Ashwini Vaishnaw, BJP Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Odisha, is the new Railway Minister and will also head the Ministries of Communications, and Electronics and Information Technology, the Modi government announced on Wednesday. According to reports, Vaishnaw is a former IAS Officer of the 1994 batch and has handled important responsibilities over a span of 15 years. He was particularly known for his contribution to the public-private partnership (PPP) framework in Infrastructure. Till the year 2003, he worked in Odisha before being appointed as deputy secretary in former PM Vajpayee’s office.
New Railways Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Ashwini Vaishnaw ordered officials and staffers in his office to work in two shifts. The first shift will start at 7 am and end at 4 pm while the second shift will start at 3 pm and end at 12 am in midnight, an order by his office said. Minister of Railways has directed that all the offices and staff of the minister’s office will work in two shifts i.e 7:00 hrs-16:00 hrs and 15:00 hrs -12:00 midnight with immediate effect. According to DJ Narain, ADG PR, Ministry of Railways, the order has been issued only for MR cell (minister’s office) and not private or Railway staff.
After taking charge, the new Minister had said that the Railways is a major part of PM Modi’s vision and he would work to make the vision a reality. “His (PM Modi’s) vision for railways is to transform the lives of the people, that everyone – common man, farmers, the poor – gets the benefit of the railway. I will work for that vision,” said Vaishnaw.