Pranab Mukherjee was on Wednesday sworn-in as the country's 13th President.
Mukherjee was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia at a special ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament here.
The function was attended by a host of VVIPs, including outgoing President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
A 21-gun salute was accorded to Mukherjee after he was sworn-in as the country's next President. He solemnly affirmed by the oath, which he took in English.
Mukherjee was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress until he resigned from political office preceding his election as President on July 22.
Mukherjee began his political career with the Indian National Congress in 1969 under former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He became one of her top lieutenants and was often described as her 'man for all seasons'.
His rise was meteoric in the early phase of his career and he became a Cabinet Minister in Indira Gandhi's Government in 1973. Mukherjee rose through a series of cabinet posts to become the Finance Minister of India from 1982 to 1984. He was Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1985.
Mukherjee's political career was revived when former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao chose to appoint him as Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson and subsequently as a Union Cabinet Minister in the 1990s. He served as the Minister of External Affairs (Foreign Minister) from 1995 to 1996 in Narasimha Rao's cabinet.
Mukherjee was the principal architect of Sonia Gandhi's entry into Indian politics in the 1990s. He became the elder statesman of the Congress Party during this period. Mukherjee was Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2012. He served as Defence Minister from 2004 to 2006 and again served as External Affairs Minister from 2006 to 2009. He was the Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012 in the Government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Mukherjee is a recipient of several accolades and honors. In 1984, he was rated as the best Finance Minister in the World, according to a Euromoney magazine survey.
The Government of India honored him with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of India, in 2008.
In 2010, he was awarded 'Finance Minister of the Year for Asia' by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for the World Bank and the IMF.
In December 2010, The Banker recognised him as the 'Finance Minister of the Year'. (ANI)