Profile of Hon'ble MoS
Rajeev Chandrasekhar (born 31 May 1964) is Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Minister of State for Ministry of Jal Shakti. He is an Indian politician and entrepreneur, technocrat and a Member of Parliament in the upper house (Rajya Sabha) from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) representing Karnataka. Born in Ahmedabad, Gujarat to Air Commodore M. K. Chandrasekhar and Mrs. Valli Chandrasekhar, Rajeev studied in various schools across India, and studied electrical engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology. He completed Masters in Computer Science in 1988 from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He was handpicked by Vinod Dham to Intel and he worked there from 1988 to 1991. At Intel, he was part of architectural team that designed I486 processor. He also completed an advance management program from Harvard University.
In 1991 after returning to India, he became part of BPL Group. In 1994, Chandrasekhar founded BPL Mobile, one of the major telecom companies in India then with license over places such as Mumbai. In July 2005, he sold his 64 percent stake in BPL Communications to Essar Group for US$1.1 billion. Rajeev founded Jupiter Capital in 2005, with an initial investment of US$100 million, and currently has investments and managed assets of over US$800 million in technology, media, hospitality, and entertainment.
In April 2013, Chandrasekhar was awarded an honorary doctorate by Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum, for his work as an entrepreneur.
- B.E. (Electrical Engineering)- MIT, Manipal
- Distinguished Alumni Award, 2013
- M.S. (Computer Science)- Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
- Recipient of IIT Global Alumni Award, 2007
- Short Management Programmes- Harvard University, Boston, USA
- Various other Technology programmes - Stanford University, Intel University
- Doctor of Science- Visvesvaraya Technological University
Rajeev was an Independent member of Rajya Sabha representing Karnataka from April 2006 to April 2018. In April 2018, he was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka for a third six-year term as a BJP member. He has advocated for governance reforms, institution building, Internet freedom, national security, welfare of the Armed Forces Personnel and sustainable development of Bangalore and Karnataka.
In Parliament, Rajeev is a vocal advocate of Governance, Technology and Economics. As a first-term MP, he was the first one to raise corruption like 2G Scam in parliament and is outspoken on issues that concern Governance. Rajeev focuses on Reforms in Economy and Governance, Technology, and Internet, Issues related to youth, and issues concerning national security and sustainable city governance of Bengaluru.
Rajeev's political work focuses on protecting Bengaluru and Bengalureans' interests with Urban Governance issues, Transforming India through Governance and Economic reforms, Veteran and Armed Forces issues, Protecting our Children etc. For causes he believes in and supports, he has - apart from raising these in Parliament, actively approached the courts to intervene on behalf of citizens as in the case of Sec 66A, Aadhaar privacy issues and voting rights for Armed Forces. He is an active MP and his work and its effects are available through periodic report cards. He is widely recognized as the most Informed and active MP on Digital India, Internet and Technology issues, Spectrum Allocation, Net Neutrality, Consumer rights in cyber space policies and regulatory matters and is unafraid to dive into issues that need support after informing himself well on these.
Additionally, he has focused on and taken up a wide array of macro-economic and micro-economic issues that include restructuring of Public Sector Banks, creating Transparency in the management of Public Assets and repairing key sectors in the economy to revive growth amongst others.
It was his relentless campaign and later a petition in the Supreme Court that led to Armed Forces personnel getting the right to vote in their place of posting in the 2014 General Elections and further electoral reforms to bring the facility of e-Postal Ballot to Armed Forces. After the Uri Terror attack in September 2016, he was the first MP in India to have challenged the MFN status granted to Pakistan and submitted a Private Member's Bill in the Rajya Sabha on 18 November 2016 titled: "The Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016". In February 2016, Rajeev was felicitated by the General Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen KJ Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Bar) with the GOC-in- C Commendation Card at HQ Western Command, Chandigarh for his support and work for the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families.
He was nominated for UK's prestigious Index Freedom of Expression Award for 2013, in the category of Digital Freedom for fighting against internet censorship in India and challenging legislation that will stifle digital freedom.
A brief timeline of Rajeev’s parliamentary journey:
- 2006 - Elected to the Rajya Sabha Representing Urban Bengaluru, Karnataka
- 2008 – 2009 - Served as the youngest president of FICCI-Federation of Indian chambers of Commerce and Industry
- 2012 - Unanimously re-elected for a second term in Rajya Sabha
- Dec 2012 - Flags of Honour Foundation and Dr N K Kalia file petition on Capt Saurabh Kalia UN HRC
- 2013 - Launches ASK - an online campaign to give citizens an avenue to directly get their voice heard in Parliament
- Mar 2014 - Rajeev’s fight for Armed Forces Voting Rights sees victory with the Supreme Court granting Armed Forces the right to vote
- Mar 2015 – Rajeev’s fight for Freedom of Expression and speech on Internet makes the Supreme Court strike down Article 66 A of the Information & Technology Act
- July 2015 – Rajeev’s intervention sees actions against outlets serving liquor to under aged patrons
- Sep 2015 - One Rank One Pension - an issue Rajeev fought for persistently since 2006 is formally announced by the Defence Minister
- Nov / Dec 2015 - Rajeev calls for a Roadmap to end Child Sexual Abuse and forms the National Coalition to Protect Our Children (NCPOC)
- 2018 - Elected as BJP Rajya Sabha MP representing Karnataka
- September 2020 - Appointed as BJP National Spokesperson
- February 2021 - Appointed as Puducherry election co-incharge
- July 2021 - Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology