List of Presidents of India
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List of Presidents of India

Emblem of India.svg

politics and government of

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.[1][2] 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.[3]

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.[2] 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.[2]

Representation of presidents by party of candidacy

  Independent (29.6%)
  Indian National Congress (41.2%)
  Bharatiya Janata Party (5.8%)
  Janata Party (5.8%)
  Acting (17.6%)

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.[4] 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.[5]Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India, is the only person to have held office for two terms.[6]

Presidents by state of birth
Presidents by state of birth[7]

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.[8] The 12th president, Pratibha Patil, is the first woman to hold the office, elected in 2007.[9]

On 25 July 2017, Ram Nath Kovind took office as the 14th president of India.[10][11]


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:

  Acting President of India (3)
  President was an Independent candidate (5)
  President was a candidate of Indian National Congress (INC) (7)
  President was a candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (1)
  President was a candidate of the Janata Party (JP) (1)
No. Name
Portrait Elected Vote share Took office Left office Term Previous post Vice president Party[12] Appointed by
(Chief Justice of India)
1 Rajendra Prasad
Dr. Rajendra Prasad 1950 Elected unanimously by the Constituent Assembly 26 January 1950 13 May 1952 12 years, 107 days President of the Constituent Assembly Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan   Indian National Congress Constituent Assembly of India Prasad, from Bihar, was the first president of independent India and also the longest-serving president, as the only president to serve two or more terms in office.[6][13][14] He was also a freedom fighter during the Indian independence movement.[15]
1952 83.8% 13 May 1952 13 May 1957 M. Patanjali Sastri
1957 98.9% 13 May 1957 13 May 1962 Sudhi Ranjan Das
2 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Photograph of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan presented to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962.jpg 1962 98.2% 13 May 1962 13 May 1967 5 years, 0 days Vice President Zakir Husain   Independent Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha Radhakrishnan was a prominent philosopher and writer and also held the position of vice-chancellor of the Andhra University and Banaras Hindu University.[16] He received the Bharat Ratna award in 1954 before becoming the President.[17] He was the first president from South India.[18]
3 Zakir HusainDied in office
Zakir Hussain
1967 56.2% 13 May 1967 3 May 1969 1 year, 355 days Vice President Varahagiri Venkata Giri   Independent Kailas Nath Wanchoo Husain was vice-chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University and a recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna.[19] He died in office, the first to do so. He was also the shortest-serving President. He was also the first Muslim President.[20]
- Varahagiri Venkata Giri*Did not complete assigned term
Varahgiri Venkata Giri - - 3 May 1969 20 July 1969 78 days Vice President -   - - He was elected Vice President of India in 1967. Following the death of President Zakir Husain, Giri was appointed as Acting President.[21] He resigned after a few months to take part in the presidential elections.[8]
- Mohammad Hidayatullah*
Justice M. Hidayatullah.jpg - - 20 July 1969 24 August 1969 35 days Chief Justice -   - - Hidayatullah served as the Chief Justice of India and was also a recipient of the Order of the British Empire.[22] He served as Acting President until the election of Giri as the President of India.[23]
4 Varahagiri Venkata Giri
Varahgiri Venkata Giri 1969 50.8% 24 August 1969 24 August 1974 5 years, 0 days Acting President Gopal Swarup Pathak   Independent Mohammad Hidayatullah 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 Labour and Employment Minister and High Commissioner to Ceylon (Sri Lanka).[24]
5 Fakhruddin Ali AhmedDied in office
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed 1977 stamp of India.jpg 1974 79.9% 24 August 1974 11 February 1977 2 years, 171 days Food and Agriculture Minister Gopal Swarup Pathak (1974)

Basappa Danappa Jatti (1974-1977)

  Indian National Congress A. N. Ray 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.[25] He was also president during Emergency.[26]
- Basappa Danappa Jatti*
B.Shyam Sunder with B.D.Jatti (cropped).jpg - - 11 February 1977 25 July 1977 164 days Vice President -   - - 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.[25][27]
6 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Neelam Sanjeevan Reddy 1977 elected unopposed 25 July 1977 25 July 1982 5 years, 0 days Speaker of the Lok Sabha Basappa Danappa Jatti (1977-1979)

Mohammad Hidayatullah (1979-1982)

  Janata Party Mirza Hameedullah Beg 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.[28] 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.[23]
7 Zail Singh
Giani Zail Singh 1995 stamp of India.jpg 1982 72.7% 25 July 1982 25 July 1987 5 years, 0 days Home Minister Mohammad Hidayatullah (1982-1984)

Ramaswamy Venkataraman (1984-1987)

  Indian National Congress Y. V. Chandrachud 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[29]
8 Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Ramaswamy Venkataraman 1987 72.2% 25 July 1987 25 July 1992 5 years, 0 days Vice President Shankar Dayal Sharma   Indian National Congress Raghunandan Swarup Pathak In 1942, Venkataraman was jailed by the British for his involvement in the Indian independence movement.[30] 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.[31]
9 Shankar Dayal Sharma
Shankar Dayal Sharma 1992 65.8% 25 July 1992 25 July 1997 5 years, 0 days Vice President Kocheril Raman Narayanan   Indian National Congress Madhukar Hiralal Kania 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.[32]
10 Kocheril Raman Narayanan
Kocheril Raman Narayanan 1997 92.8% 25 July 1997 25 July 2002 5 years, 0 days Vice President Krishan Kant   Independent J. S. Verma 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.[33] He was also the vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University.[34] He was the first Dalit President.[35]
11 Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam 2002 89.5% 25 July 2002 25 July 2007 5 years, 0 days Chief Scientific Advisor of Prime Minister Krishan Kant (2002)

Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (2002-2007)

  Independent Bhupinder Nath Kirpal Kalam was an educator and engineer who played a leading role in the development of India's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.[36] He also received the Bharat Ratna. He was popularly known as "People's President".[37][38][39]
12 Pratibha Patil
Pratibha Patil 2007 65.8% 25 July 2007 25 July 2012 5 years, 0 days Governor of Rajasthan Mohammad Hamid Ansari   Indian National Congress K. G. Balakrishnan Patil was the first woman to become the President of India. She was also the first female governor of Rajasthan.[40][41]
13 Pranab Mukherjee
Pranab Mukherjee 2012 69.3% 25 July 2012 25 July 2017 5 years, 0 days Finance Minister Mohammad Hamid Ansari   Indian National Congress S. H. Kapadia 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.[42]
14 Ram Nath Kovind
Ram Nath Kovind official portrait.jpg 2017 65.6% 25 July 2017 Incumbent
(Term ends on 25 July 2022)
2 years, 89 days Governor of Bihar Venkaiah Naidu   Bharatiya Janata Party Jagdish Singh Khehar 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.[43]
Other Symbols

Died in office-Died in office
Did not complete assigned term-Did not complete assigned term
*-Acting President

Ram Nath KovindPranab MukherjeePratibha PatilA. P. J. Abdul KalamKocheril Raman NarayananShankar Dayal SharmaRamaswamy VenkataramanZail SinghNeelam Sanjiva ReddyBasappa Danappa JattiFakhruddin Ali AhmedVarahagiri Venkata GiriMohammad HidayatullahVarahagiri Venkata GiriZakir Husain (politician)Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanRajendra Prasad

See also



  • "Former Presidents". President's Secretariat. Retrieved 2008.
  • "List of Presidents/Vice Presidents". Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 2008.


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External links

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