Presidents of India

The President is the formal head of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Government of India, and is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. Barring a few exceptions, the powers of the President are, in practice, exercised by the Prime Minister of India. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was appointed the first President of India in 1950, and was consequently re-elected for a second term in 1957 — the only President ever to serve another term.

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1950 Dr. Rajendra PrasadDr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan26 January 1950 – 13 May 1962 1952 1957 1962 Dr. Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanDr. Zakir Hussain13 May 1962 – 13 May 1967 1965 1965 1967 Dr. Zakir HussainVarahagiri Venkata Giri13 May 1967 – 3 May 1969 1969 Varahagiri Venkata GiriGopal Swarup Pathak24 Aug 1969 – 24 Aug 1974 1974 Fakhruddin Ali AhmedBasappa Danappa Jatti24 Aug 1974 – 11 Feb 1977 1977 1980 1980 N. Sanjeeva ReddyMuhammad Hidayatullah25 Jul 1977 – 25 Jul 1982 1982 Giani Zail SinghRamaswamy Venkataraman25 Jul 1982 – 25 Jul 1987 1987 Ramaswamy VenkataramanShankar Dayal Sharma25 Jul 1987 – 25 Jul 1992 1992 1995 1995 Shankar Dayal SharmaK. R. Narayanan25 Jul 1992 – 25 Jul 1997 1997 K. R. NarayananKrishan Kant25 Jul 1997 – 25 Jul 2002 2002 A. P. J. Abdul KalamBhairon Singh Shekhawat25 Jul 2002 – 25 Jul 2007 2007 Pratibha PatilMohammad Hamid Ansari25 Jul 2007 – 25 Jul 2012 2010 2010 2012 Pranab MukherjeeMohammad Hamid Ansari25 Jul 2012 – Present
or 9 out of 13 Presidents have been affiliated with the Indian National Congress
or 3 out of 13 Presidents have had no affiliations with any political party
or just 1 out of 13 Presidents have been affiliated with a party other than the INC
For roughly one-thirteenth of the time since becoming a Republic, India has had a female President — Pratibha Patil.
President has served two consecutive terms (Dr. Rajendra Prasad)
Acting Presidents have held the office for brief periods (Varahagiri Venkata Giri, Mohammad Hidayatullah, Basappa Danappa Jatti)
President has served as Vice President and also as Acting President (Varahagiri Venkata Giri)

Some notes:

— In the timeline, years in bold correspond to the year in which Presidents were elected. The timeline starts the term of each President on the exact date they were sworn in.

— A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was the only President who had no affiliations with any political parties, and was completely uninvolved in politics before being elected President.

— N. Sanjeeva Reddy from the Janata Party is the only President who was affiliated with a political party other than the Indian National Congress at the time of election.

— The dotted line in the timeline represents the tenure of three Acting Presidents; two of whom were appointed upon a President's demise, and one upon the resignation of the Acting President.

— Vice President Varahagiri Venkata Giri served as the Acting President upon the demise of Dr. Zakir Hussain. He resigned to take part in the Presidential election, and was subsequently elected as President.

— Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the only Vice President to serve two terms. All other Vice Presidents were either elected President in the next term, or left the office.


Penguin India Factfile, 2nd Edition (2008). Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143102472.

Official government websites (on October 30, 2013):

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