Minister of Women and Child Development; Minister of Textiles (May 2019- Present): Smriti Irani
Date of birth: Irani was born on March 23, 1976.
Place of birth: She was born at New Delhi.
Parents: Her mother is Shibani Bagchi, a Bengali, and her father is Ajay Kumar Malhotra, a Punjabi. She has a couple of younger sisters.
Spouse: She has been married to Zubin Irani from 2001. They have 2 children – son Zohr Irani, and daughter Zoe Irani.
Political party: She is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Before that, she was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from her childhood, as her grandfather was a member of the same as well. Her mother is a member of Jana Sangh, the predecessor of BJP.
Education: Irani completed her class 12 from the Holy Child Auxilium School in New Delhi. After that she enrolled at the School of Open Learning at the University of Delhi.
Career: Before she became a politician, Irani was a well-known model and actress as well as a producer. She took part in the 1998 Miss India pageant. Till date, she has acted in a number of famous serials such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Ramayan, etc. She is a record 5-time winner of the Indian Television Academy Award for Best Actress – Popular and has 4 Indian Telly Awards in her kitty as well.
It was in 2003 that Irani joined BJP. In 2004, she became the Vice President (VP) of the Maharashtra Youth Wing. She took part in the Lok Sabha elections of 2004 where she contested from the Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi against Kapil Sibal. However, she was unable to win. It was at this time that she was nominated to become an executive member of BJP’s central committee. In May 2009, she voiced her concerns regarding the safety of women in Delhi while campaigning for Vijay Goel.
Political milestones: On August 19, 2011 she became a Rajya Sabha MP (Member of Parliament) and continued in that post till May 23, 2019. She was elected from Gujarat. On May 23, 2019 she became a Lok Sabha MP from Amethi. Meanwhile, she worked as the Union Minister of Human Resource Development from May 26, 2014 to July 5, 2016. She was also the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting from July 18, 2017 to May 24, 2018. She became the Union Minister of Textiles on July 5, 2016 and on May 31, 2019, she became the Union Minister for Women and Child Development.
In the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, she defeated Rahul Gandhi, contender for the PM post and the President of Indian National Congress (INC), the oldest political party in India. This was a major victory considering how Gandhi and his family had been winning from Amethi for the last 40 years prior to this. Right now, at the age of 43, she is one of the youngest ministers in the latest union cabinet.
As the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, she has succeeded Maneka Gandhi.