First Chief Minister of Gujarat, Know the Name [Current Affairs]


As Gujarat’s political landscape took shape in the aftermath of India’s independence, one figure emerged to lead the state into a new era of governance. Jivraj Narayan Mehta, the first Chief Minister of Gujarat, played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of the state and leaving an indelible mark on its history.

First Chief Minister of Gujarat – Early Life and Education

Born on August 29, 1887, in Amreli, Bombay Presidency, British India, Jivraj Narayan Mehta emerged as a towering figure in Indian politics and healthcare. Raised in a middle-class family, he was encouraged by Dr. Eduljee Rustomji Dadachandjee, a civil surgeon, to pursue medicine. Mehta’s journey led him to the prestigious Grant Medical College and Sir J. J. Hospital in Bombay, where he excelled in his studies and won numerous accolades.

Gujarat’s First Chief Minister – Medical Education in London

Jivraj Mehta’s pursuit of medical knowledge took him to London for postgraduate studies, supported by the Tata Education Foundation. During his time in London from 1909 to 1915, he not only obtained his MD and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians but also served as the president of the Indian Students Association. His academic achievements, including winning a university gold medal, laid the foundation for a distinguished medical career.

Inaugural Chief Minister of Gujarat – Political Awakening and Gandhian Era

Returning to India, Dr. Jivraj Mehta became a crucial figure in the Indian independence movement. He briefly served as Mahatma Gandhi’s personal doctor and actively participated in the Satyagraha movement. Despite facing incarceration by the British government twice (in 1938 and 1942), his commitment to India’s freedom remained unwavering.

Dr. Jivraj Mehta from Dewan to Chief Minister

After India gained independence in 1947, Mehta assumed various public offices. He served as the first “Dewan” (Prime Minister) of the Baroda state, director-general of health services, and secretary to the Ministry of Health during the challenging partition period. His responsibilities extended to being the Minister of Public Works, Finance, Industry, and Prohibition for the Bombay state.

In 1960, with the formation of the state of Gujarat, Jivraj Narayan Mehta was appointed as its inaugural Chief Minister, holding the position until September 1963. His tenure was marked by visionary leadership, laying the foundation for Gujarat’s development.

 Diplomatic Role and Political Legacy of Gujarat’s First Chief Minister

Beyond his contributions to Gujarat, Mehta also served as the Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1963 to 1966, showcasing his diplomatic acumen on the global stage. His political legacy includes steering the state through its formative years and championing the principles of inclusive governance.

Contributions of Gujarat’s First Chief Minister to Medical Education

Jivraj Mehta’s impact extended beyond politics into the realm of medical education. As the founder of Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College and King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, he played a crucial role in shaping medical education in India. His emphasis on research and securing funds for medical institutes reflected his foresight and dedication to advancing healthcare.

Mehta’s involvement in establishing medical colleges and hospitals in cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, and Aurangabad, as well as his role in the creation of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Delhi, showcased his commitment to healthcare infrastructure development.

First Chief Minister of Gujarat – Lasting Legacy and Personal Life

Jivraj Narayan Mehta passed away on November 7, 1978, at the age of 91. His marriage to Hansabhan, despite being an inter-caste union, stood as a testament to his progressive ideals. Today, the Dr. Jivraj Mehta Awards, instituted in his honor, continue to recognize outstanding contributions to healthcare.

Jivraj Narayan Mehta’s multifaceted legacy remains embedded in the annals of Indian history – from being a freedom fighter and politician to a visionary healthcare reformer. His life’s work stands as an enduring inspiration for generations to come, shaping the trajectory of Gujarat and contributing significantly to the nation’s progress.

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