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Indian president nominee Pratibha Patil, 72, waves upon her arrival in New Delhi, India, June 16, 2007. India's governing coalition chose a woman as its presidential candidate Thursday, setting the stage for her to become the country's first female president. The post is largely ceremonial, though the president is the supreme commander of the armed forces and has the power to declare a state of emergency in times of political crisis. (UPI Photo/Kamal Kishore)
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Pratibha Devisingh Patil (Marathi: प्रतिभा देवीसिंह पाटील) (born 19 December 1934) is the 12th and current President of the Republic of India and first woman to hold the office. She was sworn in as President of India on 25 July 2007, succeeding Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

She is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC), was nominated by the ruling United Progressive Alliance and Indian Left. She won the presidential election held on 19 July 2007 defeating her nearest rival Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Pratibha Patil was born in Nadgaon village of Jalgaon District, Maharashtra. She received her early education from RR Vidyalaya, Jalgaon and later obtained her master’s degree in political science and economics from the Mooljee Jaitha College in Jalgaon, which was then affiliated with the University of Poona. While in college, she took active part in sports, excelled in table tennis and won several shields at various inter-collegiate tournaments. Even as an MLA, she pursued her studies as a law student. Later, she obtained a law degree from the Government Law College, of the University of Bombay.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pratibha Patil."