List of heads of state of India

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This is a list of the heads of state of India, from the independence of India in 1947 to the present day.

From 1947 to 1950 the head of state under the Indian Independence Act 1947 was King of India, who was also the Monarch of the United Kingdom and of the other Dominions of the British Commonwealth. The monarch was represented in India by a Governor-General. India became a republic under the Constitution of 1950 and the Monarch and Governor-General were replaced by a ceremonial President.

Monarch (1947–1950)[edit]

The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

Portrait Reign Royal House Prime Minister
Reign start Reign end
1 King George VI
King George VI.jpg 15 August 1947 26 January 1950 Windsor Nehru


The Governor-General was the representative of the Monarch in India and exercised most of the powers of the Monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the Monarch. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Governor-General was appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of India without the involvement of the British government. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
Portrait Tenure Monarch Prime Minister
Took office Left office
1 The Rt. Hon. The Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Mountbatten.jpg 15 August 1947 21 June 1948 George VI Nehru
2 Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
C Rajagopalachari Feb 17 2011.JPG 21 June 1948 26 January 1950 George VI Nehru

President of India[edit]

Under the Constitution, of the Republic of India, the President replaced the Monarch as ceremonial head of state. The President was elected by the Electoral College for a five-year term. In the event of a vacancy the Vice-President served as Acting President.

  Denotes Vice-President acting as President
Portrait Tenure Elected Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Prime Minister(s)
Took office Left office
1 Rajendra Prasad
Food Minister Rajendra Prasad during a radio broadcast in Dec 1947 cropped.jpg 26 January 1950 13 May 1962 1952, 1957 Indian National Congress Nehru
2 Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Photograph of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan presented to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962.jpg 13 May 1962 13 May 1967 1962 Independent Nehru
3 Zakir Husain
No image.png 13 May 1967 3 May 1969
(died in office.)
1967 Independent Gandhi
V. V. Giri
No image.png 3 May 1969 20 July 1969 Independent Gandhi
Mohammad Hidayatullah
No image.png 20 July 1969 24 August 1969 [1] Gandhi
4 V. V. Giri
No image.png 24 August 1969 24 August 1974 1969 Independent Gandhi
5 Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, President of India (cropped).jpg 24 August 1974 11 February 1977
(died in office.)
1974 Indian National Congress Gandhi
B. D. Jatti
No image.png 11 February 1977 25 July 1977 Indian National Congress Gandhi
6 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
NeelamSanjeevaReddy.jpg 25 July 1977 25 July 1982 1977 Janata Party Desai
7 Giani Zail Singh
Giani Zail Singh (cropped).jpg 25 July 1982 25 July 1987 1982 Indian National Congress Gandhi
8 R. Venkataraman
R Venkataraman.jpg 25 July 1987 25 July 1992 1987 Indian National Congress Gandhi
9 Shankar Dayal Sharma
Shankar Dayal Sharma 36.jpg 25 July 1992 25 July 1997 1992 Indian National Congress Rao
Deve Gowda
10 K. R. Narayanan
K. R. Narayanan.jpg 25 July 1997 25 July 2002 1997 Indian National Congress Gujral
11 A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in 2008.jpg 25 July 2002 25 July 2007 2002 Independent Vajpayee
12 Pratibha Patil
PratibhaIndia.jpg 25 July 2007 25 July 2012 2007 Indian National Congress Singh
13 Pranab Mukherjee
Secretary Tim Geithner and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee 2010 crop.jpg 25 July 2012 2012 Indian National Congress Singh


Living former heads of state[edit]

There are one living former Indian Head of State:

Image Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
PratibhaIndia.jpg Pratibha Patil 2007–2012 President of India (1934-12-19) 19 December 1934 (age 81)

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Was Chief Justice of India