|Born:||December 19, 1934 (age 86)|
|Career:||President of India, 2007-2012|
Governor of Rajasthan, 2004-2007
|Party:||UPA - INC|
|Education:||Mooljee Jaitha College, Jalgaon|
Government Law College, Mumbai
Pratibha Patil served as president of India from 2007 to 2012, the first woman to hold this office. Prior to her election as president, Patil served as the governor of Rajasthan from 2004 to 2007, the first woman to hold this office as well.
Patil was born on December 19, 1934, in Nadgaon village of Jalgaon District, Maharashtra. She received her early education from RR Vidyalaya, Jalgaon and earned her master's degree in political science and economics from the Mooljee Jetha College, Jalgaon. Later, she obtained the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Government Law College, Bombay (Mumbai). Patil started her professional career as a practicing lawyer at the Jalgaon District Court and simultaneously devoted herself to various social activities, especially for the empowerment of poor women.
At the age of 27, Patil successfully contested her first election to the Maharashtra State Legislature from the Jalgaon Assembly constituency. Subsequently, she was continuously elected four times as MLA from the Edlabad (Muktai Nagar) constituency until 1985. Thereafter, she served as a member of parliament in the Rajya Sabha from 1985 to 1990. She was elected as a member of parliament to the 10th Lok Sabha in the 1991 general elections from the Amravati constituency.
While in the Rajya Sabha, Patil was the deputy chairperson from 1986 to 1988 and also served as the chairperson when Dr. R. Venkataraman was elected as President of India. In the Rajya Sabha she was the chairperson of the Committee of Privileges and a member of the Business Advisory Committee from 1986 to 1988. While in the Lok Sabha, Patil was the chairperson of the House Committee.
Patil served as the chairperson of the Maharashtra State Water Pollution Control Board from 1982 to 1985. She was also the president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) from 1988 to 1990. Besides holding the positions of director and vice-chairperson of the National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies, she also served as a member of the Governing Council of the National Cooperative Union of India and chairperson of the 20-Point Program Implementation Committee for the government of Maharashtra.
Patil has represented India in various international forums. She attended the International Council on Social Welfare conferences in Nairobi and Puerto Rico. She was a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) delegation to Bulgaria in 1985 and served as a member of the Commonwealth Presiding Officers Conference in London in 1988. She led the Indian delegation to the Conference on the Status of Women in Austria and was a delegate at the 1995 World Women's Conference in Beijing, China.
In 1996, Patil was named governor of Rajasthan. She was then nominated by Congress Party leader, Sonia Gandhi, for India's president in 2007. She assumed office on July 25, 2007, and held it until 2012 when she was succeeded by former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Patil also worked actively for the welfare of women and children and the underprivileged sections of society. She has set up hostels for working women in Mumbai and Delhi; an Engineering College at Jalgaon for rural youth; the Shram Sadhana Trust, which takes part in welfare activities for the development of women; an Industrial Training School for the visually handicapped in Jalgaon; schools for poor children of Vimukta Jatis (Nomadic Tribes) and for children of Backward Classes in Amravati District; and a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Farmers' Training Centre) at Amravati, Maharashtra. She also played a pioneering role in setting up the Mahila Vikas Mahamandal, a Maharashtra state government undertaking for the development of women.