New Delhi [India]: As the curtain draws on the second term of incumbent Hamid Ansari, the nation is gearing up to welcome the succeeding Vice President.
Being the first Vice President to be re-elected to his post for the second consecutive year after Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in 1957, Ansari, who is the 12th Vice President of India, serves as President of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Chancellor of Pondicherry University and the President of the Indian Council of World Affairs.
A native of Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, Ansari was born in Kolkata on April 1, 1937, in a family of prestigious Congress lineage, as he is the grand nephew of former Congress President Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, a pioneer in the Indian independence movement.
Ansari completed his schooling from St. Edward’s School, Shimla, and is an alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and Aligarh Muslim University.
An Officer in the Indian Foreign Service in 1961, Ansari has served as a permanent representative of India to the United Nations, Indian High Commissioner to Australia and Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
A 1984 Padma Shree awardee, Ansari was also a professor and Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from May 2000 to March 2002.
Ansari has been lauded for his efforts in ensuring compensation to the victims of the 1984 Gujarat riots and pushing for a complete re-look into the relief and rehabilitation for them.
Ansari became the chairman of India’s National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on 6 March 2006.
In June 2007, Ansari, in his capacity as NCM chairman, upheld the decision of St. Stephens College to earmark a small percentage of seats for Dalit Christians.
On July 20, 2007, Ansari was named by the UPA-Left, the ruling coalition in India, as its candidate for the post of Vice-President for the upcoming election, following which he resigned as Chairman of the NCM.
With a thumping margin of 233 votes, Ansari succeeded in defeating his nearest rival Najma Heptullah by securing 455 votes.
In 2012, after one successful term, the Congress-led UPA re-appointed Ansari as their candidate for the post of VP, against the NDA’s Jaswant Singh, former Finance, External Affairs and Defence minister as well as former Leader of Opposition.
Hamid Ansari was re-elected for the second time on August 7, 2012, as he superseded Jaswant Singh by a margin of 252 votes.
With the appointment of Ramnath Kovind as India’s 14th President, Ansari became the first Vice President to serve during the terms of three presidents, namely Pratibha Patil, Pranab Mukherjee and the current President Kovind. (ANI)