Minister of Defence (India)

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Minister of Defence
Rakshā Mantri
Emblem of India.svg
Flag of India.svg
Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in February 2020.jpg
Incumbent
Rajnath Singh

since 31 May 2019
Ministry of Defence (India) Ministry of Defence
StyleThe Honourable
Member ofUnion Cabinet
Reports toPrime Minister
Parliament of India
AppointerPresident
on the advice of the Prime Minister
Term length5 years
Formation15 August 1947
First holderBaldev Singh
Deputy Ajay Bhatt
Minister of State
Websitemod.gov.in

The Minister of Defence (Rakshā Mantri) is the head of the Ministry of Defence and a high ranking minister of the Government of India. The Defence Minister is one of the most senior offices in the Union Council of Ministers as well as being a high-level minister in the union cabinet. The defence minister additionally serves as President of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, and as Chancellor of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology and of the National Defence University.

They are often assisted by a Minister of State for Defence and less-commonly, the lower-ranked Deputy Minister of Defence.

The first defence minister of independent India was Baldev Singh Chokkar, who served in Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet during 1947–52. Rajnath Singh is the current defence minister of India.

List of Defence Ministers[1][edit]

No. Portrait Name
(born-died)
Term of office Political party
(Alliance)
Ministry
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Sardar Baldev Singh on the Greeneries of Indian Parliament (cropped).jpg Baldev Singh
(1902–1961)
15 August 1947 13 May 1952 4 years, 272 days Indian National Congress Nehru III
2 Gopalaswamy Ayyangar.jpg N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar
(1882–1953)
13 May 1952 10 February 1953 273 days Nehru II
3 Jnehru.jpg Jawaharlal Nehru
(1889–1964)
10 February 1953 10 January 1955 1 year, 334 days Nehru II
4 Kailash Nath Katju.jpg Kailash Nath Katju
(1887–1968)
10 January 1955 30 January 1957 2 years, 20 days Nehru II
(3) Jnehru.jpg Jawaharlal Nehru
(1889–1964)
30 January 1957 17 April 1957 2 years, 97 days Nehru IIIII
5 Krishna Menon.jpg V. K. Krishna Menon
(1896–1974)
17 April 1957 31 October 1962 5 years, 197 days Nehru IIIIV
(3) Jnehru.jpg Jawaharlal Nehru
(1889–1964)
31 October 1962 14 November 1962 14 days Nehru IV
6 Y B Chavan (cropped).jpg Yashwantrao Chavan
(1913–1984)
14 November 1962 13 November 1966 3 years, 364 days Nehru IV
Nanda I
Shastri
Nanda II
Gandhi I
7 Swaran Singh
(1907–1994)
13 November 1966 27 June 1970 3 years, 226 days I. Gandhi I
8 Jagjivan Ram stamp (cropped).jpg Jagjivan Ram
(1908–1986)
27 June 1970 10 October 1974 4 years, 105 days I. Gandhi III
(7) Swaran Singh
(1907–1994)
10 October 1974 1 December 1975 1 year, 52 days I. Gandhi II
9 Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg Indira Gandhi
(1917–1984)
1 December 1975 20 December 1975 19 days I. Gandhi II
10 Bansi Lal
(1927–2006)
21 December 1975 24 March 1977 1 year, 94 days I. Gandhi II
(8) Jagjivan Ram stamp (cropped).jpg Jagjivan Ram
(1908–1986)
24 March 1977 28 July 1979 2 years, 126 days Janata Party Desai
11 Chidambaram Subramaniam.jpg Chidambaram Subramaniam
(1910–2000)
28 July 1979 14 January 1980 170 days Indian National Congress (Urs) C. Singh
(9) Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg Indira Gandhi
(1917–1984)
14 January 1980 15 January 1982 2 years, 1 day Indian National Congress I. Gandhi III
12 R Venkataraman.jpg Ramaswamy Venkataraman
(1910–2009)
15 January 1982 2 August 1984 2 years, 200 days
13 Shankarrao Chavan 2007 stamp of India (cropped).jpg Shankarrao Chavan
(1920–2004)
2 August 1984 31 December 1984 151 days I. Gandhi III
R. Gandhi
14 P. V. Narasimha Rao.JPG P. V. Narasimha Rao
(1921–2004)
1 January 1985 25 September 1985 267 days R. Gandhi
15 Rajiv Gandhi (1987).jpg Rajiv Gandhi
(1944–1991)
25 September 1985 24 January 1987 269 days
16 V. P. Singh (cropped).jpg Vishwanath Pratap Singh
(1930–2008)
24 January 1987 12 April 1987 78 days
17 Shri K.C Pant (cropped).jpg K. C. Pant
(1931–2012)
13 April 1987 1 December 1989 2 years, 232 days
(16) V. P. Singh (cropped).jpg Vishwanath Pratap Singh
(1930–2008)
2 December 1989 10 November 1990 343 days Janata Dal
(National Front)
V. Singh
18 Chandra Shekhar Singh.jpg Chandra Shekhar
(1927–2007)
10 November 1990 21 June 1991 223 days Samajwadi Janata Party Shekhar
(14) P. V. Narasimha Rao.JPG P. V. Narasimha Rao
(1921–2004)
21 June 1991 26 June 1991 5 days Indian National Congress Rao
19 Sharad Pawar, Minister of AgricultureCrop.jpg Sharad Pawar
(born 1940)
26 June 1991 6 March 1993 1 year, 253 days
(14) P. V. Narasimha Rao.JPG P. V. Narasimha Rao
(1921–2004)
6 March 1993 16 May 1996 3 years, 71 days
20 Pramod Mahajan
(1949–2006)
16 May 1996 1 June 1996 16 days Bharatiya Janata Party Vajpayee I
21 Mulayam Singh Yadav (28993165375).jpg Mulayam Singh Yadav
(born 1939)
1 June 1996 19 March 1998 1 year, 291 days Samajwadi Party Gowda
Gujral
22 George Fernandes (cropped).jpg George Fernandes
(1930–2019)
19 March 1998 16 March 2001 2 years, 362 days Samata Party Vajpayee IIIII
23 Jaswant Singh.jpg Jaswant Singh
(1938–2020)
16 March 2001 21 October 2001 219 days Bharatiya Janata Party Vajpayee III
(22) George Fernandes (cropped).jpg George Fernandes
(1930–2019)
21 October 2001 22 May 2004 2 years, 214 days Janata Dal (United)
24 Pranab Mukherjee-World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009 crop(2).jpg Pranab Mukherjee
(1935–2020)
22 May 2004 26 October 2006 2 years, 157 days Indian National Congress M. Singh I
25 A. K. Antony.jpg A. K. Antony
(born 1940)
26 October 2006 26 May 2014 7 years, 212 days M. Singh III
26 The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.jpg Arun Jaitley
(1952–2019)
26 May 2014 9 November 2014 167 days Bharatiya Janata Party Modi I
27 The official photograph of the Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar.jpg Manohar Parrikar
(1955–2019)
9 November 2014 13 March 2017 2 years, 124 days
(26) The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.jpg Arun Jaitley
(1952–2019)
13 March 2017 3 September 2017 174 days
28 Nirmala Sitharaman addressing at the inauguration of the 2nd Edition of the Global Exhibition on Services-2016 (GES), at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh (cropped).jpg Nirmala Sitharaman
(born 1959)
3 September 2017 30 May 2019 1 year, 269 days
29 Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in February 2020.jpg Rajnath Singh
(born 1951)
30 May 2019 Incumbent 2 years, 137 days Modi II

List of Ministers of State[edit]

Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence
Minister of state Portrait Political party Term Years
Rao Inderjit Singh Rao Inderjit Singh addressing at the Meeting with the StatesUTs on the Implementation of “The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016”, in New Delhi.jpg Bharatiya Janata Party 26 May 2014 5 July 2016 2 years, 40 days
Subhash Bhamre The foundation stone for the construction of DRDO established IIT Bombay & IIT Madras bi-nodal ‘Centre of Propulsion Technology’ (CoPT) was laid at IIT Bombay premises by Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Subhash Bhamre.jpg 5 July 2016 30 May 2019 2 years, 329 days
Shripad Naik Shripad Yasso Naik - Kolkata 2014-10-12 7755.JPG 30 May 2019 7 July 2021 2 years, 137 days
Ajay Bhatt 7 July 2021 Incumbent 99 days

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ministry of Defence, List of Defence Ministers of India". Elections.in. Retrieved 13 February 2019.