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Praful Patel

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Praful Patel

Praful Manoharbhai Patel
Praful Patel at the 2013 World Economic Forum annual meeting
Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
Constituency Bhandara-Gondiya, Maharashtra
Personal details
Born (1957-02-17) 17 February 1957
Political party Nationalist Congress Party
Spouse(s) Varsha Patel
Children Avni, Niyati, Poorna and Prajay
Residence New Delhi, India
Occupation Politician
Profession Businessman [1]
Religion Hinduism
As of 8 May, 2008

Praful Manoharbhai Patel (born in Kolkata, India on 17 February 1957) is an Indian politician and businessman. His father, Manoharbhai Patel, was an Indian National Congress leader and had been elected to represent Gondia district in Maharashtra. Patel graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Bombay and married Varsha Patel, a Gujarati businessman's daughter. His political career began in 1991 and he was appointed as the Civil Aviation Minister in 2004. His family runs the CeeJay group, a large tobacco conglomerate in India.

He has been the president of India's association football governing body the All India Football Federation (AIFF) since 2012.[2][3]


  • Political career 1
  • Achievements 2
  • AIFF President 3
  • Awards 4
  • Participation in Cultural and Social activities 5
  • Association with Sports and Clubs 6
  • Controversies 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Political career

Patel followed in his father's footsteps by setting out on a political career.[4] In 1985, he became the president of the Municipal Council, Gondia, (Maharashtra) and in 1991 Patel was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha. In 1996 and 1998 he was re-elected to the 11th Lok Sabha and 12th Lok Sabha respectively.[5] Patel was a member of a number of committees within the Indian Government including: the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Environment and Forests (1991-1996), the Committee on Science and Technology (1994–1995), the Committee on Home Affairs (1995–1996), the Committee on Finance (1996–97), and the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation before being elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2000.[6]

In 2004, Patel became the Minister of State for Civil Aviation. He was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha for his second term in 2006 and in 2009 he was re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha for a fourth term. On 19 January 2011, Patel became the Cabinet Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises after completing his term in Civil Aviation. Since 2012, Patel has been the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).[7][8]


In 2004, Patel was appointed Minister of Civil Aviation. Within months of taking charge, Patel convinced the government to hike the foreign direct investment cap in the domestic airlines sector from 40% to 49%.[9] He also stressed the importance of the aviation sector's cargo carriers and their importance to the Indian economy. In 2004, India had 125 aircraft; however, after Patel became Minister of Civil Aviation the number increased to 400.[10] On 18 January 2011, Patel's term as the Civil Aviation Minister ended and he was appointed as the Union Cabinet Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise in the same month.

On 9 January 2013, Patel launched the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020, which is a roadmap for the progressive introduction and expansion of efficient and environmentally friendly electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. In July 2013, Patel launched The Indian Electrical Equipment Industry Mission Plan (IEEIMP) 2022 with the specific intention of ensuring that Indian manufacturers are able not only to fulfill India's requirements, but also to be major exporters of electrical equipment.[11][12] Two important areas – the Auto Sector Skill Development Council and the Capital Goods Sector Skill Council - were also promoted. Apart from promoting electric and hybrid vehicles, Patel also aimed to create a green, clean and environmentally friendly corridor.[13]

As the Minister of the Heavy Industries, Patel launched a project to build the world's largest solar power plant near Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan.[14] The project will generate roughly 4000 MW of power which will almost quadruple India's solar power capacity.[15][16]

In February 2014, Patel inaugurated the 12th Auto Expo in New Delhi. The 2014 Auto Expo introduced electric vehicles in accordance with the NEMMP plan of January 2013. Apart from being a self-sufficient producer of electric vehicles, India would also be exporting them. Green Cars will further help in creating a green and pollution free environment.[17]

As a representative of the Bhandara-Gondia constituency, Patel initiates regular developmental activities. Construction of new roads, drains, bore wells, schools and community halls have been initiated in Gondia and Bhandara districts.

Patel's efforts have been notable for the progress of the tribal community of Gondia and Bhandara. A Mega Agriculture and Fish Exhibition cum Technical Guidance Camp was held in December 2013, in Gondia and during this camp, Patel released a landmark postage stamp featuring Eklavya, a mentor of the anglers, Kahar Bhoi and Kevat community.[18]

In addition, Patel was an integral part of the exchange of MOU for collaborative MBA and other courses between three Indian academic institutes and the International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises, Slovenia.[19] The government regularly nominates government officers and public sector executives to attend the courses and programmes conducted by ICPE.[20][21]

Patel inaugurated the Auto Hub in Nagpur, when the unit was in its initial stages. This is a centrally located city like Nagpur, from where cargo could be distributed all over the country faster because of its network of road, rail and air connections, which could also be developed into a hub for automobile sector. The land in the Butibori Industrial area is also well connected by road, rail and air network. Concessions and subsidy by state government will decide what materialises here.[22][23]

The biggest turnaround was when India won the rights to host the FIFA Under 17 world Cup. This event spelt a change in fortune for India's football federation. New life was injected into the sport, which further ensured equal geographical distribution of football in India through the Grassroots Programme.[24][25][26]

Patel has also placed a bid from India to host the FIFA World Club Championships. After the bidding session, Patel stated that he felt confident about India's chances of winning the rights to host the event.[27]

On 14 February 2014, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) was named the best national sports federation.[28]

Under Patel, the AIFF introduced the Indian Super League run by the Football Sports Development Pvt Ltd., it aims to ignite a revolution in Indian football at an international level. In April 2014, Patel announced of the eight franchise owners in the Indian Super League.

In addition, Patel also looks over the proceedings at Gondia Education Society, which educated more than one lakh students in several disciplines including law, engineering and the arts. His father, Manoharbhai Patel, laid the foundation of this educational institution in 1958.[29]

Patel received the honour of being the uncontested Vice President of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) of the SAFF Region on 30 April 2015. The announcement was made at the AFC Congress held in Bahrain. According to him, Indian football is going through a transition and the developmental activities of the sport are finally getting noticed. He further said, "This is a huge responsibility. I would not only be representing my own Country but the entire SAFF Region. I stay confident of receiving support from all stakeholders for rapid progress of football in the region."[30][31]

AIFF President

After a month of signing an agreement with the German Football Association, the AIFF President inked a tie up with the French Football Federation in the city of Munich. Previously, an agreement with the Japan Football Association was also signed by the Federation during February,2015.[32]

As per the AIFF President Patel, “It is quite a privilege to step into an agreement with the French Football Federation”. The AIFF President has emphasized upon the intake of technical knowledge from the French counterpart. The general secretary of AIFF Mr. Kushal Das also graced the occasion.

As per the correspondence which has been signed, the two federations have taken the decision to support each other in terms of the mutual growth, promotion and continuous emphasis on the development of football in both the countries.[33]

The exchange of officials and management, U-17 World Cup to be played in India. A number of preparatory matches in France with the active participation of the youth team have also been planned.[34]


In 2005, Patel was awarded the CAPA (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation) Aviation Minister of the year. The award was in recognition of Patel's contributions towards the progress of aviation in the Asia Pacific region.[35] In 2006, India Today ranked Praful Patel as the no. 1 minister. In addition, Patel was bestowed with the title of 'Reformer of the Year' by The Economic Times in 2007. Patel has also been awarded an honorary doctorate by Leeds Metropolitan University for his contribution in making India a rapidly developing and economically strong nation in 2007. For instance, the Civil Aviation sector grew exponentially under his leadership from the year 2004–09.

Participation in Cultural and Social activities

Patel is Chairman of the Manoharbhai Patel Charitable Trust and President of the Gondia Education Society, Gondia, Maharashtra. This society manages more than 1,000,000 students who are studying in schools and colleges that come under it. The Manoharbhai Patel Charitable Trust holds regular aid and equipment distribution programs in Gondia and Bhandara[36] to improve the lives of the physically challenged.

Association with Sports and Clubs

Associated Sports and Clubs include the Gondwana Club, Nagpur Lions International Club, Gondia Football President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Cricket Club Mumbai and Mumbai Cricket Association, Mumbai[37]


During his tenure as a Civil Aviation Minister of India, the national carrier Air India procured multiple aircraft and made heavy investments. The idea backfired, as it did not yield rich dividends. Another version that accounted for the fall of the airlines is the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines. The merger did not result in economies of scale that was aimed for. This is what the former Aviation Minister Ajit Singh[38] says: "In retrospect, it is easy for people to say things. At the time of the merger it must have seemed the right thing to do." On the flipside, people believe that Air India has always been embroiled in controversy due to its bureaucratic functioning. Moreover, in the last six years the airline had four chairpersons with no-one willing to bite the bullet when it came to decision making.[39][40]


  1. ^ 2005 Oct – Praful Patel changed Indian skies
  2. ^ "Detailed Profile: Shri Praful Manoharbhai Patel". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Risk Taker : Thinkworks". 22 February 1999. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Political Career". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "India Gov : Political Career". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Political Career". Parliamentofindia. 26 August 2005. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Praful Patel elected as President of AIFF". Goal. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "India Cabinet : List of ministers of India & their departments (Year – 2014)". Worldsnap. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Cabinet to consider hiking FDI in civil aviation to 49%". 20 October 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Govt may allow FDI in domestic airlines". Rediff. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "National Electric Mobility Mission Plan Launched Today" (Press release). Government of India Press Releases. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 unveiled". EnergyNext. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "PM Manmohan Singh to launch National Electric Mobility Mission Plan in next few weeks: Praful Patel". Economic Times. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Provide subsidy for BHEL's solar gear unit: Patel". Zeenews. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  15. ^ PTI (29 January 2014). "BHEL, 5 other PSUs to set up 4,000 MW solar plant in Rajasthan". The hindu businessline. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "India to build world's largest solar power plant in Rajasthan". Zeenews. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Union Minister Praful Patel inaugurates 12th Auto Expo 2014". Soulsteer. 9 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Nationalist Congress Party-Fishing in deep waters". NCP. 28 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "3 More Indian Institutes Sign MoU with the International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises". MOU News : Newsmind. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Indian institutes ink MoUs with ICPE". 19 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Bhattacharya, Roudra (18 April 2012). "Fresh MoU norms with new review mechanism for top PSUs: Praful Patel". Thehindubusinessline. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Heavy Industries Ministry proposes Auto Hub in Nagpur". Nagpurtoday. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "At poll rally, Praful Patel moots auto hub in Nagpur". Timesod India. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "India to Host 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup". 5 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "India gets down to preparing for U-17 World Cup". Zeenews. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Tough for Kolkata, Mumbai to meet U-17 World Cup standards: AIFF". Zeenews. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "India to bid for 2015 and 2016 Club World Cup: AIFF". Times of India. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  28. ^ Press Trust of India (13 February 2014). "All India Football Federation wins best National Sports Federation award". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "Gondia Education Society". 8 December 1958. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  30. ^ "AIFF prez Praful Patel elected as AFC vice president". 30 April 2015. 
  32. ^ "AIFF enters into an agreement with French Football Federation". Business-Standard. 
  33. ^ "AIFF to Seek Expertise From French Football Federation". NDTV Sports. 
  34. ^ "AIFF signs agreement with French Federation". thehindu. 
  35. ^ "Emirates named CAPA Airline of the Year for 2005 Indian Minister and Ray Webster honoured". 6 December 2005. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  36. ^ "Social activities : Lok Sabha(India Govt.)". Fifteenth Lok Sabha. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  37. ^ "Association with Sports and Clubs : Archive(India Govt.)". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  38. ^ Shukla, Geetanjali (24 June 2012). "Air India-Indian Airlines merger: A study on how not to merge two entities". Businesstoday. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  39. ^ Balakrishnan, S (16 January 2014). "Praful Patel, Descent of Air India and the killing of a critical book". Dnaindia. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  40. ^ "Praful Patel, aviation minister, doesn't fly Air India?". NDTV. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 

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