Nirmala Sitharaman is an Indian Politician belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party. She is currently serving as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India. Sitharaman has been the member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka since 2014.
Nirmala Sitharaman was born on 18 August 1959 (age 64 years; as of 2023) in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Her zodiac sign is Leo. She spent her childhood in different parts of Tamil Nadu as her father worked in the Indian Railways and his job was transferable. She did her schooling from Madras and Tiruchirappalli. Sitaraman did her graduation in Economics from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College and went to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi to pursue her Masters in Economics and Master of Philosophy (M.Phill). Rajya Sabha Affidavit
She was exposed to politics at JNU, where while living in Godavari hostel she campaigned vigorously for Nalini Ranjan Mohanty for the president post. Sitharaman then enrolled for a PhD in Indo-European textile trades but could not complete it as her husband secured a scholarship in the London School of Economics and they moved to London. In London, Nirmala worked as a salesgirl at Habitat, a home décor store in London’s Regent Street.
Height (approx.): 5’ 4”
Weight (approx.): 55 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Husband
Nirmala Sitharaman belongs to a Tamil Iyengar Brahmin Family. Her father, Narayanan Sitaraman, was an Indian Railways Employee and mother, K. Savitri, is a homemaker. She has one sister.
Nirmala met Parakala Prabhakar, a political commentator and Communications advisor, while she was studying at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The duo tied the knot in 1986. The couple has a daughter, Vangmayi.
Nirmala started her career as an assistant to an Economist in the Agricultural Engineers Association in London. Next, she worked as a Senior Manager in the Research department of PricewaterhouseCoopers, London. She, then, worked in the BBC World Service for a while. In 1991, Sitharaman returned to India. Here, she served as a Dy. Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Hyderabad. During the NDA regime (1998-2004), Nirmala got nominated to the National Commission for Women (NCW) but her term immediately ended when the UPA came in the centre in 2004. While she joined the NCW, Nirmala came in touch with Sushma Swaraj, who after being impressed by her work recommended her to the party (BJP). Sitaraman joined the BJP in 2008 and was appointed as the spokesperson of the party in 2010.
She moved from Hyderabad to Delhi. In 2014, Sitaraman became the Commerce Minister with independent charge in the Narendra Modi‘s cabinet. After a reshuffle in the Cabinet, she was promoted and given the ministry of finance and corporate affairs. On 3 September 2017, Nirmala succeeded Arun Jaitley and became the first full-time woman Defense Minister of India.
She became the second woman from the country to hold this post after Indira Gandhi, who once held the charge for 20 days. On 30 May 2019, Nirmala became the first full-time Woman Finance Minister of India.
On 1 February 2024, she presented the sixth interim Budget and surpassed the record created by Manmohan Singh, Arun Jaitley, P. Chidambaram, and Yashwant Sinha, who had presented five budgets in a row. She also matched the record held by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai.
Salary & Net Worth
Her net worth is estimated to be Rs. 2.63 Crore (as of 2019). Sitaraman gets paid Rs. 1 Lakh plus some other allowances as a Member of Parliament.
- Food: Aloo Halwa
- Restaurant: Govinda, a restaurant at the Iskcon temple in East of Kailash, Delhi
- Her hobbies include reading, writing, listening to classical music, and cooking.
- Nirmala resides at Plot No.M-6, Green Lands, Manchirevula Vill., Rajendra Nagar Mandal, Ranga Reddy Dist., Telangana.
- Nirmala has got her disciplinary nature from her father and her love for books from her mother.
- Globalisation and its impact on developing countries was her favourite subject in her college days.
- Nirmala was married into a ‘Congress oriented’ family. Her father-in-law was a minister in the Andhra Pradesh Congress Govt. in the 1970s and her mother-in-law was a Congress MLA in Andhra Pradesh.
- When Sitaraman was working as a salesgirl at Habitat, London, she won a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne for making a record at the Christmas sales.
- Nirmala was a co-founder of “Pranava,” a reputed school in Hyderabad.
- She is an enthusiastic reader and prefers writing the press releases on her own.
- She is an ardent follower of Lord Krishna and has a huge collection of his hymns.
- Nirmala is fond of Sarees. She has a great collection of vintage silk and cotton Kanjeevarams.
- Surprisingly, when Sitharaman joined the “BJP,” her husband joined the Telugu film star Chiranjeevi’s political party, “Praja Rajyam.”
- Sitharaman was an active participant in debates, discussions, and quiz competitions in her college days.
- In January 2024, an IRS officer named B. Balamurugan from Tamil Nadu was suspended for demanding the dismissal of Sitharaman. He accused her of using the ED for political purposes in a July 2023 case where the ED summoned two Dalit farmers in Tamil Nadu in an alleged money laundering case. The Indian Express