Presidents Since Independence

DR. RAJENDRA PRASAD


(Term of office: 26.1.1950 to 13.5.1962)

- Born in Siwan district of Bihar, near Chhapra on December 3, 1884.

- He was a brilliant student and served first position in M.A. and first in Masters in Law examination with Gold medal.

- Suffered several terms of rigorous imprisonment.

- Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected first President of the Republic of India on 26.1.1950.

- He was awarded Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.

- Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the only President who served as President of India twice.

- Passed away on 28-02-1963.



DR. SARVEPALLI RADHAKRISHNAN


(Term of office: 13.5.1962 to 13.5.1967)

- Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888, at Tirutani, Tamil Nadu.

- He was and highly intelligent as a student.

- Served as Ambassador to USSR (1949-1952).

- Dr. Radhakrishnan was elected Vice-President of India, in 1952, At 65 years of age.

- He was honoured with Bharat Ratna in 1954.

- He was elected President of India in 1962, at the age of 74.

- His birthday on 5 September is observed as 'Teachers' Day'.

- He was a orator, statesman, administrator and scholar.

- At the tender age of twenty, his first book, “The Ethics of the Vedanta & Material Presupposition” was published in 1908.

- Also authored of The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore, Idealistic View of Life, Eastern Religious and Western Thought, Reign of Philosophy in Contemporary Thought, Kalki or The Future of Civilization, Indian Philosophy (2 vols) etc.

- Died on April 17, 1975 at the age of 87.



DR. ZAKIR HUSSAIN


(Term of office: 13.5.1967 to 3.5.1969)

- Dr. Zakir Hussain was born on 8.2.1897.

- Dr Zakir Hussain was the first Muslim President of India.

- He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1954.

- Honored with the Bharat Ratna award in 1963.

- He held the highest office of the country with exemplary grace and dignity till his sudden death on 3.5.1969.



SHRI VARAHAGIRI VENKATA GIRI ( V.V. GIRI)


(Term of Office: 3.5.1969 to 20.7.1969 and 24.8.1969 to 24.8.1974)

- Shri V.V. Giri was born on 10 August 1894 at Berhampore in Ganjam District, Odisha.

- He joined the Non-Coopera¬tion Movement in 1921.During the Civil Disobedience Movement in the early thirties, Shri Giri, as a prominent labour leader, did much to organize trade unions in support of the nationalist movement.During the Quit India Movement, Shri V V Giri was detained in different prisons.

- He served with distinc¬tion as Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Mysore Karnataka.

- He was Vice-President of India during the years 1967-69.

- He served as President from 1969-1974.

- He was decorated with ‘Bharat Ratna’, the highest national honour, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Indian Republic on 26 January 1975.

- Died at Madras on 23rd June, 1980.



DR. FAKHRUDDIN ALI AHMED


(Term of Office: 24.8.1974 to 11.2.1977)

Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed born on May 13, 1905 at Hauz Qazi area of Old Delhi.

- Actively participated in the freedom movement.

- Started individual satyagraha on 14 December, 1940.

- He was arrested for his participation in the 'Quit India Movement' in 1942.

- Elected to Rajya Sabha from 1952 to 1953.

- Became the Advocate-General of the Government of Assam.

- Elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971.

- Was a tennis player and a golfer. Elected President of the All India Cricket Association in April, 1967.

- Became the President of India on 24 August, 1974.

- Died on 11 February, 1977, while in office.



NEELAM SANJIVA REDDY


(Term of Office: 25.7.1977 to 25.7.1982)

Born on May 19, 1913 in a peasant family at Illuri village in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh.

- Elected Member of the Rajya Sabha in 1952.

- Became the first Chief Minister of the new State of Andhra Pradesh in October, 1956.

- Elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha on March 17, 1967.

- Unanimously elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha on March 26, 1977.

- Unanimously sponsored as the consensus candidate for the Presidentship by all political parties, a rare event in political history.

- Elected President unopposed on July 21, 1977.

- Died on June 1, 1996.



GIANI ZAIL SINGH


(Term of Office: 25.7.1982 to 25.7.1987)

Born on 5 May, 1916, in a small village named Sandhwan, near Kot Kapura, formerly prince state of Faridkot.

- He had little formal education.

- Giani Zail Singh was the first Punjabi to become President of India.

- Acquired a fairly wide knowledge of Sikh religion, Sikh History and Sikh scripture.

- He grew to be a Giani which means Scholar. This epithet stuck to his name for the rest of the life.

- Served as a Member of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from 1956 to 1962.

- Became the Chief Minister of Punjab in 1972.

- Held many important portfolios as Union Minister in the Centre.

- Unanimously elected by the Congress party as a choice for President in 1982. Giani Zail Singh won almost by a unanimous vote of the nation.

- Died on 25 December, 1994.



R. VENKATARAMAN


(Term of Office: 25.7.1987 to 25.7.1992)

Born on December 4, 1910 in the village of Rajamadam, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu.

- Shri R. Venkataraman was the Eighth President of India.

- His active participation in the 'Quit India Movement of 1942', resulted in his detention for two years.

- Elected in 1950, to free India's Provisional Parliament (1950-1952) and to the First Parliament (1952-1957).

- Awarded ‘The Tamra Patra’ for participation in the freedom struggle.

- Served the nation as the Member of the Union Planning Commission and held many important portfolios as a Union Minister.

- Elected Vice-President of India in August, 1984.

- Elected as President of India on July 25, 1987.



DR. SHANKAR DAYAL SHARMA


(Term of Office: 25.7.1992 to 25.7.1997)

Born on August 19, 1918 at Bhopal.

- Assumed office of the President of India on July 25, 1992.

- During his University career, Dr. Sharma won distinction as a sportsman, having excelled in athletics, rowing and swimming.

- He was Lucknow University's swimming champion for three consecutive years and was Captain and later President of its Rowing and Swimming Club.

- Participated in the historic Quit India Movement and in the merger Movement in Bhopal, underwent imprisonment.

- Was Member of Bhopal Legislative Assembly, Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

- Prior to his election as President of India, he served as Governor of three States: Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra.

- Was interested in reading and writing on various subjects of national and international interest and study of languages, history, art and culture, comparative religion, philosophy, poetry, literature and classical Indian and Western music.



K.R. NARAYANAN


(Term of Office: 25.7.1997 to 25.7.2002)

Born on October 2, 1920 at Uzhavoor in Kottayam District, Kerala.

- Obtained his MA degree in English Literature by securing the first rank from Travancore University. After completion of his studies at Thiruvananthapuram, he went to London School of Economics and secured B.Sc. (Eco) degree with First Class Honours, specializing in Political Science.

- Started his career as a lecturer in the University of Travancore (1943).

- He joined the world of journalism through the 'Commerce and Industry' weekly at first and then with the celebrated 'The Hindu' daily and 'Times of India'.

- Joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1949.

- Held different positions in the MEA and as Indian Ambassador to many countries.

- Became Vice President of the Indian Republic on 21st August, 1992.

- Elected as President of India on 25/7/1997.



DR. APJ ABDUL KALAM


(Term of Office: 25.7.2002 to 25.7.2007)

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

- He graduated in Science from St. Joseph's College, Trichy in 1954.

- Specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957.

- Responsible for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV and Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

- Also responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles.

- Important role during the Pokhran-II nuclear test in 1974.

- He took up a mission to ignite young minds for national development by interacting with students across the country.

- Awarded - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997).

- Dr. Kalam authored a number of books such as ‘Wings of Fire’, ‘India 2020 – A vision for the New Millennium’, ‘My Journey’, ‘Ignited Minds – Unleashing the power within India’ and ‘Envisioning an Empowered Nation – Technology for Social Transformation’.

- Became the 11th President of India on 25 July, 2002.

- Demitted office on 25th July 2007.

- Passed away on 27th July, 2015.



SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL


(Term of Office: 25.7.2007 to 25.7.2012)

Born on December 19, 1934 in Nadgaon village of Jalgaon District, Maharashtra.

- Assumed office as 12th President of India on July 25, 2007.

- First woman to have been elected to this august office.

- She was the Governor of Rajasthan from November 8, 2004 till June 21, 2007, prior to election as President of India.

- Started professional career as a lawyer and devoted herself to various social activities, especially, for the upliftment of poor women.

- Served as a Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

- Enjoys unique distinction of not having lost a single election that till date.

- Instrumental in organizing music, computer and sewing classes for poor and needy women at Amravati, Maharashtra.

- Smt. Patil also organized the Women’s Home Guard in Jalgaon District and was their Commandant in 1962.

- Demitted office on 25.7.2012.



**********************