Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma received his education at St. John's College, Agra,
Allahabad University, Lucknow University, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
University, Lincoln's Inn and Harvard Law School. He took his M.A. Degrees in
English Literature, Hindi and Sanskrit standing first in the University. He
obtained his LL.M. from Lucknow University once again standing first in the
University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Law at Cambridge. Dr. Sharma was awarded
the Chakravarti Gold Medal for Social Service by Lucknow University. During his
University career, Dr. Sharma won distinction as a sportsman, having excelled in
athletics, rowing and swimming. He was Lucknow University's swimming champion
for three consecutive years and was Captain and later President of its Rowing
and Swimming Club.
He taught Law at Lucknow University and at Cambridge University. While at
Cambridge, Dr. Sharma was Treasurer of the Tagore Society and the Cambridge
Majlis. He was later a Fellow at Harvard Law School. He has been elected
Honorary Bencher and Master of Lincoln's Inn and Honorary Fellow, Fitzwilliam
College, Cambridge. The University of Cambridge has honoured him with degree of
Doctor of Law (Honoris Causa). He was Pro-Chancellor, Sagar University
(1956-1959). During his tenure as Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and
Maharashtra, he was Chancellor of 22 Universities in those States and also
Rector of the University of Hyderabad.
Dr. Sharma started his legal practice in 1940 in Lucknow.
Dr. Sharma participated in the historic Quit India Movement during the
national struggle for freedom, and in the merger Movement in Bhopal, and
Dr. Sharma was Chief Minister of the erstwhile Bhopal State (1952-1956),
Cabinet Minister, Government of Madhya Pradesh, holding the portfolios of
Education, Law, Public Works, Industry and Commerce, National Resources and
Separate Revenue (1956-1967) and was thereafter Union Minister for
Dr. Sharma was Vice-President of India and Chairman of the Council of States
(Rajya Sabha) from September 3, 1987 till he assumed office of the President of
India in 1992. Earlier he has been the Governor of three States: Andhra Pradesh,
Punjab and Maharashtra.
Dr. Sharma was President of the (i) Bhopal Congress Committee (1950-52) and
(ii) Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (1967-68): General Secretary, Indian
National Congress (1968-72); Member, (i) All India Congress Committee for more
than 32 years (1952-84) and (ii) Congress Working Committee for about 20 years.
Dr. Sharma was the President of the Indian National Congress in 1972-1974.
Dr. Sharma was Member, Bhopal Legislative Assembly (1952-1956); Madhya
Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1956-1971); Fifth Lok Sabha (1971-1977) and
Seventh Lok Sabha (1980-1984). His participation in matters concerning
Parliament was resumed when he assumed office as Vice-President of India and
ex-officio Chairman of the Council of State (Rajya Sabha), and continues in his
office as President of India.
Dr. Sharma led several official delegations to International Conferences
including a Parliamentary Delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference
at Oslo in 1980; a Special Delegation of veteran freedom fighters to Moscow in
August, 1987 for the celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of India's
Independence during the Festival of India in USSR, also led a Special Delegation
of veteran freedom fighters to Jalalabad (Afghanistan) to pay homage to Khan
Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1988.
The title of 'Rashtra Ratnam' (Jewel of the Nation) has been conferred upon
Dr. Sharma by His Holiness the Shankaracharya of Sringeri. The title of "Dharmaratnakara'
has been conferred on him by the Pontiff of Shravanbelagola.
The International Bar Association has presented to Dr. Sharma the Living
Legends of Law Award of Recognition for his outstanding contribution to the
legal profession internationally and for commitment to the Rule of Law.
During his tenure as Vice-President of India he was Chancellor of Delhi
University, Punjab University, Pondicherry University, Gandhigram Rural
Institute (Deemed University), and Visitor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya
Patrakarita Vishwavidyalaya Sansthan, Bhopal. He was also Chairman of the
Central Sanskrit Board.
Dr. Sharma was accorded the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) from (1)
Vikram University; (2) Bhopal University; (3) Agra University; (4) Sri
Venkateswara University, Tirupati; (5) Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore and
University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He was also accorded the degree of Doctor of
Social Sciences (Honoris Causa) from the University of roorkee, the degree of
Doctor of Civil Law (Honoris Causa) from the University of Mauritius (Port
Louis), the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) from Meerut
University, the degree of Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from Kiev State University,
Ukraine, the degree of 'Vachaspati' from the Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya
Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (Deemed University), New Delhi, the degree of Doctorate (Honoris
Causa) from Bucharest University, Romania, the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris
Causa) from Agra University and the degree of 'Mahamahopadhyaya' (Honoris Causa)
from the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati.
Dr. Sharma was President of: (i) Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New
Delhi; and (ii) Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, and
Chairman of: (i) the Jury for the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International
Understanding, and (ii) the International Jury for the Indira Gandhi Prize for
Peace, Disarmament and Development.