New Delhi, September 7: Nirmala Sitharaman, who took charge as Defence Minister today, said that her priority is to take care of the families of armed forces to ensure them that 'their interests being taken care of'.
Sitharaman is the second woman Defence Minister after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She is assuming the charge from Arun Jaitley who was holding the additional charge of the Ministry of Defence.
Nirmala Sitharaman was born on 18th August 1959 in the temple town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She did her schooling and her graduation in Economics, from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College in Tiruchirapalli. She went on to do her Masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Indo-European Textile Trade was the focus of her draft Ph.D thesis.
On her return to India, she served as Deputy Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies at Hyderabad. Her interest in education led her to lay the foundation of ‘Parnava’, a reputed school in Hyderabad. She was a member of the National Commission for Women from 2003-2005 and instrumental in voicing various issues of women empowerment.
She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2008, and was made a member of the National Executive. She was nominated as party spokesperson in March 2010, from when she has been a full time party worker.
Sitharaman was inducted in the Union of India’s Cabinet in a Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 26 May 2014 as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry.