Vice President of India


Article 63 of the Constitution says that there should be a Vice-President in India. According to Article 64 of the Constitution, he is the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States or the Rajya Sabha, but should not hold any other office of profit. He also acts as the President in case of vacancy in the office of the President due to his absence, death, resignation or impeachment. His office is the second highest constitutional office in the country.

First Vice-President of India

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first Vice-President of India. He held the position of Vice-President for consecutive two terms (from 1952 to 1962) and then also served as the President of India from 1962 to 1967.

Current Vice-President of India

M. Venkaiah Naidu is the current and the 13th Vice-President of India. Previously Venkaiah Naidu served as the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting in the Modi Cabinet.


The election of the Vice-President is discussed in Article 66 of the Constitution. The Vice-President is indirectly elected by an electoral college which consists of members of both the Houses of Parliament. The members of the state legislatures do no take part in the elections of the Vice-President. The elections are conducted by the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. The voting shall be undertaken by a secret ballot.

The Election Commission of India, the autonomous body for conducting elections in the country, also conducts the elections for the Vice-President. The election process to elect the Vice-President is as follows:

The first and the foremost step is the appointment of a Returning Officer who is to take care of the election process. Usually, the Returning Officer is the Secretary-General of either House of the Parliament, normally by rotation. The Officer issues a public notice about the impending elections and invites nominations from the candidates.

Any candidate, who is qualified to participate in the elections, needs to get an affirmation from minimum 20 Members of Parliament (MPs) as proposers and at least 20 other MPs as seconders. He is also required to submit a security deposit of Rs. 15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India.

The Returning Officer then scrutinises the nomination papers and adds the names of the selected candidates to the ballot.

The elections are then conducted by the method of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. The nominated candidates can also take part in the elections.

After the elections and the counting of votes are done, the Returning Officer announces the results to the Electoral College. He then reports the results to the Election Commission of India and the Central Government which publishes the name of the elected person as Vice-President in the official Gazette.

The elections for the Vice-President are to be held within 60 days of expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President.


A person is required to fulfill the following criteria to become the Vice-President:
  • He must be a citizen of India.
  • He must have attained the age of 35 years.
  • He must be qualified for election as a member of the Council of States.
  • He should not hold any office of profit.


Unlike the President of India, the Vice-President cannot be impeached or removed from his office. But, he may be removed from his office if a resolution is passed by the Rajya Sabha by more than 50% of the effective members of the House and favoured by a simple majority i.e., 50% of voting members of the Lok Sabha. But, the resolution can only be moved if a notice for at least 14 days has been given.

Powers and Functions

After the President of India, the Vice-President is the highest dignitary of the country. He is the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States. As the Chairman of the Council of States, he presides over the meetings of the House. He is also the primary spokesperson of the House. It is his responsibility to ensure that the proceedings of the House are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. He is also the custodian and guardian of the privileges and rights of the members and the House.

The Vice-President acts as the President if the office of the President is vacant due to resignation, death or removal. He also acts as the President in case the President is absent from office due to prolonged illness, or any other cause. The Vice-President enjoys all the powers and functions entitled to the President. However, during this tenure he shall not perform his duties as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

List of Vice President of India

No.Vice PresidentsAgeFromtoPresident
1Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan(1888-1975)May 13, 1952May 12, 1962Dr. Rajendra Prasad
2Dr. Zakir Hussain(1897-1969)May 13, 1962May 12, 1967Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
3Sh. Varahagiri Venkata Giri(1894-1980)May 13, 1967May 3, 1969Dr. Zakir Hussain
4Gopal Swarup Pathak(1896-1982)Aug 31, 1969Aug 30, 1974Sh. Varahagiri Venkata Giri
5Basappa Danappa Jatti(1912-2002)Aug 31, 1974Aug 30, 1979Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
6Justice Muhammad Hidayatullah(1905-1992)Aug 31, 1979Aug 30, 1984Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
7Ramaswamy Venkataraman(1910-2009)Aug 31, 1984Jul 24, 1987Giani Zail Singh
8Shankar Dayal Sharma(1918-1999)Sep 3, 1987Jul 24, 1992Ramaswamy Venkataraman
9Kocheril Raman Narayanan(1920-2005)Aug 21, 1992Jul 24, 1997Shankar Dayal Sharma
10Krishan Kant(1927-2002)Aug 21, 1997Jul 27, 2002Kocheril Raman Narayanan, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
11Bhairon Singh Shekhawat(1923-2010)Aug 19, 2002Jul 21, 2007A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
12Mohammad Hamid Ansari(1937- )Aug 11, 200711 August 2017Pratibha Patil, Pranab Mukherjee
13M. Venkaiah Naidu, (1949 -)11 August 2017IncumbentRam Nath Kovind

To know more about President of India the following links can be used:

Duties & powers of the President of India

Last Updated on : August 12, 2017