Mr. R. Venkataraman

  • 1985
  • Chief Guest

(December 4, 1910 – January 27, 2009)

R. Venkataraman was the eighth President of India. Born in the village of Rajamadam, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu. Obtained his Master's Degree in Economics from Madras University. Qualified in Law from the Law College, Madras.

Actively participated in the 'Quit India' movement of 1942. Suffered imprisonment. In 1949, founded the Labour Law Journal which publishes important decisions pertaining to labour and is an acknowledged specialist publication.

Intimately associated with trade union activity, founding or leading several unions.

Elected in 1950, to free India's Provisional Parliament (1950-1952) and to the First Parliament (1952-1957). Was Secretary to the Congress Parliamentary Party in 1953-1954.

Joined the State Government of Madras as a Minister holding the portfolios of Industries, Labour, Cooperation, Power, Transport and Commercial Taxes.

Was appointed a Member of the Union Planning Commission in 1967. Later, joined the Union Cabinet first as Finance Minister, then as Defence Minister. Was Governor, International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Asian Development Bank.

Was elected Vice-President of India in 1984. Was Vice-Chairman of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund; Trustee, Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust; President, Indian Institute of Public Administration; Chancellor, Gandhigram Rural Institute; Chancellor, Delhi University; Chancellor, Punjab University and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Was elected as President of India in 1987.