Current Responsibility

Editor-in-Chief, Lokmat Group (Since November 15, 2014).

Successful tenure as a minister, Government of Maharashtra 
Last Portfolio

Minister of School Education, Government of Maharashtra (From November 2010 to September 2014). 

Prior Portfolios

He was the Minister of Industries, Employment and Self-employment, Government of Maharashtra (2009-2010) and Minister of State for Energy, Finance, Planning, Home, Tourism and State Excise (between 1999 to 2004)

The son of noted freedom fighter Jawaharlal Darda, he was born on the 21st of November, 1952 in Yeotmal, Vidarbha.

  • Completed B.A. from Nagpur University
  • Completed three-year course in Printing Technology from Government Institute of Printing, Mumbai.
  • Completed two-year Advanced Course in Graphic Arts from London College of Printing.
Achievements As A Journalist:
  • Mr. Rajendra Darda is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Lokmat Group of newspapers. Lokmat Group, the largest circulated and read Marathi daily in Maharashtra, publishes 17 editions in three languages and has 12 state-of-the-art printing centres.
  • He has been responsible for creating Lokmat as one of the most powerful brands of the country. The Group has more than 100 marketing and distribution offices around the country.
  • He has traveled to more than 30 countries. He had the rare opportunity to accompany the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi twice during his tours to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia in October 1986 and later to Belgrade in the then Yugoslavia in September 1989 for the summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries.
  • He also accompanied the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in February 1999 during his tour to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Morocco. He was the member of the select team of journalists who accompanied Hon. President Pratibhatai Patil during her official visit to Brazil, Mexico and Chile (South America) from 13th April 2008 to 24th April 2008.
  • In his capacity as a journalist, he was invited by the United States Information Service (USIS) to witness the presidential election and report the keen fight between Michael Dukakis and George Bush (Senior) in 1988. That was indeed a rare opportunity for any journalist. During the 45-day tour, he could interact with who's who of the US polity, including Henry Kissinger, and visit important US cities from east to west. His in-depth reports and opinion pieces on the election campaigning proceedings gave a different insight to readers. Interestingly, he had mentioned in his analysis that though the fight was tough Bush (Senior) would emerge a winner. Eventually, his prediction came true.
  • An inquisitive reporter with eye for news, editor with a super sense of content, presentation and design of the news and thinker with balanced and profound views on a variety of issues, Rajendra Darda is a consummate journalist. He is responsible for training many journalists who have risen from the lower ranks to become editors in Lokmat as well as other groups. He has been writing eloquent editorials and articles on eminent personalities and burning issues from time to time.
  • His book "Zumbar" vividly brings alive his experiences as a student in Europe and America in the 70s. He has also penned the book "Vibrant Vignettes" which was published in the UK in January 2013. Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari released his latest book "Majhi Bhint", a collection of selected posts on his hugely popular Facebook page, at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan on November 9, 2020. 
  • As Editor, Lokmat Times, he received Matru-sri award for best regional English newspaper in May 1992 from former President of India Gyani Zail Singh.
  • He received the Acharya Atre award of Sawaj Vyaspeeth, Ambejogai in Beed district from noted cartoonist late R K Laxman on February 15, 2000 for excellence in the field of journalism.
  • As Editor-in-chief, Lokmat, he received the Best Regional Newspaper award from the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in October 2007
  • He is a keen student of different languages and is well-versed in English, Hindi, Marathi, German and Marwari languages.
  • He was faculty member with the department of journalism, Nagpur University from 19975 to 1980. He used to make graphic art, which is an integral part of the production process, an interesting subject for his students. Hundreds of journalism students benefitted from his insights. He was the member of the Board of Studies for Journalism of Nagpur University.

Able Minister
  • As the Minister of School Education of Maharashtra, his department unearthed the sensational fraud of lakhs of ghost students who were draining the state of millions of rupees every year.
  • He is also credited with the introduction of the Fee Regulation Bill, declaring timetable of SSC and HSC examinations at the beginning of the academic year, paying teachers online salaries and introducing teleconferencing to connect talukas with his Department.
  • He took all possible efforts to bring transparency into the system. He was also instrumental in introducing the concept of self-financed educational institutions
  • In January 2013, he was invited by the British Council to London, UK for a lecture on the field of education. He also addressed education ministers from all over the world.
  • In November 2009, he was appointed Minister for Industries, Employment and Self- Employment. During his tenure, he introduced the single window clearance system and set procedure for regulation of MIDC plots allotment and usage. In a historic decision, the MIDC under his leadership took a step to take back the plots of industries which had failed in completing construction of the factories in time. He was appointed head of the high-powered Central Government committee of all industry ministers in India that was set up for recommending state-specific investment promotion strategies.
  • It was due to his efforts that the industrial area of Aurangabad was included in the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. He was also responsible for bringing Smart City project to the Shendra Industrial Estate.
  • As industry minister of Government of Maharashtra, he made major changes in the Package Scheme of Incentives 2007 that benefited the Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • He met many industrialists from different parts of the country and offered all possible assistance to set up their industries in Maharashtra. He also tried to boost the small scale industries. He met all professional industrial associations in Maharashtra with an aim to make atmosphere in the state conducive to industrial growth and attract investment. He met delegations from many prominent foreign countries and succeeded in attracting Foreign Direct Investment in the State.
  • He planned an International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre which was designed by a Singapore-based agency. It is expected that the state-of-the-art Centre will come up soon at Shendra Industrial Estate in Aurangabad.
  • As industry minister, he changed the policy for Project Affected People, whereby farmers whose land was acquired for the industrial projects will get special benefits.
  • He was minister of state for Energy, Finance, Planning, Home, Tourism and State Excise from 1999 to 2004.
  • During his first tenure as people's representative in 1999, he was inducted as Minister of State for Energy and Tourism. From March 2001 till 2003, he handled Finance and Planning portfolio. Since January 2003 to October 2004, he was the Minister of State for Home (Urban). As minister of state for finance, he presented Maharashtra's budget twice in the Legislative Council.
A successful peoples’ representative…
  • He had scored a hat-trick by winning the Assembly elections thrice from Aurangabad and has been in the forefront in the city development.
  • He recorded his first political victory in the year 1999, when he won the Aurangabad (West) Assembly seat. He was re-elected from the same constituency in the year 2004. Incidentally, the then Aurangabad (West) constituency covered the entire Aurangabad city and was one of the largest Assembly constituencies in the State. In 2009, he won Assembly polls from the newly-carved out Aurangabad (East) city constituency.
  • He was honoured by the President of India Smt. Pratibha Devising Patil on 29th June, 2009 in Mumbai after being chosen as the Best Orator in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
  • As the chairperson of the Board of Visitors of the Government Medical College, Aurangabad, he brought about sea changes and managed to get nearly Rs 100 crores for the development of this 50-plus years old institution. He has been instrumental in building of the 100-bed Cancer Hospital and four-storey Medicine Department building for the college.
  • He played an important role in converting old Aurangabad airport into one of international standards. The project has become a landmark for this historic and industrial destination.
  • It was his vision that led to construction of the state of the art Divisional Sports Complex at Garkheda and the huge Cidco auditorium that has a capacity to seat 1100 people.
  • He had been utilizing every rupee of his MLA fund for the development of his constituency. Moreover, he had been bringing in funds worth millions of rupees from all possible sources for the development of the city. Money granted from MPLAD funds of his elder brother MP Vijay Darda was used for development works in different parts of Aurangabad district.
  • He played a key role in ensuring construction of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Samajik Nyay Bhavan at Aurangabad wherein 15 offices of the Social Welfare department were brought under one roof. An amount of Rs 8.32 crore was spent on the building that came up in Khokadpura locality. He was also instrumental in construction of a hostel for 1000 students at Kille Ark.

  • Lokmat Group, under Mr. Rajendra Darda's guidance, has always been committed to the cause of social justice, health and environment.
  • Under his leadership, the Lokmat Group of Newspapers shouldered an important social responsibility by raising Kargil relief fund for the families of the martyrs. Through the funds raised, Lokmat Group constructed hostels for the children of the martyrs at Aurangabad, Nagpur and Solapur. Lokmat also raised and distributed funds in the most transparent manner for the martyrs of the Mumbai terror attack (26/11).
  • Rajendra Darda has played an important role in fostering national integration and communal harmony. In the wake of communal riots of 1988 at Aurangabad, he organized a national integration rally on the 2nd of October, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. By personally interacting with people of all castes and communities, he always strives to maintain an amicable atmosphere in Aurangabad.
  • Mr. Darda has always been on the forefront in extending a helping hand to the needy in times of emergencies and natural calamities. In 1984, he mobilized relief funds for the flood affected people of Nanded and Parbhani and constructed 13 school buildings. After the severe earthquakes of Bihar (1988) and Killari (Latur, Marathwada 1993), he made a significant contribution through Lokmat towards giving relief to the affected people.
  • After the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, the Government of Maharashtra undertook the restoration of power supply in Bhuj. As the then minister of state for energy, he stationed himself at Bhuj to oversee work of setting up a sub-station there.
  • He is the Trustee of Aurangabad Vidya Mandir which runs Nath Valley School. He has been a governor on the Board of Governors of the Institute of Hotel Management of the Taj Group of Hotels.
  • He was Technical Director of the Maharashtra Textbook Bureau, which is popularly known as Balbharti. Incidentally, later as school education minister, he was the ex-officio chairman of Balbharti. His vision as an editor as well as a printing technology expert helped Balbharti, which publishes 130 million books and 891 titles in eight languages, broaden its horizon.
  • He was the President of the Lions Club of Aurangabad-Chikalthana from 1988 to 1989.
  • He was the Founder-Chairman of the Lions Hospital, Aurangabad (that holds the famous plastic surgery camp of Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet annually) from 1991 to 1994. He personally monitored the Lions Hospital project and ensured the construction of the Hospital Building in record 100 days. After successfully hosting plastic surgery camps, the Hospital now houses a permanent and financially self-sufficient eye care centre where hundreds of needy patients obtain treatment.
  • He was felicitated by the Maharashtra Jaycees with “The outstanding young person award of Maharashtra” along with Sunil Gavaskar and Shabana Azmi.
  • He was bestowed with the National Integration Award by the Giants Group.
  • He is the president of the Sakal Jain Samaj, Aurangabad.
  • He was attached to the All India Marathi Jain Literary Conference held in Osmanabad on November 12 and 13, 2005.
  • Mahaveer International honoured Rajendra Darda with Veer Ratna award for his immense contribution in development of Aurangabad, on February 10, 2009.
  • Since school and college days, he has been known as a dynamic leader. He was the General Secretary of the Government Institute of Printing Technology Students Union, Mumbai. He was sports secretary at the Indian YMCA, London.
  • He is a good sportsperson and used to play table tennis, cricket and kabaddi. He has been the table tennis champion for two years at Government Institute of Printing Technology, Mumbai. Later, he went on to become the president of the Aurangabad District Table Tennis Association and made immense contribution in the development of the game that he loves.

Permanent Address

Lokmat Bhavan, Jalna Road, Aurangabad 431 210.

Phone : 0240-2485301

Email :

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