Presidents of India

Presidents of India (1947 – Till Date)

The President of India become the head of state and the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces and known as the first citizen of India. The President of India is called as Rashtrapati in Hindi and lord of the realm in Sanskrit language. The election of presidential post takes place by the Electoral College having elected members of the parliament houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as well as members of Vidhan Sabha and state legislative assemblies.

Since the independence of India, around 14 presidential elections have been done for which 13 persons have been the President of India and three acting presidents in between the terms for short periods of time. The President is selected to serve the country for a tenure of five years by the article 56, part V, of the Indian constitution. The office is assumed by the vice president in case if president is terminated or absent because of any reason. The parliament has rights to discharge president’s functions by article 70 of part V.

In order to win the president’s election, a candidate must be of 35 years or above, qualified for election to Lok Sabha and not be a member of parliament or state assembly. He/she should not hold any office of profit. Vice Presidents, Governors of State, Ministers of the Union and Ministers of the State can stand for presidential election after resigning that office. Below is the list of all the Presidents of India (after independence of India till date) with their important details:

Current (15th) President of India: Ram Nath Kovind

Office Term: 25 July 2017 to Incumbent

Political Party: Bharatiya Janata Party

Ram Nath Kovind is the current president of India. He took charge as the 15th President of India (however 14th person) on 25 July 2017. Before get elected as the president of India, he served as the Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017. He was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2006. He won the Presidential election as the official nominee by the NDA coalition and became second Dalit to be elected as President of India. He served as a lawyer for 16 years (practiced in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court) before entering into the politics.

He joined BJP in 1991 and served as the President of BJP Dalit Morcha (from 1998 to 2002) and national spokesperson of the party. He was also the President of All-India Koli Samaj. His ancestral home in Derapur was donated by him to the RSS.

He was born in a Dalit weaving community on 1st of October in 1945, Paraukh village, Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh. He did his bachelor’s degree in commerce and LLB from DAV College (affiliated with Kanpur University). He became advocate in 1971 and then Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979. He served as PA of Prime Minister of India (Morarji Desai) from 1977 to 1978. Later he served as an advocate-on-record in Supreme Court of India from 1980 to 1993.


First and Second President of India: Rajendra Prasad

Office Term: 26-Jan-1950 to 13-May-1962

Political Party: Indian National Congress

Dr. Rajendra Prasad (from Bihar) became the first President of independent India after his struggling career as a freedom fighter of the Indian independence movement. He also became the only president of India who had served the country for two terms (from 26th of January 1950 to 12th of May 1962, for two consecutive terms, we can say first and second president of India) as an Indian president. He took the charge as an Indian president of Independent and Republic India on 26th of January in 1950 after getting selected by the Committee of Indian Constitution. During the third Presidential election (1962) he himself expressed his decision to get relief from public life by declining the offer of continuing the post of Indian president.

He was born on 3rd of December in 1884 (in a Kayastha Hindu family in Ziradei, Bengal Presidency, British India, now in Bihar) and died on 28th of February in 1963 (Patna, Bihar, India). His father was (Mahadev Sahai) a scholar of Sanskrit and Persian languages. He did his M.A. Degree in Economics in first division from the University of Calcutta in 1907. He helped a lot in the formation of Bihari Students Conference in 1906 in Patna College. He became a teacher, a lawyer, and then entered to the politics. He encouraged the educational development all through the country and advised for the same to the Nehru government on several occasions.


Third President of India: Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Office Term: 13-May-1962 to 13-May-1967

Political Party: Independent

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan became the third President of an Independent India (however the Second Person). He served to the country as an Indian president from 13th of May 1962 to 12th of May 1967. He

was a great Indian philosopher, writer, a Knight of the Realm and statesman who was selected as the first Vice President of India (1952–1962). he was also the vice chancellor at Andhra University and Banaras Hindu University. He has been awarded with the most prestigious award of India, the Bharat Ratna in 1954 before being the Indian President. Other awards he won are like a knighthood in 1931 and honorary membership of British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. His birthday anniversary (5th of September) is celebrated every year as Teacher’s Day all over the India.

He was born on 5th of September (in a Telugu Brahmin family) in 1888 in Thiruttani, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Tamil Nadu, India) and died on 17th of April in 1975 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India (now Chennai). He became a professor in philosophy, Principal at Harris Manchester College and then Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University (1931 to 1936) and Banaras Hindu University (1939 to 1948) before entering to the politics.


Fourth President of India: Zakir Hussain

Office Term: 13-May-1967 to 3-May-1969

Political Party: Independent

Zakir Hussain became the fourth president of India (however third person). He served the country as an Indian president from 13th of May 1967 to 3rd of May 1969. He was the first Muslim who became the president of India. He also served the country as the Governor of Bihar (1957 to 1962) and Vice President of India (1962 to 1967). He was the co-founder of the Jamia Milia Islamia and became Vice Chancellor in 1928. He also became the vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. He has been awarded with great national awards, the Bharat Ratna in 1963 and Padma Vibhushan.

He was born on 8th of February in 1897 in the Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, (now in Telangana, India) in a Pashtun family of Kheshgi tribe. He was educated from the Anglo-Muhammadan Oriental College (now Aligarh Muslim University). He was honored with doctorate in economics in 1926 from the University of Berlin. He was the first Indian President who died on 3rd of May in 1969 in New Delhi, India during his tenure.

Acting President of India: Varahagiri Venkata Giri

Office Term: 3-May-1969 to 20-Jul-1969

Political Party: Independent

After the death of Zakir Hussain, Varahagiri Venkata Giri was appointed as the Acting President of India however he resigned after few months in order to take part in the next presidential election. He became the Acting President of India for only two months and 17 days from 3rd of May 1969 to 20th of July 1969.

Acting President of India: Mohammad Hidayatullah

Office Term: 20-Jul-1969 to 24-Aug-1969

Political Party: Independent

Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah was appointed as the Acting President of India for short time when Varahagiri Venkata Giri resigned to take part in next presidential election until the next President of India got selected. He served as the Acting President of India for only one month and four days from 20th of July 1969 to 24th of August 1969. He has been the 11th Chief Justice of India (from 25th of February 1968 to 16th of December 1970) and recipient of the Order of British Empire. He was also the 6th Vice-President of India and served to the country from 20th of August 1977 to 20th of August 1982. He was an eminent jurist, educationist, lawyer, scholar (in Hindi, English, Persian, Urdu, and French), author and linguist.

He was born on 17th of December in 1905 in a upper class Muslim family in Lucknow, United Provinces, British India (now in UP, India). He died on 18th of September in 1992 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India (now Mumbai).


Fifth President of India: Varahagiri Venkata Giri

Office Term: 24-Aug-1969 to 24-Aug-1974

Political Party: Independent

Varahagiri Venkata Giri (V.V. Giri) was the only person who has been served as both the acting president and president of India. He served the country as the 5th President of India (however 4th person) from 24th of August 1969 to 24th of August 1974. He has been awarded with the Bharat Ratna. He was also the Indian Minister of Labour and High Commissioner to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). He also served the country as the Vice President of India (from 13th of May 1967 to 3rd of May 1969), Governor of Karnataka (from 2nd of April 1965 to 13th of May 1967), Governor of Kerala (from 1st of July 1960 to 2nd of April 1965) and Governor of Uttar Pradesh (from 10th of June 1956 to 30th of June 1960).

He was born (in a Telugu Brahmin family) on 10th of August in 1894 in Berhampur, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Odisha, India). He did his law degree from the University College Dublin (1913-1916). After his expulsion from the Ireland in 1916 (because of his involvement in Sinn Fein movement and suspected role in the Easter Uprising), he came to India and joined the politics. He was died on 23rd of June in 1980 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India (now Chennai).


Sixth President of India: Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

Office Term: 24-Aug-1974 to 11-Feb-1977

Political Party: Indian National Congress

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed became the 6th President of India (however 5th person) and served the country from 24th of August 1974 to 11th of February 1977. He was the second Muslim person who served the country as Indian president however died on 11th of February in 1977 (in New Delhi, Delhi, India) before completing his term of office (also the second Indian president who died in the office).

He was born on 13th of May in 1905 Old Delhi (at the Hauz Qazi area), Delhi, Punjab Province, British India. He got educated from the St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

served as a Minister before being elected as president. He joined the Indian National Congress after his meeting to the Jawaharlal Nehru in England and started participating actively in the Indian freedom movement.

Acting President of India: Basappa Danappa Jatti

Office Term: 11-Feb-1977 to 25-Jul-1977

Political Party: Independent

Basappa Danappa Jatti (B.D. Jatti) was appointed as the Acting President of India (from 11th of February 1977 to 25th of July 1977) after the death of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed during his tenure. He also became the Vice-President of India (from 1st of September 1974 to 25th of July 1977), Governor of Odisha (from 8th of November 1972 to 20th of August 1974), Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry (from

14th of October 1968 to 7th of November 1972) and Chief Minister of Mysore (from 16th of May 1958 to 9th of March 1962). He was the second Temporary President of India who served the country as president for short time until the selection of 7th President of India.

He was born (in a Kannadiga Lingayat family) on 10th of September in 1912 in Savalagi, Bombay Presidency, British India (now in Karnataka, India). He entered to the politics in 1940 as a Municipality member at Jamkhandi and later the President of Jamkhandi Town Municipality in 1945. He died on 7th of June in 2002.


Seventh President of India: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

Office Term: 25-July-1977 to 25-July-1982

Political Party: Janata Party

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the 7th President of India (however 6th person) and served the country from 25th of July 1977 to 25th of July 1982. He was the youngest-ever Indian president who also became the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh State (1 November 1956 to 11 January 1960), 4th two-time Speaker of the Lok Sabha (17 March 1967 to 19 July 1969 and 26 March 1977 to 13 July 1977) and a Union Cabinet Minister (1964 to 1967).

He became the only Member of Parliament from Janata Party who got elected from Andhra Pradesh. He had to relinquished his post of Speaker on 13 July 1977 to become the 7th President of India. He was born (in a Telugu-speaking Hindu peasant family) on 19th of May in 1913 in Illur, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, India). He died on 1st of June in 1996 Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


Eighth President of India: Giani Zail Singh

Office Term: 25-Jul-1982 to 25-Jul-1987

Political Party: Indian National Congress

Giani Zail Singh became the 8th President of India (however 7th person) and served the country from 25th of July 1982 to 25th of July 1987. He also served the country as a Congress Chief Minister of Punjab in 1972, Minister of Home Affairs (from 14 January 1980 to 22 June 1982) and the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement (from 12 March 1983 to 6 September 1986).

He was born on 5th of May in 1916 in Sandhwan, Punjab, British India. He died on 25th of December in 1994 in Chandigarh, India because of injuries in a car accident.


Ninth President of India: Ramaswamy Venkataraman

Office Term: 25-Jul-1987 to 25-Jul-1992

Political Party: Indian National Congress

Ramaswamy Venkataraman was the 9th President of India (however 8th person) and served the country from 25th of July 1987 to 25th of July 1992. He also served the country as the Vice-President of India (from 20 August 1982 to 27 July 1987), Minister of Home Affairs (from 22 June 1982 to 2 September 1982), Minister of Defence (15 January 1982 to 2 August 1984) and Minister of Finance (from 14 January 1980 to 15 January 1982). He was a lawyer, Indian independence activist and politician.

He was born on 4th of December in 1910 in Rajamadam, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Tamil Nadu, India). He was honored with Doctorate of Law from University of Madras and Nagarjuna University. He has also been awarded with the Tamra Patra for his participation in the freedom struggle. He died on 27th of January in 2009 in New Delhi, Delhi, India.


Tenth President of India: Shankar Dayal Sharma

Office Term: 25-Jul-1992 to 25-Jul-1997

Political Party: Indian National Congress

Shankar Dayal Sharma was the 10th President of India (however 9th person) and served the country from 25th of July 1992 to 25th of July 1997. He also served the country as the Vice President of India (from 3 September 1987 to 25 July 1992), Governor of Maharashtra (from 3 April 1986 to 2 September 1987), Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh (from 26 November 1985 to 2 April 1986), Governor of Andhra Pradesh (from 29 August 1984 to 26 November 1985), Chief Minister of Bhopal (from 1952 to 1956), Cabinet Minister (from 1956 to 1967) and Union Minister for Communications (from 1974 to 1977).

He was born on 19th of August in 1918 in Bhopal, Central Provinces, British India (now in Madhya Pradesh, India). He died on 26th of December in 1999 in New Delhi, Delhi, India because of a massive heart attack.


Eleventh President of India: Kocheril Raman Narayanan

Office Term: 25-Jul-1997 to 25-Jul-2002

Political Party: Independent

Kocheril Raman Narayanan was the 11th President of India (however 10th person) and served the country from 25th of July 1997 to 25th of July 2002. He also served the country as the Vice President of India from 21st of August 1992 to 24th of July 1997. He was ambassador of India to the Thailand, China, Turkey, and United States of America. He was honored with the doctorates in Science and Law. He has been chancellor in several universities as well as vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University.

He was born on 27th of October in 1920 in Perumthanam, Travancore, British India (now Uzhavoor, Kerala, India). He did his B.A. and M.A. Degree from the University of Kerala and B.Sc in Economics from the London School of Economics. He was the first and only person from dalit community who reached to highest positions. He died on 5th of November in 2005 in New Delhi, Delhi, India.


Twelveth President of India: A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Office Term: 25-Jul-2002 to 25-Jul-2007

Political Party: Independent

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam) was 12th President of India (however 11th person) and served the country from 25th of July 2002 to 25th of July 2007. He was not a politician (only non-political President of India), he was a scientist and science administrator at the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He was involved in civilian space program and military missile development efforts of India thus he is well known as the Missile Man of India. He has been awarded with the Bharat Ratna (1997) and affectionately known as People’s President. He has also been awarded with the Padma Vibhushan (1990), Padma Bhushan (1981) and other famous awards.

He was born on 15th of October in a Tamil Muslim family in 1931 in Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram District, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Tamil Nadu, India). He was an Atomic Engineer of Anna University Chennai and accepted as the “First Citizen of India”. He denied the offer of contest in next Presidential elections. By profession, he was a professor, author and aerospace scientist however served the country as a President. He was a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, an honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University (Chennai), JSS University (Mysore), a Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, and a visiting faculty at many other academic and research institutions all across India. He died on 27th July 2015 at Shillong.


Thirteenth President of India: Pratibha Patil

Office Term: 25-Jul-2007 to 25-July-2012

Political Party: Indian National Congress

Pratibha Devisingh Patil was the 13th President of India (however 12th person) and served the country from 25th of July 2007 to 25th of July 2012. She became the first woman President of India as well as the first female Governor of Rajasthan (8 November 2004 to 23 June 2007).

She was born on 19th of December in 1934 in Nadgaon, Bombay Presidency, British India (now in Maharashtra, India). She did her master’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Mooljee Jetha College, Jalgaon and Bachelor of Law degree from Government Law College, Mumbai.


Fourteenth President of India: Pranab Mukherjee

Office Term: 25 July 2012 to 25 July 2017

Political Party: Indian National Congress (1969–1986, 1989–2012), Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress (1986–1989)

Pranab Mukherjee was the 14th President of India (however 13th person) and served the country from 25 July 2012 to 25 July 2017. He won the Presidential election as the official nominee by the UPA Government after defeating the opposition candidate (ex-speaker of Lokh Sabha, Mr. P.A. Sangma). In his political career of six decades, he became a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and held several ministerial positions (Finance Minister, Defence Minister, Foreign Minister, and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission) in the Government of India. He became the first Bengali who held the President post of India. He served the country as Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012 prior to his election as President. According to the survey of Euromoney magazine, he has been the best finance minister of India.

He was born on 11th of December in 1935 in a Brahmin family in Mirati (village in Bengal Presidency of British India but currently in Birbhum district, West Bengal, India). His father name was Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and mother name was Rajlakshmi Mukherjee. He did his MA degree in Political Science and History as well as L.L.B. degree from University of Calcutta. Before entering into the politics in 1969, he worked as an upper-division Clerk in Office of Deputy Accountant-General in Calcutta, as a Lecturer of Political Science at Vidyanagar College, and as a Journalist with the Desher Dak (Call of Motherland).