Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. During the transition period from 1947 to 1950, King George VI was the head of state. Lord Mountbatten and C. Rajagopalachari served as the Governors-General of India during this period. Following January 26, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of India.
From BBC: In pictures: India's Republic Day
From President Abdul Kalam's Speech on this day:
Youth should take up politics as their career in large numbers. Political Science should form part of the curriculum from secondary to college level for all students with development politics as focus. Citizens should proactively cast their votes to select candidates of known performance with honesty as the focus. Legal personalities, experts and professionals should educate the citizens on the political process, constitution, procedures, their rights and responsibilities.From BBC: On this day 26th Jan 1950
The new President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, then took the oath of office.
The president then addressed the crowd first in Hindi, and then in English.
"Today, for the first time in our long and chequered history," he said, "we find the whole of this vast land... brought together under the jurisdiction of one constitution and one union which takes over responsibility for the welfare of more than 320 million men and women who inhabit it."