Last Updated on August 16, 2021
Manish Sisodia (born 2 February 1972) is an Indian politician and Deputy Chief Minister of Government of Delhi. He has been the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi since February 2015. He is also an elected (third consecutive term) MLA from Patparganj constituency. In Government of NCT of Delhi, he holds the portfolios of Education, Higher Education, Technical Education, Finance, Planning, Excise, GST, Vigilance, Services, Tourism, Land & Building, Art, Culture & Language.
Previously, he was a cabinet minister in the Government of NCT of Delhi between December 2013 and February 2014. Prior to being elected to the Legislative Assembly of Delhi in December 2013, Sisodia was a social activist and journalist. He is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Aam Aadmi Party, and is also a founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Sisodia has written a book Shiksha: My Experiments as an Education Minister, which chronicles the journey of education reforms in Delhi and has received wide acclaim for its practical insights on education transformation.
|1st Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi|
14 February 2015
|Lieutenant Governor||Najeeb Jung|
|Chief Minister||Arvind Kejriwal|
|Preceded by||Post created|
|Member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly|
10 February 2015
|Preceded by||President’s Rule|
8 December 2013 – 10 February 2014
|Preceded by||Anil Kumar Choudhary|
|Succeeded by||President’s Rule|
|Born||5 January 1972 (age 49)|
Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Political party||Aam Aadmi Party|
|Alma mater||Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan|
|Portfolio||Cabinet Minister of Education, Higher Education, Technical Education, Finance, Planning, Excise, GST, Vigilance, Services, Tourism, Land & Building, Art, Culture & Language|
Early life and career
Manish Sisodia was born in a Rajput family of Phagauta village in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh. Born to a father who was a public school teacher, he was enrolled into the government school in his village. Later, he commenced his career as a journalist after completing a diploma in journalism, awarded by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1993. Manish Sisodia also worked as radio jockey in FM radio station during his early career. He used to host several programs like “Zero Hour” for All India Radio in 1996 and then worked for Zee News as a reporter, news producer and news reader between 1997 and 2005.
Sisodia’s association with the Chief Minister of Delhi and AAP’s founding chief Arvind Kejriwal goes back to their time together as leaders of the non-profit Parivartan, founded by the latter to take up cases of citizens who struggled to engage with the government without paying hefty bribes to officials. After formally quitting journalism, Sisodia along with Kejriwal founded Kabir, a non-profit that organised public hearings with government officials and people. He was one of the key members of the group that drafted the Right to Information Act.
Subsequently, Sisodia became a key participant in the Anna Hazare led India Against Corruption movement of 2011 that sought a Jan Lokpal bill. He was involved in drafting the first version of that proposed legislation and was jailed for his involvement in protests.
Manish Sisodia is accused of spreading fake news on Twitter related to violence near Jamia Millia Islamia during CAA protests. Delhi Court rejects to give clean chit in above mentioned matter
Sisodia was one of the key founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). He became a member of its Political Affairs Committee. He was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the December 2013 Delhi Assembly election, when he defeated Nakul Bhardwaj, a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate, by 11,476 votes in the Patparganj constituency of East Delhi. In the February 2015 Delhi Assembly election, which resulted in a landslide victory for AAP, he was again elected from Patparganj, defeating Vinod Kumar Binny of the Bharatiya Janata Party by over 28,761 votes. In 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, he again defeated Ravinder Singh Negi, a BJP candidate by over 3000 votes.
When the AAP came to power in Delhi, Sisodia decided to bring in radical reforms to the ailing public education system. One of the first decisions he took as Delhi’s Finance Minister in 2015 was to double the funding for the public education program. Every year since then, the Delhi government has allocated a quarter of its total budget to education, making it the highest proportion in the country. One of the most visible hallmarks of these reforms is the reconstructed building infrastructure: modern classrooms equipped with tech-based teaching aids, and also football fields, field hockey turfs, auditoriums and science laboratories. Delhi also has parent-led School Management Committees (School Boards), creating accountability structures within the communities that the school serves. Delhi government has successfully conducted several mega PTMs (Parent Teacher Meetings) which provided a space for the teachers and parents to engage in meaningful conversations for the betterment of students.
Under Sisodia’s leadership, many interventions have happened inside the classrooms. Advanced teacher training modules that encourage educators to focus on learning outcomes have significantly bridged the learning deficit. Government runs a statewide program, Mission Buniyaad, to improve the foundational learning outcomes of the students. Sisodia has experimented with new age curricula viz Happiness Curriculum and Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum which instill values and skills in the students and prepare them to live a happy, meaningful and productive life.
As a result of Sisodia’s efforts, Delhi’s education system has seen many positive changes. Since 2016, Delhi government schools have performed better than the private schools in 12th board examinations. There was a 20 per cent increase in the number of students between class three and five who can solve arithmetic division problems because of the effective implementation of Mission Buniyaad. Around 8 lakh students attend daily Happiness Classes, while around 7 lakh students are attending Entrepreneurship Classes which are impacting their mindsets and behaviour positively.
In 2018, he delivered the keynote address at the Harvard India Conference at the Harvard Kennedy School on the Government’s Education and Healthcare reforms. In 2017, he presented the Delhi Education model at the Global Education conference in Moscow, in front of educationists from 70 countries. In 2021,he supported students to cancel CBSE Board Exam 2020-21 of Class 10 amid rising Covid-19 cases.
During Sisodia’s tenure as the Finance Minister in Delhi, the government’s budget has almost doubled in 5 years – from ₹31,000 crore in 2014–15 to ₹60,000 crore in 2019–20. Such an increase was possible due to an increase in the tax base by ending the “Raid Raj” and plugging leaks. Sisodia has also started one of its kind Outcome Budget, which is one of the most comprehensive in India linking public spending to over 2,200 output indicators and 1,549 outcome indicators across 39 departments. This is considered as a revolutionary step in improving the political accountability of public finance.
In his budget speech for 2016–17, Sisodia said that the aim of the government is not spending the allocated money, but ensuring that every rupee spent makes a difference in the lives of the people. He has said that elections should be fought on the agendas of education and health and not on caste and religion.
At the World Education Conference in Moscow in 2018, Sisodia said that the real contribution to society is the building of a quality education system in the country and the task of education is to equip the students to address present-day challenges, including terrorism, pollution, corruption and gender discrimination. In 2019, he said that students should be enabled to become job providers rather than job seekers. He has also said that India needs an education system which ensures a high minimum quality of education to all its students and not just 5% students who can afford to pay for it.
Awards and recognition
- 2016: listed among the 100 most influential Indians 2016 by The Indian Express
- 2017: Sisodia was awarded the “Finest Education Minister” award
- 2019: awarded the Champions of Change Award for his exceptional work in education sector in Delhi.
- 2021: Manish Sisodia has been honored with the Mahatma award for promoting excellence in education; a global award to celebrate the work of social impact leaders and change-makers.