Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been given the charge of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministries in a major cabinet reshuffle effected by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre on Wednesday.
The former Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Minister replaced Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ while Hardeep Puri got the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing, clubbed with Petroleum & Natural Gas.
Pradhan held the important portfolio of Petroleum & Natural Gas twice in the Modi government.
In 2014, when the NDA came to power led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pradhan became the Petroleum Minister with independent charge. Later, he was promoted to cabinet rank and given the additional portfolio of Skill Development in 2017.
Son of former Union Minister Debendra Pradhan, Dharmendra was born on June 26, 1969, in Talcher. He belongs to the Other Backward Caste (OBC) category. He is married to Mridula Pradhan and has two children Nishant and Naimisha.
He started his political carrier as an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist in 1983 while pursuing higher secondary education in Talcher College. He became the president of student union in Talcher in 1985. Later, he became the national secretary of ABVP.
He did his M.A. in Anthropology from Utkal University in Odisha.