Biography of Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad | Minister for Law and Justice & Information Technology, Govt. of India
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Biography

Minister for Law and Justice & Information Technology, Government of India.
Father's Name : Late Shri Thakur Prasad
Mother's Name : Shrimati Bimla Prasad
Date of Birth : 30 August 1954
Place of Birth : Patna (Bihar)
Marital Status : Married on 3/02/1982
Spouse's Name : Dr. (Shrimati) Maya Shankar
Children : One son and one daughter
Educational Qualification : B.A.Hons., M.A. (Pol.Science), LL.B. Educated at Patna University
Profession : Lawyer/Advocate,Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Permanent Address:

42, East Boring Road,
P.S.- Budha Colony, Patna 800001
Tel. - (0612) 2531635

Present Address :

1st Floor, Sanchar Bhawan, 20, Ashoka Road,
New Delhi. PIN- 110001
Phone: +91-11- 23739191, Fax: +91-11- 23372428

E-mail :
Facebook : Facebook.com/RaviShankarPrasadOfficial
Twitter : Twitter.com/rsprasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad is the Union Cabinet Minister for Law and Justice & Information Technology in the Government of India, headed by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. He is an eminent Lawyer and a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India. He is a Member of Parliament since the year 2000 and has been the member of important Parliamentary Committees in the Parliament like Finance, Communication & IT, Petroleum & Chemicals.

Since his appointment as the Cabinet Minister for Communications and Information Technology on 26th May, 2014, he has been spearheading the task of reviving India’s telecom sector. He is also actively leading the task of developing India into a global electronics manufacturing hub. India is sitting at the cusp of a Digital Revolution. It is a priority agenda for present government and as the Minister for Communications & IT, he is at the forefront of its implementation. The flagship program of Digital India, which aims to bring about good governance by extensive use of Information Technology, is being implemented under his leadership. He is also spearheading reforms in the Indian legal and judicial system.

Prior to this, in September 2001, in the government headed by Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he was appointed as a Minister of State for Coal and Mines and was entrusted with the responsibility of reviving the loss making Coal India Limited- a Public Sector Undertaking managing the vast coal resources of India. He earned accolades for the turn-around of Coal India Limited and also by initiating reform process in the Coal and Mines Ministry and opening it up. In July 2002, he was given additional responsibility as a Minister of State for Law & Justice. In this capacity he played instrumental role in reforming India’s electoral system and bringing out greater transparency in politics.

In January 2003, he was elevated in the Union Cabinet as Minister for Information and Broadcasting. He pioneered the Cable Television reforms in India and ushered the country into digital TV era. He is credited for introducing Direct To Home (DTH) satellite telecast services in India. He played a key role in liberalizing the FM radio services in India which opened up the private sector participation in this field. Today FM radio is a thriving industry in India. Industry status granted to Indian Cinema got a great boost during his tenure by way of corporatization, institutional access to finance and elimination of illegal financing.

Ravi Shankar Prasad is a very senior leader of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party ( BJP ) and held very crucial organizational positions of the party at the national level, including national general secretary, chief spokesperson of the party and head of the Media division. He frequently appears on national and international media. As a Cabinet Minister, he is also Spokesperson of the Government. He is a widely travelled man and represented India in various International Conferences and UN.

He has also been a human rights activist. As a lawyer, he took the cause of undertrial prisioners and also argued certain important and momentous cases, impinging upon the propriety and fairness in the political life of the country. He has been an activist right from his student days, where he suffered imprisonment. He also fought for human freedom, press freedom and restoration of democratic values, when they were under severe stress.

Ravi Shankar Prasad is married. His wife, Dr. Maya Shankar is a Professor of History in Patna University, Bihar, India.

Positions Held:

  • 1991-95 National Vice President, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (B.J.Y.M.).
  • The Youth Wing of B.J.P. for two terms.
  • 1995 onwards Member, National Executive, Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.)
  • April 2000 Elected to Rajya Sabha
  • May 2000-2001 Member, Committee on Petroleum and Chemicals Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Finance
  • 1 Sept. 2001-29 Jan. 2003 Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal and Mines
  • 1 July 2002-29 Jan. 2003 Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice (Additional charge)
  • 29 Jan. 2003-May 2004 Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
  • May 2000 - Aug. 2001 and July 2004 - Aug. 2006 Member, Committee on Rules
  • Aug. 2004 - 2006 Member, Committee on Human Resource Development
  • Sept. 2004 - April 2006 Member, Committee on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (Rajya Sabha)
  • Oct. 2004 -2006 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Finance
  • Nov. 2004- May 2009 Member, Sub-Committee on University and Higher Education of the Committee on Human Resource Development
  • March 2006 onwards National Spokesperson, B.J.P.
  • April 2006 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha (second term)
  • Aug. 2006- May 2009 and Aug. 2009-Aug. 2011 Member, Committee on Information Technology
  • Sept. 2006 onwards Member, Committee of Privileges
  • Sept. 2006- May 2009 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of External Affairs
  • Aug. 2009-2012 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Finance
  • Oct. 2009-April 2012 Member, Executive Council of the Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies
  • Dec. 2009-Nov. 2011 Member, Library Committee
  • Aug. 2010-April 2012 Member, Court of the University of Delhi
  • March 2011 onwards Member, JPC to examine matters relating to allocation and pricing of telecom licences and spectrum
  • April 2012 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha (third term)
  • May 2012 onwards Member, Committee on Finance
  • Aug. 2012 onwards Member, Business Advisory Committee Member, Joint Committee on Offices of Profit
  • Dec. 2012 onwards Member, Committee on Ethics
  • May 2013 onwards Member, Committee on Privileges
  • 27 May 2014 onwards Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Minister of Law and Justice

Freedom Fighter :

No

Books Published:

Has written many articles on contemporary legal and constitutional issues, which have been published in leading newspapers like The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Statesman, The Pioneer, Hindustan and Dainik Jagran, etc.

Social and Cultural Activities, Literary, Artistic and Scientific Accomplishments and other Special Interests :

Has been a civil liberty and human rights activist; a keen debator both in Hindi and English in College and University days and achieved regular distinction in debating competitions at the state and the national level

Sports, Clubs, Favourite Pastimes and Recreation :

Played table tennis in university level tournaments; Member, (i) Bankipur Club, (ii) Patna Golf Club and (iii) Delhi Golf Club; keen interest in classical Indian music, travelling and reading historical, biographical and legal literature

Countries Visited :

U.S.A. and Europe in the Group Study Exchange Programme of the Rotary International; South Africa, Morocco and France for cooperation in the mining and coal sectors; represented India in the Commonwealth Law Ministers’ Conference in St. Vincent, West Indies in 2002; Durban (South Africa), as leader of the Indian Delegation in the Non-aligned Meet in April, 2002 and Ramallah (Israel) to meet the Palestinian leader, late Shri Yasser Arafat, as Indian representative of the NAM Ministerial delegation to express solidarity with him; Cannes (France); Venice (Italy) to deliver Key Note Address in the Film Festivals; Bangkok (Thailand) to deliver Key Note Address on Broadcasting Media; Yugoslavia as an Observer to oversee the elections there; Canada to attend Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in 2004 and Pakistan to attend South Asia Free Media Association Parliamentary Conference in 2005; New York, U.S.A. as member of Indian delegation to attend the 61st U.N.General Assembly in October 2006

Other Information :

During youth, led the student movement in Bihar under the leadership of Shri Jai Prakash Narayan and was imprisoned during the Emergency; was associated with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (A.B.V.P.) for many years and held various posts in the organization; during college days, was Assistant General Secretary of the Patna University Students’ Union and member of the Senate, Finance Committee, Arts and Law Faculties of the University; as a lawyer, championed the causes of ‘eradication of corruption’ and ‘civil liberty; has been a practising lawyer in the Patna High Court since February 1980; has also appeared in the Supreme Court of India for a variety of cases; specialized in writ, constitutional, civil service and criminal matters; was lawyer for Shri L.K.Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister in various proceedings in the Patna High Court; attended International Congress on Law and Medicine and on Patent Laws; designated Senior Advocate by the full bench of the Patna High Court; has argued a large number of cases of public, private and corporate bodies; has been handling cases of major organisations including Railways, Bennett & Coleman, Dabur Company, etc.; was Senior Counsel, Bihar Banking Service Recruitment Board; was the main arguing counsel in Patna High Court in the public interest litigation leading to CBI investigation into the fodder and bitumen scam; currently, also a Senior Advocate appearing in important matters in the Supreme Court; as a Minister, championed the cause of economic reforms; as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal and Mines, helped to accelerate the reforms process in the mining and coal sectors; during his time, the privatization of Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd. was upheld by the Supreme Court of India, the Hindustan Zinc Ltd. was privatized successfully, Coal India Ltd. (CIL) made a record profit of Rs. 1,758 crore and other loss making coal companies like the Central Coalfields Ltd. also turned around; took steps to pave way for the entry of privatization in coal mining with the aim of making coal price cheaper and opening up investment opportunities for overseas players; as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice, had helped to prepare a Bill seeking to amend the Representation of the People’s Act, in order to usher in accountability in politics; the ‘Offshore Area Bill’ became an Act under his leadership paving the way for investment in offshore mining; was instrumental in changing the Evidence Act in rape cases for fairer appreciation of evidence in favour of rape victims; as Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, took various initiatives to make the entertainment industry including radio, television and films competitive, follow corporate governance including policies for venture capital and follow new marketing strategy for Indian films; undertook steps for co-production agreements with different countries in the film sector, invited foreign direct investment (FDI) in the entertainment sector and set up an Expert Committee to open up the radio sector; has made frequent appearances on television in international and national channels including the BBC, CNBC, NDTV, Star News, Doordarshan, Zee News and Aaj Tak, where his views have been sought to defend the policies of the Government of India and also to participate in discussions on issues of topical interest; was General Secretary of the Peoples Union for Civil Liberty (P.U.C.L.), Bihar; was Secretary, Patna High Court Advocates Association; National Convenor, B.J.P. Legal Cell, 2001-2002; was Member, Central Disciplinary Committee, B.J.P.; was Director, State Bank of India, Bihar Local Board; Member, National Executive Committee, B.J.P

Parliamentary Commitee Memberships:

Commitee NameMembership FromStatus
Committee to examine matters relating to allocation and pricing of telecom licences and 21/05/2012 Member
Ethics 28/12/2012 Member
Finance 31/08/2013 Member
Offices of Profit 23/08/2012 Member
Privileges 08/05/2013 Member