The Hands-On Politician
To understand the challenges faced by Indian scientists, Kapil Sibal traveled to icy Antartica and stayed in sub-zero temperature at the Maitri base. Upon returning, he immediately announced an upgrading of India’s scientific facilities at Maitri. A politician, lawyer, and veteran Congress leader, Kapil Sibal was appointed a Cabinet minister of Science and Technology in 2009. He now holds the portfolios of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Sibal has recently been in headlines as one of the key government figures leading the negotiations with civil society groups to create consensus on India’s first anti-corruption bill. In 1973, Sibal qualified for the Indian Administrative Services and was offered an appointment. He declined the offer to set up a law practice. Later, he was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member in July 1988 from the state of Bihar. Sibal has been the Additional Solicitor General of India between 1989 and 1990. He represented India at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2005 and 2009. He also led the Indian delegation to United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Bali in December 2007. In August 2008, an anthology of Kapil Sibal’s poems, titled I Witness, was published by Roli Books, New Delhi. Sibal holds a Masters Degree in law from Harvard Law School, USA and a Masters degree in history from Delhi University. He is currently an MP from the Chandni Chowk constituency in New Delhi, from where he won a landslide victory in 2009.