The new Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces

Issue: 3 / 2017
The new President of India, Ram Nath Kovind

A lawyer, veteran political representative and long-time advocate of egalitarianism and integrity in Indian public life and society, Ram Nath Kovind was born on October 1, 1945, in Paraunkh, near Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. His parents were Maiku Lal and Kalawati.

Before assuming charge of the office of the 14th President of India on July 25, 2017, Kovind served as the 36th Governor of the state of Bihar from August 16, 2015, to June 20, 2017.

Educational and Professional Background

Kovind completed his school education in Kanpur and obtained the degrees of B.Com and L.L.B. from Kanpur University. In 1971, he enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Delhi.

Kovind was Union Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Union Government Standing Counsel in the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He became Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978. He practised at the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for 16 years till 1993.

Parliamentary and Public Life

Kovind was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in April 1994. He served for two consecutive terms of six years each till March 2006. Kovind served on various Parliamentary Committees like Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes; Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs; Parliamentary Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas; Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment; and Parliamentary Committee on Law and Justice. He was Chairman of the Rajya Sabha House Committee.

Kovind also served as Member of the Board of Management of the Dr B.R. Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and Member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. He was part of the Indian delegation at the United Nations and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in October 2002.

Positions Held

  • 2015-17: Governor of Bihar
  • 1994-2006: Member of the Rajya Sabha, representing the state of Uttar Pradesh
  • 1971-75 and 1981: General Secretary, Akhil Bharatiya Koli Samaj
  • 1977-79: Union Government Advocate at the Delhi High Court
  • 1982-84: Union Government Junior Counsel in the Supreme Court

Personal Details

Kovind married Savita Kovind on May 30, 1974. They have a son, Prashant Kumar, and a daughter, Swati. An avid reader, the President has keen interest in reading books on politics and social change, law and history, and religion. During his long public career, Kovind has travelled widely across the country. He has also visited Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom and the United States in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.