Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman (born 18 August 1959) is an Indian politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who is currently serving as the Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs. She is a member of the Rajya Sabha, upper house of the Indian Parliament, since 2014. Sitharaman formerly served as the Defence Minister of India, thereby becoming India's second female defence minister and also the second female finance minister after Indira Gandhi and first full-time female Finance Minister. She has 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 served as a national spokesperson for the BJP.[7]

Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs
Assumed office
30 May 2019[1]
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byArun Jaitley
Minister of Defence
In office
3 September 2017  30 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byArun Jaitley
Succeeded byRajnath Singh
Minister of Commerce and Industry[2]
In office
26 May 2014  3 September 2017
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byAnand Sharma
Succeeded bySuresh Prabhu
Spokesperson, Bharatiya Janata Party
In office
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
1 July 2016
Preceded byM. Venkaiah Naidu, BJP
In office
26 June 2014  21 June 2016
Preceded byN. Janardhana Reddy, Indian National Congress
Succeeded bySuresh Prabhu
ConstituencyAndhra Pradesh
Personal details
Born (1959-08-18) 18 August 1959
Madurai, Madras State, India
(present-day Tamil Nadu)
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
ResidenceHyderabad, Telangana, India[5][6]
Alma materSeethalakshmi Ramaswami College (BA in economics )
Jawaharlal Nehru University (MA in economics , MPhil)

Personal life

Nirmala Sitharaman was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, to Savitri and Narayanan Sitharaman. Her father hailed from Musiri, Tiruchirappalli, while her mother's family had its roots in Thiruvenkadu, and in the Thanjavur and Salem districts of Tamil Nadu. Her father was an employee of Indian Railways and hence she spent her childhood in various parts of the state. She had her schooling from Madras and Tiruchirappalli.[8] She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics at the Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Tiruchirapalli in 1980, Master of Arts degree in economics and M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in 1984.[9][10][11] She then enrolled for a Ph.D. in economics with a focus on Indo-Europe trade, but a move to London after her husband secured a scholarship in London School of Economics left her unable to complete the degree.[12]

Sitharaman met her husband Parakala Prabhakar from Narsapuram, Andhra Pradesh, while studying at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. While Nirmala leaned towards the BJP, her husband was from a pro-Congress family.[13] They married in 1986, and have a daughter. Prabhakar served as a communications advisor to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu.[14][15]

Political career

Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2006 and was appointed as a spokesperson for the party in 2010. In 2014, she was inducted into Narendra Modi's cabinet as a junior minister and in June 2014, she was elected as a Rajya Sabha Member from Andhra Pradesh.[16][17]

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.[18]

Union Defence Minister

On 3 September 2017, she was appointed as Minister of Defence, being only the second woman after Indira Gandhi to hold the post, but the first full time female defence minister.[19][20]

Union Finance Minister

On 31 May 2019, Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed as the finance and corporate affairs minister.[21] She is India's first full-time female finance minister.[22] She presented her maiden budget in the Indian parliament on 5 July 2019.[23]

Non-political career

Nirmala Sitharaman worked as a salesperson at Habitat, a home décor store in London's Regent Street.[24] She 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)[15] for Price Waterhouse and briefly at the BBC World Service.[17]

She has also served as a member of National Commission for Women.[25] In 2017, she was one of the founding directors of Pranava in Hyderabad.[26]

Awards and honors

The Jawaharlal Nehru University conferred her the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.[27] Forbes Magazine has named her as the 34 th among the 100 most powerful women in the world in 2019.[28]


  1. "Who Gets What: Cabinet Portfolios Announced. Full List Here". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Nirmala Sitharaman Wins Rajya Sabha Seat From Karnataka, Congress Gets 3". Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  4. GOI Portal Profile
  5. "National Leadership from Andhra Pradesh – Official BJP site of Andhra Pradesh Nirmala sitharaman's address and contact information". Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  6. "Official BJP National website". Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  7. "Deccan Chronicle: BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman gets NJR Rajya Sabha seat". 4 June 2014. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  8. Phadnis, Aditi (4 September 2017). "The rise and rise of Nirmala Sitharaman: From spokesperson to defence minister". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  9. Krishnamoorthy, R. (4 September 2017). "Nirmala Sitharaman, the pride of Tiruchi". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  10. Sitharaman, Nirmala (30 May 2016). "Rajya Sabha Affidavits" (PDF). p. 7.
  11. "Nirmala Sitharaman appointed Finance Minister in Modi govt 2.0 as Arun Jaitley retreats". The Financial Express. 31 May 2019.
  12. Phadnis, Aditi (4 September 2017). "The rise and rise of Nirmala Sitharaman: From spokesperson to defence minister". Business Standard.
  13. "BJP spokesperson finds her new role challenging". The Hindu. 3 April 2010. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  14. "AP govt advisor and Nirmala Sitharaman's husband Parakala Prabhakar quits, blames Jagan".
  15. "In Nirmala Sitharaman, India Gets Its Second Woman Defence Minister After Indira Gandhi". Huffington Post India. 3 September 2017. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  16. "Nirmala elected to Rajya Sabha". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 27 June 2014. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 January 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. Mohua Chatterjee, TNN (21 March 2010). "BJP gets a JNU product as its woman spokesperson". Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  18. "Naidu, Naqvi, Goyal among 12 in BJP's RS list". ABP Live. 29 May 2016. Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  19. "Nirmala Sitharaman Joins Cabinet: GST and Start-Up Success Pays Dividend". News18. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  20. "Modi Cabinet reshuffle: Full list of new council of ministers", The Times of India, 3 September 2017, archived from the original on 4 September 2017, retrieved 3 September 2017
  21. "PM Modi allocates portfolios. Full list of new ministers", Live Mint, 31 May 2019
  22. "Narendra Modi Cabinet: Amit Shah gets Home and Nirmala Sitharaman is India's first full-time woman Finance Minister". The Hindu. 31 May 2019.
  23. "Key Highlights of Union Budget 2019–20". PIB. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  24. Phadnis, Aditi (4 September 2017). "The rise and rise of Nirmala Sitharaman: From spokesperson to defence minister". Business Standard India. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  25. "Who is Nirmala Sitharaman, India's first full-time woman Defence Minister". Financial Express. 3 September 2017. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  26. "Management | Pranava". Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  27. Reporter, Staff (12 June 2019). "Nirmala Sitharaman, Jaishankar to get JNU's Distinguished Alumni Award". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  28. "Nirmala Sitharaman". Forbes. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
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
Succeeded by
Rajnath Singh
Minister of Finance
Minister of Corporate Affairs
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.