First in India

India is a developing nation and the rate of development is a measure of different factors altogether. Indian society is progressing at a better pace due to the upliftment of different domains related to arts, science, architecture, sports, etc. There are many fields where India has marked the numero uno position.

This article is about the list of the first achievements of India and Indians in various fields. This is an important topic for UPSC and other government exams.

List of First in India

The different categories that are discussed below are related to – Science, Governance, Defence, Sports, Architecture.


First in India – Science
First hydroelectric plant Sidrapong (Darjeeling)
First Man in Space Rakesh Sharma
First Nuclear Reactor Apsara (Maharashtra)
First satellite Aryabhatta
First successfully indigenous launch vehicle SLV-3
First Genetically modified food product in India Bt. Eggplant Hybrid
First graduate in medicine Surjo Kumar Chakroborty
First Indian to be appointed as the deputy director-general of programmes (DDP) of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Soumya Swaminathan
First satellite earth station for domestic communications Secunderabad
First technology park in India Technopark (Trivandrum)


First in India – Governance
First president of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad
First vice-president of India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
First president of Indian National Congress Womesh Chandra Bannerjee
First Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru
First Chief Election Commissioner of India Sukumar Sen
First Viceroy of India Lord Canning
First Governor-General of India Lord William Bentinck
First Chief Justice of India H.J Kania
First Speaker of Lok Sabha G. V. Mavlankar
First Home Minister of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel
First Chairperson of Lokpal of India Pinaki Chandra Ghose


First in India – Defence
First Defence Minister of India Baldev Singh
First Commander-in-Chief of Free India Kodandera Madappa Cariappa
First Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force Subroto Mukherjee
First Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw
First Param Vir Chakra winner Major Som Nath Sharma
First female Jawan in the Army Sapper Shanti Tigga
First Indian woman to fly fighter aircraft without co-pilot IAF Officer Avani Chaturvedi
First cosmonaut Sqn Ldr Rakesh Sharma
First woman in the Indian Army awarded the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ prize Divya Ajith Kumar


First in India – Sports
First Olympics Team Medal Gold in Field Hockey (1928, Summer Olympics)
First Indian woman wrestler to win an Asian gold medal Navjot Kaur
First Indian woman badminton player to win an Asian Games medal Saina Nehwal
First Indian woman to win a medal at Asian Games Santhi Soundarajan
First person to win international bronze medal in skiing Aanchal Thakur
First Woman to Win an Olympic Silver Medal P. V. Sindhu in Badminton
First female to represent India at the Summer Olympics Nora Polley, 1924 Summer Olympics
First Individual Gold Medal won by Abhinav Bindra, 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
First Woman to Win a Medal in Wrestling Sakshi Malik Bronze in the 2016 Summer Olympics


First in India – Architecture
First temple constructed from a single rock Kailasa temple at Ellora
First church in India St. Thomas Church, Palayoor
First mosque in India Cheraman Juma Mosque in Methala
First dam in India Kallanai Dam
First Indian temple with many interconnected structures Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu

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List of First in India – Frequently Asked

First British to Visit India Hawkins
First Chinese pilgrim to Visit India Fa-hien
First Indian to reach Antarctica Lt. Ram Charan
First Judge in International Court of Justice Dr. Nagender Singh
First Muslim President of the Indian National Congress Badruddin Tayyabji
First Post Office Opened in India Kolkata(1727)
First Test tube baby of India Indira (Baby Harsha)
First Wax statue of a Living Indian Mahatma Gandhi at Madame Tussaud’s in 1939
India’s First Lok Sabha Member to be elected with a record maximum number of votes P.V.Narasimha Rao
India’s First Open University Andhra Pradesh Open University
India’s First University Nalanda University
India’s first man in Space Rakesh Sharma
The firs Speaker of the Lok Sabha Ganesh Vasudeva Mavalankar
The first and last Muslim woman ruler of India Razia Sultan
The first and the last Indian to be Governor General of free India C. Rajgopalachari
The first British Governor General of Bengal Lord Warren Hasting(1774-1885)
The first British Governor General of India Lord William Bentinck(1833-1835)
The first British Viceroy of India Lord Canning
The first Chief Election Commissioner Sukumar Sen
The first Chief Justice of Supreme Court Justice Hirala J. Kania
The first Chief of Army Staff Gen. Maharaj Rajendra Singhji
The first Education Minister Abdul Kalam Azad
The first Field Marshal of India S.H.F. Manekshaw
The first Governor General of free India Lord Mountbatten
The first Home minister of India Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
The first Indian Air Chief Marshal S. Mukherjee
The first Indian Commander-in-Chief of India General Cariappa
The first Indian Member of the Viceroy’s executive council S.P.Sinha
The first Indian Naval Chief Vice Admiral R.D. Katari
The first Indian Pilot J.R.D. Tata (1929)
The first Indian to cross English Channel Mihir Sen
The first Indian to get Nobel Prize in Physics C.V.Raman
The first Indian to join the Indian Civil Services Satyendra Nath Tagore
The first Indian to receive Bharat Ratna award Dr. Radhakrishnan
The first Indian to win Nobel Prize Rabindranath Tagore
The first Judge of International Court of Justice Dr. Nagendra Singh
The first lady to become Miss World Rita Faria
The first man who introduced printing press in India James Hicky
The first Muslim President of India Dr. Zakir Hussain
The first Muslim President of Indian National Congress Badruddin Tayyabji
The first Muslim President of Indian Republic Dr. Zakhir Hussain
The first person of Indian origin to receive Nobel Prize in Medicine Hargovind Khurana
The first person to get Param Vir Chakra Major Somnath Sharma
The first person to reach Mt. Everest without oxygen Sherpa Anga Dorjee
The first Person to receive Jnanpith award Sri Shankar Kurup
The first person to receive Magsaysay Award Acharya Vinoba Bhave
The first person to receive Nobel Prize in Economics Amartya Sen
The first person to receive Stalin Prize Saifuddin Kitchlu
The first person to resign from the Central Cabinet Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
The first President of India who died while in office Dr. Zakhir Hussain
The first President of Indian National Congress W.C. Banerjee
The first President of Indian Republic Dr. Rajendra Prasad
The first Prime Minister of free India Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru
The first Prime Minister of India who did not face the Parliament Charan Singh
The first Prime Minister of India who resigned without completing the full term Morarji Desai
The first Vice-President of India Dr. Radhakrishnan
The first woman Air Vice Marshal P. Bandopadhyaya
The first woman Airline Pilot Durba Banerjee
The first woman Ambassador Miss C.B. Muthamma
The first woman Asian Games Gold Medal Winner Kamlijit Sandhu
The first woman Chairman of Union Public Service Commission Roze Millian Bethew
The first woman chairperson of Indian Airlines Sushma Chawla
The first woman Cheif Justice of High Court Mrs Leela Seth (Himachal Pradesh High Court)
The first woman Chief Minister of an Indian State Mrs Sucheta Kripalani
The first woman Director General of Police Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya
The first woman Governor of a state in free India Mrs Sarojini Naidu
The first woman Graduates Kadambini Ganguly and Chandramukhi Basu, 1883
The first woman Honours Graduate Kamini Roy, 1886
The first woman IPS officer Mrs. Kiran Bedi
The first woman Judge Anna Chandy (She became judge in a district court in 1937)
The first woman judge in Supreme Court Mrs. Meera Sahib Fatima Bibi
The first woman Judge in Supreme Court of India Kumari Justice M. Fathima Beevi
The first woman Lawyer Cornelia Sorabjee
The first woman Lieutenant General Puneeta Arora
The first woman Minister in a Government Rajkumari Amrit Kaur
The first woman Olympic medal Winner Karnam Malleswari, 2000
The first woman pilot in Indian Air Force Harita Kaur Dayal
The first woman President of Indian National Congress Mrs Annie Besant
The first woman President of United Nations General Assembly Mrs Vijaya Laxmi Pandit
The first woman Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi
The first woman Speaker of a State Assembly Shanno Devi
The first woman to climb Mount Everest Bachhendri Pal
The first woman to climb Mount Everest twice Santosh Yadav
The first woman to cross English Channel Aarti Saha
The first woman to receive Ashoka Chakra Nirja Bhanot
The first woman to receive Bharat Ratna Mrs Indira Gandhi
The first woman to receive Jnanpith Award Ashapurna Devi
The first woman to receive Jnanpith Award Ashpurna Devi
The first woman to receive the Nobel Prize Mother Teresa

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