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  1. Who is Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first full-time woman Defence Minister

Who is Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first full-time woman Defence Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman has been chosen as India's new Defence Minister. With a promotion in PM Modi's cabinet, Sitharaman has taken charge of the key defence ministry from Arun Jaitley.

By: | Published: September 3, 2017 2:32 PM
Nirmala Sitharaman, defence minister, defence ministry, Nirmala Sitharaman defence minister, Nirmala Sitharaman defence, Nirmala Sitharaman arun jaitley, Nirmala Sitharaman minster, Nirmala Sitharaman cabinet, Nirmala Sitharaman cabinet minister, cabinet minister, modi cabinet, pm modi cabinet, Nirmala Sitharaman cabinet, Nirmala Sitharaman commerce, Nirmala Sitharaman profile, Nirmala Sitharaman bio, who is Nirmala Sitharaman, Sitharaman, cabinet reshuffle Nirmala Sitharaman is India’s first woman Defence Minister. Before this, former India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has held this post. (PTI)

Nirmala Sitharaman has been chosen as India’s new Defence Minister. Promoted today, Sitharaman has taken charge of the key defence ministry from Arun Jaitley, who had expressed his intent openly of preferring not to carry the added responsibility. 58 year old, Sitharaman, is India’s first woman Defence Minister. Before this, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had held this post. As nine new ministers were inducted on Sunday, four ministers including Sitharaman were elevated to the cabinet. Before her selection, there was speculation on whether Jaitley would remain serving as Defence Minister.

Jaitley has been handling the ministry after Manohar Parrikar quit to become the Goa’s chief minister. After Parrikar’s exit India lacked a full-time Defence Minister which led to several criticisms regarding many critical tasks including military reforms. With increased pressure on both India-Pakistan and India-China borders, there was an increased need for a full-time minister to tackle its issues. Sitharaman’s selection came as a bit of a surprise as Nitin Gadkari’s name was recently speculated for the post. Also, after the success in Doklam Standoff, Jaitley was expected to keep the post. However, Jaitley had indicated he may not be defence minister for much longer.

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Sitharaman has served as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance headed by Arun Jaitley and the Minister of Commerce and Industry with independent charge. She is a Rajya Sabha member and represents Karnataka in the Parliament.

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Formerly a member of the National Commission for Women, Sitharaman has an MA degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She also has a PhD in the Indo-European textile trade within the GATT framework and MPhil.She had joined the BJP in 2006 even though her husband Dr Parakala Prabhakar had joined the Prajarajyam party floated by film star Chiranjeevi in 2007. It was during Nitin Gadkari’s tenure as BJP president that Nirmala Sitharaman was enlisted as one of the six party spokespersons in March 2010. In May 2016, Nirmala Sitharaman was sworn in as Minister of State (Independent Charge).

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She had joined the BJP in 2006 even though her husband Dr Parakala Prabhakar had joined the Prajarajyam party floated by film star Chiranjeevi in 2007. It was during Nitin Gadkari’s tenure as BJP president that Nirmala Sitharaman was enlisted as one of the six party spokespersons in March 2010. In May 2016, Nirmala Sitharaman was sworn in as Minister of State (Independent Charge).

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