Biography of Pranab Mukherjee – The first Bengali person to be sworn in as the President of India.

Pranab Mukherjee was an Indian politician who served as the 13th president of India from 2012 to 2017. The 13th President of India Pranab Mukherjee worked with a warm attitude for the country through a six-decade long political career. Importantly, Mukherjee, who has played a special role in the Indian political arena for decades, did not get along with much controversy in his political career. Honesty was a strong part of his personality. In a political career spanning five decades, Mukherjee was a senior leader in the Indian National Congress and occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India.

Biography of Pranab Mukherjee

Biography of Pranab Mukherjee

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Table of Contents

NamePranab Mukherjee[1]
Date of Birth11 December 1935
Place of BirthMirati Village, Bengal Presidency (now Birbhum District West Bengal)
Father’s NameKamada Kinkar Mukherjee
Mother’s NameRajlakshmi Mukherjee
Education1/ Suri Vidyasagar College
2/ Calcutta University
Awards1/ Padma Vibhushan, 2008
2/ Bharat Ratna, 2019
3/ Bangladesh Liberation War Honour, 2013
4/ Ivory Co. Grand Cross of National Order, 2016
5/ The world’s best Health Minister as revealed in a1984 survey by Euromoney magazine.
Died August 31, 2020

Early and Personal Life of Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee was born on December 11,1935 into a Bengali Brahmin family in Mirati village under the Bengal Presidency of British India and Birbhum district of present-day West Bengal. Pranab Mukherjee’s father’s name is Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and mother’s name is Rajlakshmi Mukherjee. Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee, father of Pranab Mukherjee, who actively participated in India’s independence movement that started against British rule, served as a member of the West Bengal Legislative Council as a representative of the Indian National Congress from 1952 to 1964.

Pranab Mukherjee started his schooling at Suri Vidyasagar College in Suri which was then affiliated to the University of Calcutta, later he graduated from Calcutta University with a master’s degree in political science and history as well as an LLB degree from Calcutta University.

Pranab Mukherjee got married to Suvra Mukherjee on July 13,1957. It may be recalled that Pranab Mukherjee’s wife Suvra Mukherjee migrated to Kolkata from Nerail in Bangladesh at the age of 10. They have two sons and one daughter. Name of their childrens are : Indrajit Mukherjee, Abhijit Mukherjee and Sharmistha Mukherjee.

Also Read : Biography of Zakir Husain

Professional and Political Career of Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee started his professional career as an upper division clerk in the Office of the Deputy Accountant-General of Calcutta. He later joined Vidyanagar College, Kolkata affiliated to Calcutta University as a lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Political Science in 1963. It may be recalled that Mukherjee had also worked as a journalist in a paper called Desher Dak (Call of the Motherland).

Pranab Mukherjee entered the active political arena as a founding member of the Bengal Congress in1967. Mukherjee played an important role in building the United Front alliance against the Indian National Congress in the elections in 1967. However, the Bengal Congress later joined the Indian National Congress under the patronage of Indira Gandhi.

Importantly, Mukherjee entered parliamentary politics in 1969 with the advice of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Mukherjee was first elected as Rajya Sabha (upper house) MP in 1969. He was subsequently elected to the Rajya Sabha again in 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999. Indira Gandhi’s most trusted leader Pranab Mukherjee served as union minister for industrial development in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet in1973. Importantly, Mukherjee played an active role as a responsible minister in the cabinet during the controversial Internal Emergency of 1975-77.

Pranab Mukherjee served as deputy leader of Rajya Sabha of Indian National Congress in 1779. He subsequently led the Rajya Sabha House from 1980 to 1985. Importantly, he served as finance minister from 1982 to 1984. His term was noted for his work in improving the finance of the government. As a Finance Minister Mukherjee appointed Manmohan Singh as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Mukherjee took various steps to improve the Indian financial situation as finance minister. Importantly Indira Gandhi was able to repay the last key to India’s first IMF loan due to Pranab Mukherjee’s move. In 1979 Mukherjee became Deputy Leader of the INC in the Rajya Sabha, and in 1980, he was appointed Leader of the House. He was considered the top ranking Indian cabinet minister and he presided over cabinet meetings in the absence of the Prime minister.

But unfortunately Mukherjee was sidelined from the Indian National Congress after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Politically experienced Pranab Mukherjee was considered a potential successor to Indira Gandhi over Indira Gandhi’s son Rajiv Gandhi, it was Rajiv Gandhi who gained the control. It was for these reasons that Mukherjee lost his post in the cabinet. and was sent to manage the regional West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee. And Pranab Mukherjee was subsequently expelled from the Indian National Congress on various charges.

Later in 1986, Mukherjee formed a new party called the National Samajwadi Congress (RSC) in West Bengal. However three years after the formation of the RSC, the National Samajwadi Congress and the Indian National Congress came together under the patronage of Rajiv Gandhi.

Pranab Mukherjee took over as vice chairman of the Planning Commission of India after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Mukherjee later served as External Affairs Minister in Narasimha Rao’s cabinet from 1995 to 1996. It may be recalled that after Sonia Gandhi took over as Congress President, Pranab Mukherjee was appointed General Secretary of AICC in 1998-1999.

It may be recalled that from 2000 to 2010 Mukherjee served as the President of West Bengal Congress. He also held the charge of the Lower House i.e., Lok Sabha in 2004.

After Manmohan Singh took over as Prime Minister, Pranab Mukherjee held various important portfolios like defense, finance, foreign affairs etc. in Manmohan Singh’s cabinet. He also led the Congress Parliamentary Party and the Congress Legislative Party.

Pranab Mukherjee, who has played a key role in Indian politics for a long time, was sworn in as the President of India on July 25, 2012. Mukherjee’s presidency term ended on July 25, 2017. Importantly, he was the first Bengali person to be sworn in as the President of India.

Importantly, Mukherjee, who was endowed with various experiences in political and social life, wrote several books. His notable book are – Published in 1986 , Beyond Survival: Emerging Dimensions of Indian Economy, Published in 1987 , Off the Track: A Few Comments on Current Affairs, published in 1993 Challenges Before the Nation: Saga of Struggle and Sacrifice (Indian National Congress),  A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress  published in 2011, written in conjunction with Aditya Mukherjee, Another book published in 2011 is- Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation, published in 2014 Thoughts and Reflections, published in 2015 The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years, published in 2016 The Turbulent Years: 1980–1996, published in 2017 The Coalition Years: 1996–2012.

It may be recalled that Pranab Mukherjee was honoured with the second best civilian honour Padma Vibhushan in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to the social life of India and awarded India’s best civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 2019. Mukherjee also received many other honours. He received the title of  D.Litt  from Wolverhampton University in 2011, D.Litt from Assam University in 2012, Doctorate in Science  from  Visvesvaraya Technological University in 2012, D.Litt from Jadavpur University in 2017.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, on 10th August 2020, Mukherjee announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for Covid-19 prior to a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. He was admitted to the hospital after accidently slipping and falling in his bathroom and was in acritical condition undergoing treatment at an Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. On August 19 the R&R said that Mukherjee’s health condition had declined as he had developed a lung infection. Mukherjee died on August 31 2020, at the age of 84 due to septic shock since a day earlier, which was caught by his lung infection.


1/ Who is the first Bengali community person to be elected president?

Answer: Pranab Mukherjee

2/ When and where was Pranab Mukherjee born?

Answer: Pranav Mukherjee was born on December 11, 1935 in Mirati village under the Bengal Presidency of British India and Birbhum district of present-day West Bengal.

3/ What is the name of Pranab Mukherjee’s father and mother?

Answer: Pranab Mukherjee’s father’s name is Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and mother’s name is Rajlakshmi Mukherjee.

4/ When was Pranab Mukherjee sworn in as president?

Answer: Pranab Mukherjee was sworn in as the President of India on July 25, 2012 and served as President till July 25, 2017.

5/ When did Pranab Mukherjee died?

Answer: Pranab Mukherjee died on August 31, 2020 at the age of 84 while undergoing treatment at an Army Hospital in Delhi due to septic shock caused by a lung infection.

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