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Minister of Defence
Rakshā Mantri
Ministry of Defence India.svg
Flag of India.svg
Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of Defence at a webinar on August 04, 2022.jpg
Incumbent
Rajnath Singh

since 30 May 2019
Ministry of Defence (India)
Ministry of Defence
StyleThe Honourable
Member ofUnion Cabinet
Reports toPrime Minister
AppointerPresident
on the advice of the Prime Minister
Term length5 years
Formation15 August 1947
First holderBaldev Singh
DeputyAjay 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

# Portrait Name Term of office Prime Minister Party
1
Sardar Baldev Singh on the Greeneries of Indian Parliament (cropped).jpg
Baldev Singh 15 August 1947 13 May 1952 4 years, 272 days Jawaharlal Nehru Indian National Congress
2
Gopalaswamy Ayyangar.jpg
N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar 13 May 1952 10 February 1953 273 days
3
Jnehru.jpg
Jawaharlal Nehru 10 February 1953 10 January 1955 1 year, 334 days
4
Kailash Nath Katju.jpg
Kailash Nath Katju 10 January 1955 30 January 1957 2 years, 20 days
(3)
Jnehru.jpg
Jawaharlal Nehru 30 January 1957 17 April 1957 2 years, 97 days
5
Krishna Menon.jpg
V. K. Krishna Menon 17 April 1957 31 October 1962 5 years, 197 days
(3)
Jnehru.jpg
Jawaharlal Nehru 31 October 1962 14 November 1962 14 days
6
Y B Chavan (cropped).jpg
Yashwantrao Chavan 14 November 1962 13 November 1966 3 years, 364 days Nehru
Shastri
Indira Gandhi
7
Sardar Swaran Singh.jpg
Swaran Singh 13 November 1966 27 June 1970 3 years, 226 days Indira Gandhi
8
Jagjivan Ram stamp (cropped).jpg
Jagjivan Ram 27 June 1970 10 October 1974 4 years, 105 days
(7)
Sardar Swaran Singh.jpg
Swaran Singh 10 October 1974 1 December 1975 1 year, 52 days
9
Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg
Indira Gandhi 1 December 1975 20 December 1975 19 days
10
Bansi Lal.jpg
Bansi Lal 21 December 1975 24 March 1977 1 year, 94 days
(8)
Jagjivan Ram stamp (cropped).jpg
Jagjivan Ram 24 March 1977 28 July 1979 2 years, 126 days Morarji Desai Janata Party
11
Chidambaram Subramaniam.jpg
Chidambaram Subramaniam 28 July 1979 14 January 1980 170 days Charan Singh Indian National Congress (U)
(9)
Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg
Indira Gandhi 14 January 1980 15 January 1982 2 years, 1 day Indira Gandhi Indian National Congress
12
R Venkataraman.jpg
Ramaswamy Venkataraman 15 January 1982 2 August 1984 2 years, 200 days
13
Shankarrao Chavan 2007 stamp of India (cropped).jpg
Shankarrao Chavan 2 August 1984 31 December 1984 151 days Indira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
14
Visit of Narasimha Rao, Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the CEC (cropped)(2).jpg
P. V. Narasimha Rao 1 January 1985 25 September 1985 267 days Rajiv Gandhi
15
Rajiv Gandhi (1987).jpg
Rajiv Gandhi 25 September 1985 24 January 1987 269 days
16
Visit of Vishwanath Pratap Sing, Indian Minister for Trade, to the CEC (cropped).jpg
Vishwanath Pratap Singh 24 January 1987 12 April 1987 78 days
17
Shri K.C Pant (cropped).jpg
K. C. Pant 13 April 1987 1 December 1989 2 years, 232 days
(16)
Visit of Vishwanath Pratap Sing, Indian Minister for Trade, to the CEC (cropped).jpg
Vishwanath Pratap Singh 2 December 1989 10 November 1990 343 days V. P. Singh Janata Dal
18
Chandra Shekhar Singh.jpg
Chandra Shekhar 10 November 1990 21 June 1991 223 days Chandra Shekhar Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya)
(14)
Visit of Narasimha Rao, Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the CEC (cropped)(2).jpg
P. V. Narasimha Rao 21 June 1991 26 June 1991 5 days P. V. Narasimha Rao Indian National Congress
19
Sharad Pawar.jpg
Sharad Pawar 26 June 1991 6 March 1993 1 year, 253 days
(14)
Visit of Narasimha Rao, Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the CEC (cropped)(2).jpg
P. V. Narasimha Rao 6 March 1993 16 May 1996 3 years, 71 days
20
Pramod jee.jpg
Pramod Mahajan 16 May 1996 1 June 1996 16 days Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bharatiya Janata Party
21
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Shri.Mulayam Singh Yadav , addressing at the National Development Council, New Delhi on December 9, 2006 (cropped).jpg
Mulayam Singh Yadav 1 June 1996 19 March 1998 1 year, 291 days Deve Gowda
I. K. Gujral
Samajwadi Party
22
George Fernandes (cropped).jpg
George Fernandes 19 March 1998 16 March 2001 2 years, 362 days Atal Bihari Vajpayee Samata Party
23
Jaswant Singh.jpg
Jaswant Singh 16 March 2001 21 October 2001 219 days Bharatiya Janata Party
(22)
George Fernandes (cropped).jpg
George Fernandes 21 October 2001 22 May 2004 2 years, 214 days Janata Dal (United)
24
Pranab Mukherjee Portrait.jpg
Pranab Mukherjee 22 May 2004 26 October 2006 2 years, 157 days Manmohan Singh Indian National Congress
25
A. K. Antony.jpg
A. K. Antony 26 October 2006 26 May 2014 7 years, 212 days
26
The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.jpg
Arun Jaitley 26 May 2014 9 November 2014 167 days Narendra Modi Bharatiya Janata Party
27
The official photograph of the Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar.jpg
Manohar Parrikar 9 November 2014 13 March 2017 2 years, 124 days
(26)
The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.jpg
Arun Jaitley 13 March 2017 3 September 2017 174 days
28
Nirmala Sitharaman in May 2017.jpg
Nirmala Sitharaman 3 September 2017 30 May 2019 1 year, 269 days
29
Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh.jpg
Rajnath Singh 30 May 2019 Incumbent 3 years, 154 days

List of Ministers of State

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 3 years, 154 days
Ajay Bhatt 7 July 2021 Incumbent 1 year, 116 days

See also

References

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