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Will Harsh Vardhan prove to be a vardaan for Swastha Bharat?

A doctor by profession, Harsh Vardhan will replace JP Nadda as the new health minister under Modi 2.0 regime

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The 65-year-old doctor turned politician Harsh Vardhan has been given the charge of Health and Family Welfare and Science and Technology in the the second term of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

An ENT specialist, Dr Vardhan was given the same portfolio in the first stint of the NDA 2014. But, later the health ministry was given to JP Nadda while he had retained the charge of Ministry of Science and Technology.

Activities pertaining to the field of health at national and international level, Dr Vardhan was instrumental in the enactment of several laws including the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places & Non-Smokers Health Protection Act. Following it, the Supreme Court directed all states to replicate this law and 12 states enacted similar laws. He also raised his voice against tobacco and drug abuse and implemented the Rational Drug Policy for the first time, which was recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the Delhi Model and was adopted by many countries.

Known for his work in the field of health, science and technology the challenges awaiting the minister in the new regime are stabilisation of the NDA’s flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat and the smooth implementation of 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). The Modi government has also proposed to increase health expenditure from 1.15 per cent to 2.5 per cent GDP by 2025. They have also promised to eradicate the tuberculosis by 2025.

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