Nirmala Sitharaman is a female Indian economist and politician who now serves as India’s Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs. She has been a member of the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper legislature, since 2014. Sitharaman was formerly India’s Defence Minister, making her the country’s second female defense minister and second female finance minister after Indira Gandhi and the first time female finance minister full-time. She works for a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and an independent Minister for Commerce and Industry. Previously she worked for the Bharatiya Janata Party as a national spokeswoman. 

Sitharaman was 37th on Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most powerful women in 2021Fortune magazine named Nirmala Sitharaman India’s most powerful lady.

Nirmala Sitharaman Early Years 

Savitri and Narayanan Sitharaman raised Nirmala Sitharaman in a Tamil Brahmin family in Madurai. She attended school in Chennai before graduating in economics. According to her old teachers, Tiruchirappalli’s all-female Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College was an “exemplary student.” “She would spend all of her leisure time reading back volumes or economics books, or clarifying doubts with teachers, not just those teaching her subject,” current principal Dr. R Padmavathy said. Sitharaman was very popular, even though she was not yet in politics. In 1980, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College in Tiruchirapalli. She received a Master of Arts in economics and M.Phil degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She endorses a Ph.D. degree in economics, emphasizing Indo-European commerce. Still, She could not complete her degree since she quit school and moved to London (when the London School of Economics awarded her husband with a scholarship).

Career in Politics 

Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2006 and was named the party’s spokeswoman in 2010. She was worked as  a junior minister in Narendra Modi’s cabinet in 2014, and she was elected to the Rajya Sabha from  Andhra Pradesh in June 2014. 

Nirmala Sitharaman was one of the candidates nominated to run in the Rajya Sabha elections on June 11, 2016. She served as India’s Defence Minister and was in charge of the Indian Air Force’s Balakot Air Strike in 2019. Nirmala Sitharaman is India’s Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, and she has presented four-yearly budgets. 

As Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry in New Delhi. On May 27, 2014,  Union Cabinet Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman utter oath.

Union Cabinet Minister 

Sitharaman was sworn in as the Union Minister of Defence on September 7, 2017, in New Delhi. In January 2018, Sitharaman presided over India’s naval demonstration

She was named Minister of Defense on September 3, 2017, making her only the second woman after Indira Gandhi to hold the position but the first full-time female defense minister. 

Minister of Finance for the Union 

Sitharaman was sworn in as Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs on May 31, 2019, in New  Delhi.

She also delivered her first budget to the Indian Parliament. Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for 2020–21. Economic Response Task Force during the COVID-19 pandemic in India was in control of  Nirmala. 

Tax-relief for Salaried Class 

On July 5, 2019. Sitharaman delivered the first budget of this administration. Piyush Goyal’s tax relief for  the salaried class in the interim budget was a significant focus of her budget. She made no changes to  Goyal’s tax-free allowance for earning up to Rs 5 lakh every year. 

Union Budget 2022-23 

She did, however, increase the penalty for those with taxable income over Rs 2 crore per year. The  opposition parties reacted angrily to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s presentation of a more  significant Rs 39.45 lakh crore Budget 2022-23 in Lok Sabha, while BJP officials, including Union  ministers, praised the plan as “visionary.”

Nirmala’s Non-Political Career 

She is the first female finance full-time minister in India. 

Nirmala Sitharaman was a salesperson at Habitat, a home furnishings company on Regent Street in  London. She worked for the Agricultural Engineers Association in the United Kingdom as an assistant to  an economist. She also has a Senior Manager for PWC and briefly at the BBC World Service during her  time in the UK. 

Nirmala Sitharaman has also served on the National Commission for Women as a member. She was a founding director  of Pranava in Hyderabad in 2017.

Nirmala Sitharaman ‘s Honors and Awards 

In 2019, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Jawaharlal Nehru University. In 2019, Forbes Magazine named her 34th among the world’s 100 most powerful women. 

Nirmala Sitharaman ‘s Personal Life 

Sitharaman met her husband, Parakala Prabhakar, from Narsapuram, Andhra Pradesh, while studying at  Jawaharlal Nehru University. Nirmala was a BJP supporter, although her husband came from Congress.  They had a daughter and married in 1986. Prabhakar was the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh’s communications advisor. 

Empathetic Towards The Party 

According to sources at the party headquarters, she would meet any member of Parliament during a  session, regardless of whether she was on roster duty. She is always willing to spend the maximum time on the party’s cause, including during her excursions to the states. Suresh Kumar, the state’s former BJP  minister, and a spokesperson said, “Whenever our team approaches her with matters relevant to  Karnataka, she has been very responsive.” He tells how she made sure that a group of experts. 


It is so hard to pursue a career in an eastern culture because of the conservativeness toward women.  But Nirmala proved it wrong through dedication towards her goals.  

Nirmala Sitharaman is a mentor, leader, and role model, and the hard work and efforts she puts into her career speak loudly to the world.

Authored by Afifa Maryam Siddiqui 

Edited by Yara Fakhoury

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