Pratibha Patil- The lone woman

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Pratibha Patil was an Indian politician who was the 12th president of India for five years, starting from 2007 to 2012. She was the first woman to hold the office, and she succeeded Abdul Kalam and took the throne. Pratibha Patil was the member of INC (Indian National Congress) and she was nominated by the UPA.


Pratibha Devisingh Patil was born on 19th December on 1934 as the daughter of Narayana Rao Patil in the village of Nadgaon, in Jalgaon district in Maharashtra, India. She completed her higher studies in RR Vidyalaya School. Pratibha was awarded a Masters Degree in “Political Science and Economics” in the Moolijee Jetha College, in her home town, and then a Bachelor of Law degree from the Government Law College, in Mumbai. She began to practice law in her home town and also was taking part in the recovery of social issues faced by Indian women. In the year 1965, on July 7th, she was married to Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat. The couple was blessed with a daughter and a son.

At the age of 27, 1962 she was elected to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. She won the Muktainagar constituency for four consecutive occasions between the years 1967 to 1985. In the 1991 elections for 10th Lok sabha, she was elected as the Member of the Parliament representing the Amaravathi Constituency. She held the positions while in both Lok sabha and Rajya sabha and also she has been the President of MPCC (Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee). She also held the office as the Director of National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies, and also as a member of the Governing Council of National Co-operative union of India. She was the 24th Governor of Rajasthan and she was the first women to hold the office.


Patil was announced as the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) candidate on 14th June 2007. Due to the role of being largely a figurehead position the selection of the candidate is often arranged by the consensus among various political parties. Her leadership was criticized and faced a lot of challenge in the election. Her challenger was Baryon Singh Shekhawat, the then holding vice president and a BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) candidate. He stood as independent candidate who was supported by NDA (National Democratic Alliance) which was led by a group of BJP. This group of Shiv Sena Party supported her because she was of Marathi origin. She won the election which was held on July 19 2007 by gaining nearly two-thirds of the votes and took the office as the INDIA’S FIRST WOMEN PRESIDENT on 25 July 2007.


She had a lot of controversies during her term as a President, she commuted the death sentences of 35 petitioners to life – among them many were many were mass murder, Kidnapping, rape and killing of children. However this controversy was defended by the presidential office by saying the President had granted clemency to the Prisoners after due consideration and the advice of the Home Ministry. She was a president who spends more money than any other prior president. She completed her five year term in the year 2012, on July.

Pratibha Patil had business interest also, she along with her husband she set up Vidya Bharathi Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, which is an educational institute which has a chain of schools and colleges in Amravathi, Jalagon and Mumbai, and also a trust named Sharm Sadhana, which runs hostels for women  Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi and also an Engineering college in Jalgaon. She is also the proud founder of a co – operative sugar factory known as Sant Muktabai Shankari Sakhar Karkhana  at Muktainagar and a co-operative bank named as Pratibha Mahila Shankari Bank that ceased trading in the year 2003, on February.


Pratibha Patil held various positions, when she was working actively.

Period                                                                   Position


1967 to 1972                                      Public Health, Deputy Minister, Tourism, Housing and    Parliamentary Affairs, Prohibition, Government of Maharashtra.

1972 to 1974                                      Social Welfare, Cabinet Minister, Government of Maharashtra.

1974 to 1975                                       Public Health & Social Welfare, Cabinet Minister, Government of Maharashtra.

1975 to 1976                                      Prohibition, Rehabilitation and Cultural Affairs, Cabinet Minister, Government of Maharashtra.

1977 to 1978                                      Education, Cabinet Minister, Government of Maharashtra.

1979 to 1980                                      Leader of the Opposition, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

1982 to 1985                                      Urban Development and Housing, Cabinet Minister, Government of Maharashtra.

1983 to 1985                                      Civil Supplies and Social Welfare, Cabinet Minister, Government of Maharashtra.

1986 to 1988                                      Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

1986 to 1988                                      Committee of Privileges, Chairman, Rajya Sabha; Business Advisory Committee, Member, Rajya Sabha.

1991 to 1996                                      House Committee, Chairman, Lok Sabha.

November 8th 2004 to                   Governor of Rajasthan.

June 23rd  2007

July 25th 2007 to July 25th 2012    President of India.


Honorary D.Litt by Mother Teresa Woman’s University on 2 November 2007.

Honorary Doctorate by Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati on 2008, July 7th.

Doctor of Letters, the honoris causa by the University of Lucknow on 23rd September 2008.

Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) by Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune on 12th October 2008.

Honorary Doctorate by the University of Chile on 22nd April 2008.

Doctor of Letters, the honoris casua by the Goa University on 24th November 2009.

Honorary Doctorate by the North Maharashtra University on 24 March.


Pratibha Patil has done a lot for India and she is one among women who has worked to the well being of others. She has been active all along her career and has helped many in her field. She has proved that even woman, with their hard work can serve for the Nation as men do. She is one women who should be taken as an inspiration.

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