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15 Mar 2017

Can Jaitley fill the void left by Parrikar?

Manohar Parrikar took oath as Chief Minister of Goa, leading a coalition spearheaded by the BJP.

Parrikar vacated the Defence portfolio in the Central government, a post which has been filled by Arun Jaitley.

Jaitley, also the Finance Minister, now holds two key portfolios, along with charge of the Corporate Affairs ministry.

In context

Parrikar: Defence Minister to BJP Defender in Goa
Parrikar appointed as Goa CM


Parrikar appointed as Goa CM

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha appointed Manohar Parrikar as CM following the submission of a letter of support from 21 MLAs.

Tendering his resignation as Defence Minister, Parrikar had sworn in as Goa CM on Tuesday evening.

BJP used Parrikar's appointment as a key bargaining chip in getting the smaller parties (Goa Forward, Maharastrawdi Gomantak Party and two independents) to align with them.

First IITian CM

Manohar Parrikar is the first graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology to become Chief Minister of any Indian state. Parrikar studied metallurgical engineering at IIT, Mumbai, graduating in 1978.

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Jaitley gets Defence Ministry, promises continuity

Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister, took over as Defence Minister, a post he held back in 2014 during the initial six months of the Modi administration.

He held discussions with top Ministry of Defence officials and the three Chiefs of Staff.

Jaitley promised continuity with regards to reforms, saying he will "take it up from where Manohar Parrikar has left it."


Achievements under Parrikar

Major defence-contracts were signed during Parrikar's tenure, including the $8.7 billion deal with France for 36 Rafale fighter jets and the $750 million package for 145 ultra-light howitzers with the US.

Additionally, resolving a 40-year deadlock, Parrikar managed to implement the One Rank One Pension (OROP) Scheme in 2015.

Bold surgical strikes in Myanmar and Kashmir also happened under his stint as Defence Minister.

One Rank One Pension Scheme

OROP scheme allows equal pension to be paid for retirees from the armed forces with the same rank and service time, irrespective of date of retirement. The scheme has already cost Rs. 8000-10,000 crore, to the benefit of nearly 3 million retired personnel and widows.


Lots of huff, little puff?

Parrikar took on the bureaucracy implementing key reforms including strategic tie-ups with private sector companies, to little avail.

Various projects under the 'Make in India' model, such as submarines or fighter aircrafts, got stalled because of the discord between him and his ministry.

The appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff to ensure inter-services cooperation, which had been given much publicity, did not happen.

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