Anand Sharma

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Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma at the 2012 World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
Assumed office
3 April 2016
Constituency Himachal Pradesh
In office
5 July 2010 – 9 March 2016
Constituency Rajasthan
Minister of Commerce and Industry
In office
22 May 2009 – 26 May 2014
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Kamal Nath
Succeeded by Nirmala Sitharaman[1]
Personal details
Born (1953-01-05) 5 January 1953 (age 63)
Shimla, East Punjab (now Himachal Pradesh)
Nationality Indian
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Zenobia Sharma
Alma mater Himachal Pradesh University
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Hinduism

Anand Sharma (Hindi: आनंद शर्मा; born 5 January 1953) is an Indian politician and former Union Cabinet Minister in charge of Commerce and Industry and Textiles[2] in the Government of India. Since June 2014, Sharma is the Deputy Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Anand Sharma is the son of P. A. Sharma and Prabha Rani Sharma and was born in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. He was educated at R.P.C.S.D.B. College, Shimla and Faculty of Law, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla.

Career[edit]

Sharma was a prominent leader in the student and youth movement in India, a founder member of the Congress Party's students wing the NSUI. He was also a former President of the Youth Congress. Sharma asserts that the country needed investment in the manufacturing sector and the cost of credit must be brought down for this purpose.[4] In February 2012, Sharma led a business delegation of more than 120 people to Pakistan for improving trade ties. During this visit, he discussed the revision of the existing visa bilateral agreement, signed in 1974, with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Muhammad Ameen Faheem, to facilitate travel by bona fide businessmen from both the countries.[5]

As India's commerce and Industry Minister, he had taken major policy initiatives to accelerate Manufacturing and attract Foreign investments in India. Anand Sharma, was instrumental in making of India's first National Manufacturing policy (NMP) in 2011, with the objective to raise the share of manufacturing from 16 to 25 percent of GDP and creation of 100 million skilled jobs in a decade. To achieve that, the policy envisaged establishment of greenfield integrated manufacturing cities; NIMZ-National Investment and Manufacturing Zones. Sixteen NIMZ were notified.

As Minister responsible for National Investmnent Policy, he piloted the opening of many sectors for FDI including Defence, and Civil Aviation. India allowed 100% FDI in Single Brand retail and opened up Multi Brant retail to Foreign Investors. The e-Biz Project was conceptualised and rolled out to improve business and investment climate.

Post Global Economic Crisis, India emerged as an alternative destination for Foreign Investors and during Anand Sharma's five years tenure received 190 bn USD as FDI.

He gave a forward looking Foreign Trade Policy ensuring its stability and predictability. It yielded positive dividend and India's merchandise exports almost doubled during 2010–2014.

Anand Sharma is credited with playing a critical leadership note at the IXth WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali in December, 2013 and its successful outcome defending the right of India and the developing countries, to public stock holding of food grain for Food Security; he remained steadfast in negotiating a solution to end the impasse. Bali Ministerial,, resulted in the first ever agreement. Since the establishment of the WTO including the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

He was also actively associated in negotiation and build a global consensus for historic Indo-US Nuclear Cooperation Agreement 2008 which ended decades of India's isolation and integration with the global mainstream for nuclear research and cooperation.

He made a notable contribution in the successful convening of an International Conference in Delhi in November, 2014, to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru- Independent India's first Prime Minister and an acknowledged World Statesman. Anand Sharma edited the historic Commemorative book " Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru", which has been universally acclaimed.

Personal life[edit]

Anand Sharma married Dr. Zenobia on 23 February 1987. They have two sons. He is associated with a number of social and sports organizations and also an all India NGO in disability sector.[6]

Positions held[edit]

  • 1984–86 Member, Committee on Petitions, Rajya Sabha
  • 1985–88 Member, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Lok Pal Bill
  • 1986–89 Nominated to the Panel of Vice-Chairmen, Rajya Sabha
  • 1987–88 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence (India)
  • 1988–90 Member, Committee on Government Assurances Member, Press Council of India
  • April 2004 Elected to Rajya Sabha
  • Aug. 2004 – Jan. 2006 Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence; Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of External Affairs; Member, Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament
  • Aug. 2004 – July 2006 Member, Business Advisory Committee
  • Oct. 2004 – Jan. 2006 Ministry of External Affairs (India)
  • 29 Jan. 2006 – 22 May 2009 Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs
  • 22 May 2009 onwards Minister of Commerce and Industry
  • July 2010 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan 12 July 2011 onwards Minister of Textiles (Additional Charge)
  • 14th Mar 2016 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh

Awards[edit]

  • Conferred “The Order of the Companion of Volta”, top Ghanaian civilian award on 10 November 2008 by President John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor for his commitment to South-South cooperation.[7]
  • Honoured with the “Commander of the National Order of Merit”, the highest civilian award of Ivory Coast on 14 January 2009 by the President.[7]
  • Special Award for his contribution in strengthening India-South Africa relations given by South African President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of 150 Years of the First Arrival of Indians in South Africa.[7]

Publications[edit]

  1. Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru, 2016
  2. Journey of a Nation, 2011
  3. Gandhian Way, 2007

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Kamal Nath
Minister of Commerce and Industry
2009–2014
Succeeded by
Nirmala Sitharaman
(Minister of State (Independent Charge))