When Narendra Modi led BJP government inducted Nirmala Sitharaman as India’s new Defence Minister on 3rd September, 2017, she created history by becoming India’s first woman full-time Defence Minister. Prior to her, only Indira Gandhi held the Defence Ministry on two separate occasions.
Dressed in a beautiful Red Saree, she took the oath as India’s Defence Minister and made her way into the elite ‘strategic Cabinet Council on Security’. She is the second woman after Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to be a part of CCS.
Facts About India’s New Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman:
1- Born into a middle class family on August 18, 1959, in Madurai, Nirmala Sitharaman did her schooling from Tiruchirapalli. Her father worked in the Railways while her mother, Savitri, was a homemaker.
2- She graduated from the Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College, Tiruchirappalli and went on to join Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi from where she did her Masters in Economics(Textile Trade).
3- At her time in JNU, she met Parakala Prabhakar, a member of the free thinkers and later married him in 1986
4- The couple moved to London the following year where Ms Sitharaman worked as a salesgirl at Habitat Company while her Husband pursued his PhD in Economics from London School Of Economics.
5- She later quit her job and joined Pricewaterhouse Cooper as a Senior Manager(Research and Analysis).
6- Sitharaman also worked at the BBC World Service for a short while before returning to India in 1991.
6- After coming to India, she indulged in social work and was one of the founding directors of Pranava, a school in Hyderabad.
7- In 2003, she was inducted in National Commission for Women (NCW) and remained it’s member till 2005.
8- She joined the Bhartiya Janta Party in 2006 and climbed the stairs quickly to become BJP Spokesperson by 2010. She didn’t choose the easiest route in Politics as both her in laws were Congress MLA’s and her Husband chose to join Praja Rajyam Party, floated by superstar Chiranjeevi. Her husband later quit Praja Rajyam Party and joined BJP. He is presently Communications Advisor to Andhra Pradesh CM Chandra Babu Naidu.
9- Her dedication towards BJP paid off in 2014 when she was inducted into Narendra Modi’s cabinet on May 26, 2014 as Commerce Minister.
10- She was elevated to the rank of India’s Defence Minister on 3rd September, 2017 and became only the second woman to hold the post since India gained Independence in 1947.