Former President Pranab Mukherjee has been awarded the Bharat Ratna, country's highest civilian award. The announcement was made on the eve of Republic Day.
Pranab Kumar Mukherjee was born on December 11, 1935 in Mirati, West Bengal. He is an Indian politician who served as the 13th President of India from 2012 until 2017. He succeeded Pratibha Patil, India’s first woman president.
In a political career spanning five decades, Mukherjee has been a senior leader in the Indian National Congress and has occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India.
Pranab Mukherjee got married to Suvra Mukherjee, who was from Narail in Bangladesh, and migrated at the age of 10 years to Kolkata.
He was educated at the Suri Vidyasagar College, and he later earned an advanced degree in history and political science as well as a law degree from the university.
In 1963 he accepted a teaching position at a small college near Kolkata.
He also became editor of a Bengali-language monthly periodical and, later, worked for a weekly publication.
Under Manmohan Singh, who became prime minister in 2004, Mukherjee held most of the major ministerial portfolios in the cabinet: commerce (1993–95), external affairs (1995–96 and 2006–09), defense (2004–06), and finally back to finance (2009–12).
He also occupied several important legislative posts, including leader of the Rajya Sabha (1980–84).
In addition to his government activities in India, Mukherjee was involved with a number of prominent international organizations, most notably occupying seats on the boards of governors of the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank during his two stints as finance minister.