Presidents of India from 1947-2020 with Tenure

The president of India is the head of the country. He/she serves as the commander of the Indian Armed Force. Each president has a 5-year tenure. He is elected by the electoral college of India. The president works by the advice of the Prime minister until it abides by the constitution. It is his duty to protect the law of the constitution under all circumstances. The law-making process in India requires the president’s approval at the final stage. All bills become an act after his approval. The executive power of the country lies with the president. The chief justice of India is appointed by the president to protect the judicial power of the country. India has seen fourteen presidents until now. They were all different in their own ways. Here’s the list of presidents of India.

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Presidents of India

Let us check the list of various Presidents of India from 1947:

1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Rajendra prasad was the first president of India and was born on 3 December 1884 in Bengal Presidency. He was a lawyer by profession who completed his education from Calcutta University in 1907. He started off as an English teacher but switched to law. Then He became a part of the Indian National Congress during the independence movement in 1911. He became an important leader from Bihar and was part of the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement. He became the Food and Agriculture Minister after the 1946 elections.

In 1947, he became the president of the Constituent Assembly. In 1950, the Electoral college chose him as the first president of India. He was in the office between 1950 and 1962, which is for two terms and supported the idea of education for the development of the country. He received the Bharat Ratna award as well and died on 28 February 1963 in Patna.

2. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

He was the second president of India. Before this, he served as the vice president of India. He was born on 5 September 1888 in Madras Presidency and completed his education from Madras Christian College. Also He was a philosopher and academician and taught philosophy at many colleges including Mysore University, Oxford University, and more. He was India’s representative at UNESCO and the Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union in the late 1940s. He became part of the constituent assembly during the time.

In 1952, he became the vice president of India. He served as the president from 1962 to 1967. He was not part of any political party. Teachers’ Day is celebrated on his birthday every year to honor him. He also received Bharat Ratna in 1954 and Templeton Prize in 1975. He died on 17 April 1975 in Madras.

3. Dr. Zakir Hussain

He was an Indian economist and politician and served as the third president of India from 1967 to 1969. He was born on 8 February 1897 in Hyderabad State and completed his Economics Ph.D. from the Frederick William University of Berlin. Also He is the co-founder of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi. He became its Vice-Chancellor in 1928 and received the Bharat Ratna Award in 1963. He became the Governor of Bihar in 1957 and served till 1962. Then he served as the Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967. He was the first muslim president of India. The last issue he discussed was Bank Nationalisation. He died on 3 May 1969.

4. Varahagiri Venkata Giri

He was the fourth president of India from 1969 to 1974 and was born on 10 August 1894 in Madra Presidency. He completed education from Khallikote College and then from University College Dublin. Also He was a law student and on his return to India, he enrolled in Madras High Court in 1916. He became part of the congress party and the Home Rule Movement. In 1920, he left his law practice to support the non-cooperation movement by Gandhiji.

In 1926, he became the president of the All India Trade Union. He was one of the founders of the Indian Trade Union Federation, 1929. He was the workers’ delegate from India at the International Labour Organisations. Because of his support for the labor class, he became the Minister of Labour in 1952. He was the governor of Uttar Pradesh (1957–1960), Kerala (1960–1965), and Karnataka (1965–1967). He became the vice president of India in 1967 and served till 1969.

Following the death of Dr. Zakir Hussain, he was the acting president for a year. In August 1969 he became the fourth president of India. He was very close to Indira Gandhi and was one of her advisors. In order to maintain international relations, he traveled to around 22 countries. He received the Bharat Ratna Award in 1975. He died because of a heart attack in 1980.

5. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

He was the fifth President of India from 1974 to 1977 and was born on 13 May 1905 in Old Delhi. He completed his education from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and then St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Also He was a lawyer by profession and practiced at Lahore High Court (1928). In the mid-1920s, he joined the Indian National Congress and became an active part of the National Freedom Movement.

He became the Minister of Finance, Revenue, and Labor of Assam in 1948. In 1967, he became a part of the Lok sabha. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi chose him for the presidency in 1974. He signed the proclamation for enforcing emergency in the country and died in February 1977.

6. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

He was the sixth President of India (1977 – 1982) and was born on 19 May 1913 in Madras presidency. He completed his education from Madras University. In 1931, he left college and took part in student satyagraha. Also He was the Minister for Prohibition, Housing and Forests of Madras state from 1949 to 1951. He served as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1956 to 1964 (two terms). He mainly worked on the improvement of the agricultural sector and rural development.

From 1960-1962, he was the president of the Indian National Congress. He was Union Minister of Steel and Mines (1964) and Union Minister of Transport, Civil Aviation, Shipping and Tourism (1966). He became the speaker of Lok Sabha in 1967 and resigned from the congress party shortly after this. Due to political setbacks, he left politics and started farming in his hometown. In 1977, he joined the Janata Party and became the sixth president of India in the same year.

He worked with three prime Ministers of India – Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and Indira Gandhi. In 1982, he signed the ordinance to keep people imprisoned for a year under preventive detention. And he ordered Presidential rule in nine states ( opposition-ruled) as advised by the government. He died in 1996 in Bangalore.

7. Giani Zail Singh

He was the seventh president of India (1982 – 1987) and was born on 5 May 1916 in Faridkot District. He completed his education from Shaheed Sikh Missionary College, Amritsar. In 1949, he became the revenue minister under Chief Minister Gian Singh Rarewala (INC) and Minister of Agriculture in 1951. He served as a member of Rajya sabha from 1956 to 1962.

In 1972, he was elected as the 9th chief minister of Punjab. Indira Gandhi appointed him as Minister of Home Affairs in 1980. In 1982, he became the first Sikh president of India. Operation blue star took place during his regime. He died on 25 December 1994 in a car accident.

8. Ramaswamy Venkataraman

He was the eighth president of India from 1987 to 1992 and was born on 4 December 1910 in Tamil Nadu. He completed his education from The Law College, Madras and worked as a lawyer in Madras High Court and then in the Supreme Court. Also, He actively participated in the Quit India Movement and was part of the Constitution Drafting committee as well.

Ramaswamy became part of India’s Provisional Parliament in 1950 and then of first Parliament in 1952. He dealt with issues like Industries, Labour, Cooperation, Power, Transport and Commercial Taxes of Madras from 1957 – 1967. He was a member of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Asian Development Bank. Also He served as the member and then president of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal from 1968 – 1979.

In 1980, Indira Gandhi’s government made him the Union Minister of Finance and the Minister of Defense. Ramaswamy is known for his contribution to India’s Missile Programme. He served as the vice president of India from 1984 to 1987 and then was elected as the seventh president of India. He worked with four prime ministers – Rajiv Gandhi, V. P. Singh, Chandra Shekhar, and P. V. Narasimha Rao and died on 27 January 2009 in Delhi.

9. Shankar Dayal Sharma

He was the ninth president of India from 1992 to 1997 who was born on 19 August 1918 in Bhopal. He completed his education from Agra University and attended various institutes for further studies including the University of Lucknow, University of Cambridge (Ph.D.), Lincoln’s Inn, and Harvard University. In the 1940s, he became a part of the Indian National Congress and participated in Indian freedom movements.

Shankar Dayal Sharma became the chief minister of Bhopal in 1952. He served until the establishment of Madhya Pradesh (1956) and became the president of the All India Congress Committee in 1972. Minister for Communications was under him from 1974 to 77. He served as the governor of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharastra. In 1987, he became the vice president of India and chairman of Rajya Sabha. In 1992, he became the ninth president of India. He died on 26 December 1999 in Delhi.

10. Kocheril Raman Narayanan

He was the tenth President of India from 1997 to 2002 who was born on 4 February 1921 in Kerala. He completed his education from the University of Kerala (BA, MA) and then from the London School of Economics (BSc). In 1949, he became a member of the Indian Foreign Service and was a diplomat at Rangoon, Tokyo, London, Canberra, and Hanoi embassies.

He was also the Indian Ambassador to the USA and China and joined the Indian National Congress in 1984. He was the representative of the Ottapalam constituency at Lok sabha from 1984 – 1991 and was the minister of state and handled departments of Planning (1985), External Affairs (1985–86), and Science and Technology (1986–89). In 1992, he became the vice president of India. In 1997, he became the president of India with 95% of votes. He was the first Dalit President of India. He died on 9 November 2005 in Delhi.

11. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

He was the eleventh president of India from 2002 to 2007. He was born on 15 October 1931 in Tamil Nadu and completed his education from St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, and then from Madras Institute of Technology. In 1960, he joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a scientist (Aeronautical Development Establishment ). In 1969, he joined the Indian Space Research Organization.

He was the project manager of the first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III), Project Devil, and Project Valiant. He was an active member of Pokhran II and was known as the best nuclear scientist in India. In 2002, he became the eleventh president of India. NDA, NCP, and Samajwadi Party were in his support. He received 24 awards for his contribution to science including Bharat Ratna. He died on 27 July 2015 in Shillong.

12. Pratibha Patil

Pratibha Patil was the twelfth president of India from 2007 to 2012. She was born on 19 December 1934 in Maharashtra and completed her education from Government Law College, Bombay. She joined Jalgaon Law court and worked on improving the women’s condition of the district. In 1962, she became a part of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the Jalgaon constituency.

Pratibha Patil was a member of parliament from 1985 to 1990. In 1991, she became the representative of Amravati Constituency in the parliament. She served as the governor of Rajasthan from 2004 to 2007. UPA chose Pratibha Patil for the president’s post and she won the elections in 2007. She was the first woman president of India and also got involved in controversies like misuse of government funds and commuted death sentences. Her term ended in 2007.

13. Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee was the thirteenth president of India from 2012 to 2017. He was born on 11 December 1935 in Bengal Presidency and completed his education from the University of Calcutta (B.A., M.A., LL.B.). He was a lecturer before joining politics. In 1969, he joined the Indian National Congress. The same year he became a part of Rajya Sabha (till1999). He became the Union Deputy Minister of Industrial Development under Indira Gandhi’s cabinet in 1973 and was of the internal emergency too. He was the Finance Minister from 1982 to 1984.

Pranab Mukherjee is the founder of the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress. Following the death of Rajiv Gandhi, he took the position of deputy chairman of the Indian planning commission. In 1995, he became the Minister of External Affairs and took this position again in 2006. He became the leader of Lok sabha in 2004 (till 2012). In 2012, he became the president of India. Criminal Law Ordinance, 2013 was enforced by him. His term ended in 2017.

14. Shri Ram Nath Kovind

Shri Ram Nath Kovind is the fourteenth and the current president of India. He was born on 1 October 1945 in Uttar Pradesh and completed his law education from Kanpur university. In 1977, he became the Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court. He was also a personal assistant to Moraji Desai and joined BJP in 1991 and became president of BJP Dalit Morcha.

He became a member of Rajya Sabha from UP in 1994 (till 2006) and worked on issues like Welfare of SC/ST, Home Affairs, Petroleum and Gas, Justice and Empowerment, and Law. In 2015, he became the governor of Bihar. In 2017 he became the fourteenth President of India. His term will end in 2022.


President is an important part of the Indian Executive which is important for the IAS Exam and all its stages. This article will cover all 14 presidents of India – their tenure, education, political career, and their achievements. From 1947 to 2020, everything you need to know about the president is covered above. This topic is important for competitive exams like UPSC, RRB, SSC, etc. If you are an aspirant then this article is for you. Read it carefully for the exams and to know the country better.

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