Dr Jivraj Narayan Mehta

Dr Jivraj Narayan Mehta

Dr Jivraj Narayan Mehta

Date of Birth : August 29, 1887
Date of Death : November 7, 1978
Mini Biography

Dr Jivraj Narayan Mehta was the first Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was born on 29 August 1887 to Narayan and Jamakben Mehta in Amreli in Bombay Presidency. He was son-in-law of Manubhai Mehta, then Dewan of Baroda state.In his early age, Dr. Eduljee Rustomji Dadachandjee, a civil surgeon in Amrelli prompted him to take up medicine. He subsequently secured admission into the Grant Medical College and Sir J.J. Hospital, Mumbai, after clearing a stiff written test and a thorough viva voce examination that was conducted by the British IMS officers.

His medical education was sponsored by the Seth VM Kapol Boarding Trust. He topped the class in his First Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery (the then equivalent of MBBS) examination. In his final year, he won seven of the eight prizes open to his batch and shared the eighth prize with his hostel roommate Kashinath Dikshit.

Later, for postgraduate studies in London he applied to the Tata education foundation for a student loan and he has been selected in one of the only two students for this prestigious fellowship from amongst several bright students who had applied for it. Jivraj Mehta lived from 1909 to 1915 in London. He was the president of the Indian Students Association in London where he studied medicine and did his FRCS there. He won University gold medal in his MD examinations in 1914. Later he has been made a member of the prestigious Royal College of Physicians of London.

He was briefly the personal Doctor to Gandhiji after returning to India and joining the freedom movement.

He was twice incarcerated (1938 and 1942) by the British government for his role in Gandhiji’s Satyagraha movement. After independence in 1947, Dr. Jivraj graced public office in various positions. He devotedly served people as the first “Dewan” of the erstwhile Baroda state in free India, director general of health services and secretary to the ministry of health in the central government during the partition period, minister of public works, finance, industry and prohibition for the then province of Bombay,

He was the first Chief Minister of the newly formed Gujarat state from April 1960 to September 1963. Later he has also served as the Indian high commissioner to the United Kingdom (1963-66).

Dr. Jivraj Mehta died on the 7th November 1978.

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