Rajeev Chandrasekhar is an Indian entrepreneur, technocrat, and politician and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and the Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar was born on 31 May 1964 (age 59 years; as of 2023) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. His zodiac sign is Gemini. His father worked in the Air Force which led to Rajeev and his family moving constantly, leading Rajeev to do his schooling in various Kendriya Vidyalayas. Chandrasekhar completed his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering at the Manipal Institute of Technology in Manipal, Karnataka, which he joined in 1981. In 1985, Rajeev sold sledgepumps on his motorbike. He received his master’s degree in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1986. After his graduation, he was chosen to work at Intel where he worked from 1986-91, for which he was picked by Vinod Dham, ‘Father of the Pentium Chip’, and was part of the architectural team. Rajeev was also a Systems Designer working on Multiprocessor Unix systems, a Research Assistant working on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, and a tutor to undergraduate students studying Computer Science. Rajeev completed a Corporate Financial Management degree at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1993. In 2013, he was honoured with a Doctor of Science from the Vishvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum. Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Rajeev was born to parents who are Malayalis from the ancestral home at Kondayur near Desamangalam in the Thrissur district of Kerala and were residing in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Throughout Rajeev’s childhood, his family moved constantly through the various rural parts of India, and they finally settled in Bangalore, which Rajeev considers to be his home. Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Parents & Siblings
Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s father is named M. K. Chandrasekhar. His father was an Air Commodore of the Indian Air Force and was the trainer of Squadron Leader Rajesh Pilot. The Economic Times His mother is named Anandavalli Amma.
Wife & Children
Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s wife’s name is Anju Chandrasekhar, and the two got married on 26 August 1991. Anju is the daughter of T. P. G. Nambiar, founder of BPL Group. The couple have two children together, a son named Ved Rajeev Chandrasekhar who is a Corporate Strategy Analyst at CRED and a daughter named Devika Chandrasekhar who is a lawyer.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar follows Hinduism. When people started fighting for the rights of menstruating women between ages 15 to 50 years to enter the Sabarimala Temple in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, he revealed his religious stance in an interview, where he said,
The age-old traditions that surround the temple and its deity, Lord Ayyappa, need to be upheld. They are unique to him…Mosques are places of prayer and it is a monotheistic religion that can be brought under a single umbrella – the Quran. Hindu temples, however, are not just places of prayer, but it is where different deities also reside. Each deity comes with his or her set of rules and traditions” Deccan Chronicle
On another occasion, he said,
The first time I was aware of my caste, religious or lingua identity was when I joined politics- since being brought up in the Armed Forces leaves you focusing on just one identity – of being Indian.” Rajeev Chandrasekhar
No. 408, 2nd Cross, 3rd Block, Koramangala, Bangalore, 560034.
In 1991, Chandrasekhar returned to India, got married and became part of his father-in-law T. P. G. Nambiar’s business, BPL (British Physical Laboratories) Group. In 1994, he established BPL Mobile, which became a significant player in the Indian telecom industry at the time, holding licenses for various locations including Mumbai. In July 2005, he sold the majority of his ownership (64 %) in BPL Communications to Essar Group for a substantial sum of USD 1.2 billion. In 2005, Chandrasekhar founded Jupiter Capital, and initially invested USD 100 million. This investment firm grew to have assets and investments exceeding USD 800 million, spanning across technology, media, hospitality, and entertainment sectors. Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the founder and advisor to the Board of Jupiter Capital Pvt. Ltd. which is a a venture development, management, and investment company. Additionally, he held equity shares in six unlisted companies: Vectra Consultancy Services, SPL Infotech PTE, Jupiter Global Infrastructure, Minsk Developers, RC Stocks & Securities, and Sanguine New Media. He further indirectly had stakes in Axiscade Engineering Technologies, Jupiter Capital Private Limited, Mistral Technology Assystem Axiscades, Tayana Digital, and Hindustan Infrastructure Projects & Engineering Pvt Ltd.
Towards the end of 2006, Rajeev Chandrasekhar entered the media industry through investments made in Asianet Communications Ltd. via his company, Jupiter Capital Private Limited. Then, in late 2008, he entered into a partnership with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, forming the entity known as Asianet Star Communications. In May 2008, he established Asianet News Online Private Ltd. (ANOPL), which owns and operates various media platforms, including Asianet News, Suvarna News, and the online portal Newsable.
In 2016, through ANOPL, he invested approximately 60 crores in ARG Outlier Media, the parent company of Republic TV. In May 2019, ANOPL reduced its stake in Republic TV after Chandrasekhar assumed the position of Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2018.
In 2006 Rajeev was elected to the Rajya Sabha where he represented Urban Bengaluru, Karnataka. During his first term in the Rajya Sabha, Rajeev spoke up for Governance reforms, Institution building, National Security and the welfare of Armed Forces Personnel, especially focusing on veterans and their families. From 2008 to 2009, Rajeev served as the youngest president of the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry). In 2012 he was unanimously re-elected for a second term in the Rajya Sabha. In 2013 Rajeev launched ASK (Ask, Seek, Know) which is an online campaign to give citizens an avenue to directly get their voices heard in Parliament. In 2018, Rajeev was elected as BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP representing Karnataka. In September 2020, he was appointed as the National Spokesperson for BJP. In February 2021, he was appointed as election co-in charge of Puducherry. In July 2021, Rajeev was appointed as the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology. Rajeev Chandrasekhar Rajeev’s political goals centre around safeguarding the welfare of Bengaluru and its residents through effective urban governance initiatives. He is also committed to making transformative changes in India through governance and economic reforms. He fights for the rights and concerns of veterans and the armed forces, as well as ensuring the protection of the nation’s children. Rajeev raises issues that he is passionate about within the parliament and by taking steps that seek legal intervention on behalf of citizens. This can be noticed in cases such as his involvement in challenging the constitutionality of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, addressing Aadhaar privacy concerns, and advocating for voting rights for the armed forces.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been a part of several Parliamentary Committees. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, he is on the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Finance and also on the Central Advisory Committee for the National Cadet Corps. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Vigilance & Monitoring Committee for Bangalore Urban District. Rajeev has been a member of the Standing Committee on Information Technology and the Standing Committee on Defence. Further, he has been on the Consultative Committee on Defence and the Consultative Committee on Urban Development. He has also been on the Select Committees on Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, on GST Bill, on Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, on National Commission for Backward Classes Bill, on Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, on Repealing and Amending Bill, on Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill and on Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. Rajeev Chandrasekhar
In 2005, Rajeev founded the RC Foundation. He is the Founder and Trustee of the Foundation, whose centre of attention is on programmes whose goal is to provide primary education for poor children. The Foundation focuses on raising funds and resources for major causes such as providing support to people affected by Tsunamis, the Kargil war and defence personnel, training of tribals in the Kalahandi region of Orissa and rehabilitation of children who were impacted by the burning down of the school in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. In 2007, Rajeev brought about the Namma Bengaluru Foundation (known previously as the Bengaluru Vedhike Non-Profit Organisation). The Foundation actively works with citizens, RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations) and the Civic Organisations in Bengaluru to make the city better. The Namma Bengaluru Foundation functions by partnering up with citizens in the city who work at the grassroots to bring to notice and make better the civic and administrative conditions of Bengaluru.
In 2009, Rajeev founded the Flags of Honour Foundation, which is a foundation that supports martyrs’ families and is used as a platform for citizens to contribute towards helping the families of martyrs. Through Rajeev’s foundation, he connects with the families of martyrs of the Armed Forces and makes sure that they have financial and social assistance. He further makes certain that the service and sacrifice of each Braveheart are alive in the memories of the public. Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Help Towards Public Interest
Petition Filed by Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Dr N. K. Kalia, 2012
In his petition, supported by Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Dr. N.K. Kalia called for an impartial investigation into the brutal treatment endured by Captain Kalia and five Indian Army soldiers at the hands of Pakistani soldiers. Captain Kalia and five soldiers from the 4 Jat Regiment were taken captive by Pakistani troops on May 15, 1999, while on patrol in the Kaksar sector of Jammu and Kashmir. They endured torture for 22 days before being killed, and their mutilated bodies were returned to Indian authorities on June 9. The petition was submitted to the UNHRC’s (United Nations Human Rights Council) special rapporteur (registrar) on torture, based in Geneva. Rajeev Chandrasekhar underscored the petition’s objective, which is to send a resounding message that India will not forget victims of torture and human rights violations. He had raised the matter in Parliament and corresponded with the then external affairs minister, S.M. Krishna, urging the government to raise the issue with the UNHRC and have the act recognized as a war crime. Chandrasekhar sought justice by stating that this was a clear case of a war crime and a breach of the Geneva Conventions. He stressed that this is about upholding principles of natural justice and protecting the rights of Indians worldwide, especially those serving the nation in uniform, and expects the government to support or endorse the petition filed with the UNHRC.
Voting Rights for Those in the Armed Forces, 2014
In February 2014, Rajeev Chandrasekhar approached the Supreme Court to challenge the restrictions imposed by the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government and the Election Commission on the voting rights of the armed forces. In March 2014, the Supreme Court issued an interim order (an order issued by a court when a case is still going on) allowing soldiers stationed in peacetime locations to vote. The Supreme Court also issued an important interim order instructing the Election Commission to facilitate voting rights for defence personnel without any obstacles. Therefore, since 1 January 2014, this allowed armed forces personnel and their families stationed in peaceful areas to be treated as general voters and permitted them to vote at their places of deployment.
Striking Down Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act in 2014
In 2013, Rajeev Chandrasekhar filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) stating that Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000. The Section laid down the punishment (arrest and imprisonment) for those who sent “offensive messages through computer resource or a communication device”. Rajeev argued against Section 66A by stating that the government was trespassing on a citizen’s Right to freedom of speech and expression which is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, all in the name of preventing misuse of the Internet. The Supreme Court considered Rajeev’s PIL and upheld the ideals of the Indian Constitution by striking down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.
3️⃣ DGPs, Home Secretaries and other officials of States and UTs shall ensure that fresh cases under 66A are not instituted in Court.
4️⃣ All legal publications which refer to 66A must ensure that readers are adequately informed that 66A has been struck down. (3/8)
— Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) (@internetfreedom) October 12, 2022
Action Against Serving Liquor to Underage Patrons, 2015
Rajeev Chandrasekhar brought out an email hotline ([email protected]) for concerned citizens to make anonymous complaints against any establishment in Bangalore that they knew was serving alcohol to those who were underage (under 21 years). He also wrote to the then Chief Minister Siddaramiah Read to ensure action was taken against those establishments that were going against the law. As per Rajeev’s complaint, the Commissioner of the Excise Department directed officials to perform random checks in establishments that serve alcohol. The Commissioner also made directions to ensure that awareness was raised on campuses. Rajeev Chandrasekhar
National Coalition to Protect Our Children (NCPOC), 2015
Expressing concern over the increasing risk of child abuse and the lack of child safety measures in India, Rajeev Chandrasekhar advocated for the implementation of strategies to establish secure environments for children, including those who have been victimized. Rajeev proposed a three-pronged approach to address the issue of Child Sexual Abuse, focusing on enhancing Accountability, strengthening Preventive measures, and ensuring expedited Prosecution. He consistently brought attention to the deficiencies in child safety laws, making repeated interventions in Parliament, authoring articles in national media, engaging with state governments, and pursuing the cause in state High Courts. He highlighted the substantial gaps in the institutional response to Child Sexual Abuse and maintains that children will remain open to sexual assault until the government commits to a comprehensive plan to ensure their safety. As a Member of Parliament representing Bengaluru, a city that has witnessed numerous incidents of child sexual assault, Rajeev has persistently urged both state and central governments, as well as the police and judiciary, to adopt a zero-tolerance stance regarding crimes against children. Through his “ProtectOurChildren” initiative, Rajeev aims to promote institutional responses to Child Sexual Abuse and address broader issues related to Child Rights and Child Safety. In December 2015, Rajeev initiated the formation of the National Coalition to Protect Our Children, a civil society group aimed at assisting the government in formulating policies that guarantee the safety and well-being of children. Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Cases where Accused
- Two defamation cases (2012 and 2015) under Section 499 (section defining the word “defamation”), Section 500 (section laying out the punishment for defamation), and Section 43 (section defining the terms “illegal” and “legally bound to do”) of the Indian Penal Code; before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka Dharwad Bench.
- One case under Section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code in 2016, before the LXVI Additional City Civil & Sessions Court, Bengaluru.
- One case under Section 500 (punishment for defamation), and Section 120(b)(2) (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code in 2017 before the Principal District & Session Judge, Udupi. MyNeta
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar received the 2007 Illinois Institute of Technology’s Global Service Award. Illinois Institute of Technology
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar was honoured with an honorary doctorate by the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) in Belgaum, at the 12th annual convocation of VTU for his work as an entrepreneur in April 2013. The Hindu
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar was presented with the GOC-in-C Commendation Card by the Army Commander during an event held at the Command headquarters in Chandigarh in 2016.
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar was ranked #41 by India Today magazine in India’s 50 Most Powerful People of 2017 list.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the owner of some of the rarest cars in the country like India’s only Ferrari Dino, a Lamborghini Murcielago Barchettas, a Ferrari 355 F1 Spyder, E50 BMW M5, Hummer H2 etc.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar flies a Cessna 162, P-68 which is an American light-sport aircraft (LSA).
Assets & Properties
- Cash: Rs. 2,992
- Bank Deposits: Rs. 4,84,11,964
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares in Companies: Rs. 27,39,91,717
- NSS, Postal Savings etc.: Rs. 2,500
- Personal loans/advance given: Rs. 5,66,85,237
- Motor Vehicles: Rs. 10,000
- Jewellery: Rs. 1,96,67,761
- Other Assets: Rs. 5,00,400
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 12,96,00,000
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar owns a framed Gold album from his hero, the late Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. The framed album hangs on the wall of his parliamentary office. Illinois Institute of Technology
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar presented the Indian Air Force with the restored Dakota DC 3 VP 905, the aircraft flown by his father, Air Commodore M.K. Chandrasekhar (Retd), during his tenure in the Air Force.
- His favourite motto “I am not afraid to take a stand”, comes from the song lyrics of the rapper Eminem. Illinois Institute of Technology
- The Bharatiya Janata Party enlisted Chandrasekhar as the convenor and author of the ‘Vision Document 2025’ The Economic Times
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar enjoys music and knows how to play the guitar. He owns a guitar signed by Roger Waters from the band Pink Floyd.
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s family are foster caretakers of animals at Bannerghatta National Park. Illinois Institute of Technology
- Rajeev is known as the Guardian MP of Veterans and Armed Forces as he strongly advocates for them in the Parliament and outside.
- Rajeev is referred to as the poster boy of India’s telecom revolution.
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s government-allotted accommodation address is 7, Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Road, New Delhi 110001.
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar has a dog named Lucky.