Beating all media speculations, Ambika Soni has been announced as the new Information & Broadcasting Minister after the second round of swearing-in ceremony that took place on May 28, 2009 in Delhi.
Meanwhile, Mohan Jatua and Dr S Jagathrakshakan have been named as Ministers of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Soni has in the past served in the Union Cabinet as minister in charge of the Ministry of Tourism, after serving in the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture from 2004-2009. The ‘Incredible India’ media campaign was launched during her tenure, which saw a 12-14 per cent rise in foreign tourist arrivals.
She became the ‘face of India’ during her tenure as Tourism Minister during the last Lok Sabha and was involved in popularising the Incredible India campaign. The ‘Visit India’ campaign, launched in April amid the global slowdown, was one of her brainchild. An art lover, Soni is also widely acknowledged as a social worker, besides doing her bid in preserving the monuments in and around the Capital.
Born in Lahore in then undivided Punjab, Soni did her B.A. (Hons) from Indraprastha College, Delhi University, followed by Diplome Superiore en Langue Francaise from Alliance Francaise, Bangkok, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Spanish Art and Literature from the University of Havana, Cuba.
Soni made her political debut in 1975, when she was elected president of the Indian Youth Congress (1975-77). Later, she was elected to the Rajya Sabha in March 1976 and in 1988, she became president of the All India Mahila Congress.