Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2012: President of India Pranab Mukherjee

Early Life: Pranab Kumar Mukherjee is the thirteenth and the first Bengali president of the Indian union. He was born in 11th December, 1935 in the Mirati village of Birbhum district of Bengal (now known as West Bengal). He is the son of Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Rajlakshmi Mukherjee and completed his Master of Arts in Political Science and History and a Law degree from the University of Calcutta.

Professional Career: Dr. Pranab Mukherjee started his professional career in the office of the Deputy Accountant General of Post and Telegraph division in Calcutta (now Kolkata) as an Upper-division Clerk. He also served the post of professor of Political Science at Vidyanagar College in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Then he worked with a daily called Desher Dak (Call of Motherland) as a journalist. Then it comes the era of his political career in 1969.

Political Career: He joined the Indian National Congress after his talent got recognized by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. After joining the political world under the banner of the Indian National Congress he got the ticket from Congress to be their representative at the Rajya Sabha-the Upper House of the Parliament. He has been re-elected on several occasions and first served the post of the Union Minister for Industrial development in the Indira Gandhi's Cabinet, in 1973.

It has been pointed out in 1979, by the Shah commission on account of misusing the Constitutional powers as an active member of the Cabinet even during the Emergency period. Though, it was found that this commission was working beyond its jurisdiction. Hence Dr. Mukherjee came out of the issue flamboyantly. He served the post of the Union Finance Minister 1982 − 1984. It was during his tenure as the finance minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Pranab Mukherjee made the most important landmark in the politics of India as being the Finance Minister under whom India was able to repay her first loan from the International Monetary Fund. Not only had he saved his own image in front of the citizens but also of the Government and thus saved the vote bank for that instant.

Throughout the six decades of his political career Dr. Pranab Mukherjee served many important Ministerial portfolios like the minister in charge for the following ministries of the Government of India.

  • Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission: 24th June, 1991 to 15th May, 1996.
  • Ministry of Defence (Defence Minister): 22nd May, 2004 to 26th October, 2006.
  • Ministry of External Affairs (Foreign Minister): 10th February 1995 to 16th May, 1996.
  • Ministry of Finance (Finance Minister): 15th January, 1982 to 31st December, 1984 and 24th January, 2009 to 26th June, 2012.
  • President of India: 25th July, 2012-till present.

Other Posts and Honours: He has also served other posts of administrative importance like the Chairman of Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, Rabindra Bharati University and the Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sanmelan. He has been awarded with Padma Vibhushan and the honorary degree of Doctors of Letters by the University of Wolverhampton in 2011 and D. Litt by the Assam University in March, 2012