National News

Presidential election: Everything you need to know about Ram Nath Kovind

A Dalit BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh, Kovind is a two-time member of Rajya Sabha and the former spokesperson of the party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday announced that Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind would be the party’s candidate for president. If elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit president after KR Narayanan. The 71-year-old joined politics in 1994.

The presidential election will be held on July 17 and votes will be counted on July 20.

A quick look at Kovind’s background

Education:

Kovind completed his bachelors degree in commerce and then went on to study law from Kanpur University. He was a Central government advocate in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and then a Central Government Standing Counsel in the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He became the Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court in 1978.

Politics:

A Dalit BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh, Kovind is a two-time member of Rajya Sabha and the former national spokesperson of the party. He became a Rajya Sabha MP in April 1994 from Uttar Pradesh and served two consecutive terms for 12 years till March 2006.

Kovind had headed the BJP’s Scheduled Caste Morcha between 1999 and 2002. During this period, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the BJP’s general secretary. Kovind has also been a member of several parliamentary committees.

Kovind had campaigned in Dalit areas of Uttar Pradesh to counter Mayawati in the 2012 Assembly elections and is considered to be close to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Kovind was the president of the All India Koli Samaj, an organisation that represents the interests of the Koli community, which is classified as scheduled caste in Uttar Pradesh.

Other posts:

Kovind has served as a board member of Dr BR Ambedkar University in Lucknow. He was also a member of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. He had represented India in United Nations.

Controversies:

Kovind’s name was in the news in 2015 when he was appointed the Bihar governor. However, it became a controversy because the Nitish Kumar-led state government had allegedly found out about his appointment to the post from the media. Kumar had then accused the Centre of violating Constitutional norms.

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad had also condemned Kovind’s appointment and had said that he would register his protest with the president as Kovind belongs to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.