Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flags off first ever all-women Navy crew attempting to circumnavigate globe

NEW DELHI: 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 an all-women Navy team in Panaji attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

Nirmala Sitharaman

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 stop overs at various ports like: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttelton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands) and Cape Town (South Africa), the spokesperson said.

The circumnavigation is likely to be completed around March 2018.

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

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During Mann Ki Baat on August 27th, PM Narendra Modi recalled his meeting with six women officers of the Indian Navy, who are due to circumnavigate the globe on the sailing vessel, INSV Tarini.


The entire nation comes together in wishing the all-women team of Navika Sagar Parikrama the very best in their remarkable endeavour.


Nirmala Sitharaman took charge of the defence 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.

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

A priest held prayers in the defence minister’s chamber before she assumed charge.

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 defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio. Indira Gandhi, as then Prime Minister, had also held the portfolio in the seventies.

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

With inputs from PTI