The rise and rise of Nirmala Sitharaman

Sitharaman is the first full time woman defence minister

GN Bureau | September 4, 2017


#Nirmala Sitharaman   #defence minister   #cabinet reshuffle   #Narendra Modi  


The erudite Nirmala Sitharaman being appointed India’s first full time defence minister was the highlight of the cabinet rejig carried out by prime minister Narendra Modi – and it was completely out of the blue.
 
Nirmala Sitharaman’s appointment takes place in the midst of India carrying out its first ever military reforms.
 
The decision to appoint Sitharaman, 58, shows that Modi has an open mind about choosing the best for key ministerial positions. Gender, clearly, was not a factor. In fact, the decision went down quite well with her appointment being described as shattering the glass ceiling by those fighting for gender parity.
 
An alumnus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sitharaman was married into a family that supported the Congress. But, she took a decision to go with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Before that, she was appointed member of the National Commission for Women (NCW).
 
After her appointment, Nirmala Sitharaman, who prefers wearing sarees, said that she is keeping an "open mind" on women in combat roles. "After my taking charge, I will be certainly be going through a lot of what has happened on that front... I will keep an open mind and look into the matter," she was quoted as saying.
 
Sitharaman is the first woman defence minister of India since Indira Gandhi who, as prime minister, twice handled the portfolio nearly three decades ago.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of the defence ministry after Manohar Parrikar put in his papers to become the Goa's chief minister.
 
Nirmala Sitharaman would have hands full as the defence minister since both the eastern as well as the western fronts are on high alert. The Doklam crisis may be over for now, but a state of readiness has to be maintained.
 
In a first ever exercise after Independence, the defence ministry in consultation with the army has decided to reform the army in a planned manner. These decisions were approved by then defence minister Arun Jaitley.
 
The first phase of the reforms involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers/JCOs/ORs and civilians. Major reforms concerning the following have been approved.
 
Nirmala Sitharaman, who was earlier the commerce minister, had spoken to Governance Now after demonetisation.
 
She had then said: “It’s by far the bold… the boldest of all the steps, in line with several other steps the government has undertaken since 2014, to make the economy robust and transparent. The government has taken steps to set up SIT [to unearth black money], the passing of the Benami [Property] Act, asked various countries to share information about the money Indians have deposited in their banks without giving information at home, the income disclosure scheme that just ended, the signing of double taxation avoidance treaties with Cyprus and Singapore… These all steps were being taken continuously as the opposition was asking the government questions about unearthing black money within the country. This will make the economy a lot more cleaner and all transactions transparent.”
 
 
 
 
 

Comments

 

Other News

Ashish Shelar of BJP says, “We are very confident of victory”

Ashish Shelar, 47, was the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP, before he became the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government this year. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with

Nobel for economics goes to `global fight against poverty`

The Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." The prize, known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”, was announc

Modi-Xi script a new chapter in bilateral relations

Prime minister Narendra Modi has accepted president Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China in 2020 for their third informal summit after Wuhan and Mamallapuram, indicating both sides’ realization of the importance of the mechanism which gives the two leaders of the Asian giants an opportunity t

Dharma as the original Idea of India

Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.

Prakash Ambedkar on why he wants other parties to mention the candidates’ community

Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar and popularly known as Balasaheb Ambedkar, heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The three-time MP founded this new political party last year with a vision of Ambedkarism, secularism, socialism and progressivism. The VBA, registered this year before the Lo

Maharashtra, Haryana polls: parties spent Rs 280.72 crore on publicity

Political parties that contested the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections in 2014 spent the largest part of their expenses, Rs 280.72 crore (77.35 percent), on publicity, shows an analysis by the National Election Watch (NEW). This was followed by Rs 41.40 crore on travel expenses, Rs 22.59 crore on



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter