Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1950 -1962)
The first president of Independent India, in office from 26 Jan 1950 to 13 May 1962. He joined the Indian National Congress during the Independence movement and became a major leader. He was imprisoned by the British during the Satyagraha (1931) and Quit India Movements (1942). He was elected as the president of Constitution Assembly. In 1957, he was re-elected as the presidency, becoming the only president to serve two full terms.
He was the first Indian President to win Bharath Ratna, in 1962. India Divided is a book written by Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1962 – 1967)
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was the person who introduced the Indian Philosophy to the world. He was the second president of India. He was the vice- chancellor of Andra University (1931) and Banaras Hindu University (1939). During 1949 to 1952, he was the Ambassador of India to USSR and later become the first vice president of Independent India.
On 1962 May 13, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan sworn in as the second President of India. He was the President during the Indo-China war. The first national emergency was proclaimed during this war by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.
He was the first Vice- President to receive Bharath Ratna (1954). He is widely known as the Philosopher President of India.
It is on his birthday, 5th of September, we celebrate teacher’s day.
Dr. Zakir Hussain (1967 – 1969)
Dr. Zakir Hussain was the second Vice- President and third President of India. On 13 May 1967, he sworn in as India’s President. In his inaugural speech he said that India was his home and all its people were his family.
He was the first Muslim to become the President and the first Indian President to die in office.
He played a major role in the foundation of Jamia Millia Islamia University and was honoured with Bharath Ratna in the year 1963.
Muhammed Hidayathulla (1969)
After the demise of Dr. Zakir Hussain, the then Vice- President V.V. Giri took the office. As he resigned from both the offices as acting President and Vice-President to become a candidate in the 1969 Presidential elections, Justice Muhammed Hidayathulla, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, served as the President for a short period from 20 July to 24 August, as the constitution of India states that, in the absence of President and Vice- President, the Chief Justice should act as the President. After his retirement he was elected as the Vice- President of India.
He was the only person to bear the offices of the President, Vice- President and Chief Justice of India.
V. Giri (1969 – 1974)
V.V Giri was the first acting President and fourth President of India. He was a great writer and orator. His entry into politics was through labour movements. He was the president of AITUC and elected as the Union Minister of Labour, in 1952.
On 1 July 1960, Giri sworn in as the second governor of Kerala.
V V Giri was the President who was the governor of Kerala, the person who become President with a very low majority and the first acting President of India.
He sworn in as the President of India on 24 August 1969 and held office till 24 August 1974. He became the President defeating Neelam Sanjiva Reddy.
Industrial Relations, Labour Problems in Indian Industries are some of his works.
In 1975, he was honoured with Bharat Ratna Award.
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1974 – 1977)
The fifth President of India. He was the second Muslim President of India and the Second President to die in office. He is known to have issued the proclamation of emergency by signing the papers at midnight after a meeting with Indira Gandhi on the same day.
B.D. Jatti (acting)
He was the fifth Vice- President of India from 1974 -1979. On the demise of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, he became the acting President of India from 11 Feb 1977 to 25 July 1977.
He was the second Vice- President to take the office of the President.
In 1958 he was the Chief Minister of Mysore. Later he sworn in as the Governor of Orissa.
Neelam Sajiva Reddy (1977 – 1982)
He was unanimously elected as the sixth President of India and he was the youngest person to become the President of India.
He began his political career with Indian National Congress, went on to hold several key offices in Independent India – the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, two times speaker of Loksabha and Union minister.
Gyani Zail Singh (1982 – 1987)
He was the seventh President of India serving from 1982 –1987. He started his career as a politician with Indian National Congress and had held several minstrel positions – Chief Minister of Punjab, Union Minister of Home Affairs etc.
He was the first Sikh President of India.
His Presidency was marked by Operation Blue star, assassination of Indira Gandhi and the anti-Sikh riot 1984. He returned the post office amendment bill during the time of Rajiv Gandhi.
Ramaswami Venkataraman (1987 – 1992)
He was the eighth President serving from 1987 – 1992 and in 1984, elected as the seventh Vice- President of India.
He was appointed member of the Constituent Assembly and the provisional cabinet. He was elected to Lok Sabha four times and served as Union Finance Minister and Defence Minister.
From 1955 to 1979 he was the member of UN’s Administrative Tribunal.
My Presidential Years is the autobiography of R. Venkataraman.
Dr. Sankardayal Sharma (1992 – 1997)
He sworn in as the ninth President of India, serving from 25 July 1992 to 1997.
Prior to his Presidency, Sharma served as the eighth Vice- President of India under R. Venkataraman.
He was also Chief Minister (1952–1956) of Bhopal, and Cabinet Minister (1956–1967), holding the portfolios of Education, Law, Public Works, Industry and Commerce, National Resources and Separate Revenue. He was the President of the Indian National Congress in 1972–1974 and returned to the government as Union Minister for Communications from 1974 to 1977.
It was during his tenure the Babari Masjid incident took place.
K.R.Narayanan (1997- 2002)
He sworn in as the tenth President of India, serving from 1997 -2002.
In 1992, he was elected as the ninth Vice- President of India. He presided over the golden jubilee celebrations of Indian independence and in the country’s general election of 1998, he became the first Indian President to vote when in office, setting another new precedent. He is the first Dalit to become President.
He served as ambassador to Japan, United Kingdom, Thailand, Turkey, People’s Republic of China and United States of America and was referred to by Nehru as “the best diplomat of the country”.
A.P.J Abdul Kalam (2002-2007)
Kalam was elected as the eleventh President of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling party (BJP) and the then opposition (INC). He was the first scientist to occupy Rashtapathi Bhawan.
He was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Pathmabushan (1981), Pathmavibhushan (1990) & Bharat Ratna (1997), he was the third President of India to have been honoured with India’s highest civilian awards. He is widely referred to as the “People’s President”. He came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the
development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.
Wings of Fire (1999), Turning Points (2012) are some of his works.
Pratibha Patil (2007- 2012)
The first woman to sworn in as the President of India, she served as the twelfth President of India. She became the President defeating the then Vice- President, Biron Singh Shegavath. She previously served as the Governor of Rajasthan from 2004-2007. Patil’s term as the President of India saw various controversies. Patil was noted for having spent more money on foreign trips, and having taken a greater number of foreign trips, than any prior president.
Pranab Mukherjee (2012- 2017)
Pranab Mukherjee sworn in as the thirteenth President of India, serving the office from 25 July 2012 to 25 July 2017. He was the Revenue Minister during the emergency period and Rajya Sabha member in 1969. He has also taken almost all important offices in the central ministry before taking charge as the President. He is widely known as the President who was the vice-chairman of planning commission and leader of lok sabha.
In 1997, he won the Best Parliamentarian award and in 2007, he was honoured with Pathmavibhushan.
Mid-term poll-1969, Saga Struggle and Sacrifice are the works of Pranab Mukherjee.
Ram Nath Kovind (2017- )
On 25 July 2017, Ram Nath Kovind sworn in as the fourteenth President of India. Previously he had served as the Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017 and was a member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006. Before entering politics, he was a lawyer for 16 years.