Ashwini Vaishnaw
Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India.jpg
Portrait of Ashwini Vaishnaw
Union Minister of Railways
Assumed office
7 July 2021
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byPiyush Goyal
Minister of Electronics and Information Technology
Assumed office
7 July 2021
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byRavi Shankar Prasad
Minister of Communications
Assumed office
7 July 2021
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byRavi Shankar Prasad
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
28 June 2019
Personal details
Born (1970-07-18) 18 July 1970 (age 52)
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Sunita Vaishnav
(m. 1995)
  • Dau Lal Vaishnaw (father)
  • Saraswati Vaishnaw (mother)
EducationB.E, M.Tech, MBA
Alma mater
OccupationFormer IAS officer, Entrepreneur

Former Managing Director, GE Transportation

Former Vice President, Siemens
Source: [1]

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.[3] Vaishnaw was born in a Hindu Swami (Bairagi Brahmin) Family.[4]

Education and Work

He is originally a resident of Jeewand Kallan village of Rani in Pali District, Rajasthan; and later his family settled in Jodhpur.[4] [5][6]

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.[7] In 2008, Vaishnaw left for the US to do his MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[8]

After his MBA, Vaishnaw came back to India and joined GE Transportation as Managing Director.[9] Subsequently, he joined Siemens as the Vice President - Locomotives & Head Urban Infrastructure Strategy.[10] 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.[7]

Years in civil services

In 1994, Vaishnaw joined the Indian Administrative Service in the Odisha cadre, and has worked extensively in different parts of Odisha including serving as the District Collector of Balasore and Cuttack districts. At the time of super cyclone 1999, he manged to collect data related to real timing and place of cyclone, by collecting that data Government of Odisha took safety measurements for people of Odisha. [3] He worked in Odisha till 2003 when he was appointed as deputy secretary in the office of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After his brief stint in the PMO where he contributed to creating the public-private-partnership framework in infrastructure projects, Vaishnav was appointed as Vajpayee's private secretary after the BJP-led NDA lost the election in 2004.[11]

In 2006, he became deputy chairman of Mormugao Port Trust, where he worked for next two years.[12]

He took educational loan to complete his MBA at the Wharton Business School. He realized that it will take him years to payback educational loan and eventually he left civil service in 2010 to join private sector.[13]

Political career

Vaishnaw taking charge as Minister of Railways in New Delhi on 8 July 2021.
Vaishnaw taking charge as Minister of Railways in New Delhi on 8 July 2021.

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.[14][15] Vaishnaw was appointed as member of Committee on Subordinate Legislation and Petitions and Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests.[16][17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[citation needed]

Cabinet Minister

In July 2021, in the 22nd cabinet reshuffle, he was given the responsibility of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Ministry of Communications.[20][21][22]


  1. ^ "Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw | National Portal of India". Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw embraces engineer on finding out they are alumnus of the same college". 10 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Ashwini Vaishnav RS Candidature Fuels BJD-BJP Deal Talk". ODISHA BYTES. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Statewise Retirement". Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  5. ^ "PM Modi Cabinet Expansion: जाति, क्षेत्र और समुदाय- पीएम मोदी की नई कैब‍िनेट के जरिये साधे जाएंगे सारे समीकरण". News18 Hindi (in Hindi). 7 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  6. ^ "मोदी की नई टीम में ये हैं 20 सबसे युवा चेहरे, कोई वकील तो किसी को मिल चुका है संसद रत्न पुरस्कार". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd (in Hindi). Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b "BJP's Ashwini Vaishnaw elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Odisha". Hindustan Times. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  8. ^ Ashwini Vaishnav RS Candidature Fuels BJD-BJP Deal Talk Odisha Bytes - June 23, 2019
  9. ^ Mohanty, Meera (24 June 2019). "Naveen Patnaik's support to BJP man raises brows". The Economic Times. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Bureaucrats prefer MBA degree for better career prospects". Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  11. ^ Gupta, Moushumi Das (25 June 2019). "The ex-IAS officer who is bringing Narendra Modi and Naveen Patnaik together". ThePrint. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  12. ^ "In Odisha, BJD-BJP consensus candidate for Rajya Sabha bypoll joins BJP". Hindustan Times. 22 June 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  13. ^ "BJP's Ashwini Vaishnaw elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Odisha". Hindustan Times. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  14. ^ "2 from BJD, 1 from BJP elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha". Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Odisha: Amar Patnaik, Sasmit Patra and Ashwini Baishnab elected to Rajya Sabha". Business Standard India. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Jual Oram to head parliamentary panel on defence". The Times of India. 15 September 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Rajya Sabha Committees constituted; Prasanna Acharya to head the Committee on Petitions". OdishaDiary. 31 October 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Growth may have slowed, but there's no recession, says Nirmala Sitharaman". @businessline. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  19. ^ "SYNOPSIS OF DEBATE - Rajya Sabha" (PDF). Rajya Sabha Official Website. 5 December 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Modi cabinet rejig: Full list of new ministers". India Today. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  21. ^ ""One Of The Most Brilliant...": Wharton Classmate On New IT Minister". Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  22. ^ Barik, Satyasundar (8 July 2021). "New Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has a vast experience in bureaucracy and corporate world". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 July 2021.