FAQs : List of President of India till date

  • August 12, 2017
  • 9:25 am
  • Vaishnavi Sen

Ram Nath Kovind wins to become the 14th President of India succeeding Dr Pranab Mukherjee! Kovind won more than 65% of the votes giving him a clear edge over opponent Ms Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker and the first woman Speaker in India.

Here’s a look back at all Indian presidents. Here’s everything you should know – names of all Indian presidents, their pictures and tenures at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President of India is the titular and ceremonial head of state and is the first citizen of the country. The post of President of India was introduced in 1950, when India became a republic and adopted the Constitution, three years after the Indian independence.

The president’s official residence is in Delhi in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The president in India is elected for a period of five years and has the opportunity to hold office for two terms (10 years). In India’s history, Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India, so far, is the only president to have occupied the post for 10 years. The outgoing President of India is Pranab Mukherjee, who was sworn in in July 2012 as the 13th president of India.

While many of our presidents have been illustrious achievers with an independent outlook, a number of them have also risen from the political echelons of the country. As the President, however, they have risen above their political inclinations and chosen to function in the best interests of the nation.

  1. Rajendra Prasad

Term at office – 26 January 1950 to 12 May 1962

Dr Rajendra Prasad became India’s first ever president since the country became a Republic and adopted the constitution in January 1950.

An inspirational freedom fighter and a leading figure of the Quit India Movement, Rajendra Prasad was elected by the Constituent Assembly. Subsequently, he was also elected by the Electoral College in 1951. In 1957, Prasad was re-elected as the head of state of India. He, thus, became the only Indian President to have served two terms. President Prasad set the standard high for the future occupants of the office.

Political Affiliation – Indian National Congress

  1. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Term at office – 14 May 1962 to 13 May 1967

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishna became the second President of India. Till date, he is considered as one of India’s most celebrated scholar and philosopher. He has studied in UK’s prestigious Oxford University and has been honoured with British Order as well as India’s Bharat Ratna. His birthday, September 5th is celebrated as Teachers Day in India even today.

Political Affiliation – Indipendent

  1. Dr Zakir Hussain

Term at office– 13 May 1967 to 3 May 1969

Dr Zakir Hussain became Republic India’s first Muslim President. He was the third President of the country serving for just two years before he passed away during the middle of his term. He became the first president to die in office and has been the Indian president with the shortest stint at the helm.

Mohammed Hidayatullah was appointed as the acting President after the sudden demise of Dr Zakir Hussain for a short while before V V Giri took over as the Acting President for the rest of the term. Dr Zakir Hussain’s term was succeeded by V V Giri.

Political Affiliation – Indipendent

  1. Varahagiri Venkata Giri (VV Giri)

Term at office– 24 August 1969 to 24 August 1974

Giri had served as India’s first High Commissioner to Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) between 1947 and 1951. He had also been the Governor of Uttar Pradesh (1956 to 1960), Governor of Kerala (1960 to 1965) and the Governor of Karnataka (1967 to 1969) before serving as the Vice President and then the President.

Political Affiliation – Indipendent

  1. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

Term at Office: August 1974 to February 1977

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was India’s fifth President. India’s second Muslim president, he has actively participated in India’s freedom struggle and has been arrested in the Quit India movement. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi selected Ali Ahmed for the president’s role. He was the second President to die in office (before his five-year tenure ended).

Before India’s 6th president (Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was elected as the succeeding President, Basappa Danappa Jatti, the then Vice President took over as the acting president when Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed passed away.

Political Affiliation – Congress

  1. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

Term at Office: July 1977 to July 1982

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy became the youngest ever Presidents of India, elected at the age of 64. Prior to his high-profile role as the sixth President of India, he has been known to have actively participated in India’s freedom movement and has held prominent roles in the central government as a staunch Congressman.

Political Affiliation – Janata Party

  1. Giani Zail Singh

Term at Office: July 1982 to July 1987

A congress politician, Giani Zail Singh was the seventh Indian president. One of the most historical political events – Operation Blue Star; Assasination of PM Indira Gandhi and the 1984 Sikh riots all took place during his Presidency tenure. He appointed Rajiv Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India. Zail Singh died at the age of 78 in a car accident in Chandigarh.

Political Affiliation – Indian National Congress

  1. Ramaswamy Venkataraman

Term at Office: July 1987 to July 1992

R Venkataraman was a freedom fighter who later joined the Congress party and was elected four times as a member of the Lok Sabha. After serving as the Finance Minister and Defence Minister, he had been elected as the Vice president. Later R Venkataraman was elected as the President of India.

Political Affiliation – Indian National Congress

  1. Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma

Term at office: July 1992 to July 1997

Shankar Dayal Sharma has first served as Vice President under R Venkataraman as President. After R Venkataraman’s term, Sharma became the ninth President of India. Outside of his presidency, Shankar Dayal Sharma is widely recognised and respected for his passion for the rule of law and his immense contribution to the legal profession.

Political Affiliation – Indian National Congress

  1. Kocheril Raman Narayanan

Term at office: July 1997 to July 2002

Kocheril Raman Narayanan was an accomplished scholar and an eminent statesman. An IFS (Indian Foreign Service) officer, he had been India’s ambassador to several countries including the USA, Japan, UK, China, and Turkey. He was often referred to as “the best diplomat of the country”. Later as a Lok Sabha member he served as a cabinet Minister.

In 1997. K R Narayanan became the first Dalit President of the country. He remained very involved in the government and often called himself a “working President”. He was a trendsetter and set benchmarks and protocols in office.

Political Affiliation – Independent

  1. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Term – 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007

One of the most inspiring and loved president of the recent times, 84-year-old Abdul Kalam has inspired many young people of India. A successful scientist by profession, he brought a fresh perspective to Indian politics with his different style of working and his simple way of life was often quoted for inspiration. His birthday is observed as World Students Day by the UN.  He has received several top honours including the Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan.

Dr Kalam, 84 passed away on Monday, July 27, 2015 in Shillong after falling ill when delivering a lecture to IIM students in Shillong. Tributes for Dr Kalam poured in from national and international quarters as he touched the hearts of young, old and children with his inspiring knowledge and good-hearted nature and love for children to progress.

Political Affiliation – Independent

  1. Pratibha Devisingh Patil

Term at Office : July 2007 to July 2012

Pratibha Patil was India’s first woman president after she defeated Bhairon Singh Shekhawat to suceed Abdul Kalam. Between 2004 and 2007, she had served as the Governor of Rajasthan state. Although she finished her full five-year term of presidency, she is considered as one of the lowest profile president of India.

Political Affiliation – Indian National Congress

  1. Dr Pranab Mukherjee

Term at Office : July 2012 to July 2017

Dr Pranab Mukherjee was the 13th President of India and the first Bengali President to hold the post. The 76-year-old Congressman and the former Finance Minister beat rival P. A. Sangma at the presidential race by securing nearly 70% of the total valid votes.

Despite the accession of the BJP at the centre, he has maintained the dignity of the office and remained an unbiased head of state.

Political Affiliation – Indian National Congress

  1. Ram Nath Kovind 

NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind secured an overwhelming majority of votes (65.5%) to become the 14th President of India and the first RSS-BJP Dalit leader to hold the post. The 71-year-old former Governor of Bihar beat rival Meira Kumar at the presidential race in July 2017. He is the second overall Dalit leader after RK Narayan to hold the ceremonial post.

He practiced at the Delhi High Court till 1993.

Political Affiliation – Bharatiya Janata Party