AK Antony on Wednesday assumed office as India's 34th defence minister, pledging to "protect national interest to the utmost".
The former Kerala chief minister, who arrived at his South Block office a little after 11 am, was received by Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt and other senior officials.
In a brief interaction with reporters in his office, he said: "Yesterday night I had a discussion with the defence secretary and other officials. They briefed me about the condition in important divisions; some important areas like modernisation were brought to my attention, as also the problems of the armed forces in general."
Antony replaces Pranab Mukherjee, who takes over as foreign minister.