Harsh Vardhan, the Member of Parliament (MP) of Chandni Chowk representing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP,) on the 3rd of June, took over as the Health Minister of India.
The doctor turned politician won the Lok Sabha elections from Chandni Chowk with a majority of 2 lakhs votes against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Indian National Congress (INC.)
Apart from being the Health Minister, Mr. Vardhan will also hold the post of the Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister of India.
The appointment of Mr. Vardhan as the Health Minister of India is said to be a big threat for the investors in tobacco companies. Soon after the announcement of the new Health Minister of India, on the 31st of May, the share prices of tobacco companies such as ITC and Godfrey Phillips plummeted.
This is not the first time Mr. Vardhan is serving as the Health Minister. He held the portfolio in Delhi from 1993 to 1998.
During his previous tenure as the Health Minister, he started a polio prevention programme which was later expanded to a national level. He also fought against tobacco and drug abuse, with regard to which he enacted laws such as the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non Smokers Health Protection Act, 1996.
In 1988, the World Health Organisation (WHO) awarded the Director General’s Polio Eradication Champion Award Commendation Medal to Harsh Vardhan.
After Harsha Vardhan takes over as the Health Minister of India, it would be interesting to see what steps he takes for the betterment of public health in India.
Stay tuned for further updates.