New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: With a focus on reviving the pandemic-battered economy and pushing growth, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Union Budget 2021 on Monday. Sitharaman, who is the first full-time woman Finance Minister in the history of independent India, is only the second woman after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to present a Union Budget.

The 61-year-old took over the Finance portfolio in 2019 after his predecessor Arun Jaitley opted out for health reasons. Ahead of the Budget presentation, here's a look at Sitharaman's political career spanning 15 years.

Born in Madurai on August 18, 1959, Sitharaman studied economics at Tiruchirapalli's Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, before moving to the national capital to study the subject at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

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Her political career began when she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2008, over a decade after returning to India from the United Kingdom. As a spokesperson of the party, she became a familiar face on the national television in the early 2010s.

Following Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) emphatic victory in the 2014 general elections, Sitharaman was inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet as a junior minister. Later that year, she was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh. Sitharaman made headlines after being appointed the country's first full-time Defence Minister in 2017. As a Defence Minister, Sitharaman had to defend the allegations of corruptions made by the opposition in the Rafale deal.

Two years later, she took over the  Finance portfolio after his predecessor Arun Jaitley opted out for health reasons. This is the third budget of Sitharaman, and arguably the most anticipated, being announced at a time when the economy is reeling under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. She has termed this year's budget as a "never-before" event. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja