Watch: Interesting Facts You Should Know About India's Former Presidents

India will find out who between Meira Kumar and Ram Nath Kovind will become the 14th President of the country, when the election results are announced on 20th July.

Here are some interesting facts that you should know about the country's former presidents:

India's first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, took office in 1950, when the Republic was formed, and stayed in office the longest any President has, twelve years, over two terms. His successor, S. Radhakrishnan was one of the first to receive the Bharat Ratna, when the award was handed out for the first time in 1954. Radhakrishnan was also the first to lead the line of five Presidents to receive the Bharat Ratna up until now, and following him were Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1962), Dr. Zakir Hussain (1963), VV Giri (1975), and APJ Abdul Kalam (1997).

Among the elected Presidents, Dr. Zakir Hussain's time in office was the shortest, with his untimely death two years into his term. It was this unfortunate passing that caused VV Giri to become the country's first Acting President. But Giri wanted to become elected President, and so he resigned as Acting President, and Mohammed Hidayatullah replaced him for the brief period of his campaign. In the Presidential election of 1969, Giri defeated Neelam Sanjiva Reddy to become President. A few years later, Sanjiva Reddy did become President, and the first President to be elected unopposed! An incredible thing that Reddy did, was to announce in 1977 that he was renouncing residency at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and taking a 70% cut in his salary, as a gesture toward the poor economic conditions of the masses.

More recently, KR Naranayanan became the first Dalit President of India in 1997, APJ Abdul Kalam was the first scientist to become President in 2002, and after 57 years and 11 male Presidents, Pratibha Patil became the first woman to be President in 2007.


Updated Date: Jul 18, 2017 20:01 PM

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