President of India



The President of India is the first citizen of the country and is also the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. He is also the Head of the State and all the visiting Heads of State and Government are received by him. The Indian Ambassadors and High Commissioners in other countries are appointed by him.

First President of India

Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India. So far, he is the only President in India to have held office for continuous two terms.

Current President of India

On 25 July 2017 Ram Nath Kovind was sworn in as the 14th President of India. The ruling NDA coalition had nominated Kovind as a Presidential candidate. He was born on 1 October 1945. Kovind has represented India in the United Nations and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in October 2002. From 2015 to 2017, Ram Nath Kovind has served as the 35th Governor of Bihar. He graduated in Law from a college in Kanpur. He provided free legal aid to weaker sections of society, women and the poor under the Free Legal Aid Society in New Delhi. With his swearing in ceremony on 25 July 2017, he becomes the second Dalit leader to be elected to the post.

Election of the President

Article 54 of the Indian Constitution explains the election of the President of India. As per this article, the President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college. The electoral college should consists of (i) the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament - Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha; and (ii) the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states and only two Union Territories - National Capital Territory of Delhi and Puducherry. The elections of the President are held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. Article 55 of the Constitution says that there shall be uniformity in the scale of representation of the different states at the elections.

Eligibility

Article 58 of the Constitution explains the eligibility criteria to be fulfilled by a presidential candidate:
  • He must be a citizen of India,
  • He must have attained the age of 35 years,
  • He should be qualified for election as a member of the House of the People.

A person is not eligible for the presidential post if he already holds any office of profit under the Government of India, or the Government of any state, or any local or other authority which is under the control of any of these governments. However, there are few office holders who are qualified to be presidential candidates. They are:
  • The present Vice-President of India
  • The Governor of any of the states
  • Any minister of the Union or any state (which also include the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers).

A person who already holds or has held the office of the President, subject to other provisions of the Constitution, shall be eligible for re-election to the office.

Conditions for President
  • The President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any state, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any state gets elected as the President, he shall be deemed to vacate his office or seat in that House on the day on which he enters the office as President.
  • He should not hold any office of profit.
  • The allowances and emoluments given to the President shall not diminish during his presidential tenure.

Impeachment

Article 61 constitutes the impeachment of the President. The President can be removed from his position even before his tenure ends. This can be done through impeachment. He can be impeached for violating the Constitution. The charges for his impeachment can be initiated in any House of the Parliament. The charge must be put in a notice and signed by minimum one-fourth of the total number of members of the House. The notice should be sent to the President and after 14 days, it should be taken up for consideration. The resolution is required to be approved by at least two-third of the majority of the total number of members of that House. Thereafter, the other House shall investigate the charges made, and during the course of this procedure, the President has a right to defend himself with the help of an authorised counsel. Then, if the resolution is passed by the majority of the two-third of the total number of members of the other House, the President shall be removed from his office from the same date on which the resolution is passed.

Duties and Powers

Duties

The principal responsibility of the President of India is to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution and the laws of India. His actions, supervisory powers and recommendations on the legislative and executive entities shall be in accordance so as to uphold the Constitution.

Powers

According to Article 52 of the Constitution, there shall be a President in India. Several Articles of Constitution define the role and powers of the President. The President of India enjoys certain powers and functions:

Executive Powers

Under the Article 53 of the Constitution of India, the President is vested with all the executive powers of the Union. He exercises these powers in accordance with the Constitution either directly or by his subordinates. It is the right of the President to be informed of all the concerns and affairs of the country. He also enjoys the power and authority of appointment and dismissal of high constitutional authorities of India. The Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers, judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the Attorney General and the governors of the state; all are appointed by the President.

Legislative Powers

The President is also vested with the legislative powers. He can dissolve and end the session of both the Houses of Parliament. His assent is compulsory to transform a bill into a law. His sanction is required by the government before introduction of legislation. He has the authority to nominate 12 members to the Rajya Sabha with accomplishments in the fields of science, art, literature and social service and two members of the Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha. His consent is also required for the legislation which deals with fundamental rights. He has the power to return a bill to the Parliament except for a Money Bill or Constitutional Amendment Bill.

Judicial Powers

The President also enjoys the judicial powers which include rectifying judicial errors and granting pardons. The Chief Justice of India and other judges are appointed by the President. In the matters of public interest and question of law, the President can seek opinion of the Supreme Court.

Financial Powers

It is the President of India who lays the annual budget in the Parliament. A money bill can not be introduced in the Parliament without his consent. After every five years, the President appoints a finance commission. The Contingency Funds of the country are at his disposal and a withdrawal from those funds could only take place after his consent and approval.

Diplomatic Powers

The role of the President is also important when it is related to diplomacy or maintaining international relations. The international treaties and agreements are negotiated on behalf of the President. The ambassadors and high commissioners of India represent him in other countries.

Military Powers

He is the Supreme Commander of the defence forces of the country. He is vested with the authority to declare war or conclude peace with other nations, subject to the approval of the Parliament. The chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force are appointed by the President.

Emergency Powers

Three types of emergencies, national, state and financial are declared by the President. National emergency can be declared on account of several events such as war, armed rebellion or external aggressions in the country. It can only be declared on a written recommendation by the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers. A state emergency is also known as President's Rule and is imposed on the occasion of the failure of the constitutional machinery. It is also imposed if the government in the state does not work as per the guidelines of the union government. A financial emergency is declared when the financial stability of any part or of the whole country is affected. In case of financial emergency, approval of the Parliament is required within two months.

Term of Office

Article 56 of the Constitution describes the term of office of the President. He shall hold the office for a period of five years from the date he enters his office. The President can resign from his post by writing his resignation to the Vice-President of India. But, he can continue to hold his office until his successor joins the office. If the office of the President falls vacant due to his death, resignation or impeachment, the Vice-President shall act as his substitute until a new President is elected.

Salary and Emoluments

The Parliament fixes the salary and allowances of the President. He presently gets a salary of Rs. 1,50,000 per month along with various allowances.

Residence of President

The President of India resides in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which is also one of the buildings of its kind in the world.

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Last Updated on : July 25, 2017







     


     

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