Early life and education
Kovind was born on 1 October 1945 in Parikh village in the Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh. His father Maikulal operates a small shop. He was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. He was born in a mud hut, which eventually falls. He was only five when his mother died of burns when their thatched house caught fire. Kovind later donated the land to the community.
GAining his elementary school education, he had to walk each day to Kanpur village, 8 km away, to attend junior school, as nobody in the village had a bicycle. He got a bachelor’s degree in commerce and an LLB from DAV College (affiliated with Kanpur University).
After completing in law from DAV College, Kanpur, Kovind went to Delhi to prepare for the civil services examination. He passed this exam on his third attempt, but he did not join because he had only scored high enough to work in an allied service rather than in IAS and thus commenced practicing law.
Kovind enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the bar council of Delhi. He was Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from the year 1977 to the year 1979. Between 1977 & 1978, he also worked as the personal assistant of Prime Minister of India Morarji Desai. In 1978, he became an advocate-on-record of the Supreme Court of India and worked as a standing counsel for the Central Government in the Supreme Court of India from 1980 to 1993. He practiced in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court until 1993. As an advocate, he gave pro-bono aid to weaker sections of society, women and the poor under the Free Legal Aid Society of New Delhi.
He came in the BJP in 1991. He was President of the BJP Dalit Morcha between 1998 and 2002 and President of the All-India Koli Samaj. He also worked as national spokesperson of the party. He donated his ancestral home in Derapur to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Soon after joining the BJP, he contested for Ghatampur assembly constituency, but lost and after that contested for Bhognipur (in 2007) (both in Uttar Pradesh) assembly constituency on the BJP ticket but lost again.
In 1997, Kovind joined the protest against certain orders from the Central government that had adverse effects on the SC/ST workers. Later, three amendments were made to the Constitution that revoked the orders, by the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He was elected and became a Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Uttar Pradesh in April 1994. He worked a total of twelve years, two consecutive terms, until March 2006. As a member of parliament, he worked on the Parliamentary Committee for Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Home Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Social Justice and Empowerment, Law and Justice. He also worked as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha House Committee. During his career as a parliamentarian, under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme, he aimed at education in rural areas by helping in the construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand. As a member of parliament, he visited Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom and the United States on study tours.
On 8 August 2015, the then President of India appointed Kovind as Governor of Bihar. On 16 August 2015, the acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court, Iqbal Ahmad Ansari, administered the oath to Kovind as the 35th Governor of Bihar. The operation took place at Raj Bhawan, Patna.
After a nomination for the post of 14th President of India, he resigned from his post as Governor of Bihar, and President of India Pranab Mukherjee accepted his resignation on 20 June 2017. He won the election on 20 July 2017.
Ram Nath Kovind took the oath as the 14th President of India on 25 July 2017. He is the first leader from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to take the Office of President of India.