Newly appointed human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar took charge of his office on Thursday. On Wednesday, he had said he is a "product of student agitation" and that he believes campus unrests can be resolved through dialogue, reported The Indian Express. “See, I am a product of student agitation. So, we will always talk with everybody. I think with dialogue in place, agitations don’t happen. There will be no necessity for [student] agitations,” he said a day before he is scheduled to officially take charge of the ministry from Bharatiya Janata Party leader Smriti Irani.
Under Irani, several prestigious universities across the country saw protests and strikes for a series of issues. These ranged from the appointment of a BJP-linked chairman at the Film and Film and Television Institute of India, to suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula of the Hyderabad University. The most widely report unrest erupt at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in February, after three students were arrested for "anti-national" activities.
Speaking on his vision for the ministry, Javadekar said, “We lack innovation. We have to make our education system more innovative. We have to increase inquisitiveness among students.” He also met ministry officers on the same day to take stock of the pending projects and challenges. The Union minister later met Irani as well.
On Tuesday, Javadekar was given the charge of the HRD ministry in a massive Cabinet reshuffle. Irani was move to the Textiles Ministry. “In the last 40 years, my main activities were in education. I was part of the student movement not only as an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader, but I also represented the graduate constituency in the Maharashtra Legislative Council for 12 years," he said. "I was heading the Planning Commission in Maharashtra where we laid emphasis on education. Then as MP, I was part of the HRD committee and we dealt with ten crucial legislations. Once you take the job, you have to get acquainted with all aspects of the portfolio.”