New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday named Nirmala Sitharaman, previously the country`s defence minister, as the next finance minister – thus making her India's female finance minister after 48 years.
Sitharaman is the first female finance minister after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who held the portfolio briefly for a year between July 1969 and June 1970.
After a landslide victory in the 17th Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi on Thursday took oath as Prime Minister for the second time. Over 50 ministers were also sworn-in at a grand ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Union Cabinet for the 17th Lok Sabha includes 24 cabinet ministers, 9 ministers of state with independent charge and 24 Ministers of State (MoS).
Here's looking at Nirmala Sitharaman's rise from a humble political beginning 11 years ago to becoming India's second female finance minister.
- Nirmala Sitharaman was born in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirapalli on August 18, 1959. Her father was an Indian Railways employee while her mother was a homemaker.
- Sitharaman, completed her graduation (BA economics) from Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College, Tiruchirappalli. She holds an MA in economics degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
- Sitharaman joined the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in 2008.
- She was inducted into BJP'S National Executive Council and was appointed national spokesperson in 2010.
- In 2014, Sitharaman was inducted into PM Modi's cabinet as a junior minister.
- Sitharaman was also India's second female defence minister, a post which was once held by Indira Gandhi.
- Previously, she had served as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance and the Minister for Commerce and Industry with independent charge.
- She is currently a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Karnataka. In 2014, she was elected as Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh.
- Sitharaman she had served at Pricewater Coopers and BBC World Service before entering politics. She is also one of the founding directors of Pranava School in Hyderabad.