Nirmala Sitharaman, who served as the Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi government from September 2017 to May 2019, has been appointed as the new finance minister. Nirmala Sitharaman is the first woman finance minister though Indira Gandhi held the finance portfolio when she was the prime minister in 1970-71.
From 2014 till May 2019, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley had taken care of the finance ministry.
Nirmala Sitharaman would step into the shoes of Arun Jaitley who opted out of new government on health grounds. She will have a deputy in Anurag Thakur, a first time minister in the Modi government.
The Finance and Corporate Affairs ministry has now been given to Nirmala Sitharaman. Nirmala Sitharaman was the first woman to be appointed full-time Defence Minister of India in September 2017.
Sixty-year-old Nirmala Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member, is the second woman to take charge of the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi who as the Prime Minister also held the portfolio in the seventies.
Smriti Zubin Irani, who first served as the HRD minister and then as a Minister for Information and Broadcasting, has now been given the charge of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Smriti Irani has also been appointed the Minister of Textiles.
In 2014, Smriti Irani had become the youngest cabinet minister and held several illustrious portfolios, including HRD, Textiles and Information and Broadcasting Minister.
Smriti Irani, at the age of 43, has again emerged as the youngest in the second Narendra Modi government’s council of ministers.
Both the leaders took oath on Thursday (May 30).