Education Ministers of India since independence| Updated-2022

Education Ministers of India since independence: Dharmendra Pradhan is the current Education Minister in India (June 2022). Here, in this blog, we will know about the list of education ministers of India since independence(1947-to-Present).

Till 2020, it was known as the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD), the Ministry of Education of India is the department of the Indian government in charge of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP). NEP is the policy formulated by the government to promote and regulate elementary to higher education in rural and urban India.

Ministry of Education India-current (2022)

Education plays a significant and remedial role in balancing the socio-economic fabric of the Country. Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan is the Education Minister of India in 2022. Previously, the Ministry of Education was known as the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Currently, the MoE works through two departments:

  • Department of School Education & Literacy: The Department of School Education & Literacy is responsible for the development of school education and literacy in the country
  • Department of Higher Education: The Department of Higher Education takes care of what is one of the largest Higher Education systems in the world, just after the United States and China.

Objectives of the Ministry of Education

The main objectives of the Ministry would be:

  • Formulating the National Policy on Education and ensuring that it is implemented in letter and spirit
  • The planned development includes expanding access and improving the quality of the educational institutions throughout the country, including in the regions where people do not have easy access to education.
  • Paying special attention to disadvantaged groups like the poor, females, and the minorities
  • Provide financial help in the form of scholarships, loan subsidies, etc to deserving students from deprived sections of society.
  • Encouraging international cooperation in the field of education, including working closely with the UNESCO and foreign governments as well as Universities, to enhance the educational opportunities in the country.

List of Education Ministers of India since Independence- Updated

No.NameTerm of officePartyPrime Minister
1Maulana Abul Kalam Azad15 August 194722 January 195810 years, 160 days
2K. L. Shrimali22 January 195831 August 19635 years, 221 days
3Humayun Kabir1 September 196321 November 196381 days
4M. C. Chagla21 November 196313 November 19662 years, 357 days
5Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed14 November 196613 March 1967119 days
6Triguna Sen16 March 196714 February 19691 year, 335 days
7V. K. R. V. Rao14 February 196918 March 19712 years, 32 days
8Siddhartha Shankar Ray18 March 197120 March 19721 year, 2 days
9S. Nurul Hasan24 March 197224 March 19775 years, 0 days
10Pratap Chandra Chunder26 March 197728 July 19792 years, 124 days
11Karan Singh30 July 197914 January 1980168 days
12B. Shankaranand14 January 198017 October 1980277 days
13Shankarrao Chavan17 October 19808 August 1981295 days
14Sheila Kaul10 August 198131 December 19843 years, 143 days
15K. C. Pant31 December 198425 September 1985268 days
16P. V. Narasimha Rao(Minister of Human Resource Development)25 September 198525 June 19882 years, 274 days
17P. Shiv Shankar25 June 19882 December 19891 year, 160 days
18V. P. Singh2 December 198910 November 1990343 days
19Rajmangal Pandey21 November 199021 June 1991212 days
20Arjun Singh23 June 199124 December 19943 years, 184 days
(16)P. V. Narasimha Rao25 December 19949 February 199547 days
21Madhavrao Scindia10 February 199517 January 1996341 days
(16)P. V. Narasimha Rao17 January 199616 May 1996120 days
22Atal Bihari Vajpayee16 May 19961 June 199616 days
23S. R. Bommai5 June 199619 March 19981 year, 287 days
24Murli Manohar Joshi19 March 199822 May 20046 years, 64 days
25Arjun Singh22 May 200422 May 20095 years, 0 days
26Kapil Sibal29 May 200929 October 20123 years, 153 days
27M. M. Pallam Raju30 October 201226 May 20141 year, 208 days
28Smriti Irani26 May 20145 July 20162 years, 40 days
29Prakash Javadekar5 July 201630 May 20192 years, 329 days
30Ramesh Pokhriyal(Minister of Education from 29 July 2020 onwards)30 May 20197 July 20212 years, 38 days
31Dharmendra Pradhan7 July 2021Incumbent351 days

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (term: August 1947 – February 1958)

He was the first education minister of independent India. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was associated with the Indian National Congress. Azad never received a formal education, being self-taught in English and home schooled in traditional Islamic education by his scholarly father and Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, who ensured he received a well-rounded education. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was posthumously awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’, India’s highest civilian honor, in 1992.

Kalu Lal Shrimali (term: February 1958 to August 1963)

He was a part of the Nehru government and a representative of the INC. He was educated at Banaras Hindu University, Calcutta University, and Columbia University, New York. Due to his contributions to education, he earned the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 1976.

Humayun Kabir (term: September 1963 to November 1963)

Humayun Kabir completed his education from Presidency University (Kolkata), BA and MA in English from Calcutta University with first-class distinction, and went on to receive his Modern Greats degree with first-class from Exeter College, Oxford University in 1931.

Mohammadali Carim Chagla (term: November 1963 to November 1966) 

He was an alumnus of St. Xavier’s High School and College. He was the 4th Education minister under Nehru Government.

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (term: November 1966 to March 1967)

He was inducted as the fifth minister of education under Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. He completed his higher education at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

Triguna Sen (term: March 1967 to February 1969) 

Triguna Sen completed his mechanical engineering degree from Bengal Technical University, he obtained his doctor of engineering degree from Munich University, doing his research in fluid mechanics. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in literature and education in 1965.

Vijayendra Kasturi Ranga Varadaraja Rao (term: February 1969 to March 1971)

Served as the minister of education under Indira Gandhi. He was an alumnus of Bombay University obtaining a BA and MA degrees in economics. He attended Cambridge University where he received his MA and Ph.D. degrees. He was also the recipient of the Padam Vibhushan Award in 1974.

Siddhartha Shankar Ray (term: March 1971 to March 1972) 

He was associated with the INC, and completed his higher education from Presidency University, Calcutta and University Law College (Calcutta University).

Saiyid Nurul Hasan (term: March 1972 to March 1977) 

He was associated with the INC. He completed his graduation from Muir Central College, Allahabad. He is credited with the establishment of the “10+2+3” education system followed at high school, junior college and undergraduate levels.

Pratap Chandra Chunder (term: March 1977 to July 1979)

He was associated with the Janata Party and served as the education minister of India in the Morarji Desai Ministry. He received his B.A. (Hons.) degree in history with first class from Presidency College, Kolkata.

Charan Singh (term: July 1979 to January 1980)

He was associated with the INC. He completed his bachelor’s degree from the Jammu & Kashmir University, Srinagar, and received his master’s and doctoral degree in political science from the University of Delhi.

B. Shankaranand (term: January 1980 to October 1980)

He was associated with the INC and held office in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. He was an alumnus of the Lingraj College Belgaum, Siddharth College Bombay, Govt. Law College Bombay and RL Law College, Belgaum from where he obtained his BA (Hons.) and LL.B degrees.

Shankarrao Chavan (term: October 1980 to August 1981)

He was associated with the INC and served as the education minister in the Indira Gandhi cabinet. He was an alumnus of Madras University, Osmania University.

Sheila Kaul (term: August 1981 to December 1984)

She was associated with the INC and held the position of Education Minister under Indira and Rajiv Gandhi’s ministries. She was educated in the Lahore College for Women and the Ganga Ram Training College, Lahore from where she received her degree in arts and in teaching respectively.

Krishna Chandra Pant (term: December 1984 to September 1985)

served as the minister for education in Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet. He obtained his postgraduate degree from Lucknow University and pursued higher studies in Germany. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao (term: December 1984 to September 1985, December 1994 to 9 February 1995, and January 1996 to May 1996)

Associated with the INC, Rao served as the HRD minister for three terms: in Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet from 26 September 1985 to 25 June 1988 and twice during his own prime ministership- from 25 December 1994 to 9 February 1995 and from 17 January 1996 to 16 May 1996.

Punjala Shiv Shankar (term: June 1988 to December 1989)

A member of the INC, served in Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet. He received his B.A. degree from Hindu College, Delhi, and LL.B degree at Law College, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

Vishwanath Pratap Singh (term: 2 December 1989 to November 1990)

He was associated with the Janata Dal (National Front) party. He completed his bachelor of arts and a law degree at Allahabad University. He obtained his bachelor of science degree in Physics from Fergusson College, Pune University.

Raj Mangal Pande (term: November 1990 to June 1991)

He was associated with the Janata Dal. He was inducted into the cabinet of Chandra Sekhar as the minister of HRD. He was educated at Allahabad University where he completed his B.A., LL.LB degree.

Arjun Singh (term: June 1991 to December 1994, and again from May 2004 to May 2009)

He was associated with the INC, and held the office of the minister of HRD twice- in P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government from 23 June 1991 to 24 December 1994, and again from 22 May 2004 to 22 May 2009 in Manmohan Singh’s ministry. He was an alma mater of the Allahabad University and Agra University, Singh held a BA, LL.B degree. He was accused of corruption in granting the “deemed university” status which did not meet requisite educational standards.

Kapil Sibal (term: May 2009 to October 2012)

He served in the Manmohan Singh’s cabinet as the minister of HRD. He completed his BA and MA degree in History from St. Stephens College, Delhi, he obtained his LL.B degree from the prestigious Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. Sibal went on to attend Harvard University where he received his LL.M degree in 1977.

Mallipudi Mangapati Pallam Raju (term: October 2012 to May 2014)

He served as the minister of HRD under Manmohan Singh’s ministry. He received his electronics and communication degree from Andhra University and obtained his MBA degree from Fox School of Business and Management.

Smriti Irani (May 2014 to July 2016)

She served in Narendra Modi’s cabinet as the minister of HRD. Irani was educated at the School of Open Learning at the University of Delhi.

Prakash Javadekar (July 2016 to May 2019) 

He served as the minister of HRD under Narendra Modi’s ministry. Javadekar completed his education at the University of Pune where he received his B.Com (Hons.) degree.

Ramesh Pokhriyal (term: May 2019 to July 2021)

He served as the minister of education in Narendra Modi’s ministry. He was educated at the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University and holds an MA and Ph.D (Hon.) degree in addition to an honorary D.Litt. (Hon.) degree in literature conferred to him by Graphic Era Deemed to be University, Uttarakhand.

Dharmendra Pradhan (term: July 2021 onwards)

Dharmendra Pradhan was appointed as the new Minister of Education in Narendra Modi’s cabinet on 7 July 2021. He obtained his MA degree in Anthropology from Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar, and has been active in youth concerns such as the lack of skill-based education in India and unemployment since then.

That’s al from our side in this blog “Education Ministers of India since independence”. STAY TUNED TO OLIVEBOARD!


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