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The defence minister's challenges

The armed forces have their share of both strengths and shortcomings, and the country's first woman defence minister has her work cut out

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Premvir Das 

Premvir Das

With the appointment of Nirmala Sitharaman as defence minister India has a woman in that pivotal position for the first time. The notion that Indira Gandhi had preceded her is not entirely correct.

While then Prime Minister Gandhi had, indeed, held additional charge of defence for a while, the ministry was de facto run by the minister of state, or MoS, for defence. In later years, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi held charge of defence but the ministry was run by the MoS, Arun Singh. So, Ms Sitharaman is, indeed, our first de jure and de facto full-time woman defence minister and full marks to ...

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First Published: Sat, September 16 2017. 20:41 IST
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