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Jaipal Reddy gets I&B; Maran communications, IT

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MUMBAI: As predicted by indiantelevision.com, senior Congress leader S. Jaipal Reddy was allotted the information and broadcasting minister's portfolio late last night. Reddy, who has been I&B minister before and was instrumental in piloting the Broadcasting Bill into parliament in 1997, will also handle the culture portfolio

The other important portfolio for the television industry is the communications minister's. And that will be looked after by DMK elect Dayanidhi Maran. Maran's elder brother Kalanidhi heads the Chennai-based Sun Television Network. Dayanidhi himself had steered the group's cable TV operations SCV into the force that it is today.

Maran is quite well suited for the task and it is quite likely that he will do something for the cable TV sector because of his group's strong involvement in the same. The issue of the rollout of conditional access halted last year and has been brought under the purview of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) which has been soliciting industry and the people's view on the way forward. With Maran in the hot seat, industry should expect some firm decisions from the man on this score. 

The key issue is whether Reddy will revive his pet Bill and again commence discussions on the setting up of a Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India quite distinct from Trai. 

Lobbying has been on for the past couple of years to merge the I&B and communications ministry in an era of convergence. But some circles in industry have been expressing the view that broadcasting should be kept independent of communications and under the I&B ministry. 

The other ministerial appointments include:

Cabinet Ministers

Shivraj Patil, Congress: Home

Pranab Mukherjee, Congress: Defence

P Chidambaram, Congress: Finance

Arjun Singh, Congress: Human resource development 

Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party: Agriculture, food & civil supplies, consumer affairs and public distribution.

Laloo Prasad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal: Railways

Ram Vilas Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party: Chemicals and fertilisers. He will also take charge of steel. 

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress: Parliamentary Affairs and urban development

S Jaipal Reddy, Congress: Information and broadcasting. He will also look after culture.

Sisram Ola, Congress: Labour and employment 

Mahavir Prasad, Congress: Small scale, agro and rural industries

P R Kyndiah, Congress: Tribal affairs and development of the Northeast 

T R Baalu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam: Road transport and highways

Shankarsinh Vaghela, Congress: Textiles 

Kamal Nath, Congress: Commerce and industry 

H R Bhardwaj, Congress: Law and justice 

P M Sayeed, Congress: Power

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, RJD: Rural development

Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, Congress: Water resources

Mani Shankar Aiyar, Congress: Petroleum & Natural Gas. He will also take charge of Panchayati Raj. 

Sunil Dutt, Congress: Youth affairs and Sports

Shibu Soren, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha: Coal, mines and minerals

A Raja, DMK: Environment and forest

Dayanidhi Maran, DMK: Communication and IT

Meira Kumar, Congress: Social justice and empowerment

K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi: Shipping 

Anbumani Ramdoss, Pattali Makkal Katchi: Health and family welfare

Ministers of state (independent charge)

Santosh Mohan Deb, Congress: Heavy industries and public enterprises 

Jagdish Tytler, Congress: Non-resident affairs 

Oscar Fernandes, Congress: Statistics and programme implementation 

Renuka Choudhury, Congress: Tourism 

Subodh Kant Sahay, Congress: Food Processing

Kapil Sibal, Congress: Science and technology, ocean development

Vilas Muttemwar, Congress: Non-conventional energy sources

Kumari Selja, Congress: Urban employment and poverty alleviation

Praful Patel, NCP: Civil aviation

Premchand Gupta: Company affairs

Ministers of state

E Ahamed, Indian Union Muslim League: External affairs 

Suresh Pachauri, Congress: Personnel, parliamentary affairs

B K Handique: Defence, parliamentary affairs

P Lakshmi, Congress: Health and family welfare

Dasari Narayan Rao, Congress: Coal and mines

Shaqeel Ahmed, Congress: Communications & IT

Rao Indrajit Singh, Congress: External affairs

Naranbhai Rathwa, Congress: Railways

Rehman Khan, Congress: Chemicals and fertilisers

K H Muniyappa, Congress: Road transport and highways 

M V Rajasekharan, Congress: Planning. 

Kantilal Bhuria, Congress Agriculture, food and civil supplies, consumer affairs and public distribution 

Manikrao Gavit, Congress: Home affairs

Sriprakash Jaiswal, Congress: Home affairs

Prithviraj Chavan, Congress: Prime pinister's office

Mohammed Taslimuddin, Congress: Heavy industries and public enterprises

Suryakanta Patil, NCP: Rural development, parliamentary affairs

Mohammed A A Fatmi, RJD: HRD

A Narendra, TRS: Rural development

R Velu, PMK: Railways

S S Palanimanickam, DMK: Commerce and industry

S Regupathy, DMK: Home affairs

K Venkatapathy, DMK: Law and justice

S Jegadeesan: Social Justice and empowerment

E V K S Elangovan, Congress: Petroleum and natural gas

Kanti Singh, RJD: HRD

Namo Narain Meena, Congress: Environment and forests

Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav, RJD: Water resources

Akhilesh Singh, RJD: Agriculture, food and civil supplies, consumers affairs and public distribution

An official government release pointed out that prime minister Manmohan Singh would look after the ministries that have not been allocated.

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