|Praful Manoharbhai Patel|
|Patel at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013|
|Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises|
17 February 1957 |
|Political party||Nationalist Congress Party|
|Children||Avni, Niyati, Poorna and Prajay|
|Residence||26 Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Road, New Delhi 110001 India|
|As of 8 May, 2008|
Praful Manoharbhai Patel (born in Kolkata, India on 17 February 1957) is an Indian politician and businessman. His father, the late Manoharbhai Patel, was a Congressman elected to represent Gondia district in Maharashtra. Praful Patel graduated as a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Bombay and married Smt. Varsha Patel, a Guajarati businessman’s daughter. His political career started in 1991 and he was appointed as Civil Aviation Minister starting in 2004; after which he was recognized as being unusually decisive compared to previous ministers.
Currently, Praful Patel is an elected member of the parliament from Gondia - Bhandara in Maharashtra and a senior member of the Nationalist Congress Party that is headed by Sharad Pawar. Patel also presently is the Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises of the Government of India. He has also been the President of India's association football governing body the All India Football Federation (AIFF) since 2012.
Praful Patel followed in the footsteps of his father and wanted to serve the society and thus began his political career in the year 1991.
The year 1985 saw Patel becoming the President of the Municipal Council, Gondia (Maharashtra) and in 1991 Patel was elected for the 10th Lok Sabha. His political career picked up pace as he remained to be a member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Environment and Forests, from 1991 to 1996. Apart from the above stated positions, Patel also shouldered responsibilities of a few other departments under the Indian Government such as Member, Committee on Science and Technology (1994-1995), Member, Committee on Home Affairs (1995-1996), Re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha (2nd term) in 1996, Member, Committee on Finance (1996–97), Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (3rd term) 1998, before finally getting Elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2000. It was in the year 2004, that Praful Patel that acquired independent charge, becoming the Union Minister of State Civil Aviation. His profile gained momentum and he was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the 2nd term, in the year 2006. The year 2009 saw Patel being re-elected for his 4th term, to the 15th Lok Sabha. It was finally on the 19th of January 2011, that Praful Patel became the Union Cabinet Minister for Heavy Industries and Public enterprises, after the successful completion of his stint with on the 18th of January 2011, with the Civil Aviation. Since 2012, Praful Patel has been the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
In 2004 Patel was appointed as the Minister of Civil Aviation. During his stint as Minister, Praful Patel emphasized developmental matters in which the nation was trailing behind. As a Union Minister of State Civil Aviation (2004-2011), Patel changed the face of the Indian Aviation by introducing international and domestic air routes and greenfield airports. Patel is given credit for the development of more than 60 modern Indian airports. Braving stiff opposition in the Government, Patel also managed to privatize the Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport T3, a contribution of Patel, happens to be one of the largest monumental modern buildings that India has ever seen, since its independence. The recently inaugurated Terminal 2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is a shining example of the robust foundation laid by this ex-Civil aviation Minister.
Within months of taking charge of the Aviation sector, Patel convinced the government to hike the FDI cap in the domestic airlines sector from 40% to 49%. In addition, he also pronounced the importance of the cargo carriers of the aviation sector and the difference it would make to the Indian economy. Under his leadership as the Civil Aviation Minister, the Ministry liberalized the skies and introduced domestic and international routes and carriers; this provided air travellers with choices at competitive rates. Apart from that, air traffic in India increased threefold during Patel’s term. The reforms that Patel brought in assisted the increase in international traffic, which in turn accelerated the growth of India’s civil aviation sector. In the year 2004, India had 125 aircraft, however, it was after Praful Patel took charge, that the number shot up to 400. On January 18, 2011, Patel’s stint as the Civil Aviation Minister ended. The end of one role saw the beginning of another, as Praful Patel became the Union Cabinet Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise in the same month.
On January 9, 2013, Patel launched the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020, which is a roadmap for progressive introduction and expansion of efficient and environmentally friendly electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. The NEMMP 2020 will make sure that India achieves high level of usage of electric vehicles, which would be both cost-efficient and help the country save foreign-exchange reserves consumed in purchasing fuel. In July 2013, Patel launched The Indian Electrical Equipment Industry Mission Plan (IEEIMP) 2022 with a specific intention to ensure that Indian manufacturers are able to not only fulfil our requirements, but also to be major exporters of electrical equipment. Two important areas namely - the Auto Sector Skill Development Council and the Capital Goods Sector Skill Council were also promoted. Apart from introducing these vehicles, Praful Patel also aimed at creating a green, clean and an environment friendly corridor. In addition, Praful Patel promoted Diesel as a future fuel, at the SIAM’s conference.
As the Minister of the Heavy Industries, Praful Patel launched the project of building the world’s largest single location solar power plant project near Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. The project will generate power of around 4000 MW, which will almost quadruple India’s solar power capacity.
In February 2014 Patel inaugurated the 12th edition of Auto Expo in New Delhi. The 2014 Auto Expo has also paved way for Electric Vehicles. This introduction is in accordance with the NEMMP plan that was unveiled by Patel in January 2013. Apart from being a self-sufficient nation, India would also be exporting electric vehicles to foreign countries. This would further help in creating a green and a pollution free environment.
As a representative of the Bhandara-Gondia constituency, Praful Patel initiates regular developmental activities. New constructions of roads, drains, bore wells, schools, community halls, village walls were taken up across village in Gondia and Bhandara districts.
Praful Patel’s efforts have been notable for the progress of the tribal community of Gondia and Bhandara. A Mega Agriculture and Fish Exhibition cum Technical Guidance Camp in December 2013, in Gondia and during this camp, Patel released a landmark postal stamp on Eklavya, a mentor of the anglers, Kahar Bhoi and Kevat community.
In addition, Patel was an integral part of the exchange of MOU for collaborative MBA and other courses, between three Indian academic institutes and the International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises, Slovenia. The Government regularly nominates government officers and public sector executives to attend the courses and programs conducted by ICPE.
Patel was also present at the Auto Hub in Nagpur, when the unit was in its initial stages. A centrally located city like Nagpur, from where cargo could be distributed all over the country faster because of its network of road. Rail and air connections, could also be developed into a hub for automobile sector. The land in Butibori Industrial area is well connected by road, rail and air network. Concessions and subsidy by state government will decide what materializes here.
The biggest turn-around was when Patel won home the rights to host the FIFA Under 17 world Cup. Probably, the whole event spelt a change in fortune for India’s football federation. A new life was infused within this dormant sport, which further ensured equal geographical distribution of football in India through the Grassroots Program, as the nation builds towards this prestigious FIFA event.
Praful Patel has also placed a bid from India, for hosting the FIFA world Club Championships. Post the bidding session, Patel also mentioned that he felt confident about India’s chances of winning the rights to host the event.
The recent news is that, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) was on the 14th of Feb. 2014, named the best National Sports Federation. All this was under the President ship of Praful Patel. This also heralds the beginning of a new era, for the Indian football.
In addition, Patel also looks over the proceedings at Gondia Education Society, where more than one lac students are imparted education, in several disciplines such as Law, Engineering, Arts and more. His father, Late Manoharbhai Patel laid the foundation of this educational institute.
In 2005, Patel was awarded the CAPA (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation) Aviation Minister of the year. The award was in recognition of Patel’s contributions towards the progress of aviation, in the Asia Pacific region.
In 2006, the leadings news magazine India Today ranked Praful Patel as the no.1 minister. In addition, Patel was bestowed with the title of ‘Reformer of the Year’ by Asia’s largest financial daily, The Economic Times, in the year 2007. Among the several other accolades, Patel has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Leeds Metropolitan University for his contribution in making India a rapidly developing and economically strong nation in 2007. For instance, the Civil Aviation sector grew exponentially under his leadership from the year 2004-09.
Participation in Cultural and Social activities
He is the Chairman of Manoharbhai Patel charitable Trust. Presently Praful Patel holds the President’s position in Gondia Education Society, Gondia, Maharashtra. This society shoulders the responsibility of managing more than 1, 00,000 students, studying in schools and colleges, that come under it. In order to improve the lives of the physically challenged, Manoharbhai Patel Charitable Trust under Praful Patel holds regular aid and equipment distribution programs in Gondia and Bhandara.
Association with Sports and Clubs
Associated Sports and Clubs include the Gondwana Club, Nagpur Lions International Club, Gondia Football President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Cricket Club Mumbai and Mumbai Cricket Association, Mumbai
During his tenure as a Civil Aviation Minister of India Patel was charged with mismanagement of Air India, the national carrier, as it collided with the downfall of the PSU. One version of the allegation was related to the growth in the aviation sector, during which Air India procured multiple aircraft making heavy investments. The idea backfired, as it did not yield rich dividends. With the passage of time, the national carrier started looking down the barrel. Another version that accounted for the fall of the airlines is the merger of Air India]and Indian Airlines that advocated. The merger did not result in economies of scale that he aimed for. Current Aviation Minister Ajit Singh says of coalition colleague Patel: "In retrospect, it is easy for people to say things. At the time of the merger it must have seemed the right thing to do."
On the flipside, people believe that Air India has always been embroiled in controversy due to its bureaucratic functioning. Moreover, the airlines in the last six years had four chairpersons with no one willing to bite the bullet when it came to decision making.
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