List of Presidents of India
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The President of India is the head of state of India and the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. The President is referred to as the first citizen of India. Although vested with these powers by the Constitution of India, the position is largely a ceremonial one and executive powers are de facto exercised by the Prime Minister.
The President is elected by the Electoral College composed of elected members of the parliament houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, and also members of the Vidhan Sabha, the state legislative assemblies. Presidents may remain in office for a tenure of five years, as stated by article 56, part V, of the Constitution of India. In the case where a President's term of office is terminated early or during the absence of the President, the Vice President assumes office. By article 70 of part V, the parliament may decide how to discharge the functions of the President where this is not possible, or in any other unexpected contingency.
There have been 14 Presidents of India since the post was established when India was declared as a republic with the adoption of the Indian constitution in 1950. Apart from these fourteen, three Acting Presidents have also been in office for short periods of time. Varahagiri Venkata Giri became the Acting President in 1969 after Zakir Husain, died in office. Giri was elected President a few months later. He remains the only person to have held office both as a President and Acting President. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, is the only person to have held office for two terms.
Seven Presidents have been members of a political party before being elected. Six of these were active party members of the Indian National Congress. The Janata Party has had one member, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who later became President. Two Presidents, Zakir Husain and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, have died in office. Their Vice-Presidents served as Acting Presidents until a new President was elected. Following Zakir Husain's death, two acting Presidents held office until the new President, V. V. Giri, was elected. When Giri resigned to take part in the presidential elections, he was succeeded by Mohammad Hidayatullah as acting President. The 12th President, Pratibha Patil, is the first woman to serve as President of India, elected in 2007.
This list is numbered based on Presidents elected after winning an Indian Presidential election. The terms of Varahagiri Venkata Giri, Mohammad Hidayatullah, and Basappa Danappa Jatti, who served as Acting President, are therefore not numbered or counted as actual terms in office. The President of India does not represent any political party. The colours used in the table indicate the following:
|Photograph||Elected||Took office||Left office||Term
|Vice President||Candidate of||Notes|
|26 January 1950||12 May 1962||120||Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan||Indian National Congress||Prasad, from Bihar, was the first President of independent India and also the longest-serving President, as the only president to serve two terms in office. He was also a freedom fighter during the Indian independence movement.|
|1962||13 May 1962||13 May 1967||60||Zakir Husain||Independent||Radhakrishnan was a prominent philosopher and writer and also held the position of vice-chancellor of the Andhra University and Banaras Hindu University. He received the Bharat Ratna award in 1954 before becoming the President. He was the first President from South India.|
|1967||13 May 1967||3 May 1969||24||Varahagiri Venkata Giri||Independent||Husain was vice-chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University and a recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna. He died in office, the first to do so. He was also the shortest-serving President. He was also the first Muslim President.|
|–||Varahagiri Venkata Giri*
|–||3 May 1969||20 July 1969||3||–||–||He was elected Vice President of India in 1967. Following the death of President Zakir Husain, Giri was appointed as Acting President. He resigned after a few months to take part in the presidential elections.|
|–||20 July 1969||24 August 1969||1||–||–||Hidayatullah served as the Chief Justice of India and was also a recipient of the Order of the British Empire. He served as Acting President until the election of Giri as the President of India.|
|4||Varahagiri Venkata Giri
|1969||24 August 1969||24 August 1974||60||Gopal Swarup Pathak||Independent||Giri was the first person to have served as both an acting president and president of India. He was a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, and served as Indian Minister of Labour and High Commissioner to Ceylon (Sri Lanka).|
|5||Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
|1974||24 August 1974||11 February 1977||36||Gopal Swarup Pathak (1974)
Basappa Danappa Jatti (1974–1977)
|Indian National Congress||Ahmed served as a Minister before being elected as president. He died in 1977 before his term of office ended, and was the second Indian president to die in office. He was also president during Emergency.|
|–||Basappa Danappa Jatti*
|–||11 February 1977||25 July 1977||6||–||–||Jatti was the vice president of India during Ahmed's term of office, and was sworn in as Acting President upon Ahmed's death. He earlier served as the Chief Minister for the State of Mysore State.|
|6||Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
|1977||25 July 1977||25 July 1982||60||Basappa Danappa Jatti (1977–1979)
Mohammad Hidayatullah (1979–1982)
|Janata Party||Reddy was the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Reddy was the only Member of Parliament from the Janata Party to get elected from Andhra Pradesh. He was unanimously elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha on 26 March 1977 and relinquished this office on 13 July 1977 to become the 6th President of India.|
|1982||25 July 1982||25 July 1987||60||Mohammad Hidayatullah (1982–1984)
Ramaswamy Venkataraman (1984–1987)
|Indian National Congress||In March 1972, Singh assumed the position of Chief Minister of Punjab, and in 1980, he became Union Home Minister. He was also secretary general to Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) from 1983 to 1986|
|1987||25 July 1987||25 July 1992||60||Shankar Dayal Sharma||Indian National Congress||In 1942, Venkataraman was jailed by the British for his involvement in the Indian independence movement. After his release, he was elected to independent India’s Provisional Parliament as a member of the Congress Party in 1950 and eventually joined the central government, where he first served as Minister of Finance and Industry and later as Minister of Defence.|
|9||Shankar Dayal Sharma
|1992||25 July 1992||25 July 1997||60||Kocheril Raman Narayanan||Indian National Congress||Sharma was Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, and the Indian Minister for Communications. He also served as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra.|
|10||Kocheril Raman Narayanan
|1997||25 July 1997||25 July 2002||60||Krishan Kant||Independent||Narayanan served as India's ambassador to Thailand, Turkey, China and United States of America. He received doctorates in Science and Law and was also a chancellor in several universities. He was also the vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University. He was the first Dalit President.|
|11||Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
|2002||25 July 2002||25 July 2007||60||Krishan Kant (2002)
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (2002–2007)
|Independent||Kalam was an educator and engineer who played a leading role in the development of India's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. He also received the Bharat Ratna. He was popularly known as "People's President".|
|2007||25 July 2007||25 July 2012||60||Mohammad Hamid Ansari||Indian National Congress||Patil was the first woman to become the President of India. She was also the first female governor of Rajasthan.|
|2012||25 July 2012||25 July 2017||60||Mohammad Hamid Ansari||Indian National Congress||Mukherjee held various posts in the cabinet ministry for the Government of India such as Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.|
|14||Ram Nath Kovind
|2017||25 July 2017||Incumbent||
|Venkaiah Naidu||Bharatiya Janata Party||Kovind was governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017 and a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2006. He is the second Dalit president (after K. R. Narayanan) and is the first President from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since his youth.|
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