President-elect Ram Nath Kovind on July 25, 2017 became the 14th President at a ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament. President Kovind was administered oath by Chief Justice of India J. S. Khehar. Mr. Kovind's swearing-in ceremony was attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers, Ambassadors and other diplomats, MPs and senior civil and military officers. President-elect Ram Nath Kovind began the day with a visit to Rajghat to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi before heading to Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was received by President Pranab Mukherjee. Earlier, Ram Nath Kovind, who was the former Governor of Bihar won the 2017 presidential election against opposition candidate Meira Kumar, the former Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Mr. Kovind got 65.65 per cent of the total votes which totalled 702,044 electoral college votes as against 367314 votes polled by Meira Kumar. He was NDA candidate.
The polling was marked by cross-voting in various States where many opposition
members favoured Mr. Kovind. The voting was held on July 17, 2017 and the
counting process was completed on July 20, 2017. Ram Nath Kovind received 65.65
per cent of the valid votes, against opposition candidate Meira Kumar who bagged
34.35 per cent of the total valid votes.
Mr. Kovind is the 2nd Dalit leader ever to be elected to the President's
post. Before entering politics, he was a lawyer for 16 years and practiced in
the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court until 1993.
Early Life, Education and Career
Kovind was born in Paraukh village in the Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar
Pradesh. His father Maikulal was a landless Kori (a Dalit
weaving community) who ran a small shop to support his family. He was the
youngest of five brothers and two sisters. He was born in a mud hut, which
eventually collapsed. He was only five when his mother died of burns when their
thatched dwelling caught fire. Kovind later donated the land to the community.
After his elementary school education, he had to walk each day to Kanpur
village, 8 km away, to attend junior school, as nobody in the village had a
bicycle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in commerce and a L.L.B. from DAV
College (affiliated to Kanpur University).
After graduating in law from a Kanpur college, Kovind went to Delhi to
prepare for the civil services examination. He passed this exam on his third
attempt, but he did not join as he was selected for an allied service instead of
IAS and thus started practicing law.
Kovind enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the bar council of Delhi. He was
Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979. Between
1977 and 1978, he also served as the personal assistant of Prime Minister of
India, Morarji Desai. In 1978, he became an advocate-on-record of the
Supreme Court of India and served as a Central Government standing counsel
in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India from 1980 to 1993. He practiced in the
Delhi High Court and Supreme Court until 1993. As an advocate he provided
free legal aid to weaker sections of society, women and the poor under the Free
Legal Aid Society in New Delhi.
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