Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as the 15th president of India on Monday, becoming the first tribal woman to be elected to the country’s top constitutional post.
She was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana inside the central hall of the parliament.
The ceremony was followed by a 21-gun salute, after which she delivered her address.
In her speech after taking the oath, Ms Murmu said her election was proof that the poor in India could dream and make them come true.
She added that she would focus on the welfare of the marginalised.
Ms Murmu, 64, was the presidential candidate of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
She defeated Yashwant Sinha, the nominee of the opposition parties.
The president in India is indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of the members of both houses of parliament and members from the lawmaking bodies in states.
The Indian president’s role was largely ceremonial. However, the position assumed importance during times of political uncertainty in the country, like a hung parliament.
Ms Murmu hailed from the eastern state of Odisha and previously was governor of Jharkhand state.
She had become the second-ever female president of India after Pratibha Devisingh Patil. Her political career started in 1997 as a councillor in Rairangpur.
She was elected as a lawmaker twice during local elections in 2000 and 2009 on a BJP mandate ticket from the state’s Rairangpur constituency in the Mayurbhanj district.