About Harsh Vardhan
Dr. Harsh Vardhan is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He is the current Union Minister for Science & Technology in the Government of India. Initially, he was given the charge of Union Health Ministry. Formerly he had been the Minister of Law and Minister of Health in the Government of Delhi. He was first elected in 1993 as member of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi from Krishna Nagar Vidhan Sabha. Dr. Vardhan's contributions as Health Minister as well as his efforts to eradicate Polio were a huge success and appreciated by all. His Polio Eradication Plan was adopted by the Government of India and exercised throughout the nation. Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee described him as Swasthya Vardhan.
The way he rebuilt the operations in Delhi after the party's defeat in 2003 elections speaks volume of his capabilities and organizational skills. In recognition of this, the Bharatiya Janata Party made him the party's President for the third term in 2007. By profession he is an ENT surgeon.
Personal background of Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Dr. Harsh Vardhan was born on 13 December 1954 in Delhi. He is the second child of Late O. P. Goyal and Snehlata Devi, and has an older sister and a younger brother. He completed his schooling from one of the oldest institutions of North India, the Anglo-Sanskrit Victoria Jubilee Senior Secondary School in Daryaganj, Delhi. He did his MBBS and thereafter MS in ENT from GSVM Medical College in Kanpur and returned to Delhi to practice as an ENT surgeon.
He married Nutan, who has expertise in hospital administration and at present is a homemaker by choice. They have two sons and a daughter. One of his sons, Dr. Mayank Bharat, is an MBBS and MBA, and his other son Sachin is a graduate in Accountancy and Finance from Monash University. His daughter, Inakshi completed her B. Com (Hons.) from the Delhi University. He lives in the house built by his father, Late Om Prakash Goel. A teetotaler, he believes in the goodness of practicing physical exercises and yoga. During his term as Education Minister, he had made value education, yoga and sports compulsory in the curriculum of the schools of Delhi.
Detailed professional background before entering politics
After getting an MS with specialisation in ENT, he came back to Delhi to practice as ENT surgeon. As an RSS activist from childhood, he always had the urge to serve the society. To achieve this he took up various projects. He worked in east Delhi after joining the Delhi chapter of the Indian Medical Association to form solidarity of medical practitioners. During his early days, he held important posts in the Delhi Medical Association such as Secretary, President (East Delhi) and State Secretary & President.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan contested the 2014 General Elections from the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency of Delhi. The two major candidates contesting against him were journalist turned politician Ashutosh of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the reigning MP Kapil Sibal of the Indian National Congress (INC). Dr. Harsh Vardhan won the seat with 4,37,938 votes as compared to the runner-up Ashutosh's 3,01,618 and 1,76,206 of Kapil Sibal.
Dr. Harshvardhan was sworn in as the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare on 26 May 2014. His portfolio was later changed to Science and Technology during the expansion of Narendra Modi government's Cabinet.
How did Dr. Harsh Vardhan enter politics?
Dr. Harsh Vardhan has been a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist from his childhood, which gradually saw his greater participation in politics.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan Elections result
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Activities and Achievements
- He was first elected in 1993 as member of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi from the Krishna Nagar Vidhan Sabha, after which he became Minister of Law and Minister of Health in the Government of Delhi.
- The Polio Eradication Plan was launched by him in October 1994 as Health Minister. 2 October 1994 saw mass immunization of more than one million children. School children acting as Polio Senas were supporting and actively participating in the programme, along with the the RSS, NGOs and innumerable people from different walks of life. After its success in Delhi, Dr. Vardhan himself visited health ministers of all the states and persuaded them to cooperate in making Pulse Polio a success.
- The Delhi Prohibition of Smoking Act and the Non-Smokers Health Protection Act were passed in 1997 under his leadership. This ultimately culminated into a Central Legislation in 2002 to ban smoking in public places, bringing relief to many. His attendance in different international conferences on tobacco control in places like Helsinki, Chicago, Singapore and Washington shows his passion for fighting tobacco.
- Re-elected as member of Legislative Assembly thrice, in the years 1998, 2003 and 2008.
- Rebuilt the operations in Delhi after the party's defeat in 2003 elections.
- Bharatiya Janata Party made him the party's President for the third term in 2007.
- Pioneer in initiating and implementing Essential Drug Programme of WHO.
- India's first Department for Occupational and Environmental Health was opened in Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi.
- Matri Suraksha Programme was launched by him for proper mother and child care for middle- and lower-income families of Delhi.
- His leadership also saw the beginning of the Shravan Shakti Abhiyan, Cataract Free Delhi Programme, and the Cancer Control Programme.
- He was the Advisor of South-East Asia office of the World Health Organization. He also served the Global Technical Consultative Group and the highest body of the WHO dedicated to polio eradication, the Technical Consultative Group of South East Asia.
- The launch of the Hepatitis B Immunization Programme, the Delhi Research Centre for Modernised Promotion of Ayurveda, and the Healthy City Project were undertaken by his ministry.
- To eradicate polio in poor Muslim families, Dr. Harsh Vardhan works with Imams of mosques in India.
- He wrote a book on how he conceived and implemented the polio eradication programme in December 2004. The title of the book is A Tale of Two Drops (in English) and Kahani Do Boondo Ki (in Hindi).
- He launched the anti-plastic bag movement, the first-of-its-kind in Delhi, with the support of the Catholic Archdiocese of New Delhi in June 2008. The campaign was called "Green Shopper".
- He became the secretary of the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Foundation in 2008.
- As a leader of the opposition party in Delhi, he actively participated in issues related with corruption, malpractices, environmental, civic, human and consumer rights like privatization of water supply in Delhi, Commonwealth Games scam, unauthorized colonies, and price hike.
- On 26 May 2014, Dr. Harsh Vardhan became the Union Minister For Health & Family Welfare in the government of India.
- On 10 November 2014, Dr. Harsh Vardhan witnessed a change in his portfolio. He became the new Union Minister for Science and Technology.
Awards Won by Dr. Harsh Vardhan
- Rotary International twice conferred him with the Paul Harris Fellowship.
- Received the 'IMA President's Special Award of Appreciation' in 1994.
- In 1994 the Maharaja Agrasen Forum bestowed him with the 'Agarwal Ratan Award'.
- Received the Lions International Service Award in 1995 from C. Pino Grimaldi, the then President of the Lions International.
- Twice received in succession the "IMA Special Award to Eminent Medical Men for Distinguished Achievement of Highest Order" in 1995 and 1996.
- Nominated as Fellow of the International Institute of Polypathy in Milan, Italy, in the year 1996.
- Received the 'Ahimsa Samman' by the Jain Mahasabha in 1996.
- In 1996, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Finance Minister, presented him with the 'Sewa Shree Samman'.
- At the 1996 World Environment Congress, he received the National Environmental Seva Samman in recognition of his service towards the environment.
- In 1996, the Dr. Ganga Sharan Singh Rashtriya Hindi Sansthan honoured him with the Rashtriya Hindi Samman at the All India Hindi Sammelan.
- In May 1998, The World Health Organisation (WHO) awarded him with the Director-General's Commendation Medal in recognition of his contribution to the society. The programme was held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
- On behalf of the Punjab & Sind Bank, the Chief Minister of Delhi, Shiela Dixit honoured him with the Human Care Award of the Millennium in the year 1999 for his excellence in the field of medical profession.
- Delhi Ratan Award was conferred on him by the All India Conference of Intellectuals.
- Acharya Suman Shree Samman was given to him by the Acharya Kshemchand Suman Seva Samiti in 2001.
- In January 2001, on behalf of the Rotary International, the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee honoured him with the Polio Eradication Champion Award.
- To acknowledge his commitment towards eradication of Polio he was honoured in February 2002 at the Polio Plus International Presidential Summit that was held in Mumbai.
- On 1 July 2002, on the eve of Doctor's Day, he was named "Doctor of the last Decade" by the Indian Medical Association (Delhi Branch).
- The Rotary club of Delhi Uptown honoured him with the Vocational Excellence Award.
- The former Governor of Tamil Nadu, Dr. Bhisham Narain Singh, presented him the Certificate of Excellence on behalf of the India International Friendship Society considering his contributions, achievements and outstanding services.
- Certificate of Academic Excellence was awarded to him by the International Institute of Integrated Medical Science, Varanasi.
- The "Best Professional" award was given to him by the Ghalib Academy of New Delhi in April 2008 in recognition for his outstanding services towards the community.
Last Updated on June 20, 2020