Born on 10th August 1894 in Berhampur, Ganjam District, Orissa. Studied in Madras and Ireland. Married Saraswati Bai who hailed from Bellary District in 1917. Participated in the Lucknow session of Indian National Congress in 1916. He was arrested in 1921 for participating in the freedom movement strike.
Founded Bengal Nagpur Railway Association for the welfare of the Railway workers. He was President of the All India Railway Workers' Federation. He was twice President of All-India Trade Union Congress. He was elected to the Central Legislature in 1934. He was Minister in charge of Labour, Industry and Co-operation between 1938-39 in the Madras State.
He served as Minister in Madras State in the Cabinet of Mr. Prakasham during 1946-47. He was the Indian High Commissioner in Ceylon between 1947 and 1951, Member of Parliament during 1952-57 and Union Minister for Labour during 1952-54. He was Governor of Uttar Pradesh during 1961-65, Governor of Kerala during 1961-65 and the erstwhile Mysore State during 1965 and 67. He served as the Vice President of India from 13th May 1967 to 3rd May 1969 and the President of India from 24th August 1969 to 23rd August 1974. He was a prolific writer and a good orator. He has penned 'Industrial Relations', 'Labour proble
ms in Indian Industry' and other books which are considered authoritative in their respective fields. Received Bharat Ratna in 1975. Died in 1980.