Minister of Finance, Minister of Corporate Affairs (May 2019 – Present): Nirmala Sitharaman
Date of Birth: August 18, 1959.
Place of Birth: Madurai Tamil Nadu.
Parents: Her father is Narayanan Sitharaman and her mother is Savitri Sitharaman. Her father was an Indian Railways employee. This is the reason why she grew up in different parts of Tamil Nadu. Her father came from Musiri in Tiruchirappalli. Her mother was from Thiruvenkadu.
Spouse: Her husband is Parakala Prabhakar and together they have a daughter. They married in 1986. He is a Telugu Brahmin from Narsapuram in Andhra Pradesh. They met when they were both studying at JNU. Prabhakar has served in the role of a communications advisor to Chandrababu Naidu, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Political Party: Nirmala Sitharaman is a member of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).
Education: She has a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree in Economics from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College of Tiruchirappalli in 1980. She also has an MA (Master of Arts) degree in Economics as well as an M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi. She had also enrolled for a PhD with an emphasis on Indo-European trade. However, when her husband got a scholarship from the London School of Economics, they had to move over to England, and this put paid to her higher educational ambitions.
Career: Initially, Sitharaman worked as a salesperson for a home décor store in London named Habitat. She also worked as an assistant to the Economist at the Agricultural Engineers Association in the UK (United Kingdom). Later, she worked for the BBC World Service, apart from as a Senior Manager (R&D) for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC). She has served on the National Commission for Women as well.
Political Milestones: Sitharaman has worked as an MP (Member of Parliament) in Rajya Sabha for two terms. From June 26, 2014 to June 21, 2016, she has represented the Andhra Pradesh (AP) constituency and from July 1, 2016 onwards she has represented Karnataka.
It was in 2008 that she joined the BJP, and in 2014 she was included in the cabinet of Narendra Modi as a junior minister.
From 2010 to 2014, she has also served as the national spokesperson of BJP. She rose to the position of Minister of Commerce and Industry from May 26, 2014 to September 3, 2017. She has served as the Union Minister of Defence from September 3, 2017 to May 30, 2019. From May 31, 2019 she has been the Union Finance Minister and Union Corporate Affairs Minister in Modi 2.0 cabinet.
In May 2016, she was among the 12 candidates that BJP nominated to contest for the Rajya Sabha elections that took place on June 11 that year. She was successful from her constituency of Karnataka. She is the second woman to have become the Defence Minister of India. She is also the first woman to become the full-time Finance Minister of India.