Last Updated: July 8 2021

Following his father Madhavrao Scindia’s footsteps, BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia has been appointed as the new civil aviation minister. And Hardeep Singh Puri, who headed this ministry, will now head Urban Development and Petroleum Ministry.

Mr. Scindia joined the government on Wednesday in a reboot of the Union cabinet.

“I express my gratitude to all the senior leaders for giving me this opportunity. I will try to keep intact the belief that they have shown in me,” Mr Scindia said on Wednesday.

Born in 1971 and educated in Harvard and Stanford institutions, Mr Scindia has traversed a long way after contesting his first election as a Congress candidate in 2002, a by-election in Guna Lok Sabha constituency, which was held after his father and former Civil Aviation Minister Madhavrao Scindia who died in a plane crash.

The private plane, a Beechcraft King Air C90, in which Madhavrao Scindia and seven others were flying, crashed on the outskirts of Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district in September 2001, killing all of them.

Mr Puri, the outgoing Civil Aviation Minister, headed the ministry at a tough time for the sector because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the hospitality industry and travel sector to a grinding halt. Airlines are struggling to survive as flights have drastically reduced all over the world.

The Civil Aviation Ministry’s last monthly report published in May this year showed that passengers carried by domestic airlines from January to April this year were 291 lakh compared to 329 lakh during the same period last year – a fall by 11.65 per cent.

Scindia takes control of the ministry, however, after the peak of the Covid second wave has passed and the country is relatively getting freer with lockdowns to some extent.

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