Nirmala Sitharaman is an Indian politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who is currently serving as the Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs. She is a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2014. She has served as the Defence Minister of India, thereby becoming India's second woman defence minister and also the second female finance minister after Indira Gandhi. She has served as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance and the Minister for Commerce and Industry with independent charge. Prior to that, she has served as a national spokesperson for the BJP.
Sitharaman was born in Tamil Nadu's Madurai on August 18, 1959, to Savitri and Narayanan Sitharaman. She did her schooling from Madras and Tiruchirappalli. She holds an MA in economics and MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Sitharaman is married to Parakala Prabhakar and the couple has a daughter.
Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2006 and was appointed as a spokesperson for the party in 2010. In 2014, she was inducted into Narendra Modi's Cabinet as a junior minister and in June 2014, she was elected as a Rajya Sabha Member from Andhra Pradesh.
In May 2016, she was one of the 12 candidates nominated by the BJP to contest the Rajya Sabha elections. She successfully contested her seat from Karnataka. On September 3, 2017, she was appointed as Minister of Defence. On May 31, 2019, Sitharaman was appointed as the Finance and Corporate Affairs minister. She is India's first full-time female finance minister. She presented her maiden budget in the Indian parliament on July 5, 2019.