Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India

Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw is currently the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & IT. He was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) in June 2019. He represents the Eastern State of Odisha. Mr. Vaishnaw brings blend of experience in government entrepreneurship and public services.

In his early career as an IAS officer, Mr. Vaishnaw earned the reputation of executing development programmes with active participation of people at the grassroots. For instance, his team in Balasore effectively used technology and mobilized people during the Odisha Super Cyclone of October 1999. Mr. Vaishnaw used the data available on US JTWC website to accurately track the path of the Super Cyclone. He engaged with the people living in the villages that were located in the path of the cyclone, mobilized them and evacuated more than half a million people just before the cyclone hit the coast. This helped in saving thousands of lives. The strategy of evacuation was then adapted as a standard operating process throughout Eastern India, which is frequently hit by cyclones. His work in districts of Sundergarh, Balasore and Cuttack was highly appreciated and he was selected to work in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In Prime Minister Vajpayee’s Office, Mr. Vaishnaw focused on developing infrastructure in public-private partnerships. He was part of the team that set-up the framework which led to development of thousands of kilometres of world class highways, sea ports and airports in India. After serving Mr. Vajpayee, Mr. Vaishnaw led the operation and development of Mormugao Port Trust, a major sea-port on the West Coast of India. Here, he conceived and developed projects for Cruise terminals, Coal terminal, and modernization of Iron Ore terminals.

In his corporate and entrepreneurial journey, Mr. Vaishnaw worked in the railway, urban infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors.

Mr. Vaishnaw earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, USA and Masters in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India.

Mr. Vaishnaw, 52 years enjoys meditating, reading and listening to music.