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Nirmala Sitharaman
நிர்மலா சீத்தாராமன்
File:File:Nirmala Sitharaman.jpg
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
3 September 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Preceded by Arun Jaitley
Minister of Commerce and Industry[1]

In office
26 May 2014 – 3 September 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Preceded by Anand Sharma
Succeeded by Suresh Prabhu
Spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party

In office
Succeeded by Shaina NC
MP of Rajya Sabha for Karnataka [2]
Assumed office
1 July 2016
Preceded by M. Venkaiah Naidu, BJP
MP of Rajya Sabha for Andhra Pradesh

In office
26 June 2014 – 21 June 2016
Preceded by N. Janardhana Reddy, Indian National Congress
Succeeded by Suresh Prabhu
Personal details
Born 18 August 1959(1959-08-18) (age 60)
Madurai, Madras State, India
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Parakala Prabhakar
Children 1
Residence Hyderabad, Telangana, India[3][4]
Alma mater Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College, Tiruchirapalli
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Nirmala Sitharaman (born 18 August 1959) is an Indian politician[3][5] currently serving as the Defence Minister of India.[6] She is also a member of the Rajya Sabha for Karnataka.[7]

Sitharaman has formerly 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. Prior to that, she has served as a national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Nirmala was born in Madurai to Narayanan and Savitri. Her father, Narayanan Sitaraman, hailed from Musiri, Tiruchirappalli district, Tamil Nadu, while her mother's family had its roots in Thiruvenkadu and Salem district. Her father was an employee of Indian Railways and hence she spent her childhood in various parts of the state. She was schooled in Madras and Tiruchirappalli.[9] She obtained a BA in economics at the Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College in Tiruchirapalli. And her Master's degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.[10]

She met her husband Parakala Prabhakar, from Narsapuram, while studying at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. While Nirmala leaned towards the BJP, her husband was from a pro-Congress family.[11] He is currently a communications advisor to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu.[12]

Political careerEdit

Nirmala Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2008 and has served as a spokesperson for the party. In 2014, she was inducted in Narendra Modi's cabinet as a junior minister.

In May 2016, she was one of the 12 candidates nominated by the BJP to contest the Rajya Sabha elections due on 11 June 2016. She successfully contested her seat from Karnataka.[13] On 3 September 2017, she was elevated to Defence Minister, being only the second woman after Indira Gandhi to hold the Defence Minister post.[14][15]

Non-political careerEdit

Outside the political sphere, Sitharaman has served as an assistant to Economist in the Agricultural Engineers Association in the UK. During her stay in the UK, she has also served as a Senior Manager (R&D)[12] for Price Waterhouse and briefly at the BBC World Service.[16] She has also served as a member of National Commission for Women.[17] As of 2017, she is one of the founding directors of Pranava school in Hyderabad.[18]


  2. "Nirmala Sitharaman Wins Rajya Sabha Seat From Karnataka, Congress Gets 3". 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "National Leadership from Andhra Pradesh - Official BJP site of Andhra Pradesh Nirmala sitharaman's address and contact information". 
  4. "Official BJP National website". 
  5. " Rajya sabha members". 
  6. "Cabinet rejig: A nod for BJP’s young champs". The Times of India. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  7. "NDTV". 
  8. "Deccan Chronicle: BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman gets NJR Rajya Sabha seat". 4 June 2014. 
  9. Phadnis, Aditi (4 September 2017). "The rise and rise of Nirmala Sitharaman: From spokesperson to defence minister". Business Standard. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  10. Narayanan, Chitra; T.C.A., Srinivasa Raghavan (8 June 2011). "'Like water on a lotus leaf'". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  11. "Andhra Pradesh / Hyderabad News : BJP spokesperson finds her new role challenging". The Hindu. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "In Nirmala Sitharaman, India Gets Its Second Woman Defence Minister After Indira Gandhi" (in en-IN). Huffington Post India. 2017-09-03. 
  13. "Naidu, Naqvi, Goyal among 12 in BJP’s RS list". ABP Live. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  14. "Nirmala Sitharaman Joins Cabinet: GST and Start-Up Success Pays Dividend". News18. 
  15. "Modi Cabinet reshuffle: Full list of new council of ministers". The Times of India. 3 September 2017. 
  16. Mohua Chatterjee, TNN (21 March 2010). "BJP gets a JNU product as its woman spokesparson". Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  17. "Who is Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first full-time woman Defence Minister". Financial Express. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  18. "Management | Pranava". Retrieved 29 June 2013. 

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Anand Sharma
Minister of Commerce and Industry
As Minister of State (Independent Charge)
Succeeded by
Suresh Prabhu
Preceded by
Arun Jaitley
Minister of Defence
2017 – Present

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