On Sunday, Margaret Alva, the former governor of Rajasthan, was announced as the joint opposition candidate for Vice President of India. In the vice presidential elections scheduled for August 6, the 80-year-old politician will face West Bengal’s governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is the nominee of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Margaret Alva served as a Union minister during multiple terms of the Congress administration while also serving as a member of parliament for around 30 years.
Who is Margaret Alva?
Margaret Alva, who was born on April 14, 1942, in the Mangalore district of Karnataka, is a well-known lawyer, social worker, and trade unionist in addition to her time in politics.
She held the positions of 17th Governor of Goa, 23rd Governor of Gujarat, 20th Governor of Rajasthan, and 4th Governor of Uttarakhand from August 2013 until the conclusion of her term. Prior to now, she held the position of Cabinet Minister. Shivraj Patil, the governor of Punjab, who was also in charge of that state, relinquished control to her in Rajasthan.
Alva was the Joint Secretary of the All India Congress Committee and a prominent member of the Indian National Congress prior to being chosen as governor. Violet Alva, her mother-in-law, served as the Rajya Sabha’s second deputy chairperson in the 1960s.
From 1974 to 2004, she served in the Indian parliament, where she fought for four significant legislative changes that bolstered women’s rights in India. These changes included giving local governments more authority and allocating a third of local council seats to women.
The Dowry Prohibition Act (Amendment) Committee, the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Committee, the Equal Remuneration Review Committee, and the Joint Select Committee for the 84th Constitution Amendment Bill’s 33% Reservation for Women in Local Bodies were among the significant committees Margaret Alva served on during her 30 years in Parliament.
From 1999 to 2004 she also presided over the Parliamentary Committee on Women’s Empowerment. She was in charge of a core group that the Indian government had assembled in 1989 to prepare a prospective plan for women that outlined their development plans.
Margaret Alva supported women’s rights outside of her time served in the Parliament. She was chosen to preside over the inaugural ministerial meeting of the SAARC on women’s development in 1986.
In addition, she participated in the UNICEF-sponsored conference on children in South Asia, which brought attention to the situation of girls and resulted in the SAARC Heads of Government designating 1987 as “The Year of the Girl-Child.”
The UN Women’s Division invited Margaret Alva to lead the Group of Experts meeting in 1989 to evaluate the effects of the “Decade for Women” on decision-making, then again in 1989 to address violence against women.
In addition, Margaret Alva is the head of an NGO that supports children and women.