The 71-year-old Ram Nath Kovind has become the first BJP member and only the second Dalit to be elected President. Here are ten things you should know about Kovind, who won the race to Raisina by defeating the Opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
1) The former governor of Bihar, Ram Nath Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 at Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh.
2) Kovind has a bachelors in commerce and has also studied law from Kanpur University in Uttar Pradesh. He was a Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government's Standing Counsel in the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He became Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978. Since his enrolment with the Bar Council of Delhi in 1971, he practiced in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about 16 years till 1993.
3) In April 1994, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh and served for two consecutive terms for 12 years till March, 2006.
4) He has served as a member on the several Parliamentary Committees, namely
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.
Parliamentary Committee on Law and Justice.
Chairman of Rajya Sabha House Committee.
5) Ram Nath Kovind served as Member of Board of the Management of Dr B R Ambedkar University, Lucknow. He also served as Member of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. He represented India in the United Nations and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in October 2002.
6) According to his profile on the Bihar Government website, Kovind, a Dalit himself, is said to have fought for the rights and cause of weaker sections of the society, especially Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, minorities, and women from his student days.
7) In 1997, during the first short-tenure of the NDA regime, Ram Nath Kovind joined a movement of SC/ST employees against the Centre in getting Government Orders that adversely affected the interests of these marginalised communities successfully reversed. The passage of three Amendments to the Constitution of India were declared null and void due to efforts of the movement in which he took part.
8) During Ram Nath Kovind's Parliamentary tenure of 12 years, he is reported to have emphasised on the development of basic infrastructure for education in rural areas by helping in the construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand under the MPLAD Scheme.
9) It is said that Kovind, as a lawyer, played a leading role in providing free legal aid to weaker sections of society, especially SC/ST women, needy and the poor under the aegis of “Free Legal Aid Society” in Delhi.
10) Married to Savita Kovind on 30th May, 1974, Ram Nath Kovind has a son Prashant Kumar, who is married, and a daughter, Swati.