Home   »   Indian Polity   »   Defence Ministers of India List

Defence Ministers of India List From 1947 to 2023, Names

Defence Minister of India

The Defence Minister of India is a key member of the Union Cabinet and is a high-ranking government official responsible for overseeing the country’s defence forces, policies, and strategies. This position is one of the most critical positions in the Indian government, as India is a country with a complex security environment that faces significant challenges from multiple fronts.

Read about: List of Prime Minister of India

List of Defence Ministers of India From 1947 to 2023

Here is a detailed list of all the Defence Ministers of India from independence to the present.

S. No Name Date of Start of Term Date of End of Term
1 Shri Baldev Singh 15.08.47 13.05.52
2 Shri N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar 13.05.52 10.02.53
3 Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru (PM) 27.01.53 10.01.55
4 Dr. Kailash Nath Katju 10.01.55 30.01.57
5 Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru (PM) 30.01.57 17.04.57
6 Shri V. K. Krishna Menon 17.04.57 01.11.62
7 Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru (PM) 01.11.62 21.11.62
8 Shri Y.B. Chavan 21.11.62 13.11.66
9 Sardar Swarn Singh 13.11.66 27.06.70
10 Shri Jagjivan Ram 27.06.70 10.10.74
11 Sardar Swarn Singh 10.10.74 01.12.75
12 Smt. Indira Gandhi (PM) 01.12.75 21.12.75
13 Shri Bansi Lal 21.12.75 24.03.77
14 Shri Jagjivan Ram 28.03.77 27.07.79
15 Shri C. Subramaniam 30.07.79 14.01.80
16 Smt. Indira Gandhi (PM) 14.01.80 15.01.82
17 Shri R.Venkataraman 15.01.82 01.08.84
18 Shri S.B. Chavan 03.08.84 31.12.84
19 Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao 01.01.85 24.09.85
20 Shri Rajiv Gandhi (PM) 25.09.85 24.01.87
21 Shri V.P. Singh 25.01.87 12.04.87
22 Shri K.C. Pant 18.04.87 03.12.89
23 Shri V.P.Singh (PM) 06.12.89 10.11.90
24 Shri Chandra Shekhar (PM) 21.11.90 20.06.91
25 Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao (PM) 21.06.91 25.06.91
26 Shri Sharad Pawar 26.06.91 05.03.93
27 Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao (PM) 05.03.93 16.05.96
28 Shri Pramod Mahajan 17.05.96 31.05.96
29 Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav 01.06.96 19.03.98
30 Shri George Fernandes 19.03.98 15.03.01
31 Shri Jaswant Singh 16.03.01 14.10.01
32 Shri George Fernandes 15.10.01 22.05.04
33 Shri Pranab Mukherjee 23.05.04 24.10.06
34 Shri A.K. Antony 25.10.06 26.05.14
35 Shri Arun Jaitley 26.05.14 08.11.14
36 Shri Manohar Parrikar 09.11.14 13.03.17
37 Shri Arun Jaitley 13.03.17 06.09.17
38 Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman 07.09.17 30.05.19
39 Rajnath Singh 31.05.19 Incumbent

Read about: List of President of India

First Defence Minister of India

Late Shri Baldev Singh was the first Defence Minister of India. He was born on July 11, 1902, in the village of Rurka Kalan in the Jalandhar district of Punjab. He was an Indian independence activist and a prominent leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal, a Sikh-centric political party. He served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of India, which was responsible for drafting the Indian Constitution.

When India became independent in 1947, Baldev Singh was appointed as the country’s first Defence Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. As Defence Minister, Baldev Singh played a crucial role in organizing and strengthening the country’s armed forces. He oversaw the integration of various princely states’ armies into the Indian Armed Forces, which helped to create a unified military structure for the country.

Read about: List of Chief Ministers of India

Present Defence Minister of India

Shri Rajnath Singh is the present Defence Minister of India. He was born on July 10, 1951, in the district of Chandauli in Uttar Pradesh. He is a veteran politician and a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Singh began his political career as a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization, before joining the BJP.

Singh has held various positions in the Indian government, including as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and as Minister of Agriculture. He has also served as the President of the BJP twice, and he played a significant role in the party’s rise to power in the 2014 general elections.

In 2019, Rajnath Singh was appointed as India’s Defence Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As Defence Minister, he has focused on modernizing and strengthening the country’s armed forces, with an emphasis on indigenous defence production. He has overseen the implementation of several key defence policies, such as the Defence Procurement Procedure 2020 and the Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020.

Under Rajnath Singh’s leadership, the Indian Armed Forces have conducted several successful operations, including the Balakot airstrike in 2019 and the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese troops in 2020. He has also been actively involved in addressing the security challenges faced by India, such as terrorism and border disputes with neighbouring countries.

Read about: Finance Ministers of India List

Defence Minister of India’s Role

The role of the Defence Minister involves:

  • Providing strategic direction to the Indian Armed Forces and ensuring their preparedness to defend the country against any external threats.
  • Overseeing the modernization and expansion of the Indian Armed Forces, which includes the procurement of weapons, equipment, and technology from both domestic and foreign sources.
  • Promoting indigenous defence production and research and development in the defence sector is critical to building a self-reliant defence industry in India.
  • Maintaining diplomatic and strategic relationships with other countries to enhance India’s defence cooperation and to ensure a stable regional security environment.
  • Ensuring the welfare and well-being of the serving and retired personnel of the Indian Armed Forces, including their families.

Read More: Education Ministers of India List

Defence Ministers of India UPSC

The Defence Minister of India is responsible for overseeing the country’s defence forces, policies, and strategies. Aspirants for the UPSC exam should study the Defence Minister’s role, responsibilities, and India’s defence strategy. It is an important part of both prelims and mains UPSC Syllabus. To prepare, aspirants can use StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching for study materials, video lectures, and current affairs updates, as well as UPSC Mock Test for Prelims 2023 to evaluate their preparation level. Understanding the Defence Minister’s responsibilities is crucial for answering questions on this topic during the UPSC exam.

Read about: Indian National Army

Sharing is caring!

Defence Ministers of India FAQs

What is the name of our Defence minister of India?

The current Defence Minister of India is Shri Rajnath Singh.

Who is the national Defence minister?

Shir Rajnath Singh is also the National Defence Minister.

Who is the Minister of Defence and military?

Shri Rajnath Singh is the Minister of Defence and Military.

Who is the head of all three forces?

The President of India is the commander in chief of our defence forces.

Who is the first lady Defence minister of India?

Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman is the first lady Defence Minister of India.

About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *