||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
|Kapil Sibal at 2008 World Economic Forum|
|Law and Justice|
11 May 2013
|Prime Minister||Manmohan Singh|
|Preceded by||Ashwani Kumar|
|Minister of Communications and Information Technology|
15 November 2010
|Preceded by||A. Raja|
|Minister of Human Resource Development|
22 May 2009 – 28 October 2012
|Preceded by||Arjun Singh|
|Succeeded by||Pallam Raju|
|Minister of Science and Technology|
22 May 2004 – 2010
|Preceded by||Vijay Goel|
|Succeeded by||Pawan Kumar Bansal|
|Minister of Earth Sciences|
22 May 2004 – 2010
|Succeeded by||Pawan Kumar Bansal|
|Member of Lok Sabha|
8 August 1948 |
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Spouse(s)||Nina Sibal (deceased)(1973-2000)
|Alma mater||University of Delhi (M.A./LL.B.)
Harvard Law School (LL.M.)
|Profession||Politician, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India|
|As of 5 June, 2011|
Kapil Sibal (Punjabi: ਕਪਿਲ ਸਿਬਲ, Hindi: कपिल सिब्बल; born 8 August 1948) is a lawyer and an Indian politician. He currently serves as Minister in Union Government of India for both Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Law and Justice. He also held the two positions of Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences in the First Manmohan Singh Cabinet.
Sibal was first nominated in July 1998, as a Member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, from the State of Bihar and served as Additional Solicitor General of India (December 1989 – December 1990) and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association on three occasions (1995–96, 1997–98 and 2001–2002).
Early life and education
Sibal was born on 8 August 1948 in Jalandhar, Punjab. After his schooling from St John's High School in Chandigarh, he joined St. Stephen's college, University of Delhi, where he earned his LL.B degree, and later an M.A. in history. He joined the bar association in 1970. In the year 1973, he qualified for Indian Administrative Services and was offered an appointment. But he declined the offer and decided to set up his own law practice. Afterwards, he attended the Harvard Law School where he enrolled for an LL.M. which he completed in 1977. He was designated as senior lawyer in 1983. In 1989, he was appointed the Additional Solicitor General of India. In 1994, he was the only lawyer to appear in the Parliament, and successfully defended a Supreme Court judge during impeachment proceedings.The impeachment motion was placed in the assembly for debate and voting on 10 May 1993. Of 401 members present in the assembly that day, there were 196 votes for impeachment and no votes against and 205 abstentions by ruling Congress and its allies. He had served as the President of the Supreme Court Bar association on three occasions, i.e. 1995-1996, 1997-1998 and 2001-2002.
Kapil Sibal joined the Bar association in 1970. He decided to set up his own law practice. He was designated as a Senior Lawyer in 1983. He was the Additional Solicitor General of India between 1989 and 1990, as well.
An anthology of Kapil Sibal's poems titled I Witness: Partial Observation was published by Roli Books, New Delhi, in August 2008. He has also contributed several articles on various prominent issues such as security, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism in national dailies and periodicals. In the 2004 general elections, Sibal became an MP by winning the Chandni Chowk constituency in the National Capital Territory representing the Congress Party and was inducted into the Cabinet under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences. He won the constituency of Chandni Chowk for the second time for the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 against TV actor Smriti Irani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Over the years, he has held several important positions in the Government of India and the Society, such as: Additional Solicitor General of India (December 1989 – 1990); Member, Board of Management, Indira Gandhi National Open University (1993); President, Supreme Court Bar Association (1995–96, 1997–98 and 2001–2002); Member, Rajya Sabha (July 1998); Member, Executive Council, Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies (July, 2001); Member, Business Advisory Committee (August, 2001); Member, Committee on Home Affairs (January, 2002); Co-chairman, Indo-US Parliamentary Forum (2002); Member, Board of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (2002); Member, Programme Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Indian AIDS initiative (2003); Member, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention set up by the Human Rights Commission, Geneva.
He represented India in the Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum in 2005 and 2009 held at Davos, Switzerland. He led the Indian delegation to the Annapolis Conference, USA, held to gather International support for establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of Israeli–Palestinian peace during November 2007. He led the Indian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Bali in December 2007.
Minister Sibal has recently approved the creation of an Indian Institute of Technology Muddenahalli as part of the 11th 5 year plan. He is also the person who introduced the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system in India for Class IX and Class X and he has also started the changes in the IIT JEE pattern. He has laid the foundation stone for IIT Patna
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and $35 Laptop
In 2011 Sibal has also announced a touchscreen tablet computer to be co-developed with private partnership. It was to be available to students for 1500 (US$23). Satish Jha, chairman of OLPC India, the leading competitor to this venture, questioned his claim that a $35 laptop could be created in a year. Five state Chief Ministers endorsed the OLPC initiative and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan himself inaugurated the project on the day Sibal showcased his future laptop. The event was attended by two members of the Union Cabinet. This also lead to an open letter by Nicholas Negroponte offering him complete access to MIT and OLPC technologies to help realise India's dream to create a laptop of its own. The computer was eventually released online as the UbiSlate7C1 tablet PC at 4199 (US$64) and the Ubislate7C+ tablet PC at 5199 (US$80) As of February 2012, Datawind had over 1,400,000 pre-orders, but had only shipped 10,000 units - 0.7% of orders. As of November 2012, many customers who put in orders still had not received their computers and were offered refunds.
In 2G spectrum scam
During his tenure as Telecom Minister his comment about the loss in the 2G spectrum scam being only notional and causing "zero loss" created a public outcry and he had to clarify it later. Kapil Sibal was indicted by CAG for favoring M/S Phoenix Rose LLC by overlooking rules and regulations and handpicking that company for creating a database for over 500,000 working professionals of People of Indian Origin settled in the US. CAG's report said that the project’s cost was $120,000 but three years after the initiation, the company has dumped the networking site, completing just over 16% of the targeted work.
On 30 November 2012, Sibal's personal website was hacked by the hacktivist group Anonymous. The hacking was reportedly in protest of the Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. Earlier Sibal had refused to remove the said provisions of the Act when two girls from Palghar were arrested for protesting on Facebook the shut-down of Mumbai on account of the death of Bal Thackeray. The group posted the following message about Sibal on his website: "Born with a below-60 IQ he thought he could mess with the Internet and let the elite of his party suppress freedom of speech".
Swami Agnivesh Controversy
Swami Agnivesh was seen in a phone conversation with, evidently, Kapil Sibal, who was among the government ministers actively looking to sabotage any deal that would offer concessions to Team Anna.Swami Agnivesh was heard telling “Kapilji”: “Yeh to pagal ki tarah ho raha hai” (It’s like he’s turned mad”) in context to activist Anna Hazare.
Kapil Sibal's father was H.L. Sibal, a renowned advocate, was rendered homeless along with his entire family during partition. In 1994, H.L. Sibal was named a "Living Legend of the Law" by the International Bar Association and in 2006, the Government of India honoured him with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ award for his distinguished services in the field of Public Affairs. He married Nina Sibal in 1973, who died of breast cancer in 2000. Amit and Akhil, Sibal's two sons from his first marriage, are both lawyers. In 2005, Sibal married social activist Promila Sibal. His brother is Kanwal Sibal who is the former Foreign Secretary of India.
- "Council of Ministers – Who's Who – Government: National Portal of India". http://india.gov.in. Government of India. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Minister for Earth Sciences, Govt. of India: Shri Kapil Sibal Ministry of Earth Sciences website.
- Kapil Sibal Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- Kapil Sibal, Hon'ble Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Ministry of Science and Technology
- Reddy, Sheela (8 September 2008). "A Couple Of Syllables". Outlook India. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- 'IIT at Muddenahalli in 11th plan'. Deccanherald.com. Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
- Article – OLPC picks holes in govt’s laptop agenda. Epaper.timesofindia.com (26 July 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
- OLPC Stall Pics ((nogallary)) – LUG@IITD Community Blog. Lug-iitd.posterous.com (23 July 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
- "Laptop experience for Rajasthan villagers". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 July 2010.
- Article – $35 laptop: OLPC founder wants stress on design. Epaper.timesofindia.com (29 July 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
- UbiSlate device specifications ubislate.com, Retrieved on 1 March 2013.
- Aakash lurches toward another crisis as India loses patience with DataWind Engadget, Retrieved on 1 March 2013.
- Datawind to clear all paid orders for Aakash in 6 weeks The Hindu Business Line, Retrieved on 1 March 2013.
- "No loss to Govt from 2G spectrum allocation: Sibal". Hindu Businessline. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Ninan, T N. "Sibal's 'zero loss' claim carries zero credibility". Rediff. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "I never said zero loss if spectrum was auctioned: Kapil Sibal". The Economic Times. PTI. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "CAG indictment adds to Kapil Sibal troubles". Daily News and Analysis. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Vodafone tax controversy: CEO Vittorio Colao meets FM Pranab Mukherjee". The Times Of India. 2 May 2012.
- Timmons, Heather (5 December 2011). "India Asks Google, Facebook to Screen User Content". Newyork Times. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Iyer, Srividya (7 December 2011). "Kapil Sibal under attack: Twitter, Facebook users target him". Times of India. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Kapil Sibal's website hacked". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 30 November 2012.
- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/internet/IT-minister-Kapil-Sibals-website-defaced-by-hackers/articleshow/17428809.cms. Missing or empty
- The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Nation. Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
- Basu, Arundhati (12 November 2005). "Legally speaking". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Bishakha De Sarkar (24 August 2008). "‘When I’m in politics, I stick to the party line; when I’m a poet, I don’t’". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Chadha, Kum Kum (10 February 2006). "Kapil da dhaba". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kapil Sibal.|
- In Conversation: Kapil Sibal, HRD Minister Business Standard
- Profile at Ministry of Science and Technology, Official website
- The Argumentative Indian: The precarious ambition of Kapil Sibal
|Minister of Law and Justice
|Minister of Communications and Information Technology
|Minister of Human Resource Development