Nirmala Sitharaman takes charge of Defence, becomes India’s second woman to hold the portfolio

Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed the Defence Minister on Sunday, the second woman to hold the position since former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who had additional charge of the ministry. This will also be the first time there are two women in the Cabinet Committee on Security.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 3, 2017 1:59:04 pm
Nirmala Sitharaman, Nirmala defence minister, Defence portfolio, cabinet reshuffle, first woman defence minister, India news, Indian Express Nirmala Sitharaman being administered oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday. (Source: Twitter/MIB_India)

Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed Defence Minister on Sunday, the first woman to hold the position since former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who held additional charge. This will also be the first time there are two women in the Cabinet Committee on Security. Sitharaman, who was formerly the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan this morning.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had been given additional charge of the Defence Ministry, after its former head, Manohar Parrikar was elected Chief Minister of Goa.

Along with Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal has replaced Suresh Prabhu as Railway Minister and has additional charge of the Coal Ministry. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been allotted the Ministry of Minority Affairs, while Dharmendra Pradhan has been give the Petroleum and Natural Gas porfolio with additional charge of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Suresh Prabhu will now be Minister of Commerce and Industry.

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Nine other ministers were inducted into the Cabinet as Ministers of State. Ashwini Kumar Choubey has been appointed MoS Health, Virendra Kumar (MoS Women & Child Development and Minority Affairs), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (MoS Agriculture), Anant Kumar Hegde (MoS Skill Development), Satyapal Singh (MoS HRD and Water Resources), Shiv Pratap Shukla (MoS Finance), Alphons Pratap (MoS Independence Charge of Tourism and MoS Electronics and IT), Raj Kumar Singh (MoS Independent Charge Power and MoS Independent Charge Renewable Energy) and Hardeep Singh Puri (MoS Independent Charge Housing and Urban Affairs).

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