Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Sunday said he hoped Nirmala Sitharaman’s appointment as the new Defence Minister will speed up the process of induction of women in combat roles in the armed forces. “This is a big incident; she is the first full-time woman Defence Minister (of India),” Bhamre said after meeting Sitharaman at her residence here soon after she was named as the country’s Defence Minister. “She is known as one of the efficient ministers… the ministry is already examining the case of women in the armed forces. Now that a woman is the Defence Minister, I think the process will be faster,” he told news channel CNN News 18.
Former Defence Minister and now Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar also lauded Sitharaman. “She is a very competent, efficient, and analytical minister. She is very clear-headed, and these are the qualities required to be a Defence Minister,” Parrikar said. “There are so many challenges, but I am sure she will overcome all,” he added.