B.A.Hons, M.A. (Pol Science), L.L.B Educated at Patna University
RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD, MP MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE AND MINISTER OF ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AN INTRODUCTION
Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad was born on 30th August 1954 in Patna, Bihar. His father, Late Shri Thakur Prasad was an eminent lawyer of Bihar. A great political activist and organizer, he was the founder of Jansangh in Bihar and was its President for 10 years. He also held the industries portfolio in the State cabinet of Bihar.
Born to an illustrious father, Shri Prasad did his L.L.B. from Patna University on his footsteps. He has been an excellent student all through his Matriculation, Graduation (Honours in Political Science) and Post Graduation studies. Shri Prasad has been a crusader all through his life. Was one of the front ranking student leaders in the well known J.P. Movement in Bihar in the seventies and also suffered long imprisonment-organised resistance against the emergency in Bihar.
Was associated with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (A.B.V.P.) for long years and held various offices in the said organisation.
Also a keen debater both in Hindi and English in college/University days and achieved regular distinction in debating competitions on the State and National level.
During college days, was the Assistant General Secretary of the Patna University Student’s Union, Member of the Senate, Finance Committee, Arts and Law Faculties. Has been a human rights and civil liberty activist and earlier also the General Secretary of the Peoples Union for Civil Liberty (P.U.C.L.), Bihar.
As a lawyer he championed the causes of ‘Eradication of Corruption’ and ‘Civil Liberty’. Mr. Prasad has been a practicing lawyer in the Patna High Court since February 1980. Mr. Prasad has been earlier the Secretary of the Patna High Court Advocates Association. He was Senior Counsel, Bihar Banking Service Recruitment Board. He was the main arguing lawyer in the infamous fodder scam in Bihar in P.I.L seeking probe by the CBI in the loot of thousand of crores of public money. Many politicians and bureaucrats went to jail as a result. Mr Prasad at very young age was designated as Sr. Advocate by the full court of Patna High Court. He made his name as a well-known lawyer in the different branches of law including Constitution, Public Law, Corporate & Criminal. He 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. He successfully argued the well known Ram Janmbhoomi Ayodhya dispute in Allahabad High Court, which was decided in favour of Hindues and deity.
Mr. Prasad in addition to being a Member of Parliament is also practicing in the Supreme Court as a Sr. Advocate in diverse branches of Law.
He has held national level assignments in the youth wing and the main party organisation of the BJP over the years. He became an MP in 2000 and became a Minister of State (Coal & Mines) in 2001 under Shri A.B. Vajpayee as P.M. After taking over as Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal and Mines, Shri Prasad had accelerated 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.He initiated for reaching professional outlook in the Coal sector. Coal India Ltd. (CIL), the apex public sector undertaking in the field of Coal Production & Marketing suffered a loss of Rs.1441 crore in 1999-2000. After he took over in the financial year ending on 31st March 2002, CIL has made a record profit of Rs.1758 crore. Even the chronically loss making coal Companies started turning around a profit of approximately Rs. 100 crores.
Shri Prasad was given the additional charge of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Law & Justice on 01-07-2002 within a fortnight of his joining; he has prepared a bill, amending Representation of People’s Act in order to halt criminalisation of Politics. He speeded up the process of fast track Courts. As Minister of Information & Broadcasting, he initiated far reaching reforms to make India the hub of entertainment. This included venture capital investment and good marketing of Indian Films, reforms in the Radio, Television and Animation Sector and establishment of Goa as the Centre of Indian Film Festival. He laid the foundation for the FM Radio revolution.
His views are often sought on issues of topical interest and he frequently appeared on the television on international and Indian channels including the BBC, STAR NEWS, DOORDARSHAN, NDTV, ZEE NEWS, AAJ TAK, CNBC, TIMES NOW and other channels.
A widely traveled man he was given critical assignments in foreign affairs as well. In April 2002, he was sent as the leader of Indian Delegation in the Non Aligned Ministerial meet in Durban (South Africa). Thereafter, he was sent as the Indian representative to meet Late Yasser Araft, the Palestinian Leader at Ramallah as a member of NAM Ministerial delegation to express solidarity with him. He was sent as the leader of Indian Delegation in the Commonwealth Law Minister Summit in St. Vincent (West Indies). He led the Indian delegation to Film festivals in Cannes, Venice and London. He, a widely traveled man, was sent to UNO to represent India in 61st UN General Assembly in New York in Oct 2006. Widely travelled in U.S.A. and Europe in the Group Study Exchange Programme of the Rotary International. He became National Spokesperson of BJP in 2006 and has been re-elected again to the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Bihar in April 2006 for the second term and in April 2012 for the third term. He is also the member of BJP National Executive, the top policy making body for last 19 years. He is also Member of various Parliamentary Committees. Between year 2010 – Feb 2013, he was made the All India General Secretary and Chief Spokesperson of the Party and In-charge of its Media Cell. He was a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and consultative Committee on Defence. He was also the Member of the Committee of Ethics and Committee for office of profit, Rajya Sabha.
He is a well known Parliamentarian.
He was nominated as Deputy Leader of BJP Parliamentary Party, the Principle Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on 22nd July 2012 till 25th May 2014.