Alphons Kannanthanam
Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology
In office
3 September 2017 – 24 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byP. P. Chaudhary
ConstituencyRajasthan [1][2]
Minister of State (Independent Charge)
Tourism
In office
3 September 2017 – 24 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byMahesh Sharma
Succeeded byPrahlad Singh Patel
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha for Rajasthan
Assumed office
9 November 2017
Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly, Independent
In office
2006–2011
ConstituencyKanjirappally
Personal details
Born (1953-08-08) 8 August 1953 (age 68)
Manimala, Travancore-Cochin, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)Sheela[3]
Children2 sons(Akash Alphons & Adarsh Alphons)
Alma materNorth-Eastern Hill University, Shillong
Websitewww.alphonskannanthanam.com

Alphons Joseph Kannanthanam or K. J. Alphons (born 8 August 1953) is an Indian civil servant, advocate, and politician from Kerala. He is the former Union Minister of State for Culture, and Tourism, in office since 3 September 2017 to May 2019 under the B.J.P. Government of Narendra Modi. He is currently serving as a Rajyasabha MP from the state of Rajasthan.

He is the second BJP Central Minister from Kerala after O. Rajagopal. Alphons Kannanthanam belongs to the 1979 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (I.A.S.), Kerala cadre. He served as Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority.

Alphons was born in Manimala, Kottayam district, Kerala, India, and was a Left Democratic Front supported independent Member of the Legislative Assembly for Kanjirappally constituency in Kottayam district, Kerala from 2006 to 2011.[4] He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2011. He is also the first ever BJP Central Minister from Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency).

Early life and education

Alphons was born in Manimala, Kottayam District, to K. V Joseph & Brijith Joseph. His father was a World War II veteran who became a school teacher after the war. His parents had nine children; they adopted two more from the orphanage.

Alphons received his early education in Malayalam medium village schools near his place of birth. He passed SSLC with 42% marks. After the below average performance in the tenth class exam he decided to change himself and vowed to change the world. He completed his Master's in Economics and was one of the toppers of the Civil Services Examination in the year 1979. He also completed his LLB while he was the Commissioner for Delhi Development Authority DDA.

List of achievements

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Alphons Kannanthanam was one of the toppers in the Civil Services Examination

Won the best collector award thrice.

As District Collector:- Kottayam became the first 100% literate town in India. Was instrumental in building a cancer hospital in Kottayam Medical College. Started mass contact program which later won award from the United Nations.

As the Commissioner of DDA, demolished 14310 illegal encroachments earning him the name of 'Demolition Man'.[5]

Alphons worked full time for a year (1999–2000)with Janshaktiin Nangal Machi slum in Delhi with his wife Sheela, who ran a hospital, school, toilet complex and a tailoring center for 6 years.

As Commissioner for Entrance Examinations, declared result on the seventh day.

As Secretary, Higher Education, was instrumental in setting up private professional colleges in Kerala.

Won best MLA award.

As MoS for Tourism, Govt of India triggered India to third rank in the World Travel and Tourism Council Report 2018.

Career

Alphons was recruited to the Indian Administrative Service in 1979 and served for 27 years. He resigned from the service in 2006 to join politics. He was later elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly, from Kanjirappally in Kottayam District, Kerala with the support of Left Democratic Front. He is also a practicing advocate in the High Court of Kerała at Kochi and the Supreme Court of India.

Alphons first came into prominence when he served as the district collector of Kottayam in 1988. In his tenure as collector, Kottayam town became the first 100% literate town in India. During this period he was instrumental in building a Cancer hospital in Kottayam Medical College mobilizing contributions from 82 lakh people. He also started the mass contact program ( Janangalilekku) which eventually won a UN award.

His national profile rose as the Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority, he commissioned demolition of 14,310 illegal buildings and reclaimed land worth more than Rs. 10,000 crores.[6] These actions earned him the title, The Demolition Man.[7] Times of India survey showed that 89.6% of Delhiites supported his action, the highest rating for any public official any time.[8]

In 2006, he resigned from the IAS to pursue a career in politics. He became a Left Democratic Front supported independent Member of the Legislative Assembly from Kanjirappally.[9]

On 24 March 2011, Alphons joined the BJP in the presence of erstwhile party president Nitin Gadkari, after having resigned from his assembly seat a couple of hours prior.[10]

He has been appointed as a Member of Committee constituted by Government of India on 26 June 2017 to prepare the final draft of National Education Policy.[11]

In a cabinet reshuffle on 3 September 2017, he was appointed as minister of state in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and minister of State (independent charge) of the Ministry of Tourism.[12] On 9 November 2017, Alphons was elected unopposed as Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan.[13]

2019 Indian general election

Main article: 2019 Indian general election

Alphons Kannanthanam contested as NDA candidate from Ernakulam constituency for 2019 Indian general election and came third.[14]

References

  1. ^ "Kerala B.J.P leader Alphons Kannanthanam could become Chandigarh administrator". The Indian Express. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  2. ^ "BJP accords reception to Alphons Kannanthanam". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Kerala Members of Legislative Assembly Archived 2010-01-30 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Ians (26 December 2009). "'Demolition man' Alphons turns master builder in Kerala". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  6. ^ "'Politicians need not be corrupt at all'".
  7. ^ Demolition Man
  8. ^ "Achievements". Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  9. ^ Kerala Assembly Election Results, 2006
  10. ^ "Former IAS officer K J Alphons joins BJP".
  11. ^ "Government constitutes a committee to prepare the final draft of National Education Policy". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: Alphons Kannanthanam appointed a MoS in ministry of IT". The Economic Times. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Union minister KJ Alphons elected unopposed as Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan".
  14. ^ "Kerala NDA Seats Lok Sabha Election 2019". The News Minute. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.

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