Ramaswamy Venkataraman (born on December 4, 1910) is better known as the 8th President of India, serving from 1987 to 1992. Before becoming President, Venkataraman served nearly 4 years as the 7th Vice-President.
Educated in Madras, Venkataraman obtained his Master's Degree in Economics from Madras University. He later qualified in Law from the Law College, Madras. Venkataraman was enrolled in the High Court, Madras in 1935 and in the Supreme Court in 1951.
While practising Law, Venkataraman was drawn into the movement for India's freedom from Britain's colonial subjugation. His active participation in the Indian National Congress' celebrated resistance to the British Government, the Quit India Movement of 1942, resulted in his detention for two years under the Defence of India Rules.
Venkataraman was a member of the constituent assembly that drafted India's constitution. He was elected, in 1950, to free India's Provisional Parliament (1950-1952) and to the First Parliament (1952-1957). Venkataraman was also Secretary to the Congress Parliamentary Party in 1953-1954.
Although re-elected to Parliament in 1957, Venkataraman resigned his seat in the Lok Sabha to join the State Government of Madras as a Minister. In 1977, Venkataraman was elected to the Lok Sabha from Madras (South) Constituency and served as an Opposition Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
Venkataraman was also a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. He was a Member, United Nations Administrative Tribunal from 1955 to 1979.
In 1980, Venkataraman was re-elected to the Lok Sabha and was appointed Union Minister of Finance in the Government headed by Indira Gandhi. He was later appointed Union Minister of Defence.
Venkataraman has received the Doctorate of Law (Honoris Causa) from University of Madras. He is Honorary Fellow, Madras Medical College; Doctor of Social Sciences, University of Roorkee; Doctor of Law (Honoris Causa) from University of Burdwan.