Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (Hindustani: [?? n? d? r? ?? a? nd?? i] ( listen); nee Nehru; 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984) was the third Prime Minister of India and a central figure of the Indian National Congress party. Gandhi, who served from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, is the second-longest-serving Prime Minister of India and the only woman to hold the office. Indira Gandhi was the only child of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
She served as the Chief of Staff of her father’s highly centralized administration between 1947 and 1964 and came to wield considerable unofficial influence in government. Elected Congress President in 1959, she was offered the premiership in succession to her father. Gandhi refused and instead chose to become a cabinet minister in the government. She finally consented to become Prime Minister in succession to Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. As Prime Minister, Gandhi became known for her political ruthlessness and unprecedented centralisation of power.
She presided over a period where India emerged with greater power than before to become the regionalhegemon of South Asia with considerable political, economic, and military developments. Gandhi also presided over a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 during which she ruled by decree and made lasting changes to the constitution of India. She was assassinated in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star. In 2001, Gandhi was voted the greatest Indian Prime Minister in a poll organised by India Today.
She was also named “Woman of the Millennium” in a poll organised by the BBC in 1999.  Indira Nehru was born on 19 November 1917 in Allahabad.  Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, led India’s politicalstruggle for independence from British rule, and became the first Prime Minister of the Union (and later Republic) of India.  She was an only child (a younger brother was born, but died young), and grew up with her mother,Kamala Nehru, at the Anand Bhavan; a large family estate in Allahabad.  Indira had a lonely and unhappy childhood.
 Her father was often away, directing political activities or being incarcerated in prison, while her mother was frequently bed-ridden with illness, and later suffered an early death from tuberculosis.  She had limited contact with her father, mostly through letters.  Indira was mostly taught at home by tutors, and intermittently attended school until matriculation in 1934. [NB 1]SHE WENT ON TO STUDY AT THE VISWA BHARATI UNIVERSITY IN SHANTINIKETAN.  A YEAR LATER, HOWEVER, SHE had to leave university to attend to her ailing mother in Europe.
 While there, it was decided that Indira would continue her education at the University of Oxford in Britain.  After her mother passed away, she briefly attended theBadminton School before enrolling at Somerville College in 1937 to read history.  INDIRA HAD TO TAKE THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION TWICE; HAVING FAILED AT HER FIRST ATTEMPT, WITH A POOR performance in Latin.  At Oxford, she did well in history, political science and economics, but her grades in Latin—a compulsory subject—remained poor. .