Prime Ministers of India From 1947-2024: List, Tenure, Facts, and Key Responsibilities

Prime Ministers of India From 1947-2024:- Since gaining independence in 1947, India has seen a dynamic and diverse array of leaders as its Prime Ministers. Each has contributed uniquely to the country’s development and faced distinct challenges. This article provides an overview of the Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2024, their tenures, key facts, and the responsibilities they upheld.

Prime Ministers of India (1947-2024)

In India, the Prime Minister is the leader of the Council of Ministers and the head of the government, serving as the de facto head of state. The Prime Minister leads the executive branch of the Union Government and is appointed by the President of India. The Prime Minister can be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha but must be the leader of the party or coalition with the majority of seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. Acting as the chief spokesperson for government policies, the Prime Minister is responsible for the administration of the government. The Indian government operates as a prime ministerial system.

Prime Ministers of India

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India, assuming office in 1947. He holds the record as the longest-serving Prime Minister, with a tenure exceeding 16 years. Indira Gandhi, the first female Prime Minister of India, served for 11 years, making her the second longest-serving Prime Minister. The current Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi, is the 14th person to hold the office, having taken office in 2014. With the upcoming general election, India will soon elect its 15th Prime Minister. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Indian Prime Ministers and their roles from 1947 to 2024.

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Lost PM of India From 1947-2024

Prime MinisterJoining DateEnd DateDays of Service
Jawaharlal Nehru15th August 194727th May 196416 years, 286 days
Gulzarilal Nanda27th May 19649th June 196413 days
Lal Bahadur Shastri9th June 196411th January 19661 year, 216 days
Gulzarilal Nanda11th January 196624th January 196613 days
Indira Gandhi24th January 196624th March 197711 years, 59 days
Morarji Desai24th March 197728th July 19792 years, 126 days
Charan Singh28th July 197914th January 1980170 days
Indira Gandhi14th January 198031st October 19844 years, 291 days
Rajiv Gandhi31st October 19842nd December 19895 years, 32 days
V.P. Singh2nd December 198910th November 1990343 days
Chandra Shekhar10th November 199021st June 1991223 days
P.V. Narasimha Rao21st June 199116th May 19964 years, 330 days
Atal Bihari Vajpayee16th May 19961st June 199616 days
H.D. Deve Gowda1st June 199621st April 1997324 days
Inder Kumar Gujral21st April 199719th March 1998332 days
Atal Bihari Vajpayee19th March 199822nd May 20046 years, 64 days
Manmohan Singh22nd May 200426th May 201410 years, 4 days
Narendra Modi26th May 2014Present


Key Facts About Prime Ministers of India

  • Jawaharlal Nehru: The first Prime Minister of India, Nehru played a pivotal role in the independence movement and is credited as the architect of modern India. He holds the record for the longest tenure, serving for 16 years and 286 days.
  • Indira Gandhi: India’s second longest-serving Prime Minister, Gandhi was also the first female Prime Minister. She served for 11 years and 59 days, leaving a lasting impact on Indian politics.
  • Charan Singh: Noted as the first pro-poor Prime Minister, Singh was a prominent peasant leader. He also holds the distinction of being the first Prime Minister elected from a rural constituency.
  • Morarji Desai: Desai was the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India, known for his Hindu nationalist stance and economic reforms.
  • Rajiv Gandhi: The youngest Prime Minister of India, Gandhi’s tenure was tragically cut short when he was assassinated by a Sri Lankan suicide bomber in 1989.
  • Indira Gandhi’s No-Confidence Votes: Indira Gandhi faced the most no-confidence votes (15) during her tenure as Prime Minister, reflecting the tumultuous political landscape of her time.

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List of Prime Ministers of India in 1947 to 2023 with Their Terms in Office

Here’s the list of Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2023 along with their tenure and interesting facts.

S.No.NamesBirth-DeathTenureInteresting Facts
1Jawaharlal Nehru(1889–1964)15 August 1947 – 27 May 1964Prime Minister of independent India for the first and longest period. First in-office death of a prime minister.
2Gulzarilal Nanda(1898–1998)27 May 1964 to 9 June 1964After Nehru’s untimely death, the nation’s first acting prime minister assumed control.
3Lal Bahadur Shastri(1904–1966)9 June 1964 to 11 January 1966During the Indo-Pak war in 1965, he was the originator of the phrase “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.”
4Gulzarilal Nanda(1898-1998)11 January 1966, 24 January 1966Only man to have twice served as acting prime minister of India.
5Indira Gandhi(1917–1984)24 January 1966 to 24 March 1977The Indian prime minister’s spouse, who took the oath of office
6Morarji Desai(1896–1995)24 March 1977 – 28 July 1979First PM in 1977 following the emergency. At 81 years old, India’s oldest prime minister took the oath of office before resigning. His birthday was celebrated once every four years because he was born on February 29.
7Charan Singh(1902–1987)28 July 1979 to 14 January 1980Only PM who has never addressed the legislature
8Indira Gandhi(1917–1984)14 Jan.1980 to 31 Oct. 1984Following the disaster in 1977, the first PM returned to power in 1980. Like her father, she also passed away while in office.
9Rajiv Gandhi(1944–1991)31 Oct 1984 to 2 Dec 1989At the age of 40, he became India’s youngest prime minister.
10V. P. Singh(1931–2008)2 Dec 1989 to 10 Nov 1990First prime minister to leave following a no-confidence vote
11Chandra Shekhar(1927–2007)10 Nov 1990 to 21 June 1991He has never held a position of minister in any ministry.
12P. V. Narasimha Rao(1921–2004)21 June 1991 to 16 May 1996He was from Andhra Pradesh and served as the nation’s first South Indian prime minister.
13Atal Bihari Vajpayee(1924-2018)16 May 1996 to 1 June 1996The shortest tenure of any Indian PM is 16 days as PM.
14H. D. Deve Gowda(born 1933)1 June 1996 to 21 April 1997He succeeded as South India’s second prime minister. He is a Karnataka native. But he didn’t work there for more than a year.
15Inder Kumar Gujral(1919–2012)21 April 1997 to 19 March 1998After Indra Gandhi and Deve Gowda, the third Prime Minister to come from the Upper House.
16Atal Bihari Vajpayee(1924-2018)19 March 1998 to 22 May 2004First non-Congress Prime Minister of independent India to serve out his full tenure
17Manmohan Singh(born 1932)22 May 2004 to 26 May 2014First PM of India from the minority community.
18Narendra Modi(born 1950)2014-PresentThree PMs served two terms or more prior to Modi. In 2019, he too was added to this coveted list.

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Prime Ministers of India – Roles & Responsibilities

The Prime Minister of India holds a pivotal position as the de facto head of the state. Appointed by the President from among the members of the winning political party or coalition, the Prime Minister assumes various functions and responsibilities outlined below:

  • Leader of the Country: As the Head of Government, the Prime Minister serves as the foremost leader of the nation.
  • Chairman of the Cabinet: The Prime Minister chairs the meetings of the Minister’s Cabinet, exercising authority in decision-making and resolving conflicts that may arise.
  • Portfolio Allocation: The Prime Minister holds the authority to allocate portfolios to ministers, determining their areas of responsibility within the government.
  • Official Representative of the Country: Internationally, the Prime Minister represents the nation in diplomatic affairs, serving as its ambassador on the global stage.
  • Chief Advisor: Acting as an advisor to the President, the Prime Minister provides counsel and expertise on matters of national importance.
  • Link between the President and the Cabinet: The Prime Minister acts as a crucial intermediary between the President and the Cabinet, facilitating communication and ensuring the implementation of decisions taken by the union cabinet and legislative proposals.

Key Points Regarding Prime Ministers of India

  • Constitutional Appointment: Article 75 of the Indian Constitution mandates the appointment of a Prime Minister by the President of India.
  • Executive Authority: The Prime Minister, as the leader of the Cabinet, holds significant executive powers, while the President serves as the nominal head of state.
  • Constitutional Duties: Article 78 specifies the duties of the Prime Minister, including serving as a vital link between the Cabinet and the President.
  • Parliamentary Functions: The Prime Minister determines the schedule of parliamentary sessions, including the dissolution or prorogation of the House of Parliament.
  • Chief Spokesperson: Acting as the chief spokesperson, the Prime Minister communicates government policies and addresses inquiries from the public.
  • Appointment Authority: The Prime Minister recommends appointments of various officials to the President and oversees reshuffling and allocation of ministerial portfolios.
  • Leadership in Cabinet Meetings: The Prime Minister presides over meetings of the council of ministers, influencing decisions and ensuring their implementation.
  • Dismissal Authority: The Prime Minister holds the authority to request the resignation of any member and advise the President on the removal of ministers from office.

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In summary, India’s Prime Ministers from 1947 to 2024 have shaped the nation’s trajectory with their diverse tenures, contributions, and challenges. From Jawaharlal Nehru’s foundational leadership to Narendra Modi’s contemporary governance, each Prime Minister has left a distinct mark. Their tenures, ranging from mere days to over a decade, reflect India’s political evolution. Despite varied backgrounds and ideologies, all have shouldered the immense responsibility of steering the world’s largest democracy, embodying resilience, vision, and leadership in their roles.


What is the tenure of the Prime Minister of India?

The Prime Minister serves at the discretion of the President, allowing for indefinite tenure as long as the President maintains confidence. However, to remain in office, the Prime Minister must retain the confidence of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament.

Who were the Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2024?

The Prime Ministers during this period included Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, and Narendra Modi, among others.

What are some notable facts about these Prime Ministers?

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister and is often called the architect of modern India. Indira Gandhi was the first female Prime Minister and Rajiv Gandhi the youngest. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first non-Congress Prime Minister.

How did Prime Ministers handle challenges during their tenures?

Prime Ministers navigated through challenges such as wars, economic crises, political unrest, and social transformations, demonstrating leadership, resilience, and decision-making abilities.

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