The Modi government on Monday allocated the portfolios to the Union ministers, with several leaders from the BJP retaining their ministries. Not only did Nirmala Sitharaman retain the Finance Ministry and Amit Shah the Ministry of Home Affairs, but also Rajnath Singh retained the Defence Ministry, S Jaishankar Ministry of External Affairs and Nitin Gadkari the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

This is Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s third consecutive term in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet. She was first inducted into PM Modi’s cabinet in 2014 as the industry and commerce minister, and in 2017, she was shifted to the Defence portfolio.

In 2019, after the general elections, when then finance minister Arun Jaitley was taken ill, Sitharaman was shifted to the Finance Ministry, and she became the first woman minister to head the finance portfolio for a full term.

Sitharaman is lauded for her role in advancing second-generation economic reforms. She is credited with reviving the Indian economy hit by the notes ban, implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and reducing the base corporate tax to 22%from 30%.

Born in 1959 in Madurai (Tamil Nadu), Sitharaman pursued her undergraduate studies in economics at Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College in Tiruchirapalli. Later, she moved to New Delhi to further her education, earning both a Master’s and a Master of Philosophy degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her father, Narayan Sitharaman, worked for the Indian Railways, and her mother, Savitri, was a homemaker.