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BW Most Influential Woman Of India: Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister, GoI

The recent response of roaring Indian fighter jets striking deep in the heart of terrorist training camps along with successful deals in much awaited defence equipments -- from guns to attack helicopters, Nirmala Sitharaman, the first woman Defence Minister, has many feathers in her cap. She is one of the most respected faces of the Union Government.

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

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Earlier to her current profile she has established many benchmarks in the ministry of commerce and industry where she was handling independent charge. In Sitharaman’s own words “I envy the girl I once was. Best advice I ever received? Always choose the middle path and try to maintain equanimity. In other words, never go to any extreme - don't be too suppliant because you will lose your dignity nor be too overconfident and aggressive or you will eventually lose your ground. Remain balanced. That way you can never fall too far."

Sitharaman was born in Madurai in a highly learned family. 

She had been handling ministry of commerce during the implementation of landmark GST. She made it clear that the government will ensure that the external sector does not face any negative impact due to implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

It is believed that Nirmala who is now the Defence Minister of India (the largest weapon importer of the world), has made it to this position due to her skills of negotiation. Even the political opposition has no guts to point finger on her negation skills. She will be known as a key enabler in recent unmanned aerial vehicle (Heron) deal with Israel, and last but not the least defence deals with US for the needs of all the three armed forces wings. Almost every deal had given India a timely edge over arch rivals China and Pakistan. It will not be a hyperbole if one looks at her current portfolio as an enabler to India’s long time pending requirement for 126 twin engine multirole fighter jets. She is the first full time, women defence minister of India with experience of flying SU-30.

She has also served at prestigious organisations as price water house cooper and BBC world services. Nirmala is a JNU alumnus who had also earned her PhD in Indo-European Textile trade. 


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