The president of India is the head of state of the Republic of India and the Supreme Commander 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 Saasana Sabha or 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.

There have been 15 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 fifteen, 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. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India, is the only person to have held office for two terms.[5]

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, Varahagiri Venkata Giri, was elected. When Giri resigned to take part in the presidential elections, he was succeeded by M. Hidayatullah as acting president.[6] The 12th president, Pratibha Devisingh Patil, is the first woman to hold the office, elected in 2007.

On 25 July 2022, Droupadi Murmu took office as the 15th president of India, becoming the second woman and the first tribal person to hold the office.[7]


This list is numbered based on presidents elected after winning an Indian presidential election. The terms of Varahagiri Venkata Giri, M. Hidayatullah and B. D. 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 colors used in the table indicate the following:

No. Portrait Name


Home state Former Office(s) Term of office Election Election Map Vice President Political party
Assumed office Left office Time in office
Interim Rajendra Prasad
Bihar Minister of Agriculture 26 January 1950 13 May 1952 12 years, 107 days 1950 Indian National Congress
1 13 May 1952 13 May 1957 1952 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
13 May 1957 13 May 1962 1957
2 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Tamil Nadu Vice President of India 13 May 1962 13 May 1967 5 years 1962 Zakir Husain Independent
3 Zakir Husain
Andhra Pradesh Vice President of India

Governor of Bihar

13 May 1967 3 May 1969[†] 1 year, 355 days 1967 Varahagiri Venkata Giri
Acting Varahagiri Venkata Giri
Odisha Vice President of India 3 May 1969 20 July 1969 78 days
Acting M. Hidayatullah
Chhattisgarh Chief Justice of India 20 July 1969 24 August 1969 35 days
4 Varahagiri Venkata Giri
Odisha Vice President of India

Governor of Kerala

24 August 1969 24 August 1974 5 years 1969 Gopal Swarup Pathak
5 Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
National Capital Territory of Delhi Minister of Agriculture 24 August 1974 11 February 1977[†] 2 years, 171 days 1974 Gopal Swarup Pathak

B. D. Jatti

Indian National Congress
Acting B.D. Jatti
Karnataka Chief Minister of Karnataka 11 February 1977 25 July 1977 164 days
6 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh 25 July 1977 25 July 1982 5 years 1977 B. D. Jatti

M. Hidayatullah

Janata Party
7 Giani Zail Singh
Punjab Chief Minister of Punjab 25 July 1982 25 July 1987 5 years 1982 M. Hidayatullah

R. Venkataraman

Indian National Congress
8 R. Venkataraman
Tamil Nadu Vice President of India

Minister of Defence

25 July 1987 25 July 1992 5 years 1987 Shankar Dayal Sharma
9 Shankar Dayal Sharma
Madhya Pradesh Vice President of India

Governor of Maharashtra

25 July 1992 25 July 1997 5 years 1992 K. R. Narayanan
10 K. R. Narayanan
Kerala Vice President of India 25 July 1997 25 July 2002 5 years 1997 Krishan Kant
11 A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Tamil Nadu Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of India 25 July 2002 25 July 2007 5 years 2002 Krishan Kant

Bhairon Singh Shekhawat

12 Pratibha Devisingh Patil
Maharashtra Governor of Rajasthan 25 July 2007 25 July 2012 5 years 2007 M. Hamid Ansari Indian National Congress
13 Pranab Mukherjee
West Bengal Minister of Defence

Minister of Finance

Minister of External Affairs

25 July 2012 25 July 2017 5 years 2012
14 Ram Nath Kovind
Uttar Pradesh Governor of Bihar 25 July 2017 25 July 2022 5 years 2017 M. Hamid Ansari

M. Venkaiah Naidu

Bharatiya Janata Party
15 Droupadi Murmu
Odisha Governor of Jharkhand 25 July 2022 Incumbent 1 year, 303 days 2022 M. Venkaiah Naidu

Jagdeep Dhankhar


Representation of presidents by party of candidacy

  Indian National Congress (53.33%)
  Independent (26.67%)
  Bharatiya Janata Party (13.33%)
  Janata Party (6.67%)
Droupadi MurmuRam Nath KovindPranab MukherjeePratibha Devisingh PatilA. P. J. Abdul KalamK. R. NarayananShankar Dayal SharmaR. VenkataramanZail SinghNeelam Sanjiva ReddyB. D. JattiFakhruddin Ali AhmedVarahagiri Venkata GiriM. HidayatullahVarahagiri Venkata GiriZakir Husain (politician)Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanRajendra Prasad

See also


  1. ^ "President Ram Nath Kovind is Indias first citizen. Your chances begin only at Number 27". Times of India. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b "The Constitution of India". Ministry of Law and Justice of India. Archived from the original (.doc) on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  3. ^ "India gets first woman president since independence". BBC News. 25 July 2007. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
  4. ^ "1950: India becomes a republic". BBC News. 26 January 1950. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  5. ^ Harish Khare (6 December 2006). "Selecting the next Rashtrapati". The Hindu. India. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
  6. ^ Shekhar Iyer (25 June 2007). "Shekhawat will not resign to contest poll". Hindustan Times. India. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Droupadi Murmu oath taking ceremony LIVE updates: Droupadi Murmu takes oath as India's 15th President". The Times of India. 25 July 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022.