Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is among the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes. Sitharaman makes her debut in the Forbes most powerful women list, and is currently ranked 34th. She first broke the proverbial glass-ceiling by becoming India’s first woman Defence Minister. She is also serving as the country’s first woman finance minister.

HCL Corporation CEO and Executive Director Roshni Nadar Malhotra and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, India’s richest self-made woman, have also been named in The Forbes 2019 list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ which is topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She is followed by President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde in second spot and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, ranked third. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (29) is also on the list.

“In 2019, women around the globe took action, claiming leadership positions in government, business, philanthropy and media. These trailblazers are not to be messed with,” Forbes said.

Key Takeaways:

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been named among the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes.
  • Sitharaman makes her debut in the Forbes ‘100 Most Powerful Women’ 2019 list, is ranked 34th.
  • HCL Corporation CEO and Executive Director Roshni Nadar Malhotra and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw  are also named in the list which is topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Sitharaman was India’s first woman Defence Minister. She is also serving as the country’s first woman finance minister.

Before Sitharaman, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi briefly took the additional charge of the ministry.

Notably, the Finance Minister has been ranked ahead of Queen Elizabeth II (40th) and US President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, who is placed on the 42nd spot.

Sitharaman is also ahead of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister. Other famous names who made it to the list are Rihanna at 61st spot, Beyonce Knowles at 66th spot, Taylor Swift at 71st spot, Serena Williams at 81st and Reese Witherspoon at 90th spot and Greta Thunberg at 100th spot, and interestingly they have all been ranked below FM Sitharaman.

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Third Indian on Sukhoi

Last year, then Defence Minister Sitharaman flew in the supersonic jet, becoming the third Indian to do so. Others who had done it before her are MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar.

She was the first full-time woman defence minister to fly the sortie. She took off in the two-seater twin-engine fighter jet from an airbase in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Reviewing finance preparedness

Handling economy of a country is a daunting task. Sitharaman has been facing some major criticism over the economic slowdown and declining GDP growth. Rising inflation is also gradually turning into a cause of concern in the country. She recently attracted lot of criticism over rising onion prices.

Sitharaman is also ahead of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister.

READ: Martyred Colonel’s Wife Swati Mahadik Now An Army Lieutenant

Before taking up the reins as Defence Minister, Sitharaman was in the commerce ministry. The defence minister’s post fell vacant after Manohar Parrikar took charge as Goa chief minister.

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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