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Dharmendra Pradhan
Pradhan holding a press conference on Cabinet Decisions, in New Delhi, December 30, 2020.
Minister of Education
Assumed office
7 July 2021
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byRamesh Pokhriyal
Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
Assumed office
7 July 2021
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byMahendra Nath Pandey
In office
3 September 2017 – 30 May 2019
Preceded byRajiv Pratap Rudy
Succeeded byMahendra Nath Pandey
Minister of Steel
In office
30 May 2019 – 7 July 2021
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byChaudhary Birender Singh
Succeeded byRamchandra Prasad Singh
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas
In office
26 May 2014 – 6 July 2021
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byVeerappa Moily
Succeeded byHardeep Singh Puri
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
2018 – 3 April 2024[1]
Preceded byPrakash Javadekar
ConstituencyMadhya Pradesh
In office
3 April 2012 – 2 April 2018
Succeeded byManoj Jha
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
17 May 2004 – 18 May 2009
Preceded byDebendra Pradhan
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1969-06-26) 26 June 1969 (age 54)
Talcher, Odisha, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
SpouseMridula Pradhan
Residence(s)Talcher, Odisha, India
Alma materUtkal University (M.A)
As of 29 June 2019

Dharmendra Pradhan (pronounced [dʰɔɾmendɾɔ pɾɔdʰān]; born June 26, 1969) is an Indian politician serving as the Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the Government of India. An alumnus of Talcher College and Utkal University, he has also been the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Minister of Steel.

Pradhan was promoted to Cabinet Minister on 3rd of September 2017. Pradhan currently represents Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament. Earlier, he was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha. In March 2024, he was announced as the BJP candidate from the Sambalpur Constituency for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.[2]

Early life and politics

Pradhan is the son of Debendra Pradhan, who was also a Minister of State in the Vajpayee government from 1999 to 2004. He was born on June 26th, 1969, into the Khandayat caste in Odisha state, and hails from the city of Talcher.[citation needed]

He became an A.B.V.P. activist while studying as a higher secondary student at Talcher College (Orissa) and later became the president of the student union of Talcher College. Pradhan started his political career as an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist in 1983 and was elected as its secretary. He holds a post-graduate degree in Anthropology from Utkal University in Bhubaneswar.[3]

After serving in different positions in the BJP, he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 from Deogarh. He was also elected the member of the Rajya Sabha for two terms each from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.[4]

Union minister

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas

Dharmendra Pradhan has been the longest serving Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas in the history of independent India. Joining as the Minister of State (In-charge) in 2014, he was later promoted to the Cabinet rank in 2017. On May 31, 2019, Shri Pradhan began his second consecutive tenure at the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India.

The Ujjwala Man

Popularly called the "Ujjwala Man",[5] Pradhan is credited with the success of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana launched by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas under which over 8 million LPG connections have been provided to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families over the past 6 years. Ujjwala Yojana has been hailed as the vehicle for driving women empowerment and social change. International Energy Agency termed Ujjwala Yojana as a "game-changer in ending energy poverty".[6] IIM Ahmedabad published a working paper on "Lighting up Lives through Cooking Gas and transforming society".[7] PM Ujjwala Yojana, among other initiatives is also considered one of the key factors behind the re-election of the Modi Government in 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Policy reforms

Pradhan has led some key decisions in the hydrocarbon sector. Pradhan, supported by the Union Cabinet, has brought in a new Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy, which through its uniform licensing for explorations and production of all forms of hydrocarbon, open acreage policy and marketing and pricing freedom will enhance domestic oil & gas production with substantial investment in the sector in India and generate sizable employment. He also led consumer initiatives like PAHAL which is the world's largest Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme and the Give It Up campaign, that was liberally supported by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, aimed at encouraging affluent citizens to surrender their LPG subsidy for the needy receiving a successful response of 10 million consumers.

Energy transition

Dharmendra Pradhan, as the Petroleum Minister has been driving India's energy transition balancing India's energy demand and India's commitment to climate change mitigation efforts. He has provided leadership to efforts around making India, a gas-based economy. With around $60 billion of investments lined up in India's gas infrastructure,[8] Pradhan has been working to expand the city gas distribution network and piped gas network in the country.[9] He has underlined that India is going to chart its own path of energy transition which will balance India's energy demand and decarbonisation efforts.[10]

Union Minister of Steel

In a brief tenure as the Minister of Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan has been working to facilitate augmentation of production capacity, ensure growth of secondary steel sector, jobs creation, ensures value addition and import substitution. With particular focus on enhancing steel usage in India, he launched Ispati Irada, a collaborative campaign to involve all stakeholders in this drive.[11] He also launched Mission Purvodaya in steel sector to drive transformation of eastern India through the growth of steel industry which has majority presence in eastern India.[12]

Union Minister of Skill Development

As Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Pradhan launched many key initiatives focusing on reskilling and upskilling the manpower of India and focusing on bridging the skill gap for the Indian youth. During his tenure, the total number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) increased by over 40% and student enrollment increased by over 28% till 2019.[13] He brought in new paradigms in the regulatory environment by mooting National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) as new unified national reg IBM, Adobe etc. to introduce new age skills related to Industry 4.0.[14][15] He also launched one of the world's largest counselling programs named Skill Saathi.[16]

In May 2019, Pradhan continued his Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and got the Ministry of Steel.[17]

Union Minister of Education

In July 2021, Pradhan became Minister of Education in Second Modi ministry after the Cabinet reshuffle replacing Ramesh Pokhriyal.[18]

Positions held


  1. ^ News18 (3 April 2024). "Former PM Manmohan Singh Retires From Rajya Sabha After 33 Years". Archived from the original on 3 April 2024. Retrieved 3 April 2024.((cite news)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Fifth-list-bjp-candidates-ensuing-general-elections-2024-parliamentary-constituencies". Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  3. ^ "Dharmendra Pradhan: From ABVP activist to Education and Skill Development Minister". 8 July 2021. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Dharmendra Pradhan: Age, Biography, Education, Wife, Caste, Net Worth & More - Oneindia". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Dharmendra Pradhan: Ujjwala Man who helped BJP make inroads in Patnaik's citadel". The Economic Times. PTI. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  6. ^ "International Energy Agency hails PM's Ujjwala scheme, says it's a 'game-changer in ending energy poverty'". DNA India. 20 July 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Research And Publication - IIMA". Retrieved 10 September 2020.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ PTI (13 October 2019). "USD 60 billion investment coming in gas infrastructure: Dharmendra Pradhan". @businessline. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  9. ^ "'City Gas networks will soon cover 72% of country's population'". @businessline. 29 May 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Dharmendra Pradhan: India to chart its own course of energy transition: Dharmendra Pradhan". The Economic Times. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  11. ^ "'Ispati Irada' launched by Pradhan during Steel Chintan Shivir". 23 September 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Dharmendra Pradhan unveils Mission Purvodaya to develop eastern region into a integrated steel hub". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  13. ^ "2.5 Crore people trained under Skill India in 3 years". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Adobe, Skill Development Ministry launch digital literacy programme". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  15. ^ Sheth, Hemani (21 August 2020). "IBM India, NSDC tie-up for offering free digital skills training". @businessline. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Skill Saathi Youth Conclave Feb 25 - OrissaPOST". Odisha News, Odisha Latest news, Odisha Daily - OrissaPOST. 23 February 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  17. ^ "PM Modi allocates portfolios. Full list of new ministers", Live Mint, 31 May 2019
  18. ^ "Modi cabinet rejig: Full list of new ministers". India Today. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  19. ^ "MoPNG".
  20. ^ "About Dharmendra Pradhan | Biography". Archived from the original on 31 July 2016.
Lok Sabha Preceded byDebendra Pradhan Member of Parliamentfor Deogarh 2004 – 2009 Succeeded byConstituency ceased to exist Political offices Preceded byVeerappa Moily Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas 26 May 2014 – 7 July 2021 Succeeded byHardeep Singh Puri Preceded byRajiv Pratap RudyMinister of State (Independent Charge) Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 3 September 2017 – 29 May 2019 Succeeded byMahendra Nath Pandey Preceded byChaudhary Birender Singh Minister of Steel 30 May 2019 – 7 July 2021 Succeeded byRamchandra Prasad Singh Preceded byMahendra Nath Pandey Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 7 July 2021 – Present Incumbent Preceded byRamesh Pokhriyal Minister of Education 7 July 2021 – Present Incumbent