Nirmala Sitharaman has been named the new Defence Minister in the BJP-led Centre government after the Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday.
Sitharaman, 58, a Rajya Sabha Member is the second woman to take charge of the crucial Defence Ministry after Indira Gandhi. But, she will be the first woman to take the complete responsibility of the department.
Indira Gandhi was the first woman to serve the position of defence minister but she had Defence Ministry as additional incharge while holding the post of prime minister in 1975 and 1980-1982.
Sitharaman was one of the four ministers elevated to cabinet ranks. She took over the Defence Ministry from Arun Jaitley, who had the ministry as additional in-charge.
Sources in the BJP said that Sitharaman rose in party ranks quickly. She had made a mark as the party spokesperson when BJP was in opposition.
Before being elevated as Defence Minister, she was charge of minister of state of commerce.
Recently Sitharama participated in China for a Brics meeting where she engaged her counterparts in discussion on China-India row over Doklam.