SH. K.R. NARAYANAN
Sh. K.R. Narayanan is the tenth President of India. He was sworn in as President of India on 25th July 1997 after the retirement of Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma. Even before that he had been holding the office of Vice-President since 1992.
He was born in a small village at Uzhoor of Kottayam District of Kerala on October 27, 1920. He is a brilliant administrator and a great scholar.
Though he was brought up in poverty due to his hard labour he rose to the highest position of a President of the largest democracy in the world. He topped in the examination of Matriculation. In the same way, he passed M.A. in English literature from the University of Travancore, Kerala in 1943 and stood first class first.
After completing his education he searched for a job. The Diwan of Travancore offered him a clerical job but he refused. He came to Delhi and worked for some time in the ‘Commerce and Industry’, a weekly magazine. After some time he worked as a journalist in ‘The Hindu’ in Madras and ‘The Times of India’, Bombay during 1944-45. He became a London correspondent of ‘social Welfare’, a weekly published from Bombay and edited by Shri K.M. Munshi during 1945-48. It was due to journalism that he got the Tata Scholarship for higher studies in London School of Economics. After his return to India, he joined Indian Foreign Service in 1949 and served with the Indian Mission in Rangoon, Tokyo, London, Australia. He got married to Shrimati Usha Narayanan on June 8, 1951. He has two daughters.
He held many important positions in the Ministry of External Affairs. He was India’s ambassador to (i) Thailand during 1967-69 (ii) Turkey during 1973-75 (iii) the Peoples Republic of China (1976-78) and (iv) United States of America (1980-84).
He served as a Director in (i) East Asia Division (ii) External Publicity Division; Joint Secretary in Policy Planning Division; Additional Secretary in 1975-76; Secretary in 1976. From 1954 to 1955 he was on leave from the Indian Foreign Services and taught Economic Administration at Delhi School of Economics and headed the Orientation centre for Foreign Technicians.
His favourite hobbies are reading, writing poetry and literature, and walking. He is the author of many articles on Literature, Politics, and International Affairs. He wrote three books ‘Images and Insight’, ‘India and America’ and Non-alignment in Contemporary International Relations’ jointly with Prof. K.P. Mishra. He was awarded Honorary Doctorate by the University of Toledo in 1987 in the U.S.A.
He became Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in 1979-80. He won the election as a Congress candidate from Kerala State and joined the Lok Sabha as State Minister in the Ministry of Planning, Science and Technology and Foreign Affairs in 1984. He again won the election in 1991 but could not enter the Ministry. He was declared Vice-President on July 29, 1992, by the Ruling Party. He won the favour of opposition parties also and he was sworn in as Vice-President on August 21, 1992. After five years he rose to the highest position of President of India after the retirement of 9th President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma.
He is a man of versatile abilities. As a President, he is going to lead the country to the heights of glory and progress.