|Kapil Sibal landing the
New Delhi: Kapil Sibal,
who was appointed as the Union Minister of Human Resource Development on
Thursday, likes to describe himself as a lawyer by profession and a politician
In his successful career
as a lawyer, Sibal has pleaded cases for many a politician including RJD
chief Lalu Prasad and AIADMK
chief J Jayalalithaa.
He was also the Additional
Solicitor General of India between December 1989-1990 but he shot to fame
when he mounted a defence in Parliament of Supreme Court Justice V Ramasamy,
the only judge who has been sought to be impeached.
This was the "accident"
in Sibal's life which took a political turn thereafter. Taking note of
his stellar performance, Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao offered him a
Congress ticket from South Delhi in 1996. But he lost by over a lakh votes.
In 1998, he was elected
to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar with support from Lalu Prasad. Six years
later, Sibal decided that if he was going to be in politics, he would do
it by facing the voter. He contested and won the 2004 election from Chandni
Chowk by polling a record 71 per cent votes. For a person who cleared IAS
and then decided not to join, practised law, entered politics and dabbled
in poetry, Sibal has come a long way. In his earlier stint in the UPA government,
Sibal had managed to turn the ministry of science and technology, considered
by many as a non-happening place, into a high profile one.
Now, it is to be seen
whether he can continue with the turnaround of HRD ministry, plagued by
Among the challenges he
faces is unversalisation of elementary and secondary education and meeting
the infrastructure requirements of a bouquet of IITs and IIMs announced
Several initiatives launched
under his stewardship in the past include an ambitious programme to award
scholarships for students opting for science and a massive overhaul of
the oft-criticised India Meteorological Department.
|Sibal also achieved the
distinction of visiting the icy continent of Antarctica and staying with
scientists at India's research station there. It was at his insistence
that a research station was put up in the Arctic region as well.
Besides his achievements
in the ministry of science and technology, Sibal was also the country's
face in the tough negotiations on global response to climate change.
He is credited with getting
the developed countries accept India's concerns on transfer of clean technology
to developing countries to help tackle global warming.
Sibal has a Masters Degree
in law from the prestigious Harvard Law School and also holds a Masters
degree in History from Delhi University.