Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju

Minister of Civil Aviation

Government of India

India's civil aviation sector is soaring high. Going by the annual growth rate of 22 percent for 2016-17, the domestic air traffic could reach about 126 million passengers during 2017-18.

 The growth is attributed to so many factors, pro-active reforms being one of them. Spearheading the reforms in the civil aviation sector is the Minister of Civil Aviation, Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

 The National Civil Aviation Policy or NCAP and the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) known as 'Udan' – a Hindi acronym for 'Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik' (which means the 'common man will fly') are transformational policies, initiated by Mr. Raju and his ministry.

 

These two reforms and the general surge in the economy will help India catapult to the third place, after China and the US, in aviation.

 “Udan” is expected to change the landscape of Indian aviation, connecting the metros to tier II and III cities. The Union Minister has expressed hope that 33 airports in small towns would come into the aviation map this year.

 Mr. Raju brings a touch of old royalty being from the royal family of Gajapathi from Vizianagaram. He is a first time Member of Parliament (MP) from Vizianagaram and one of the senior most leaders of the Telugu Desam Party, an ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

 Mr. Raju has been a seven-time legislator and served as Finance and Revenue Ministers in the state of Andhra Pradesh.His late father, PVG Raju, was also an MP. Both his elder brother Ananda Gajapati Raju and his sister-in-law Uma Gajapati Raju,were also MPs.

 Mr. Raju was educated at Scindia School, Gwalior; Lovedale School, Ooty; Hyderabad Public School, Hyderabad andV.S.Krishna College Visakhapatnam.He is married to Suneela and has two daughters. He was a member of the Andhra Pradesh State legislature for over 25 years and was a Minister in the Government of Andrha Pradesh for 13 years.

 Influenced by socialism and moved by the deplorable condition of the people, both socially and economically, he joined politics to serve the people.He took an active part in the struggle for the formation of a new district, Vizianagaram.

 His interest to improve education in the district led to the establishment of several governmental and non-governmental educational institutions.

 Presently, he is Vice-Chairman of a trust The Maharaja Alak Narayana Society of Arts and Science (MANSAS) which is running 12 educational institutions in the district.

 As a Minister, he was associated with several developmental activities.He is keenly interested in the field of public health and the conservation of water and electricity.

His efforts resulted in the establishment of several centres for imparting training in several sports at many places including Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram.

He believes in value based politics. His hobbies include jogging, reading and interaction with youngsters.Known to be a no nonsense man with a clean image, Mr. Raju is widely travelled, well read and a serious legislator. In spite of being from erstwhile royal family of Vizianagaram, he is down to earth in his approach, but is determined to see 'India fly' amid forecast that the country will be the third largest aviation market in the world.