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Jitendra Singh (politician, born 1956)

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Jitendra Singh (born 6 November 1956) is an Indian politician. He is the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space.[2]

Jitendra Singh
Dr.Jitendra Singh.JPG
At press briefing
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region
Assumed office
9 November 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byV. K. Singh
Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office
Assumed office
26 May 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Assumed office
26 May 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Minister of State in the Department of Space and Department of Atomic Energy
Assumed office
26 May 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Minister of Earth Sciences
In office
26 May 2014 – 8 November 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byJaipal Reddy
Succeeded byHarsh Vardhan
Minister of Science and Technology
In office
26 May 2014 – 8 November 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byJaipal Reddy
Succeeded byHarsh Vardhan
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Assumed office
16 May 2014
Preceded byChaudhary Lal Singh
ConstituencyUdhampur, J&K
Personal details
Born (1956-11-06) 6 November 1956 (age 62)
Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
NationalityIndian
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)
Manju Singh (m. 1982)
Children2
ResidenceNew Delhi
Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir[1]
Alma materStanley Medical College, Chennai
ProfessionPhysician
Politician
Websitewww.drjitendrasingh.in

He is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national executive member and was the chief spokesperson for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.[3][4] He won the Udhampur seat in the Indian general election, 2014 and 2019 for the 16th Lok Sabha and 17th Lok Sabha.[5]

He was a professor of diabetes and endocrinology,[6] a consultant, clinical practitioner, author of eight books, and a newspaper columnist. He is the ex-chairman for the National Scientific Committee Diabetes and the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India.

Early lifeEdit

Singh was born on 6 November 1956 at Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir state to Rajinder Singh and Shanti Devi in a Dogra family.[7][8] Jitendra is the eldest of three brothers. His 10 year junior younger brother Devender Singh Rana is also a politician and belongs to the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference party.[8][9]

Singh received a M.B.B.S. degree from Stanley Medical College, Chennai and completed his M.D. from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.[10]

Professional careerEdit

Besides being a doctor, Singh has also worked as a newspaper columnist. Initially he wrote for Kashmir Times. However, he was unhappy about how the newspaper covered events related to Kashmir. Subsequently, he switched to Daily Excelsior[8], which is the largest circulated newspaper of Jammu and Kashmir. His weekly column 'Tales of Travesty' used to feature in the editorial section of the newspaper until his election to the Lok Sabha in 2014.[11]

Political careerEdit

Formative yearsEdit

In 2008, Singh was appointed spokesperson of the Shri Amarnathji Sangharsh Samiti, an umbrella organization of right wing parties during the Amarnath land transfer controversy.[8] During his stint with the organization, he took premature retirement as a professor of endocrinology in the Government Medical College, Jammu to join the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2012.[12][9] However, the party refused to make him a candidate for the 2009 Indian general election.[13]

Parliamentary careerEdit

In March 2014, the party announced that Singh would contest the upcoming general election from Udhampur constituency in his native Jammu.[14] His primary competitor was Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Indian National Congress party who was a former chief minister of the state.[15] Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha after defeating Azad by a margin of 60,976 votes. Singh was polled 4,87,369 votes while Azad was polled 4,26,393 votes.[16]

On 27 May 2014, Singh was appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space. He also became the Union Minister of State (Independent charge) in the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences.[7][17]

In March 2019, the party renominated Singh as its candidate from the Udhampur constituency for the upcoming general election. His main rival was Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress party and supported by Jammu and Kashmir National Conference party. He is also the grandson of Hari Singh, the last monarch of the former princely state. Jitendra Singh fought the election on his "development report card".[18] Notable campaigners for him included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Ram Madhav and cricketer Gautam Gambhir.[19] Jitendra Singh was re-elected to the Lok Sabha after defeating Vikramaditya Singh by approximately 350,000 votes. Jitendra Singh was polled 7,15,406 votes compared to his rival's 3,66,123 votes.[20]

On 31 May 2019, it was announced that Singh had retained his ministries in the Second Modi ministry.[21]

Minister of Science and TechnologyEdit

As a minister of science and technology, Singh launched India's first indigeneuosly made research vessel named "Sindhu Sadhana" on 14 July 2014 from Mormugao harbour in Goa.[22] In a written response to the Lok Sabha on 31 July, he announced that India had signed cooperative arrangements with 33 countries for "peaceful use of outer space". He further added that areas of cooperation included remote sensing of earth, launch services, satellite communication, telemetry, space exploration and space law.[23] He further launched India's first home-made broad spectrum confocal microscope on 7 October at New Delhi.[24] He announced that the government was considering increasing the retirement age of scientists to 62 years.[25] The ministry increased the stipend of researchers by 50% at the end of the month.[26] On 8 November 2014, Singh was replaced by Harsh Vardhan, another doctor as the minister of science and technology and earth sciences.[27]

Minister of state in space and atomic energyEdit

During Singh's ministership, the fourth Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System was launched by ISRO in April 2015 which would provide "navigation and communication facility to all the surrounding countries".[28] On 29 April 2018, he along with ISRO chairman K. Sivan confirmed that India would send a manned mission to moon by 2022 as proposed by Prime Minister Modi.[29]

Minister of state for Personnel, Public Grievances and pensionEdit

During Singh's tenure as the minister of personnel, public grievances and pension, the Union Public Service Commission refused to count the marks of English comprehension in the Civil Services Aptitude Test. This violated the status quo of the question paper as suggested by the Arvind Varma committee.[30] Interviews were discontinued for lower tier government jobs as well the need of attestation by a gazetted officer was also discontinued.[11] On 20 March 2019, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, a former Supreme Court judge was appointed as India's first Lokpal.[11][31]

Minister of state for Development of North Eastern regionEdit

On 8 November 2014, in a cabinet reshuffle, Singh was appointed Minister of State (Independent charge) in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and replaced V.K. Singh.[32] In the ministry, he introduced the use of satellite imaging for surveying and building roads and for "preparation of utilisation certificates with fool-proof accuracy". He advised Sarbananda Sonowal, the chief minister of Assam to utilise the Assam Remote Sensing Application Centre to construct smart cities and in urban development.[33] On 23 November 2015, Singh announced that the central government has decided to make Mizoram a "bamboo state" and the ministry proposed steps for the commercial utilisation of the state's bamboo potential.[34]

In January 2016, he said that the Northeast India was "emerging destination for new Startups". In the Startup India scheme launched by Modi, the ministry added an additional incentive, "venture"funds. This fund would provide the aspiring entepreneurs "relief from financial liabilities" and thus according to Singh, youth from other parts of India would "participate in the development of the North-Eastern States".[35]

In September 2018, Pakyong Airport, Sikkim's first greenfield airport was inaugurated by Modi. Previously, Singh had setup a deadline of 2017.[36][37] In the same month, he announced that an airport would also be built in Arunachal Pradesh.[38]

2014 Jammu and Kashmir electionEdit

On 17 November 2014, the party announced that Singh was appointed the head of the 18 member Election Campaign Committee for the upcoming legislative assembly election in his native state.[39] He formulated the strategy for the party.[8] However, no party managed to get a majority in the election.[8] The media speculated that Singh might become the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir as he had the support of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and was popular amongst the Hindus of Jammu.[40] The party negotiated with Jammu and Kashmir National Conference party in order to form a coalition government. However, talks fell flat when the National Conference rejected the demand of a Hindu chief minister for which Singh was a front runner.[8]

Political viewsEdit

Singh feels that the Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which gives a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir is temporary in nature and quoted India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the same.[41] He alleged that Congress and National Conference parties had fooled the people of the state "in the name of Article 370". He further criticized former chief minister Sheikh Abdullah for misusing the article to lengthen the term of the assembly.[42]

Personal lifeEdit

On 16 April 1982, Singh married Manju Singh. They have two sons.[7]

In June 2011, Singh was denied a visa to attend a conference at Washington, USA.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jitendra Singh – Affidavit Information Candidate Archived 13 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Myneta.info. Retrieved on 1 August 2014.
  2. ^ For better synergy, maximum efficiency Archived 30 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. The Hindu (28 May 2014). Retrieved on 1 August 2014.
  3. ^ Minister of State (Independent Charge): Jitendra Singh Archived 30 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. NDTV (26 May 2014). Retrieved on 1 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Make the interlocutors' report on Kashmir public: BJP". The Times of India. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Profile on BJP Web Site". Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ "Dr Jitendra Singh focusses on young diabetics". Early Times. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ a b c "Singh, Dr. Jitendra". Lok Sabha. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kashmir's Dogra bros divided in politics". DNA. 28 December 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b "The doctor is in". Indian Express. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  10. ^ "J-K's Jitendra Singh a known face in national politics". The Business Standard. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "Jitendra Singh, J&K's only representation in Union Ministry". The Dispatch. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Like Narendra Modi, Jitendra Singh too was denied US visa". DNA. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  13. ^ "BJP drops one Amarnath Samiti name". Indian Express. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  14. ^ Masood Hussain (11 March 2014). "Descent in J&K BJP as Nirmal Singh denied ticket". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  15. ^ Ahmed Ali Fayyaz (22 March 2014). "The second homecoming". The Hindu. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  16. ^ "2014 Elections Results: Ghulam Nabi Azad fails to make maiden bid from JK, Congress routed from Jammu". The Economic Times. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  17. ^ For better synergy, maximum efficiency Archived 30 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. The Hindu (28 May 2014). Retrieved on 1 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Jitendra Singh to face direct contest with Dogra Maharaja's grandson in Udhampur Lok Sabha seat". The Times of India. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  19. ^ "2019 Lok Sabha polls: J&K's Udhampur awaits a battle of ballots among 4 Rajputs". India Today. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  20. ^ "Jitendra Singh attributes victory from Udhampur to BJP workers' hardwork". Business Standard. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) 2019: BJP's man in J&K retains all berths from previous term, including Development of North East Region". First Post. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Now, India gets first local research vessel". Hindustan Times. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  23. ^ "India Working With 33 Nations For Peaceful Use Of Outer Space". Business Insider. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Dr Jitendra Singh Launch's Product Developed Under CSIR-New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (CSIR-NMITLI): A Unique Public -Private - Partnership (PPP) Programme". Press Information Bureau. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Retirement age of scientists may be raised to 62 years". News 18. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  26. ^ "Research stipends hiked by over 50%". Live Mint. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Out of health ministry in just 5 months, Harsh Vardhan takes charge of science and tech ministry". The Times of India. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Isro all set to give navigation services, says Jitendra Singh". Deccan Herald. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  29. ^ "3 Indians will reach space within 16 minutes of launch: Isro chairman". The Times of India. 29 April 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  30. ^ "UPSC row: Modi govt should worry about careers, not only BJP votes". First Post. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  31. ^ "India's First Lokpal Appointed: Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as Chief, 8 Members". The Wire. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  32. ^ "What went wrong? VK Singh lost Doner to MoS for personnel Jitendra Singh". The Economic Times. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  33. ^ "Many space applications not being fully utilised: Minister". Business Standard. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Mizoram to be bamboo state: Jitendra Singh". The Economic Times. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  35. ^ "Northeast is emerging destination for new startups: Dr. Jitendra Singh". The Hans India. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  36. ^ "Sikkim's Pakyong airport is an engineering marvel, a historic moment for India, says PM Modi - Highlights". Times Now. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  37. ^ "Pakyong airport in Sikkim to become operational by 2017". The Economic Times. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Arunachal airport work will start soon: Jitendra Singh". UNI India. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  39. ^ "Jitendra Singh to head BJP's Election Campaign Committee in Jammu & Kashmir". The Economic Times. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  40. ^ "Who will be Jammu & Kashmir's new CM?". The Economic Times. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  41. ^ "Special status to J&K is temporary, even Nehru said ye ghiste ghiste ghis jaayegi: MoS Jitendra Singh". India Today. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  42. ^ "Congress, NC misused Article 370 for political gains: Union Minister Jitendra Singh". India Today. 28 July 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.