During Modi govt, average ages of President, Vice President dip marginally
The average age of appointment of India’s Presidents and Vice Presidents has reduced marginally during the term of the Narendra Modi government.
The average age of appointment of India’s Presidents and Vice Presidents has reduced marginally during the term of the Narendra Modi government. President Droupadi Murmu has broken a 40-year-old record to become the youngest leader in the country’s highest office and when former Vice President Venkaiah Naidu retired on August 10, he was the youngest to retire since 1979.
The average age of appointment of Presidents was 71.9 years before Ramnath Kovind and Droupadi Murmu’s ascent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. After Murmu became the first tribal woman to be President, the average age of appointment has gone down to 71.4 years.
And if her five-year term is taken into consideration, the average retirement age of Presidents will go down to 76.3 years from the current 76.8. The oldest President to assume office was 1894-born VV Giri at the age of 75.
India’s first four Presidents, from Rajendra Prasad to VV Giri, were born in the late 19th century. Similarly, the first four Vice Presidents — Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to Gopal Swarup Pathak — too were born in the late 19th century. Murmu became the first President to be born in Independent India. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Rajya Sabha on August 8, “We will be celebrating Independence Day this time when the country’s President, Vice President, (Lok Sabha) Speaker and the Prime Minister are all who were born in Independent India. All of them hail from very ordinary backgrounds. I think it has symbolic importance.”
Naidu, the first Vice President who was born in Independent India, left the constitutional office at 73. While he is younger than his past seven predecessors, BD Jatti had retired as Vice President when he was just 67 and remains the only Vice President to retire from public office in his 60s.
In the initial years of Independent India, two more Vice Presidents were appointed in their 60s — Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (64) and Zakir Hussain (65) but unlike Jatti, both went on to become the President of India, extending their tenure in constitutional offices beyond the Vice Presidential term.
A total of six of the 13 Vice Presidents before Jagdeep Dhankhar had been elevated to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The current dispensation, however, has not elevated any Vice President to the top constitutional office. The two Presidents elected after Narendra Modi came to power were both governors in the states. The 14th Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar too, was in the gubernatorial role in West Bengal before he contested for the Vice Presidential election. Naidu remains the only political who got elevated to the second-highest constitutional office straight from the Union cabinet.