New Delhi: Textile minister Smriti Zubin Irani has been given the additional charge of information and broadcasting (I&B), after M. Venkaiah Naidu resigned from the post on Tuesday, following his nomination as National Democratic Alliance’s vice-presidential candidate.
Naidu was holding the portfolio since July 2016 in addition to urban development, housing and poverty alleviation ministry. Narendra Singh Tomar was given the charge of urban development ministry, according to a post on micro-blogging platform Twitter by the Prime Minister’s office.
Prior to textile ministry, Irani held the human resource development ministry. A former television actor and producer, Irani was appointed as Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) vice-president in 2012.
Irani’s appointment comes at a time when the I&B ministry is in the process of revamping the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) or Censor Board with a new Cinematograph Act.
CBFC, constituted under the Cinematograph Act 1952, reviews and certifies films for public exhibition. Naidu had time and again reiterated that the ministry is working on a draft on the lines of a report submitted by a committee headed by the veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal in April 2016.
The ministry is also planning to formulate a national communication policy in a bid to enhance access and dissemination of information across the country.
Irani will be the fourth I&B minister appointed in the three years of Narendra Modi-led NDA government. Between 2014 and 2016, Prakash Javadekar held the portfolio, followed by finance minister Arun Jaitley. In a cabinet reshuffle in 2016, Naidu had assumed the charge of I&B ministry.