Smriti Irani

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Smriti Irani
Smriti Irani(c).jpg
Minister of Human Resource Development
Assumed office
26 May 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Preceded by Pallam Raju
Vice-President of Bharatiya Janata Party
Assumed office
President Amit Shah
Member of Parliament for
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1976-03-23) 23 March 1976 (age 39)
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Zubin Irani
Residence New Delhi
Occupation Politician, actor

Smriti Zubin Irani (née Malhotra, born 23 March 1976) is an Indian politician and former model, television actress and producer. She represents the Bharatiya Janata Party and is the incumbent Minister of Human Resource Development of Government of India.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Smriti was born in Delhi. She is one quarter , Maharastrian, Bengali and Assamese respectively and the eldest amongst three sisters.[3][4][5] She has been a "part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from childhood" as her grandfather was an RSS swayamsevak and her mother a member of Jana Sangh.[6]

She studied up to class 12 at Holy Child Auxilium School and discontinued further education.[7][8] Irani has herself provided conflicting affidavits of her educational qualifications. In 2004, she submitted that she had obtained a graduate degree in Arts (B.A, 1996) from Delhi University (School of Correspondence); and in 2014, she submitted that she had completed a part of a graduate degree in Commerce (Part I B.Com, 1994) from Delhi University.[9] Furthermore, a leak from the School of Correspondence, as reported by a newspaper, claims that Irani had enrolled in 2013, but had not written her examination.[10]

Before finding modelling stardom, she worked as a waitress at McDonald's.[4][5]

Acting career[edit]

Irani was one of the finalists of the beauty pageant Miss India 1998, along with Gauri Pradhan Tejwani.[5][11][12] In 1998, Irani appeared in a song "Boliyan" of the album "Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag" with Mika Singh.[13][14] In 2000, she made her debut with TV series Aatish and Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal, both aired on Star Plus. In mid-2000, Irani won the lead role of Tulsi Virani in Ekta Kapoor's production Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi on Star Plus. She holds the record of winning five consecutive Indian Television Academy Awards for Best Actress (Popular), four Indian Telly Awards, eight Star Parivaar Awards. Irani had fallout with the producer Ekta Kapoor and she left the show in June 2007 and was replaced by Gautami Kapoor. She made her comeback in May 2008 in a special episode.[15] At 6th Star Parivaar Awards, 2008, she was given the Base of Star Parivaar award.[16]

In 2001, she also played the mythological character Sita in Zee TV's Ramayan. In 2006, Irani co-produced the show Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan under her banner Ugraya Entertainment and Balaji Telefilms. She also played the lead role of Uma in it. In 2007, she produced the TV serial Virrudh for Sony TV and also portrayed the lead character of Vasudha in it. She also produced Mere Apne for 9X and portrayed the protagonist alongside Vinod Khanna. She also acted in a supporting role in Zee TV's Teen Bahuraaniyaan.[17]

In 2008, Irani along with Sakshi Tanwar hosted the show Yeh Hai Jalwa, a dance based reality show featuring celebrities along with their troops on 9X. In the same year she also produced another show on Zee TV, Waaris which ended in 2009. In 2009, she came in a comedy show, aired on SAB TV. She also co-produced the show in collaboration with Contiloe Entertainment. In 2012, she also worked in Bengali movie Amrita[18][19]

Political career[edit]

Irani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee at the Conference of Chairmen of Boards of Governors, and Directors of IITs at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 22 August 2014.
Irani and Prime Minister Modi at an informal interaction with awardee teachers on the eve of teachers day, in New Delhi.

Irani joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2003.[16] She became vice-president of the Maharashtra Youth Wing in 2004.[20] In the 2004 general elections for the 14th Lok Sabha, she contested unsuccessfully against Kapil Sibal from the Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi. She was nominated as executive member of the central committee of the BJP.[21][22] In December 2004, Irani threatened to "fast unto death" until then Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi resigned, blaming him for BJP's electoral losses.[23] However she later retracted this demand after BJP's central leadership threatened to take action against her.[24][25] In May 2009, Irani while campaigning for Vijay Goel's candidature in New Delhi, voiced her concerns about the safety of women in the capital. She advocated capital punishment for rapists as a deterrent.[26]

In early 2010, Irani was appointed as the National Secretary of BJP and on 24 June, she was appointed as All India President of the BJP's women's wing, BJP Mahila Morcha.[16][27] In August 2011, she was sworn in as a member of parliament from Gujarat to the Rajya Sabha.[28][29][30]

Irani contested the 2014 general elections against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh.[31] Irani lost to Gandhi by 107,923 votes, a 12.32% margin.[32][33] On 26 May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed her as the Minister of Human Resource Development in his cabinet. At 38, she is the youngest member of the cabinet.[1][34]

HRD ministry[edit]

In May 2014, Smriti Irani was at the centre of a raging controversy over her educational qualification after it emerged that she had made contradictory declarations when she contested Lok Sabha elections in 2004 and 2014. As a candidate in 2004 elections from Chandni Chowk in Delhi, Irani had declared that she had a Bachelor of Arts degree. "B.A. 1996 Delhi University (School of Correspondence)", she had written in the column which seeks details of University education and the year in which the course was completed. In the same column of the affidavit filed in the 2014 elections from Amethi, Irani has said,"Bachelor of Commerce Part-1, School of Open Learning (Correspondence), University of Delhi-1994".[35][36]

The appointment of Smriti Irani was criticised by many people owing to her improper education. Apart from opposition leaders, even well known supporter of Narendra Modi, Madhu Kishwar remain critical of her. [37][38]

The controversy over HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s educational qualifications took new turn with her assertion that she also has a degree from the prestigious Yale University in the US. “In that kitty of mine where people call me ‘anpad'(illiterate) I do have a degree from Yale University as well which I can bring out and show how Yale celebrated my leadership capacities.[39] Eleven MPs from India underwent six days crash course in leadership program at the Yale University. The MPs attended the program at the campus of University in New Haven, Connecticut on June 19. Irani asked people to file a PIL about her educational qualification to know about the truth behind the affidavit controversy.[40][41]

As HRD Minister Smriti Irani was accused of favouritism towards Vishram Jamdar, a self-proclaimed `RSS person' and a regional Sangh Parivar leader, for appointment as the Chairman of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur.[42] [43]

Personal life[edit]

In 2001, Smriti married Zubin Irani, a Parsi businessman.[44][45] In October of the same year, the couple had their first child, a son named Zohr.[46] In September 2003, the couple had their second child, a daughter named Zoish. Smriti is also a stepmother to Shanelle who is Zubin Irani's daughter from his previous marriage with coordinator and former beauty contestant Mona Irani.[5]

Works and appearances[edit]

Irani walks the ramp in fashion designer Manish Malhotra & Shaina NC's fundraiser organised for Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA).


Year Show Character Channel
2000-2008 Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi Tulsi Mihir Virani Star Plus
Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal Star Plus
2000 Kavita Kavita Star Plus
2001–2003 Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeeqat Smriti Sony TV
2001–2003 Kuch... Diiil Se Host SAB TV
2001–2002 Ramayan Seeta Zee TV
2004 Koffee with Karan Herself (Guest Along with Sakshi Tanwar) Star World
2006–2007 Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan Uma Star Plus
2007–2008 Virrudh Vasudha Sushant Sharma Sony TV
2007–2008 Mere Apne Sharda 9X
2007–2008 Teen Bahuraaniyaan Vrinda Zee TV
2008 Yeh Hai Jalwa Host (Along with Sakshi Tanwar) 9X
2008 Waaris Producer Zee TV
2009–2010 Maniben Jamankumar Patel SAB TV
2012 Savdhaan India[47] Host Life OK
2013 Ek Thhi Naayka Swati Life OK

Theatre Projects[edit]

Projects Language Character
Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein Hindi Sargam Gujarati Mani
Koi Taru Bau Saru Thayu Gujarati Devika
Muktidhaam Gujarati Mother
Garv Thi Kaho Ame Gujarati Chhiye Gujarati Mridula


Year Film Character Language
2010 Malik Ek Personification of Dwarkamai Hindi
2011 Jai Bolo Telangana Activist Telugu
2012 Amrita Bengali
2014 All Is Well Hindi[48]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Year Award Function Category For The Show Character
2001 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama(Popular) Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi Tulsi Virani
2002 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama(Popular)
Indian Telly Awards Best Actress(Popular)
2003 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama(Popular)
Indian Telly Awards Best Actress(Popular)
Best TV Personality
STAR Parivaar Awards Favorite Bahu
Favorite Patni
2004 Indian Television Academy Awards Best Actress(Popular)
STAR Parivaar Awards Favorite Maa
Favorite Saas
2005 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama(Popular)
STAR Parivaar Awards Favorite Saas
Gr8! Women Achiever's Awards Best Home-Maker Award
2006 STAR Parivaar Awards Favorite Saas
2007 Indian Telly Awards Best Actress(Jury) Virrudh Vasudha Sharma
STAR Parivaar Awards Favorite Saas Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi Tulsi Virani
Zee Astitva Awards Best TV Personality
2008 STAR Parivaar Awards Special Recognition
2009 Gujarati Stage Awards Best Actress Maniben Patel
2010 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Milestone Award Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi Tulsi Virani
2014 Garv Indian TV Awards Best TV Personality of The Decade

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Modi's complete cabinet: Jaitley gets Finance, Smriti Human Resources". Firstpost. 27 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Smriti Irani Life Facts". Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi). 27 May 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Change of role, anyone?". Hindustan Times. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Rise of Smriti Irani: Journey from bahu of TV to BJP's Vice President". The Economic Times. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Smriti Irani: From model to TV’s favourite bahu to Cabinet minister". Firstpost. 26 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "RSS is like a home to me, says Smriti Irani". Jagran Post. 18 Apr 2014. Retrieved 29 Aug 2014. 
  7. ^ "'Class 12 pass' and education minister?". First Post. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Smriti goes back to School". TOI. 
  9. ^ "The strange case of Smriti Irani: BA pass in 2004, undergrad in 2014". 28 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Smriti Irani asks Delhi University to reinstate officials who were suspended for leaking documents on her education". The Times Of India. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  11. ^ "The Smriti of yesterday". India Today. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "A little too fat". Daily News & Analysis. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Smriti Irani's transition from an aspiring model to a successful politician
  14. ^ "Viral music video: BJP’s Amethi candidate Smriti Irani dancing with singer Mika Singh". Daily Bhaskar. 7 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Interview with Smriti Irani
  16. ^ a b c "Smriti Irani is a front runner for the HRD ministry: Here's what you need to know about her journey from reel to real". Daily News & Analysis. 26 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Playing Tulsi and Sita with elan". The Tribune. 10 March 2002. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Smriti Irani to debut in Bengali film industry". Hindustan Times. 23 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "Soppy sentimental Bengali debut of Smriti Irani". The Indian Express. 19 April 2012. 
  20. ^ "Smriti Irani is now Vice-President of Yuva Morcha". Rediff News. 8 January 2004. 
  21. ^ "TV actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani to face Rahul Gandhi in Amethi". India Today. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Press statement issued by BJP Mahila Morcha President, Smt. Smriti Irani". Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Tulsi to go on fast unto death". The Times of India. 12 December 2004. 
  24. ^ "Kyunki BJP kabhi different thi". Rediff News. 16 December 2004. 
  25. ^ "Once a critic, Smriti Irani now hardsells Narendra Modi's image to woo voters". Daily News & Analysis. 18 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Smriti Irani advocates 'capital punishment' for rapists". Indian Express. 2 May 2009. 
  27. ^ "Smriti takes over the Mahila Morcha Charge". 
  28. ^ "Smriti Irani is Member of Parliament from BJP". 
  29. ^ "Detailed Profile – Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani". Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  30. ^ "Smriti Irani to head BJP's women wing in Himachal". The Times of India. 16 June 2010. 
  31. ^ "Lok Sabha polls: BJP fields Smriti Irani against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi". The Times of India. 1 April 2014. 
  32. ^ "Constituencywise-All Candidates". ECI. 
  33. ^ "Constituency Wise Detailed Results". Election Commission of India. p. 153. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  34. ^ "Youngest and oldest in Modi's team are women – Smriti Irani and Najma Heptullah". The Times of India. 26 May 2014. 
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Calling himself ‘RSS person,’ applicant praises Irani, weeks later is made chief of Nagpur NIT". Indian Express. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  43. ^ "Links to the RSS, Smriti Irani: The new qualifications required for NIT head?". Firstpost. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  44. ^ [1]
  45. ^ [2]
  46. ^ "An interview with the superstar of Indian Television: Smriti Irani". The Tribune. 10 March 2002. 
  47. ^ "Smriti Back on television with Savdhaan India". 
  48. ^ "Bollywood films to watch out for in 2014". Mid Day. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Pallam Raju
Union Human Resources Development Minister
2014 (Incumbent)
Succeeded by