Ram Nath Kovind was born on 1 October 1945, in Paraunkh village in the Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh, currently serving as the 14th and current President of India. Prior to his nomination, he served as the 26th Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017 and as a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006. Kovind was nominated as a presidential candidate by the ruling NDA coalition and won the 2017 presidential election.
As the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. His father Maikulal Kovind ran a small shop. Kovind was born in a mud hut, which eventually collapsed. He was only five when his mother died of burns when their thatched dwelling caught fire. Kovind later donated the land to the community. Kovind was born into the Kori caste, considered underprivileged even among the Dalits.
After his elementary school education, he had to walk each day to Kanpur village, 8 km away, to attend a junior school, as nobody in the village had a bicycle. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and an LLB from DAV College (affiliated with Kanpur University).
He has served on the Board of Management of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and as on the Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta. He has also represented India at the UN and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in October 2002.
Kovind married Savita Kovind on 30 May 1974. They have a son, Prashant Kumar, and a daughter, Swati Kovind who was an air hostess for Air India. He is a long time practitioner of Heartfulness Meditation. In Feb 2020 he along with his wife inaugurated the new global headquarters ‘Kanha Shanti Vanam’ of Shri Ram Chandra Missio near Hyderabad, India.
Kovind’s controversial statement –
In 2010, he was reported to have said that “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation” as spokesperson of the BJP. As reported by IANS and published by Hindustan Times, he made this comment in response to the Ranganath Misra Commission which recommended 15 percent reservation for religious and linguistic minorities in government jobs. Although more recently, the issue was raised in the media if whether or not he was misquoted and that he in fact said “Islam and Christianity are alien to the notion (of caste)” as opposed to what was reported as ‘nation.