Profile of Hon'ble Minister
Dharmendra Pradhan is the Cabinet Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the Government of India. As a Member of Parliament, Shri Pradhan represents Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha and was earlier a member of the 14th Lok Sabha. Born June 26th, 1969, he hails from the city of Talcher in Odisha.
As the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas of India, Shri Pradhan is attributed with several progressive reforms & initiatives, including consumer initiatives like PAHAL, which is the world’s largest Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme and the #GiveItUp campaign that was ardently supported by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The campaign urged affluent citizens to surrender their LPG subsidy for the needy - this received a successful response from about 10 million consumers. In an attempt to empower rural India with the clean fuel of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas under which over 80 million LPG connections have been provided to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
Minister Pradhan took some key decisions in the hydrocarbon sector. Supported by the Union Cabinet, he brought in a new Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP), which through its uniform licensing for explorations and production of all forms of hydrocarbon, open acreage policy and marketing and pricing freedom also enhances domestic oil & gas production with substantial investment in the sector and also generating sizable employment.
Minister Pradhan has also undertaken several reforms and initiatives to aid the energy transition efforts of the country, which includes promoting gas as a bridge fuel, ethanol, CBG & biodiesel, implementing the SATAT scheme, promoting hydrogen-blended CNG buses plying the city of Delhi for use as a transport fuel as well as an industrial to refineries, promoting liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations for long-haul trucks among other initiatives.
In his previous tenure as the Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (2017-19), Shri Pradhan also launched many key initiatives focussing on skilling, reskilling and upskilling the manpower of India and emphasized on bridging the skills gap for the Indian youth.
A post-graduate from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, in Anthropology, he has actively pursued several issues concerning the youth, such as unemployment, the lack of skill-based education, rehabilitation and resettlement of farmers, and has played a major role in mobilising the youth in Odisha.
Shri Pradhan started as an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist in 1983, and has served in ABVP as Secretary. He has also worked as an election in-charge in Bihar and as an in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Odisha.
Following his contribution to society and the party, Pradhan was awarded the ‘Best Legislator Award’, the Utkalmani Gopabandhu Pratibha Samman, 2002-03 and the Odisha Citizens’ Award in 2013.
He is married to Mridula Pradhan and has two children, Nishant & Namaisha.