Javadekar talks cam­pus peace, of­fers olive branch to stu­dents Long-pend­ing Maha cab­i­net ex­pan­sion likely this week­end

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Nee­lam Pandey nee­lam.pandey@hin­dus­tan­ HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­

New hu­man re­source devel­op­ment min­is­ter Prakash Javadekar of­fered an olive branch to stu­dents on Wed­nes­day, say­ing he will en­sure a “good di­a­logue” with them to do away with the need to protest in col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties. To but­tress the point, the 65-year-old son of a schoolteacher­mother un­der­lined his role in stu­dent pol­i­tics in col­lege.

“I am a prod­uct of stu­dents’ ag­i­ta­tion. I was part of the Jai Prakash Narayan move­ment; we went to jail fight­ing it out for stu­dents’ rights and other ed­u­ca­tional prob­lems. I will en­sure that we have a good di­a­logue with stu­dents so that ev­ery­one be­comes a part­ner in progress,” Javadekar said in an in­ter­view to Hin­dus­tan Times a day af­ter he be­came HRD min­is­ter.

“In the last 40 years I have been into ed­u­ca­tion in dif­fer­ent ca­pac­i­ties,” HRD min­is­ter Prakash Javadekar with his pre­de­ces­sor Sm­riti Irani in New Delhi on Wed­nes­day.

he said.

His con­cil­ia­tory tone marks a shift from the con­fronta­tion­ist po­si­tion dur­ing pre­de­ces­sor Sm­riti Irani’s two-year stint, which trig­gered cam­pus un­rests over a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing

PhD stu­dent Ro­hith Vem­ula’s sui­cide at Hy­der­abad Univer­sity and ar­rest of stu­dents for sedi­tion at Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity in Delhi.

The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment is set to ex­pand its cab­i­net in the next two days, prob­a­bly on July 8. It will in­duct 9-10 new faces. Af­ter the ex­pan­sion of the Modi gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre two days ago, the long-pend­ing ex­pan­sion plan has got a boost.

The 20-month-old Fad­navis gov­ern­ment is run­ning the ad­min­is­tra­tion at its two-third strength be­cause it could not im­ple­ment its ex­pan­sion plan for var­i­ous rea­sons. Af­ter the sud­den ex­pul­sion of se­nior-most min­is­ter Ek­nath Khadse over cor­rup­tion charges last month, an ex­pan­sion has be­come in­evitable be­cause 10 port­fo­lios han­dled by him are tem­po­rar­ily with chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis. The ex­pan­sion is more likely be­tween June 8 and June 9 ahead of the mon­soon ses­sion start­ing July 18 and days be­fore Fad­navis be­gins his four-day Rus­sia tour on July 10.

The Fad­navis gov­ern­ment, which is run­ning the show with 19 min­is­ters and 10 ju­nior min­is­ters, has 14 more berths to fill.

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