Remembering India's First President


Dr Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India, in office from 1950 to 1962. Prasad joined the Indian National Congress during the Indian Independence Movement and became a major leader from the region of Bihar. A supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, Prasad was imprisoned by British authorities during the Salt Satyagraha of 1931 and the Quit India movement of 1942. After the 1946 elections, Prasad served as Minister of Food and Agriculture in the central government. Upon independence in 1947, Prasad was elected as President of the Constituent Assembly of India, which prepared the Constitution of India and served as its provisional parliament. When India became a republic in 1950, Prasad was elected its first president by the Constituent Assembly. Following the general election of 1951, he was elected president by the electoral college of the first Parliament of India and its state legislatures. As president, Prasad established a tradition of non-partisanship and independence for the office-bearer, and retired from Congress party politics. Although a ceremonial head of state, Prasad encouraged the development of education in India and advised the Nehru government on several occasions. In 1957, Prasad was re-elected to the presidency, becoming the only president to serve two full terms. More Info

Government Declassifies 304 Files Related to Netaji Bose & Azad Hind Fauj

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on December 2, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel informed that the government has de-classified all records relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Azad Hind Fauj and placed them in the National Archives of India.

Crux of the Matter
  • Total of 304 records and files have been declassified and transferred to the National Archives of India by different ministries for permanent retention.
  • Out of 304 files, 303 files are already uploaded on the Netaji web portal.
  • 58 files from PMO, 37 from Home Ministry, 200 from External Affairs Ministry and 09 from Cabinet Secretariat have been declassified and brought into public domain.
  • The government had decided to declassify the file and make it accessible to the public in October 2015 when PM Modi met family members of Netaji Bose.
  • Earlier in 1997, the National Archives of India had received 990 declassified files related to the Azad Hind Fauj from the Ministry of Defence, 1030 files pertaining to the Khosla Commission in 2012. It has also received 759 files of the Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry from the Ministry of Home Affairs which are already open to the public.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy. Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939. However, he was ousted from Congress leadership positions in 1939 following differences with Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress high command. He is assumed to have died from third-degree burns received when his plane crashed in Taiwan. Some Indians, however, did not believe that the crash had occurred. More Info