India got its first full-time woman Defence Minister as nine new ministers took oath in Prime Minister Modi’s reshuffled cabinet.
Nirmala Sitharaman will be the country’s first full-time Defence Minister. Sitharaman becomes the nation’s second woman defence minister. Indira Gandhi was the first. She held the defence ministry in 1975 and 1980-82.
Madurai-born Sitharaman, who was the earlier minister of state for commerce, has a master in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and has worked for PwC, London and briefly with BBC World Service.
She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2008, and was made a member of the National Executive and then nominated as party spokesperson in 2010.
Sitharaman thank the party leadership and Prime Minister Modi for elevation besides what she called “cosmic grace”. “Somebody who has come from a small town, grown into the party with all the support of the leadership, and if given such responsibility, it just makes you feel sometimes that cosmic grace is there. Otherwise, it is impossible,” Sitharaman said after taking the oath.