Union Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar took charge of office of Minister of HRD here, today.
He replaced Union Minister Smriti Irani, who was shunted out to the Textiles Ministry. He admitted as much, saying he spoke to her over the phone but she excused herself because of some "family work".
A special session with Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, was another highlight of the event. She is now appointed Textiles Minister. Javadekar will formally take charge on Thursday.
Traditionally the outgoing minister hands over charge to the new minister at a formal ceremony.
"(Upendra) Kushwaha ji was earlier here and me and Mahendra Nath Pandey ji are new here, so we will work as a team", he said, adding, "There are a number of challenges and opportunities in this ministry, so we will convert the challenges into opportunities".
This marked a shift from the Irani era, when excessive centralisation was said to be the byword.
Javadekar, seen as non-confrontational and reportedly handpicked by the party leadership for the complete contrast he provides to his aggressive predecessor Smriti Irani, said he would use his experience as a student leader to initiate "good dialogue" with students to prevent protests and clashes on campuses.
Modi effected a major cabinet expansion and reshuffle on Tuesday, inducting 19 new faces while changing several portfolios.
After a meeting with top bureaucrats of the HRD ministry who gave him a presentation on the key initiatives the ministry is undertaking, he said: "The question is whether education is fulfilling the aspirations of the poor or not. With dialogues in place, there will be no necessity of agitation", Javadekar said. "I accept the responsibility with humility", he said.
Referring to his stint in the State Planning Board, he assured collaboration with all the states to ensure the success of education system in India.
She said she was hopeful that the national textile policy will soon see the light of day.
Javadekar said he would focus on "character building" through education; the first public function he attends in his new role is on 10 July in Pune.