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Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is best known as the man who introduced the thinking of western idealist philosophers into Indian thought. He was an Oxford don who became the first Vice President and the second President of India. He was born at Tiruttani, 64 km to the northeast of Madras in South India. His mother tongue was Telugu. His early years were spent in Tiruttani, Tiruvallur and Tirupati. His primary education was in Gowdie School, Tiruvallur. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Arts from Madras University. In 1921, he was appointed to the most important philosophy chair in India, King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science in the University of Calcutta. Radhakrishnan represented the University of Calcutta at the Congress of the Universities of the British Empire in June 1926 and the International Congress of Philosophy at Harvard University in September 1926. In 1929, Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post vacated by Principal J. Estin Carpenter in Manchester College, Oxford. This gave him the opportunity to lecture to the students of the University of Oxford on Comparative Religion. He was knighted in 1931 and was known as Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He worked as the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936

Date of Birth Sep 5, 1888
Date of Death Apr 17, 1975
Place of Birth Tiruttani, Madras
Tenure Order 2nd President
Took Office May 13, 1962
Left Office May 13, 1967
Successor Dr. Zakir Hussain

Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford and elected a Fellow of All Souls College, a post which he held until he was named the first Vice President of India in 1952. He showed how western philosophers, despite all claims to objectivity, were biased by theological influences from their wider culture. In one of his major works he also showed that Indian philosophy, once translated into standard academic jargon, is worthy of being called philosophy by western standards. His main contribution to Indian thought, therefore, is that he placed it "on the map", thereby earning Indian philosophy a respect that it had not had before. After 1946, his philosophical career was cut short when his country needed him as ambassador to UNESCO and later to Moscow. He was later to become the first Vice-President and finally the President (1962-1967) of India. When he became the President of India in 1962, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday, September 5. He replied, "Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as Teacher's Day." Since then, Teacher's Day has been celebrated in India. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954. The University of Oxford instituted the Radhakrishnan Chevening Scholarships and the Radhakrishnan Memorial Award in his memory. He also received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 1961.