Harsh Vardhan
Vardhan at the inauguration of India-Canada Technology Summit, in New Delhi, 2017
Chairman of the WHO Executive Board
In office
22 May 2020 (2020-05-22) – 2 June 2021 (2021-06-02)
Preceded byHiroki Nakatani
Succeeded byPatrick Amoth
Minister of Health and Family Welfare
In office
30 May 2019 (2019-05-30) – 7 July 2021 (2021-07-07)
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byJagat Prakash Nadda
Succeeded byMansukh L. Mandaviya
In office
26 May 2014 (2014-05-26) – 9 November 2014 (2014-11-09)
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byGhulam Nabi Azad
Succeeded byJagat Prakash Nadda
Minister of Science and Technology
In office
9 November 2014 (2014-11-09) – 7 July 2021 (2021-07-07)
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byJitendra Singh
Succeeded byJitendra Singh
Minister of Earth Sciences
In office
9 November 2014 (2014-11-09) – 7 July 2021 (2021-07-07)
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byJitendra Singh
Succeeded byJitendra Singh
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Assumed office
16 May 2014 (2014-05-16)
Preceded byKapil Sibal
ConstituencyChandni Chowk
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
In office
27 May 2017 (2017-05-27) – 30 May 2019 (2019-05-30)
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byAnil Madhav Dave
Succeeded byPrakash Javadekar
Member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly
In office
2 December 1993 – 16 May 2014 (2014-05-16)
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byS. K. Bagga
ConstituencyKrishna Nagar
Personal details
Harshvardhan Goel[1]

(1954-12-13) 13 December 1954 (age 69)
Delhi, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
SpouseNutan Goel
ResidenceNew Delhi
Alma materZakir Husain College, Delhi
Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College (MBBS)
Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University (MS)

Harsh Vardhan (born Harshvardhan Goel,[1] 13 December 1954) is an Indian otorhinolaryngologist. He had served as the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences in the BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from 30 May 2019 to 7 July 2021.[citation needed] He represents Chandni Chowk in Delhi as a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha. He was elected to the office of chairperson of executive board of the World Health Organization from May 22, 2020.[2] Vardhan has been prominent in the Indian government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3] He later resigned from his cabinet post ahead of the cabinet reshuffle in July 2021.[citation needed]

As MP Chandni Chowk

He was elected as MP of Chandni Chowk in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.[4] He was again elected as MP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. [1]

Early life

Harsh Vardhan was born in Delhi to Om Prakash Goel and Sneh Lata Goel.[5] Vardhan finished his schooling from Happy School, Daryaganj, in 1971. He attended Zakir Husain Delhi College of the University of Delhi and Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College of the Kanpur University, where he graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. He earned his Master of Surgery in Otorhinolaryngology from the same college in 1983.[citation needed] He has been a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since childhood.[6]

Political career

In 1993, Vardhan was elected as a member of the Delhi Assembly representing Krishna Nagar.[7] He was appointed as the State Minister of Health and Minister of Law for Delhi.[8] He later became the state Minister of Education in 1996.[9] He has been re-elected from the same constituency in the 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 elections.[10][11][12][13]

Minister of Health and Family Affairs of Delhi

Vardhan as the State Minister of Health in 1994 oversaw the implementation of the pilot project of the Pulse Polio Programme which involved the mass immunisation of 1 million children up to the age of 3 in Delhi.[14] In 1995, this programme was launched nationwide leading to 88 million children being immunised.[15] On 28 March 2014, India was declared polio-free by the WHO, as there had been no reported cases for three years.[16]

In 1997, the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act was passed in the Delhi assembly which was one of the first anti-tobacco laws implemented by any state government.[17] The act applied across the NCT of Delhi. It prohibited smoking in places of public work or use for example hospitals, restaurants, and educational institutions and in public service vehicles. It also prohibited the sale of smoking substances such as tobacco and beedis to anyone below the age of eighteen. Smoking products could not also be sold or stored within 100 metres of any educational institution. Under the provisions of the act, fines would be applied to anyone who contravened the law and they could potentially be ejected from places of public use by the police.[18]

2013 Delhi Assembly elections

On 23 October 2013, Vardhan was named the Chief Minister candidate for Delhi Assembly elections by the BJP.[19] After the 2013 elections, BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 31 out of the 70 seats in the Fifth Legislative Assembly of Delhi. However, they fell short of an absolute majority so were unable to form the government.[20]

2014 Lok Sabha election

Vardhan contested the Chandni Chowk seat in Delhi where he defeated the incumbent Union Minister of Law and Justice, Kapil Sibal of the Indian National Congress.[21] He was also appointed in the first Narendra Modi government as Minister of Health and Family Welfare on 26 May 2014.[22][23] In May 2017, he was given the additional charge of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change following the death of Minister Anil Madhav Dave.[24]

2019 Lok Sabha election

Vardhan again contested the Chandni Chowk seat in Delhi where he defeated Congress candidate Jai Parkash Aggarwal by a margin of 2,28,145 votes. While he received 52.94% votes, runner-up Aggarwal polled 29.67% votes.[25]

As Union Minister

This section is missing information about Vardhan's role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (June 2021)
Vardhan taking charge as the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare on June 3, 2019.
Dr. Vardhan visiting the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital to take stock of preparedness to overcome COVID-19, in New Delhi on April 04, 2020.
Dr. Vardhan visiting the GTB Hospital, Shahdara, Delhi, to review the preparedness to overcome COVID-19, in New Delhi on January 02, 2021.

On 30 May 2019, Vardhan was sworn in as a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second term government. He is put in charge of the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences.[26][27]

Vardhan has been prominent in this role during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. In February 2021, he endorsed an unproven "herbal cure" for COVID-19 devised by a company run by yoga guru Ramdev, prompting criticism from health experts.[28] In early March 2021, he declared the country was in the "endgame" of the pandemic, shortly before infections across the country rose dramatically in its second wave in April.[3]

Vardhan as a cabinet minister in Narendra Modi government, declared reservation for academic calendar 2020–2021 in MBBS and BDS colleges for the children of COVID-19 workers who died during COVID-19 pandemic in India.[29][clarification needed]

As a part of Cabinet Reshuffle on 7 July 2021, Harshvardhan resigned from his post of Union Health Minister after holding its two years of office.[30]


At the 105th Indian Science Congress in March 2018, after the death of legendary British scientist Stephen Hawking, Vardhan claimed that Hawking had said that the Vedas postulated a theory superior to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, despite the fact that there is no record of Hawking having made the statement.[31][32][33]

In 2019, after the Health Effects Institute released a scientific report estimating 1.2 million annual deaths in India due to air pollution, Vardhan denied the results, arguing that this report was intended to create panic[34] In 2021, Indian Medical Association (IMA), the largest association of doctors in India, issued a statement which it objected to Vardhan who was endorsing Coronil, a product of Patanjali Ayurved.[35] IMA questioned the ethics of a health minister of the country to release a fabricated and unscientific product to the people of the country.[36]

In 2023, a legislator from ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made Islamophobic remarks and used communal slurs against a Muslim MP inside the parliament. During a Thursday night debate on 22 September 2023 on the success of India’s historic moon mission, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri called Kunwar Danish Ali of the opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) a “terrorist” and a “pimp” among other anti-Islamic slurs.[37] Dr Harsh Vardhan came under attack after a video footage of the incident went viral on social media. In the video clip, he was seen sitting behind Ramesh Bidhuri and appeared to be laughing.[38][39]

Awards and honours

Vardhan has received the following awards and recognitions:[40]

Personal life

Vardhan is married to Nutan, and they have two sons and one daughter.[6]


See also


  1. ^ a b "What's in a surname?".
  2. ^ Shishir Gupta (19 May 2020). "Harsh Vardhan is India's nominee for lead role in WHO, takes over on Friday". hindustantimes.com. Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 May 2020. The WHO, a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, is currently at the forefront of global efforts towards containing the novel coronavirus pandemic. Health minister Harsh Vardhan will have to work closely with Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
    "Dr Harsh Vardhan set to become chairman of WHO Executive Board on May 22". It may be noted that Dr. Harsh Vardhan's taking over of the post in just a formality as it was decided last year that India's nominee would be elected to the executive board for a three-year term in May 2020. The post is held by rotation for one year among regional groups. Further, the post is not a full-time assignment and Dr. Harsh Vardhan will only chair the board's meetings.
  3. ^ a b "Covid-19: How India failed to prevent a deadly second wave". BBC News. 18 April 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Harsh Vardhan confident about Chandni Chowk: I grew up in the lap of Muslims". The Indian Express. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  5. ^ "List of Members – Dr. Harsh Vardhan". Delhiassembly.nic.in. Legislative Assembly of Delhi. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  6. ^ a b "About me – Profile". Drharshvardhan.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  7. ^ 1993 Election Commission of India
  8. ^ "Dr. Harsh Vardhan Biography". elections.in. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Harshvardhan is new Delhi BJP president". The Times of India. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  10. ^ 1998 Election Commission of India
  11. ^ 2003 Election Commission of India
  12. ^ 2008 Election Commission of India
  13. ^ "Assembly Elections December 2013 Results - NCT OF Delhi - KRISHNA NAGAR". Archived from the original on 2 January 2014.
  14. ^ T Jacob-John; VM Vashishta (May 2013). "Eradicating poliomyelitis: India's journey from hyperendemic to polio-free status". Indian Journal of Medical Research. 137 (5): 881–94. PMC 3734678. PMID 23760372.
  15. ^ "From 200,000 to zero: the journey to a polio free India" (PDF). UNICEF. 22 February 2012. p. 8. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  16. ^ "India and 10 other Asian countries declared polio free". The Guardian. 28 March 2014.
  17. ^ "Smoking fine may go up in Delhi". The Times of India. 11 January 2008.
  18. ^ "The Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act, 1996" (.doc). Indian Railways. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  19. ^ "BJP trusts Dr Harsh Vardhan as its chief ministerial candidate for Delhi". The Economic Times. 23 October 2013.
  20. ^ "BJP rejects offer to form govt". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Constituencywise-All Candidates". Election Commission of India.
  22. ^ "Modi's complete cabinet: Jaitley gets Finance, Smriti Human Resources". Firstpost. 27 May 2014.
  23. ^ Live, India (26 May 2014). "PM Modi announces list of cabinet ministers with portfolios". IndiaLive.today.
  24. ^ "Harsh Vardhan gets additional charge of Environment Ministry". The Hindu Business Line. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Dr Harsh Vardhan: Two-time MP from crucial Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat". 30 May 2019.
  26. ^ "ENT Surgeon, Dr. Harsh Vardhan Appointed Union Health Minister in Modi Government 2.0". Medical Dialogues. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  27. ^ "PM Modi allocates portfolios. Full list of new ministers", Live Mint, 31 May 2019
  28. ^ Lateef, Samaan (22 February 2021). "Mumbai state fears Covid-19 third wave as health minister criticised for approving herbal 'cure'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Children of COVID Warriors Who Died to Get MBBS & BDS Reservation". The Quint. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  30. ^ "Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan resigns, new minister to take over". Medical Dialogues. 7 July 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  31. ^ Vardhan, Dr Harsh (16 March 2018). "#ISC2018 –Each and every custom and ritual of Hinduism is steeped in science; every modern Indian achievement is a continuation of our ancient scientific achievement. Even Stephen Hawking said, our Vedas might have a theory superior to Einstein's law E=MC2. @moefcc @IndiaDSTpic.twitter.com/QP9PbLElCd". @drharshvardhan. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  32. ^ Koshy, Jacob (16 March 2018). "Stephen Hawking said Vedas had a 'theory' superior to Einstein's thesis, says Harsh Vardan". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  33. ^ "Vedas superior to Einstein's Theory of Relativity? Union Minister Harsh Vardhan falls for fake information on social media". India Today. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  34. ^ "Minister Harsh Vardhan disagrees with reports on pollution deaths, claims it was released to create panic". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  35. ^ "IMA 'shocked' over Patanjali's claim on Coronil; demands explanation from Harsh Vardhan". The Hindu. 22 February 2021.
  36. ^ "IMA slams Harsh Vardhan for Coronil 'backing'". The Times of India.
  37. ^ Faisal, Meer. "Muslim MP called 'terrorist, pimp' by BJP member inside India's parliament". www.aljazeera.com.
  38. ^ "Harsh Vardhan, Seen Grinning When BJP MP Was Abusing In Parliament, Clarifies". NDTV.com.
  39. ^ India, Press Trust of (22 September 2023). "My name dragged to tarnish my image: Harsh Vardhan on Bidhuri remarks row". The Siasat Daily.
  40. ^ "Biography of Dr Harsh Vardhan, BJP's CM Candidate for Delhi". Bihar Prabha. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  41. ^ "WHO honours Harsh Vardhan on World No Tobacco Day for banning e-cigarettes".
Lok Sabha Preceded byKapil Sibal Member of Parliamentfor Chandni Chowk 2014 – present Succeeded byIncumbent Political offices Preceded byGhulam Nabi Azad Minister of Health and Family Welfare 26 May 2014 – 9 November 2014 Succeeded byJagat Prakash Nadda Preceded byJitendra SinghMinister of State(Independent Charge) Minister of Science and Technology 9 November 2014 - 7 July 2021 Succeeded byJitendra SinghMinister of State(Independent Charge) Preceded byJitendra SinghMinister of State(Independent Charge) Minister of Earth Sciences 9 November 2014 - 7 July 2021 Succeeded byJitendra SinghMinister of State(Independent Charge) Preceded byAnil Madhav Dave Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change 18 May 2017 – 29 May 2019 Succeeded byPrakash Javadekar Preceded byJagat Prakash Nadda Minister of Health and Family Welfare 30 May 2019 – 7 July 2021 Succeeded byMansukh L. Mandaviya