discourse on those issues.
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