Nirmala Sitharaman takes charge as country's first woman Defence Minister

Sitharaman became the first full-time woman defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio.

Published: 07th September 2017 11:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2017 02:13 PM   |  A+A-

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Home Minister Rajnath Singh having a feel of carbine indigenously produced by Ordnance Factory handed over to paramilitary forces for user trials. (Express Photo Service | Shekhar Yadav)

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Home Minister Rajnath Singh having a feel of carbine indigenously produced by Ordnance Factory handed over to paramilitary forces for user trials. (Express Photo Service | Shekhar Yadav)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Eyeing to focus on military preparedness, Make in India and welfare of soldiers, 56 years old Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday took over the riegn of south block  with unique distinction to become the first full time woman defence minister of the country.

"My priority will definitely be the armed forces preparedness. It is important that the Indian armed forces receive the attention in terms of giving them every endowment and equipment necessary for them to perform their duty with the best of equipment available,” Sitharaman said while  assuming charge.

Sitharaman took oath as cabinet minister on Sunday. But since Arun Jaitley, who was travelling to Japan for defence cooperation meet, came back on Wednesday night and handed over charge today to Sitharaman.

Arun Jaitley who was holding additional charge since March at South Block after Manohar Parrikar left to take over as Goa chief minister.

Since then, there was debate and discussion to have a full time minister for a key ministery like defence.
Soon after taking, at her first engagement organised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO, she handed  over indigenous military  products to central para military forces. 

The event which also attended by union Home Minister Rajnath Singh saw the the handing over of armoured bus, bullet proof jacket, Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) and small arms among others to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
 
Rajnath Singh noted that all the media has complimented Sitharaman as India's first full-time defence minister and said with her defence Ministry will get a energy and direction.

Noting that the country's "import dependence has gone up," Mr. Singh said that the systems being developed by DPSUs under the 'Make in India' initiative will reduce the dependence. 

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