Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Flags Off First Ever All-Women Navy Crew Attempting To Circumnavigate Globe

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In a move that signals a new era of women's empowerment for the armed forces, newly-appointment Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday flagged off all-women Navy team in Panaji attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

For the first time ever, an all-women crew 'Navika Sagar Parikrama’ of the Indian Navy will embark on a global journey on an Indian sailing vessel INSV Tarini.

The crew would sail over many oceans to complete the mission. The entire distance will be covered in five legs and the team will stop at four ports for replenishment of ration and repairs, as necessary, a naval spokesperson said. The crew will have a stop over's at various ports like Fremantle (Australia), Lyttelton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands) and Cape Town (South Africa), the spokesperson said.

The circumnavigation of this All Women Navy Crew is likely to be completed around March 2018.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wished luck to the ladies for the historic journey.

Nirmala Sitharaman took charge of the defense ministry on September 7, becoming the first full-time woman Defence Minister of the country.

She took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley who was given the additional charge of the key ministry in March after Manohar Parrikar quit the union cabinet to become the chief minister of Goa.

Nirmala Sitharaman was elevated to the cabinet rank on Sunday and given the defense portfolio.

Senior officials of the ministry were present and she briefly interacted with them after taking over as the minister.

She became the first full-time woman defense minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio. Indira Gandhi, as then Prime Minister, had also held the Defense portfolio in the 1970's.

As the Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman will be a member of the crucial Cabinet Committee on the Security whose members include the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the External Affairs Minister and the Finance Minister.

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