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Nirmala Sitharaman Biography: Birth, Age, Family, Education, Political Career, Recognitions, and More About Finance Minister of India

Nirmala Sitharaman : India’s Pioneering Economist and Politician

Nirmala Sitharaman, born on August 18, 1959, is a prominent Indian economist, politician, and a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Currently serving as the Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs in the Government of India since 2019, she has carved her name in history by presenting her sixth consecutive budget on February 1, matching the record set by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

Early Life and Education

Born into a Tamil Iyengar family in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Nirmala Sitharaman had her schooling at Sacred Heart Convent Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Villupuram. She pursued her higher education in economics, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Tiruchirapalli in 1980. Her academic journey continued with a Master of Arts degree in economics and M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in 1984. Although she initially enrolled in a Ph.D. program focused on Indo-Europe trade, she moved to London due to her husband’s scholarship at the London School of Economics, preventing her from completing her degree.

Political Career

Nirmala Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2008 and swiftly rose through the ranks. Initially a national spokesperson, she was inducted into Narendra Modi’s cabinet in 2014 and elected as a Rajya Sabha Member from Andhra Pradesh. Over the years, she has held several key positions, serving as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs from May to November 2014. She later took on the role of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry from May 2014 to September 2017 before advancing to senior posts within the Union Cabinet.

In a historic move, Sitharaman served as the 28th Defence Minister from 2017 to 2019, becoming India’s second female defence minister. Under her leadership, the Indian Armed Forces conducted the Balakot airstrike in 2019, a response to the Pulwama attack.

Transitioning to the financial domain, she was appointed as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs on May 31, 2019. Sitharaman has presented five annual budgets as of 2023, with her tenure marked by India’s ascent to the fifth-largest economy globally in 2022, showcasing significant economic growth.

In February 2024, she presented her sixth consecutive budget, setting a record that matched Morarji Desai. Notably, she became the first minister to present the budget in the newly constructed Parliament building of India.

Non-Political Career

Before venturing into politics, Sitharaman had a diverse non-political career. She worked as a salesperson at Habitat, a home decor store in London’s Regent Street, and served as an assistant to an economist at the Agricultural Engineers Association in the UK. During her time in the UK, she held the position of Senior Manager (R&D) at PWC and briefly worked at the BBC World Service.

Sitharaman’s commitment to societal issues is evident from her role as a member of the National Commission for Women and her founding directorship at Pranava in Hyderabad in 2017.

Awards and Honors

Acknowledging her contributions, the Jawaharlal Nehru University conferred the Distinguished Alumni Award upon her in 2019. Forbes Magazine consistently recognizes her as one of the world’s most powerful women. In 2023, she secured the 32nd spot on Forbes’ list, having been ranked 34th in 2019 and 36th in 2022. Additionally, she was honored with the Business Reformer of the Year award at The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in 2021. Nirmala Sitharaman

Personal Life

Nirmala Sitharaman’s personal life is intertwined with her political journey. She met her husband, economist and commentator Parakala Prabhakar, while studying at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Despite political differences, their union has endured since their marriage in 1986, and they have a daughter. Prabhakar has served as a communications advisor to the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Nirmala Sitharaman

Conclusion

Nirmala Sitharaman’s journey from an economist to a powerful political figure reflects her dedication to public service. As the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, she has played a pivotal role in shaping India’s economic landscape. Her achievements, both in politics and her non-political endeavors, highlight her multifaceted capabilities. Sitharaman continues to be a trailblazer, leaving an indelible mark on India’s political and economic history.

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