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Nirmala Sitharaman - Her journey from economics to defence

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New Delhi: The first-ever woman to become India's full-time Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman started her journey as a spokesperson for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Sitharaman on Sunday has been elevated to Cabinet rank for her exceptional work as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet reshuffle.

She is believed to have won the confidence of PM Modi and Amit Shah in handling the commerce ministry. Sitharaman, who is also a BJP spokesperson, is said to have performed exceptionally in trade negotiations. She held trade talks with her counterparts and also held discussions over Doklam.

Born in 1959, Sitharaman is a native of Tamil Nadu's Madurai. She completed her M.Phil in Economics from Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). As a professional, she served various UK-based organisations like Agricultural Engineers Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers and BBC World Service.

Post return to her home country, she worked as a Deputy Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies at Hyderabad. She was also part of the National Commission for Women from 2003-2005.

In 2008, Sitharaman stepped into the world of politics. Soon after she joined BJP, Sitharaman was made a member of the National Executive followed by the party's national spokesperson in 2010. Straightforward approach and clear command describe her the best.

Following BJP coming to power in 2014, Sitharaman was given the portfolio of the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs. She also held the Independent charge of Commerce and Industry Ministry.

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