Nirmala Sitharaman, a trailblazer in Indian politics, inducted in in Modi 3.0 Cabinet

New Delhi (| Nirmala Sitharaman is a trailblazer in Indian politics, having been the first woman to serve as full-time Union Minister of Finance since 2019 in the Modi 2.0 government. She has presented five full budgets since July 2019, and an interim budget on February 1, 2024.

As Finance Minister, Sitharaman did away with the traditional budget briefcase and instead went for a ‘bahi-khata’ embossed with the National Emblem to carry the budget speech and other documents.

Sitharaman brings a wealth of experience, having previously served as the Union Defence Minister and has held various ministerial roles, including of Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, and Minister for Commerce and Industry with Independent Charge.

Sitharaman’s tenure as Defence Minister was marked by a focus on expediting procurement decisions and enhancing national security. She is a member of the Rajya Sabha, representing Karnataka, and has been a prominent figure in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since joining it in 2008.

She was nominated to the National Commission for Women during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She was made national spokesperson for BJP in 2010. In 2014, she became a member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha as a BJP candidate.

Born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, in 1959, Sitharaman holds a Master’s degree in Economics and an M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics at the Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College in Tiruchirapalli.