Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been sworn in as the Prime Minister of India, here today.

    Born on December 25, 1924 at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to Shri Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Smt. Krishna Devi, Shri Vajpayee brings with him his long parliamentary experience spanning over 40 years. He has been a Member of Parliament since 1957 when he was first elected to the 2nd Lok Sabha. Subsequently, he was elected to the 5th, 6th and 7th Lok Sabha and again to the 10th and 11th Lok Sabha. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1962 and 1986.

    Elected leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party which has emerged as the single largest party in the 12th Lok Sabha, Shri Vajpayee was President, Bharatiya Janata Party (1980-86) and leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party during 1980-84, 1986 and 1993-96. He was a founder-Member of the erstwhile Jana Sangh (1951), leader of the Jana Sangh Parliamentary Party (1957-1977), President, Bhara- tiya Jana Sangh (1968-1973) and a founder-Member of the Janata Party (1977-80).

    After the constitution of the 11th Lok Sabha, as leader of the largest single party, he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India, which office he held from May 16 to May 31, 1996. Later, he was Leader of the Opposition throughout the term of the 11th Lok Sabha. Earlier, during the Janata Party Government in 1977-80, he was the External Affairs Minister in the Morarji Desai Ministry. Educated at Victoria (now Laxmibai) College, Gwalior and DAV College, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Vajpayee holds an M.A. (Political Science) degree and has many literary artistic and scientific accomplishments to his credit. He edited Rashtradharma (a Hindi monthly), Panchjanya (a Hindi weekly) and the dailies Swadesh and Veer Arjun. His published works include "Lok Sabha Mein Atalji" (a collection of speeches); "Mrityu Ya Hatya", "Amar Balidan", "Kaidi Kavirai Ki Kundalian" (a collection of poems written in jail during Emergency); "New Dimen- sions of India's Foreign Policy" (a collection of speeches delivered as External Affairs Minister during 1977-79); "Jan Sangh Aur Musalman"; "Three Decades in Parliament" (speeches in three volumes), "Amar Aag Hai" (a collection of poems) 1994; "Meri Ekyavan Kavitayen; "Four decades in Parliament" (English) - 4 Volumes of Speeches in Parlia- ment, 1957-95.

    Shri Vajpayee has served on a number of impor- tant Committees of Parliament. He was Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances (1966-67); Chairman, Public Accounts Committee (1967-70); Member, General Purposes Committee (1986); Member, House Committee and Member, Business Advisory Committee, Rajya Sabha (1988-90); Chair- man, Committee on Petitions, Rajya Sabha (1990-91); Chair- man, Public Accounts Committee, Lok Sabha (1991-1993); Chairman, Standing Committee on External Affairs (1993- 1996).

    Shri Vajpayee has participated in various social and cultural activities. He has been a Member of the National Integration Council since 1961. He also was: President, All India Station Masters and Assistant Sta- tion Masters Association (1965-70); Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Smarak Samiti (1968-84); Deendayal Dham, Farah, Mathura, U.P.; and Janmabhoomi Smarak Samiti, 1969 on- wards.

    Shri Vajpayee participated in the freedom strug- gle and went to jail in 1942. He was detained during Emergency in 1975-1977. Widely travelled, Shri Vajpayee has been taking a keen interest in international affairs, upliftment of Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes, women and child welfare. Some of his travels abroad include visits as - Member, Parliamentary Goodwill Mission to East Africa, 1965; Parliamentary Delegation to Australia, 1967; European Parliament, 1983; Canada, 1987; Indian delegation to Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meetings held in Canada, 1966 and 1994, Zambia 1980, Isle of Man 1984; Indian delegation to Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference, Japan, 1974; Sri Lanka, 1975; Switzerland, 1984; Indian Delegation to the UN General Assembly, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994; Leader, Indian Delegation to Human Rights Commission Conference, Geneva, 1993.

    Shri Vajpayee was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 1992 in recognition of his services to the Nation. He was also conferred the Lok Manya Tilak Puruskar and the Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentar- ian, both in 1994. Earlier, the Kanpur University honoured him with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in 1993. Well known and respected for his love for poetry and an eloquent speaker, Shri Vajpayee is known to be a voracious reader. He is fond of Indian music and dance. *

LIST OF COUNCIL OF MINISTERS (As on 19th March, 1998)

    Prime Minister
1. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

    Cabinet Ministers

2. L.K. Advani
3. Ananth Kumar
4. Sikander Bakht
5. S.S. Barnala
6. George Fernandes
7. R.K. Hegde
8. Satyanarayan Jatiya
9. Ram Jethmalani
10. M.M. Joshi
11. K. Ramamurthy
12. M.L. Khurana
13. R. Kumaramangalam
14. M. Thambi Durai
15. Nitish Kumar
16. Naveen Patnaik
17. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu
18. Kashi Ram Chhabildas Rana
19. R. Muthiah
20. Yashwant Sinha
21. Buta Singh
22. Sushma Swaraj Ministers of State
23. Omak Apang
24. Sukhbir Singh Badal
25. Bandaru Dattatreya
26. Ramesh Bais
27. Uma Bharti
28. Dalit Ezhilmalai
29. Maneka Gandhi
30. Santosh Kumar Gangwar
31. R.K. Kumar
32. Babulal Marandi
33. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
34. Ram Naik Contd.
35. A.K. Patel
36. Babagouda R. Patil
37. Debendra Pradhan
38. Kabindra Purkayashta
39. Vasundhra Raje
40. Dilip Ray
41. Sompal
42. Satya Pal Singh Yadav
43. R. Janarthanan


    All the six Railway Production Units performed well during the first nine months of the current financial year ending December 1997 with four of them exceeding the targets.

    The Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) produced 116 electric locomotives as against the target of 114 electric locos, the Diesel Locomotives Works (DLW), Varanasi 123 diesel locomotives as against the target of 119 diesel locos, the Wheel and Axle Plant (WAP), Bangalore, 67950 wheels as against the target of 66022 wheels and 39321 axles as against the target of 36432 azles and the Diesel Component Works (DCW), Patiala re-built 55 diesel locomotives as against the target of 54.

    The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai and the Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala just met the targets by rolling out 734 and 756 passenger coaches respectively. During December 1997, the number of four wheeler wagons produced was 2682.5 wagons as against the target of 2330 wagons.


    The Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development, invites applications from Indian nationals for award of Fellowships to Outstanding Artistes in the fields of Literature, Indian Classical Music, Indian Classical Dance, Drama/Theatre, Visual Arts, Indigenous, Folk and Traditional forms of Performing Arts for the year 1998-99.

    Under the Scheme, a total of 300 Fellowships are awarded each year for a period of two years, of which 100 are Senior Fellowships having a value of Rs.6000/- per month for Artistes in the age group of 40 and above; and 200 are Junior Fellowships having a value of Rs.3000/- per month for the Artistes in the age group of 25-40. Age will be reckoned as on 1.4.1998.

    Applicants are required to complete their applications in accordance with the format as published in all national newspapers and forward it to the Section Officer, CDN Section, Room No.333, C Wing, Department of Culture, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi 110 001, so as to reach on or before 30.4.1998.