Dharmendra Pradhan is an Indian politician serving as the Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the Government of India. He has also been the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel. Pradhan was promoted to a Cabinet Minister on 3 September 2017. Shri Pradhan currently represents Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha as Member of Parliament. Earlier, he was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha.
Dharmendra Pradhan has been the longest serving Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas in the history of independent India. Joining as the Minister of State (In-charge) in 2014, he was later promoted to the Cabinet rank in 2017. On 31 May 2019, Shri Pradhan began his second consecutive tenure at the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, GoI.
Shri Pradhan has led to some keys decisions in the hydrocarbon sector. He, supported by the Union Cabinet, has brought in a new Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy, which through its uniform licensing for explorations and production of all forms of hydrocarbon, open acreage policy and marketing and pricing freedom will enhance domestic oil & gas production with substantial investment in the sector in India and generate sizable employment. He also led consumer initiatives like PAHAL which is the world's largest Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme and the Give It Up campaign, that was liberally supported by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, aimed at encouraging affluent citizens to surrender their LPG subsidy for the needy receiving a successful response of 10 million consumers.
As Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Pradhan launched many key initiatives focussing on reskilling and upskilling the manpower of India and focusing on bridging the skill gap for the Indian youth. During his tenure, the total number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) increased by over 40% and student enrolment increased by over 28% till 2019. He brought in new paradigms in the regulatory environment by mooting National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) as new unified national reg IBM, Adobe etc. to introduce new age skills related to Industry 4.0. He also launched one of the world's largest counselling program named Skill Saathi. In May 2019, Pradhan continued his Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and got the Ministry of Steel.