Ram Nath Kovind (born 1 October 1945) is an Indian politician and the NDA candidate for President of India in the 2017 election.Kovind is a Dalit leader and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017.
Early life and education
Kovind was born on 1 October 1945 in Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh. His father was a farmer. He holds a Bachelors degree in commerce and a LLB from DAV College, (affiliated with Kanpur University).
After graduating in law from a Kanpur college, Kovind went to Delhi to prepare for the civil services examination. He passed this exam on his third attempt, but he did not join as he was selected for an allied service instead of IAS and thus started practicing the law. He was Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and served as a Central Government standing counsel in the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. In 1978, he became an advocate-on-record of the Supreme Court of India. He practiced in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about 16 years until 1993. He was also enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the bar council of Delhi. As an advocate he provided free legal aid to weaker sections of society, women and the poor under the Free Legal Aid Society in New Delhi. He also served as the personal assistant of Prime Minister of India Morarji Desai in 1977-1978.
He joined the BJP in 1991. He was President of the BJP Dalit Morcha between 1998 and 2002 and President of the All-India Koli Samaj. He also served as national spokesperson of the party. He donated his ancestral home in Derapur to the RSS. He contested fromGhatampur and Bhognipur (both in Uttar Pradesh) assembly constituencies on the BJP ticket but lost both elections.
He was elected and became a Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Uttar Pradesh in April 1994. He served a total of twelve years, two consecutive terms, until March 2006. As a member of parliament he served on the Parliamentary Committee for Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Home Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Social Justice and Empowerment, Law and Justice. He also served as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha House Committee. During his career as a parliamentarian, under M.P. L.A.D. Scheme, he focused on education in rural areas by helping in construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand. As a member of parliament, he visited Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom and the United States on study tours.
He has served on the Board of management of Dr. B.R Ambedkar University, Lucknow and as on the Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta. He has also represented India at the UN and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in October 2002
On 8 August 2015, the President of India appointed Kovind as Governor of Bihar. On 16 August 2015, the acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court, Iqbal Ahmad Ansari, administered the oath to Kovind as the 36th Governor of Bihar. The function took place at Raj Bhawan, Patna
As Governor, he was praised for constituting a judicial commission to investigate irregularities in promotion of undeserving teachers, mis-management of funds and appointment of undeserving candidates in universities.
After nomination for the post of President of India, he resigned from his post as Governor of Bihar, and President of India Pranab Mukherjee accepted his resignation on 20 June 2017.