Nirmala Sitharaman New Defence Minister, First Woman With Independent Charge

Ria Das
Sep 03, 2017 09:06 IST
New Update


Nirmala Sitharaman is India's new defence minister. A reshuffle of portfolios of the government led by PM Narendra Modi has put two women in the crucial cabinet committee on security, the other being Sushma Swaraj the Minister for External Affairs who retains her position since May 26, 2014.

Nirmala Sitharaman becomes first independent woman Defence Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman was earlier holding the commerce ministry. The post of the defence minister fell vacant after Manohar Parrikar joined Goa state politics to become the chief minister of the state.

With this, Modi govt gave India its first woman Defence Minister will full charge-- Nirmala Sitharaman, Indira Gandhi being the first one who had it as an additional portfolio. She is the first ever Defence Minister of India to work full-time. It is for the first time in more than 30 years, that the very important defence ministry seat has been declared to a woman minister.


The world's first female defence minister was Sirimavo Bandaranaike in Sri Lanka. Asia held a good record. This was followed by Indira Gandhi who took it up as additional charge. Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan also held the position for over a year.


On Sunday, Modi conducted his third Cabinet reshuffle which inducted 13 new ministers.

Also a time when the ministry is managing several critical tasks, Defence Minister should serve to handle the fact of both eastern and western fronts which are on high alert.

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Sitharaman, the only woman minister in the Sunday's Cabinet reshuffle, joined the government as trade minister in 2014, had no experience in the subject except her degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Gradually, she proved her credibility as a strong credentials as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson.

Among the other, Piyush Goyal took the charge as a cabinet minister and was given charge of the Railways. Suresh Prabhu will now chair as the Commerce Ministry.

When a decision as firmly as this, it would be interesting to see how Sitharaman uses her strategies to mark her success at Defence Ministry.

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Feature Picture Credit: Twitter

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