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News & Press: Aug 2011

Profile of Prithviraj Chavan

Saturday, August 27, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Raman Garimella
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Mr. Prithviraj Chavan ('63-67) is the Chief Minister of Maharasthra. An engineer by profession he graduated from BITS Pilani in 1967 with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. After a UNESCO scholarship in Germany, he got a Masters degree in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in the U.S.A. He worked as a research engineer in the US aerospace industry for three years. After his return to India, Shri Chavan founded an research facility to develop special purpose computers and military electronic equipment. Shri Chavan is known to enjoy the confidence of both Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh. Mr. Chavan is known for his soft smile and a firm handshake that make him an instant hit with the electorate. According to Dean Nattu ('74) - "While Alumni of many Institutions believe in basking in the glory of their alma mater, alumni of BITS Pilani like Prithviraj Chavan believe in adding glory to their alma mater." We wish him the very best on behalf of all BITSians.

"I will try to take everyone's advice and work for the betterment of Maharahstra. I accept the post with humility," Chavan said, addressing the media after being named as the next Chief Minister of the state. Mr. Chavan currently holds five portfolios as a MoSD, the highest by any minister in the UPA government, including Science and Technology, Earth sciences, Parliamentary affairs, Public grievances and Pension and Ministry of personnel, which includes the CBI.

Mr. Chavan has been a role model for BITSian's wishing to enter public life. Despite his busy schedule, he has always found time for his alma mater - a distinguished guest at BITSAA Delhi Golden Jubilee Reunions, distinguished speaker at the upcoming first-ever BITSAA Global Meet 2011. The organisers of BGM 2011 remain hopeful that his fondness for BITS Pilani will lure him to the meet at New Delhi coming January, despite his newfound responsibility. His active participation and support to BITSAA Delhi Chapter Celebrations has been well appreciated. The best part is the accessibility offered by him.

Prior commitments of Mr. Prithviraj Chavan:He is a technocrat who worked in the field of aircraft instrumentation and designing of audio recorders for anti-submarine warfare in the US before returning to India and becoming an entrepreneur in 1974.It was in early 90’s when Prithviraj Chavan bumped into Rajiv Gandhi. "We have many technocrats in the country”, said Rajiv Gandhi, "but we don’t have many who can get elected and join politics. You have that potential!” That is when Mr. Chavan decided to join politics and was elected to the India parliament in 1991. In 1991, elected to Lok Sabha (Tenth); 1991-96 Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Science and Technology, Electronics, Atomic Energy; 1992-93 Member, Standing Committee on Science and Technology; 1994-96 Member, Standing Committee on Finance and Planning Member, Standing Committee on Rural and Urban Development; 1995-96 Member, Committee on Public Undertakings; 1995-96 Member, Committee on Subordinate Legislation; 1996 Re-elected to Lok Sabha (Eleventh) Secretary, Congress Party in Parliament; 1996-97 Member, Public Accounts Committee Member, Standing Committee on Energy Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Finance; June 1997 onwards Special Invitee, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Planning and Program Implementation and Science and Technology Literary, Artistic and Scientific Accomplishments, Twelfth Lok Sabha Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Member, Committee on Government Assurances (resigned on 20 November 1998)1998-99 and April 2002-Feb.2004 Member, Committee on Finance; 2000-01 Spokesperson, All India Congress Committee (A.I.C.C.); April 2002 Elected to Rajya Sabha; Aug. 2002-Feb. 2004 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence; May 2004 onwards Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office.

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