Tag Archives: President of India

Dr Shanker Dayal Sharma: Son of the soil who was destined to be the President

Lalit Shastri

As President of India, Dr Shanker Dayal Sharma had visited Bhopal Central Jail where he was imprisoned during the merger Movement in 1949

Today the nation celebrates the Birth Centenary of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma¹, former President of India. He was a freedom fighter and had led the Merger Movement in the erstwhile princely State of Bhopal. It paved the way for the signing of the accession agreement and merger of the Bhopal State with the Union of India on 30 April 1949. After the merger, Dr Sharma had become the first Chief Minister of Bhopal State (1952-56). After reorganisation of States and formation of Madhya Pradesh, he was a State Cabinet Minister from 1956 to 1967 and held important portfolios, including those of Education, Law, Public Works, Industry and Commerce.

Those were the formative years, when Madhya Pradesh, was a backward State in comparison with states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka due to historical reasons. Dr. Sharma, a visionary leader, has the credit of bringing the Bharat Heavy Electricals plant, which was the biggest in the whole of Asia, to Bhopal. It was at his initiative that Bhopal also got the nationally recognised Maulana Azad College of Technology – now Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology. He was the guiding spirit behind the setting up of Industrial centres across Madhya Pradesh. With these leading initiatives, there was no stopping Madhya Pradesh from marching on the path of development.

Over a period of time, there has been no dearth of barriers that have retarded the pace of development. There has been rampant corruption and lack of accountability at all levels of successive governments. The nexus between politicians, bureacrats and crony capitalists has caused the biggest harm.

As President, Dr. Sharma had gone down memory lane when in 1997, he had visited the Bhopal Central Jail where he was imprisoned in 1949 during the merger Movement. During that visit, in a one-on-one conversation, he had expressed concern by pointing out that India had not been able to progress at the desired pace since Independence and emphasised that media has an important role to play to put India on the fast track of development. This was possible only if successive governments recognised the importance of equity to development, he had pointed out asserting that objective and uniform distribution of equity can lead to the welfare of all citizens.

Underscoring that there is a huge population in the country, which is both socially and economically deprived and there were gaping gaps in terms of the economic infrastructure, vast areas lacked even the basic facilities, Dr Sharma had asserted that the media has to play the watchdog’s role to ensure accountability and guarantee that the national agenda to serve the hopes and aspirations of the people always remains in sharp focus.

Presenting the first Rajendra Mathur Fellowship instituted by the Madhya Pradesh Government during his visit to Bhopal as president, Dr Sharma had drawn attention towards forces that were bent upon fanning communalism and casteism in the country. He had also talked of the outdated taboos and narrow divisive tendencies, besides the crises of illiteracy and rising population – as factors pulling back the country from attaining the desired level of progress.

Dr. Sharma had categorically chosen the occasion to tell those in the media to recognise their responsibility. According to him, journalists were supposed to underscore the negatives and also highlight all the positives being done for the upliftment of the people. This was essential to build a democratic and secular society wedded to values like sacrifice, brotherhood and service to humankind.

These parting words from the then President and the son of the soil to media-persons in Bhopal, his birth place, should be a reminder to all the journalists in India representing the “Fourth Estate”, whose credibility is presently under attack and the word going round is that any one who questions the system should be ready to face doom. The threatening clouds notwithstanding, Dr. Sharma’s eternal message should be the guiding spirit for every journalist.

¹ Dr Shanker Dayal Sharma was the ninth President of India, from 1992 to 1997. Prior to this, he was the Vice President of India between 1987 and 1992. He was also the Congress President between 1972 and 1974 and Union Minister for Communications between 1974 and 1977, when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister.

Dr Sharma was Governor of Maharashtra (1986-85), Governor of Punjab (1985-86) and Governor of Andhra Pradesh (1984-85).

Dr. Sharma will always be remembered as one of the most educated politicians in post Independence India. He started  his academic career as Professor of Law at Lucknow University. He had studied Law at the University of Cambridge and was called to the Bar from Lincoln’s Inn. Later, he also became a Fellow at Harvard Law School. The University of Cambridge had awarded him with degree of LL.D.(Honoris Causa).

National Technology Awards presented

Sunderarajan Padmanabhan

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday presented the national award for successful commercialization of indigenous technology to Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited and Ernakulam-based Agappe Diagnostic Limited.

Bharat Biotech has won the award for taking to the market a vaccine for rotavirus disease. The vaccine, Rotavac, is currently licensed in two countries, while grant of license is under process in 30 other countries. It has also been prequalified by World Health Organisation, making it eligible for procurement by UN and other humanitarian organisations for their public health vaccine programmes.

Agappe Diagnostics has won the award for commercializing an automated cartridge based specific protein analyser. The instrument has become highly popular as it is smaller and cheaper compared to similar machines available from multinational companies.

The President presented the awards to mark the 20th National Technology Day. He also gave away national awards to five medium and small scale enterprises for commercializing indigenously technologies. The winners are Synkromax Biotech, ANTS Ceramics, 3B Blackbio Biotech, Envision Scientific and Hind High Vacuum.

Synkromax got the award for marketing a lifesaving implant developed by IIT, Madras, while ANTS Ceramics got the award for commercializing high end zirconia ceramic products and carbon sulphur analysis crucibles and 3B Blackbio Biotech for working on a kit for diagnosis and prognosis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

Envision Scientific got the award for commercialising an indigenously developed drug eluting stent for diabetic patients and Hind High Vacuum got for commercializing thin film metallised alumina circuit for space applications.

Three start-ups got award for developing technologies that have commercial potentials – Astrome Technologies at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, for its work on GigaMesh, which is said to be the first point to multipoint millimeter wave wireless communication solution in the world; CyCa Onco Solutions at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, for developing two drug delivery devices for delivery of anti-cancer drug, Crisplatin; and Xcellence in Bio Innovation and Technologies at BITS Pilani Hyderabad campus, for developing a point of care device for testing antibiotic sensitive of pathogens causing urinary tract infections.

Speaking on the occasion, the President noted that the Technology Day was landmark day for the country as it was on this day two decades ago that the Pokhran nuclear tests took place and demonstrated India’s capacity as a nuclear weapons state as well as a mature and responsible technology power, capable of harnessing sensitive knowledge. He said technology was a destiny for the country as all national programmes required a force multiplier in the form of technology. But, at the same time, it must also be about equity. “Its (technology’s) fruits must be accessible to all. Finance and resources should be available to all technologists who may wish to turn entrepreneurs – and to migrate from the lab room to the shop floor.” Above all, the President said, gender equity must be integrated with technology
production and technology sharing. (India Science Wire)

Twitter handle: @ndpsr

The land of Lord Buddha should lead the world in its search for peace: President of India Ram Nath Kovind

Newsroom24x7 Network

India’s voice counts in today’s world. The entire planet is drawn to Indian culture and soft power. The global community looks to us for solutions to international problems – whether terrorism, money laundering or climate change. In a globalised world, our responsibilities are also global.

President Pranab Mukherjee, the President-elect Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President, M. Hamid Ansari, Speaker, Lok Sabha, Smt. Sumitra Mahajan and Chief Justice of India Justice J.S. Khehar in a ceremonial procession at Parliament House for swearing-in ceremony of the President of India, in New Delhi on July 25, 2017.

New Delhi: President of India Ram Nath Kovind, in his speech on assuming office as President of India, today said that the land of Lord Buddha should lead the world in its search for peace, tranquility and ecological balance.

The President recalled how he grew up in a small village in a mud house. His journey is not his alone, Kovind said adding his is the story of the whole country and its society. For all its problems, it follows that basic mantra given to us in the Preamble to the Constitution – of ensuring Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, he aid adding he would always continue to follow this basic mantra.

The President said that India’s voice counts in today’s world. The entire planet is drawn to Indian culture and soft power. The global community looks towards India for solutions to international problems – whether terrorism, money laundering or climate change. In a globalised world, our responsibilities are also global, he emphasised.

President Ram Nath Kovind’s address on his assumption of office as President of India


Respected Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji, Respected Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji,
Shri Hamid Ansari ji,
Shri Narendra Modi ji,
Shrimati Sumitra Mahajan ji,
Shri Justice J. S. Khehar ji,
Hon’ble Members of Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen, and
Fellow Citizens

I thank you for electing me to the responsibility of the President of India, and I enter this office with all humility. Coming here to Central Hall has brought back so many memories. I have been a Member of Parliament and here, in this very Central Hall, have had discussions with many of you. Often we agreed, sometimes we disagreed. But we learnt to respect each other. And that is the beauty of democracy.

I grew up in a mud house, in a small village. My journey has been a long one, and yet this journey is hardly mine alone. It is so telling of our nation and our society also. For all its problems, it follows that basic mantra given to us in the Preamble to the Constitution – of ensuring Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and I will always continue to follow this basic mantra.
I bow to the 125 crore citizens of this great nation and promise to stay true to the trust they have bestowed on me. I am conscious I am following in the footsteps of stalwarts such as Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, and my immediate predecessor, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, whom we address out of affection as ‘Pranab Da’.
Our Independence was the result of efforts by thousands of patriotic freedom fighters led by Mahatma Gandhi. Later, Sardar Patel integrated our nation. Principal architect of our Constitution Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar instilled in us the value of human dignity and of the republican ethic.
These leaders did not believe that simply political freedom was enough. For them, it was crucial to also achieve economic and social freedom for millions of our people.
We would be completing 70 years of our Independence soon. We are also well into the second decade of the 21st century, a century that so many of us intuitively believe will be an Indian century, guided and shaped by India and its accomplishments. We need to build an India that is an economic leader as well as a moral exemplar. For us, those two touchstones can never be separate. They are and must forever be linked.
The key to India’s success is its diversity. Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique. In this land we find a mix of states and regions, religions, languages, cultures, lifestyles and much more. We are so different and yet so similar and united.
The India of the 21st century will be one that is in conformity with our ancient values as well as compliant with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is no dichotomy there, no question of choice. We must combine tradition and technology, the wisdom of an age-old Bharat and the science of a contemporary India.
As the gram panchayat must determine our consultative and community based problem solving, the Digital Republic must help us leapfrog developmental milestones. These are the twin pillars of our national endeavour.
Nations are not built by governments alone. The government can at best be a facilitator, and a trigger for society’s innate entrepreneurial and creative instincts. Nation building requires national pride:
— We take pride in the soil and water of India;
— We take pride in the diversity, religious harmony and inclusive ethos of India;
— We take pride in the culture, heritage and spirituality of India;
— We take pride in our fellow citizens;
— We take pride in our work; and
— We take pride in the little things we do every day.
Each citizen of India is a nation builder. Each one of us is a custodian of India’s well-being and of the legacy that we will pass on to coming generations.
— The armed forces that protect our borders and keep us safe are nation builders.
— Those police and paramilitary forces that fight terrorism and crime are nation builders.
— That farmer toiling in the blazing sun to feed fellow citizens is a nation builder. And we must never forget that so much of our farm labour comprises women.
— That scientist concentrating tirelessly and 24 x 7 to send an Indian space mission to Mars, or invent a vaccine, is a nation builder.
— That nurse or doctor helping the sick to recover and fighting disease in a remote village, is a nation builder.
— That young person who founds a start-up and becomes a job creator is a nation builder. The start-up could be on a small farm, converting mangoes to pickles. Or in an artisans’ village, weaving carpets. Or at a laboratory lit up by giant screens.
— That tribal and ordinary citizen striving to preserve our ecology, our forests, our wildlife, to push back climate change and to advance the cause of renewable energy, is a nation builder.
— That committed and driven public servant who works beyond the call of duty, whether on a flooded road, directing traffic; or in a quiet room, poring over detailed files, is a nation builder.
— That self-less teacher who equips young children and shapes their destinies, is a nation builder.
— Those countless women who take care of families with so many other responsibilities, at home and work, and raise children to become ideal citizens, are nation builders.
People elect their representatives from the Gram Panchayat to Parliament. They vest their will and hopes in these representatives. In turn, the people’s representatives devote their lives to the service of nation.
But, our endeavours are not for ourselves alone. Down the ages, India has believed in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (वसुधैव कुटुंबकम) – the World is My Family. It is appropriate that the land of Lord Buddha should lead the world in its search for peace, tranquility and ecological balance.
India’s voice counts in today’s world. The entire planet is drawn to Indian culture and soft power. The global community looks to us for solutions to international problems – whether terrorism, money laundering or climate change. In a globalised world, our responsibilities are also global.
This links us to our global family, our friends and partners abroad, and our diaspora, that contributes in so many ways across the world. It brings us to the support of other nations, whether by extending the umbrella of the International Solar Alliance or being first responders following natural disasters.
We have achieved a lot as a nation, but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster should be relentless. This is especially so as we approach the 75th Year of our independence in 2022. What must also bother us is our ability to enhance access and opportunity for the last person and the last girl-child from an under-privileged family if I may put it so, in the last house in the last village. This must include a quick and affordable justice delivery system in all judicial forums.
The citizens of this country are the real source of strength to me. I am confident that they will continue to give me the energy to serve the nation.
We need to sculpt a robust, high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society, as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji. These are integral to our sense of humanism. This is the India of our dreams, an India that will provide equality of opportunities. This will be the India of the 21st century.


Thank you very much!
Jai Hind
Vande Mataram

Schedule announced for Election to the Office of President of India

Newsroom24x7 Staff

Pranab Mukherjee

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has fixed the schedule for the election to fill the office of the President of India under the provisions of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act, 1952,

The term of office of Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, is ending on 24 July, 2017. As per Article 62 of the Constitution, an election to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing President is required to be completed before the expiration of the term.

The law provides that the notification for election shall be issued on or after the sixtieth day before the expiry of term of office of the outgoing President.

The President is elected by the members of the Electoral College consisting of:

1. elected members of both Houses of Parliament, and

2. elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all States including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

(The nominated members of either Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha or Legislative Assemblies of the States are not eligible to be included in the Electoral College and therefore, they are not entitled to participate in the election. Similarly, members of the Legislative Councils are also not electors for the Presidential election).

Article 55 (3) of the Constitution provides that the election shall be held in accordance with the System of Proportional Representation by means of single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot. In this system, the elector has to mark preferences against the names of the candidates. Preference can be marked in the international form of Indian numerals, in Roman form, or in the form in any recognised Indian languages. Preference has to be marked in figures only. The elector can mark as many preference as the number of candidates. While the marking of the first preference is compulsory for the ballot paper to be valid, other preferences are optional.

5. For marking the vote, the Commission will supply particular pens. This pen will be given to the electors in the polling station by the designated official when the ballot paper is handed over. Electors have to mark the ballot only with this particular pen and not with any other pen. Voting by using any other pen may lead to invalidation of the vote at the time of counting, under Rule 31(1) (d) of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974, reproduced below:-

“ A ballot paper shall be invalid on which-
(d) any mark is made by which the elector may afterwards be identified”.

The Election Commission, in consultation with the Central Government, appoints the Secretary General of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, by rotation, as the Returning Officer. Accordingly, the Secretary General, Lok Sabha will be appointed as the Returning Officer for the present election. Poll for the election will be taken in the Parliament House and in the premises of the State Legislative Assemblies, including the Legislative Assemblies of NCT of Delhi and Puducherry. The Commission has also decided to appoint Assistant Returning Officers in all State Capitals, including NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry, for making arrangements for conducting the poll and for transportation of the ballot boxes and other important documents to and from the Election Commission. For meeting any eventuality in case the Assistant Returning Officer is not available for any reason, a second Assistant Returning Officer is also being appointed.

The nomination paper of a candidate must be delivered to the Returning Officer at New Delhi in the place to be specified by him by a public notice that will be issued by him (in Form-1 appended to the Presidential and Vice- Presidential Elections, Rules, 1974), and at no other place. Under the law, nomination (in prescribed Form 2) can be filed either by the candidate himself or by any of his Proposers or Seconders between 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Nomination cannot be filed on public holidays. A nomination paper of a candidate has to be subscribe d by at least fifty electors as Proposers and by at least another fifty electors as Seconders. An elector can subscribe to only one nomination paper of a candidate as either a Proposer or a Seconder. If an elector subscribes more than one nomination paper, his signature on the nomination papers other than the one first delivered to the Returning Officer, will be invalid. A candidate can file maximum of four nomination papers. The security deposit for the election is Rs. 15,000/- (Rupees fifteen thousand only), which is required to be made along with the nomination paper, or should be deposited in Reserve Bank of India or a Govt. Treasury under the relevant Head of Accounts for the purpose prior to filing of nomination.

The list of members of the Electoral College maintained by the Commission for the Presidential Election, 2017, would be available for sale @ Rs. 300/- per copy from the counter opened in the premises of Election Commission of India. A copy of the Electoral College is also being uploaded on the Commission’s website.

Each contesting candidate can authorize a representative to be present in each place of polling (polling stations) and at the place fixed for counting (counting hall). Authorization of representatives for this purpose shall be made by the candidate in writing.

Normally, members of Parliament are expected to cast their votes at the Place pf Poll in the Parliament House, New Delhi, and members of State Legislative Assemblies are expected to vote at the respective State Capital. However, on account of any exigency or special circumstances, the Members of Parliament can vote in any of the polling stations in the State capital/Delhi/Puducherry. Similarly, any MLA may vote at New Delhi instead of voting in the respective State Capital. For this purpose, the MPs/MLAs concerned have to apply in advance to the Election Commission in the prescribed format so as to reach the Election Commission at least 10 days before the date of poll. The format for making such application will be available with the Returning Officer and with the Assistant Returning Officers.

The Constitution has expressly provided that election to the office of President shall be by secret ballot. Therefore, the electors are expected to scrupulously maintain secrecy of vote. There is no concept of open voting at this election and showing the ballot to anyone under any circumstances in the case of Presidential and Vice Presidential elections is totally prohibited. Voting procedure laid down in the 1974 Rules provides that after marking the vote in the Voting Compartment, the elector is required to fold the ballot paper and insert it in the Ballot Box. Any violation of the voting procedure will entail cancellation of the ballot paper by the Presiding Officer. As already mentioned in paragraph 4, marking of vote can be done only with the particular pen supplied to the electors in the polling station.

In this connection, it is also clarified that political parties cannot issue any whip to their MPs and MLAs in the matter of voting in the Presidential election. It is also clarified that as per Section 18 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, the offence of ‘bribery’ or ‘undue influence’ as defined in Sections 171B and 171C of IPC, by the returned candidate or any person with the consent of the returned candidate are among the grounds on which the election can be declared void by the Hon’ble supreme Court in an Election Petition.

The Chief Electoral Officers of each State including NCT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry shall supervise and coordinate with the Assistant Returning Officers for the conduct of poll at the respective State Capitals and matters such as transport of the ballot boxes and other important documents from the Election Commission to the respective State Capitals and back to New Delhi after the poll.

Counting of votes will be held in New Delhi under the supervision of the Returning Officer. On completion of counting, Return of Election ( in Form 7 appended to the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974) will be signed and issued by the Returning Officer declaring the candidate who secures the quota elected. Formal announcement of election of the President will be made by the Commission.

The Commission appoints senior Officers of the Government of India as its Observers at the place(s) of polling to ensure proper conduct of poll.

The Commission has brought out a comprehensive booklet covering all aspects of election to the office of the President and copies of the publication can be obtained @ Rs. 25/- per copy from the Commission’s sale counter or from the offices of the Chief Electoral Officers in different States and Union Territories.