Former President Pranab Mukherjee Passes Away

On August 31, 2020, the former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away at 84 after testing positive for COVID-19. The Government of India has announced seven-day state mourning.

Highlights

The Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee was being treated at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. He had undergone an emergency surgery to remove a brain clot after testing positive for COVID-19 on August 10. After the surgery, he was placed on ventilator support. He developed lung infection and the doctors found his renal parameters damaged. His condition declined further on August 31.

About Pranab Mukherjee

  • He had served as the 13th President of India between 2012 and 2017. Also, he served as the senior leader of the Indian National Congress. Also, he had served as the Union Finance Minister between 2009 and 2012.
  • In 2019, he was awarded with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna by President Ram Nath Kovind.

His Journey

Mr Mukherjee served as the Finance Minister for the first time in 1982-84. Also, he was nominated as the leader of Rajya Sabha in 1980. He was one of the most trusted ministers of Smt Indira Gandhi. After her death, he was sidelined in the party and hence formed his own party the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress. It later merged with the Congress in 1989.

He was appointed as the head of the Planning Commission in 1991. He served as a foreign minister in 1995.

Public Offices

  • In 2005, India and US inked one of the most important deals called Indo-US Defence Framework deal. It was signed when MR Mukherjee was the defence minister.
  • In 1995, when he was the External Affairs Minister, India was made the full dialogue partner of ASEAN as a part of the Look East Policy
  • In 2006, India-US Civil Nuclear Agreement was signed. And also, India signed an agreement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This allowed India to participate in nuclear trade in spite of India not being a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Major Reforms

  • Pranab Mukherjee brought in several tax reforms. He scrapped the Commodities Transaction tax and the Fringe Benefits Tax.
  • He expanded the funding of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
  • He expanded infrastructure programmed such as National Highway Development Programme.
  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 was promulgated by Pranab Mukherjee. The ordinance amended the Indian Penal Code.

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