Minister of Defence (India)

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{{Infobox official post | post = Minister | body = Defence | native_name = | insignia = Emblem of India.svg | insigniacaption = Emblem of India | flag = Flag of India.svg | flagsize = 110px | flagborder = yes | flagcaption = [[Flag of India | alt = | incumbent = [samriddhi Srivastava] | acting = | incumbentsince = 31 May 2019 | department = Flag of the Ministry of Defence of India.svg Ministry of Defence | style = The Honourable | type = | status = | abbreviation = | member_of = Union Cabinet | reports_to = Prime Minister
Parliament of India | residence = | seat = | nominator = | appointer = President | appointer_qualified = on the advice of the Prime Minister | termlength = 5 years | termlength_qualified = | constituting_instrument = | precursor = | formation = 2 September 1946 | first = Baldev Singh Chokkar | last = | abolished = | succession = | unofficial_names = | deputy = Shripad Yesso Naik
Minister of State | salary = | website = }}


The Minister of Defence is the head of the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India. They are often assisted by a Minister of State for Defence and less-commonly, the lower-ranked Deputy Minister of Defence. 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.

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

NamePortraitTerm of officePolitical party
Prime Minister
1Baldev Singh Chokkar15 August 194713 May 1952 Indian National Congress Jawaharlal Nehru
2 N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar [1] Gopalaswamy Ayyangar.jpg 13 May 195210 February 1953
3 Jawaharlal Nehru [1] Jnehru.jpg 27 February 195310 January 1955
4 Kailash Nath Katju Kailash Nath Katju 1987 stamp of India.jpg 10 January 195530 January 1957
(3) Jawaharlal Nehru [1] Jnehru.jpg 30 January 195717 April 1957
5 V. K. Krishna Menon Krishna Menon.jpg 17 April 19571 November 1962
(3) Jawaharlal Nehru [1] Jnehru.jpg 1 November 196221 November 1962
6 Yashwantrao Chavan Y B Chavan (cropped).jpg 21 November 196213 November 1966 Jawaharlal Nehru

Lal Bahadur Shastri

Indira Gandhi

7 Swaran Singh 13 November 196627 June 1970 Indira Gandhi
8 Jagjivan Ram Jagjivan Ram 1991 stamp of India.jpg 27 June 197010 October 1974
(7) Swaran Singh 10 October 19741 December 1975
9 Indira Gandhi Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg 1 December 197521 December 1975
10 Bansi Lal 21 December 197524 March 1977
(8) Jagjivan Ram Jagjivan Ram 1991 stamp of India.jpg 28 March 197727 July 1979 Janata Party Morarji Desai
11 Chidambaram Subramaniam Chidambaram Subramaniam.jpg 30 July 197914 January 1980 Janata Party (Secular) Charan Singh
(9) Indira Gandhi Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg 14 January 198015 January 1982 Indian National Congress Indira Gandhi
12 Ramaswamy Venkataraman R Venkataraman.jpg 15 August 19821 August 1984
13 Shankarrao Chavan 3 August 198431 December 1984 Indira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
14 P. V. Narasimha Rao Pumapaparti.N.rao.jpg 1 January 198524 September 1985 Rajiv Gandhi
15 Rajiv Gandhi Rajiv Gandhi (1987).jpg 25 September 198524 January 1987
16 V. P. Singh V. P. Singh (cropped).jpg 25 January 198712 April 1987
17 K. C. Pant 18 April 19873 December 1989
(16) V. P. Singh V. P. Singh (cropped).jpg 6 December 198910 November 1990 Janata Dal
(National Front)
18 Chandra Shekhar Chandra Shekhar Singh 2010 stamp of India.jpg 21 November 199020 June 1991 Samajwadi Janata Party
(National Front)
(14) P. V. Narasimha Rao Pumapaparti.N.rao.jpg 21 June 199126 June 1991 Indian National Congress P. V. Narasimha Rao
19 Sharad Pawar Sharad Pawar, Minister of AgricultureCrop.jpg 26 June 19915 March 1993
(14) P. V. Narasimha Rao Pumapaparti.N.rao.jpg 6 March 199316 May 1996
20 Pramod Mahajan 16 May 19961 June 1996 Bharatiya Janata Party Atal Bihari Vajpayee
21 Mulayam Singh Yadav Mulayam Singh Yadav (28993165375).jpg 1 June 199619 March 1998 Samajwadi Party
(United Front)
H. D. Deve Gowda
I. K. Gujral
22 George Fernandes George Fernandes (cropped).jpg 19 March 199816 March 2001 Samata Party
(National Democratic Alliance)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
23 Jaswant Singh Jaswant Singh.jpg 16 March 200121 October 2001 Bharatiya Janata Party
(National Democratic Alliance)
(22) George Fernandes George Fernandes (cropped).jpg 21 October 200122 May 2004 Janata Dal (United)
(National Democratic Alliance)
24 Pranab Mukherjee Pranab Mukherjee-World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009 crop(2).jpg 22 May 200424 October 2006 Indian National Congress
(United Progressive Alliance)
Manmohan Singh
25 A. K. Antony A. K. Antony.jpg 26 October 200626 May 2014
26 Arun Jaitley The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.jpg 26 May 20149 November 2014 Bharatiya Janata Party
(National Democratic Alliance)
Narendra Modi
27 Manohar Parrikar The official photograph of the Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar.jpg 9 November 201413 March 2017
(26) Arun Jaitley The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.jpg 13 March 20173 September 2017
28 Nirmala Sitharaman 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 3 September 201731 May 2019
29 Rajnath Singh Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in February 2020.jpg 31 May 2019 [2] Incumbent

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Ministry of Defence, List of Defence Ministers of India". Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  2. "Rajnath Singh to be the new Defence Minister, Naik to be MoS". The Economic Times. 31 May 2019.