|Governor of Rajasthan|
12 May 2012
|Preceded by||Shivraj Patil|
14 April 1942 |
|Children||3 son(s) and 1 daughter|
|Alma mater||Mt. Carmel College and Government Law College, Bangalore|
Margaret Alva (born 14 April 1942), née Margaret Nazareth, is the Governor of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Prior to this appointment, she was Governor of Uttarakhand. Alva became Uttarakhand's first woman governor in July 2009. She took over from Punjab Governor Mr. Shivraj Patil, who was holding an additional charge of that State. She is a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and was Secretary General of the All India Congress Committee.
Margaret Alva was the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress, the oldest political party in India, and a close adviser to the president of the Indian National Congress, Sonia Gandhi. Alva was removed from her position in Congress Party following her allegations on the functioning of the Congress party pertaining to the Cash for votes scandal.
A former five-term member of the Indian parliament from 1974 to 2004, she has also been appointed as advisor to the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training, a body set up to improve the standards of legislative functions in the National Parliament and State Assemblies. She has spearheaded four major legislative amendments passed by the Indian parliament involving women's rights, marriage laws, equal remuneration and the reservation of quotas for women in local politics. Ms. Alva also helped draft the blueprint for policies ensuring the empowerment of women, which has been adopted by India's central and state governments. In 2003, she was honored by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa for playing an important role in garnering support for the people of South Africa during their struggle for freedom and against apartheid. Ms. Alva is a former Minister of Human Resource Development under the government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, which was responsible for harnessing and promoting the potential of India's massive population. A lawyer by profession, she was conferred an honorary doctorate in literature by the University of Mysore, Karnataka, India. She is the founder President of NGO 'Karuna'. Whilst serving in Uttarakhand, she was also instrumental in the promotion of an open women's prison in Haldwani.
Personal life 
Born to Pascal Ambrose Nazareth and Elizabeth Nazareth in Mangalore, Alva moved to Bangalore to pursue her studies. She graduated with a BA, B.L., Hon. Doctorate at Mount Carmel College Bangalore and University Law College, Bangalore (then known as Government Law College). She chose to start her professional career as an advocate. She married Niranjan Alva on 24 May 1964, with whom she has one daughter and three sons, including Niret Alva and Nikhil Alva who co-founded Miditech, a Rs 50-crore television software company, in 1992. Niranjan Alva is the son of freedom fighters and the first couple in the Indian Parliament, Joachim Alva and Violet Alva. She belongs to the Nazareth-Prabhu clan, a Mangalorean Catholic clan from Shirva in the Udupi district.
In November 2008, Alva charged that Congress seats for the elections were up for bidding as opposed to a meritocratic appointment to run for office. The party responded to the charge by denying such a claim, as well as dropping her as general secretary of the party, the Congress Working Committee and the party's Central Election Committee. She was also stripped of her charge of the Congress Party in Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Mizoram. Congress spokesperson, Shakeel Ahmad, added that "Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi has taken the decision on the report submitted by Mr AK Antony, chairperson of the Disciplinary Action Committee." This corroborated an outburst by the son of the congress chairperson, Rahul Gandhi, that "Democracy in political parties is non-existent in India. You cannot enter unless you are well connected." In response to the recent allegations, however, he said, "I had made some recommendations to include some younger boys. I am not unhappy with the distribution of tickets."
- "Margaret Alva sworn in as Rajasthan Governor". Bureaucracy Today (in English). May 14, 2012.
- "Alva given ceremonial send-off". Garhwal Post (in English). May 10, 2012.
- "Smt. Margaret Alva,: Bio-sketch". Parliament of India website.
- "Rajya Sabha Members Biographical Sketches 1952 – 2003 :A". Rajya Sabha website.
- "I will carry Uttarakhand in my heart forever: Margaret Alva". The Pioneer (in English). May 1, 2012.
- "Govt declares Barmer oil fields as prohibited area". The Times of India (in English). August 8, 2012.
- "Energy key to progress: Margaret Alva". The Times of India (in English). July 28, 2012.
- "Miditech moves on". Business Standard. 29 September 2004.
- A stamp in memory of Joachim and Violet Alva Rediff.com, 20 November 2008.
- Lobo 2000, p. 350
- "Cong cuts Alva down to size". The Statesman. The Statesman Ltd. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- "'No democracy in Indian parties'". The Statesman. The Statesman Ltd. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- Lobo, Michael (2000). Distinguished Mangalorean Catholics, 1800–2000: a historico-biographical survey of the Mangalorean Catholic community. Camelot Publishers. ISBN 978-81-87609-01-8.