Nirmala Sitharaman took charge of the Defence Ministry on Thursday morning to become the first full-time woman Defence Minister of India.
Sitharaman took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley who was given the additional charge of the key ministry in March after Manohar Parrikar quit the union cabinet to become the chief minister of Goa.
Sitharaman was elevated to the cabinet rank on Sunday and given the defence portfolio.
Senior officials of the ministry were present and she briefly interacted with them after taking over as the minister.
She became the first full-time woman defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio. In the 1970s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had held the defence portfolio for some time.
As Defence Minister, Sitharaman will be a member of the crucial Cabinet Committee on Security whose members include the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the External Affairs Minister and the Finance Minister.
(With inputs from PTI)