India’s new president takes oath
Pratibha Patil is the first woman to hold the office.
Patil was elected by federal and state legislators last week and succeeds Abdul Kalam, the popular former president.
Although the office is largely ceremonial, the president has a role in the forming of governments at the state and federal levels. The prime minister wields executive power in India.
The Congress party-led government has billed Patil’s appointment as a historic day for India’s women, but critics said it was a hollow gesture after a campaign marred by mud-slinging and partisan politics.