Modi cabinet

Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns amid speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle

Around five ministers have reportedly resigned, and new ones might be appointed before Modi leaves for the Brics summit in China on Sunday.

Union Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigned on Thursday ahead of a speculated Cabinet reshuffle, PTI reported. Around five ministers have reportedly resigned, and new ones might be appointed before Modi leaves for the Brics summit in China on Sunday. Unidentified officials told PTI that the ministerial overhaul will be held on Sunday morning.

The resignations

Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan and Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh also resigned, NDTV reported. Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra also tendered his resignation, The Economic Times reported.

Besides this, Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey was appointed the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday evening, thus creating another vacancy in the Union Cabinet.

Ministries that might be re-distributed

Union minister Arun Jaitley has held the defence and finance portfolios both after Manohar Parrikar quit as the defence minister to return to Goa as chief minister. Former Union minister Venkaiah Naidu’s urban development and information and broadcasting portfolios may be included in the reshuffle. Naidu is now vice president of the country. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani had been given additional charge of the broadcasting ministry, but reports suggest it may be re-assigned.

Some reports have also suggested that the Janata Dal (United), the BJP’s newest ally, will be given a Cabinet berth, while some have also said that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam may get a position.

BJP President Amit Shah had met several senior ministers on Thursday morning. Some had said it was a meeting to discuss the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls. Jaitley, who is in charge of the party’s Gujarat polls, had attended the meeting, along with Narendra Singh Tomar, PP Chaudhury, Jitendra Singh and Niramala Sitharaman.

Changes were last made to the Union Cabinet in July 2016, when Prakash Javadekar was made human resource development minister and Smriti Irani was moved to textiles, among other changes. The next Cabinet reshuffle might be the last one before the 2019 General elections, when Modi will look to be re-elected.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

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Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

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