Home / News / India /  Cabinet reshuffle: Anurag Thakur appointed new sports and youth affairs, I&B minister

Anurag Thakur, who took the oath of office and secrecy as one of the new Cabinet ministers, has been given charge of Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry, as well as Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Earlier, the former ministry was under Kiren Rijiju, who was elevated to the position of Cabinet Minister today along with Thakur. In the latter, the Hamirpur MP will succeed Prakash Javadekar, who stepped down ahead of cabinet reshuffle.

"I am thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah for giving me this chance. All possible efforts will be made to fulfil the duties," Thakur said after taking oath on Wednesday.

Thakur has been Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman since 2019, when Narendra Modi-led NDA government began its second term. Since then, he has been a close aide of the Finance Minister and has seen a turmoil on account of economic slowdown and the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

Thakur's appointment as the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister comes close on the heels of Tokyo Olympics 2020, which had been postponed last year on due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the restrictions still in place, on account of new mutants of the virus, and Japan apprehensive of a new wave erupting from the arrivals during the Olympics, Thakur will have a limited playbook on how to look after the athletes going to attend the event.

Apart from taking care of athletes preparation on a ministerial level, Thakur will also have to ensure that they conform to the strict stipulations regarding vaccination and repeated tests put in place by Japan.

As I&B Minister, all eyes will be on his stance on the proposed Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021. Centre had sought public comments on the draft bill starting June 18. The bill includes a jail term and fine for film piracy, introduce age-based certification, and empower the Central government to order recertification of an already certified film following receipt of complaints.

Earlier this month, Six trade film associations had sent a joint representation to I&B Ministry objecting to the revisionary power sought to be provided to the Centre. Renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal had also opposed this bill, saying that the government has no role in film certification.

Thakur began his political career in 2008 as he succeeded his father, Prem Kumar Dhumal, as Member of Parliament in 14th Lok Sabha from Hamirpur constituency. Since then, he has been re-elected thrice from the same seat.

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