Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli (sŭrˌvəpŭlˈlē räˈdəkrĭshˌən) [key], 1888–1975, Indian philosopher, president of India (1962–67). The main part of his life was spent as an academic; he was a philosophy professor at Mysore (1918–21) and Calcutta (1921–31, 1937–41) universities and also held a professorship in eastern religion and ethics at Oxford (1936–52). His positions in academic administration included the vice chancellorship of Andhra Univ. (1931–36) and of Benares Hindu Univ. (1939–48) and the chancellorship of Delhi Univ. (1953–62). He was ambassador to the USSR (1949–52) and vice president of India (1952–62) before his election as president. He stressed the need for India to establish a classless and casteless society. As a philosopher, Radhakrishnan espoused a modern form of Hinduism that attempted to reconcile the world's religions. Among his works are Indian Philosophy (2 vol., 1923–27), The Philosophy of the Upanishads (1924), Eastern Religions and Western Thought (1939, 2d ed. 1969), East and West: Some Reflections (1955), and Religion in a Changing World (1967). He was knighted in 1931.
See studies by S. J. Samartha (1964) and K. I. Dutt, ed. (1966).