Nirmala Sitharaman – Biography & Life Story of an Indian Economist & Second Female Defense Minister
Nirmala Sitharaman is an Indian economist. She is also a politician serving as the Minister of Finance & corporate Affairs of India since 2019.
Since 2014, she is a member of Rajya Sabha. Formerly, she was served as the Defense Minister of India.
Nirmala Sitharaman is the second female defense minister after Indira Gandhi & full time female finance minister. She 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.
Earlier, Nirmala Sitharaman served as a national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party. In the Forbes 2021 list, she was featured as one of the World’s 100 most powerful women. She was ranked on number 37.
Early & personal life of Nirmala Sitharaman:
Nirmala Sitharaman was born on 18th August 1959, in a Tamil Brahmin family in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She was born to Savitri & Narayanan Sitharaman. She completed her school education from Madras Tiruchirappalli.
In 1980, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics at the Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Tiruchirapalli.
In 1984, she obtained her Master of Arts degree in economics and M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Later, Nirmala Sitharaman was enrolled for a Ph.D. program in Economics with a focus on Indo-Europe trade. But unfortunately, she left this program and moved to London.
There her husband secured a scholarship in London School of Economics, because of that she was unable to complete her degree.
Nirmala Sitharaman married to Parakala Prabhakar. He is from Narsapuram, Andhra Pradesh. While Sitharaman leaned towards the BJP, her husband was from a Congress family.
The couple have a daughter named Parakala Vangmayi. Her husband served as a communications advisor to the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Nirmala Sitharaman Political Career:
In 2006, she joined BJP. In 2010, she was appointed as a spokesperson for the party. she was inducted into Narendra Modi‘s cabinet as a junior minister and in June 2014.
Later, she was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha, member from Andhra Pradesh. She was one of the 12 candidates nominated by the BJP to contest the Rajya Sabha elections due on 11 June 2016. From Karnataka, she successfully contested her seat.
In the year 2019, she served as the Defence Minister of India and headed the Balakot Air Strike carried out by the Indian Air Force.
Currently, Nirmala Sitharaman is serving as the Minister of Finance and Corporate affairs of India and has presented 4 annual budgets of India as of the year 2022. Under her leadership, India reached the mark of a $3.1 Trillion economy.
Union Cabinet Minister:
Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed as Minister of Defense on 3rd September 2017. She was the second woman after Indira Gandhi to hold the post & the first full-time female defense minister.
Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed as the finance and corporate affairs minister on 31st May 2019. She is India’s first full-time female finance minister. On 5th June 2019, she presented her maiden budget in the Parliament of India.
Nirmala Sitharaman also presented the Union Budget 2020–21 on 1 February 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic in India she was appointed as in-charge of the COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force.
She worked as a salesperson at Habitat, a home décor store in London. She served as an assistant to Economist in the Agricultural Engineers Association in the UK.
Nirmala Sitharaman also served as a Senior Manager (R & D) for PWC & briefly at the BBC World Service, during her stay at UK.
She also served as a member of National Commission for Women. She was one of the founding directors of Pranava in Hyderabad in 2017.
Nirmala Sitharaman’s Awards and honors:
- In 2019, The Jawaharlal Nehru University conferred her the Distinguished Alumni Award.
- Same in 2019, Forbes Magazine ranked her 34th among the 100 most powerful women in the world.
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