The President of India is the constitutional head of the country (Republic of India). As part of the “checks and balances” that keeps our democracy a stable one, however, a Governor is appointed to head each state.
The Governor is the representative of the President in each state. In the normal course of events, the Governor is merely a nominal head and though all executive decisions are made by the Chief Minister and the state Cabinet in the name of the Governor, the latter is devoid of any real executive powers.
Articles 153 to 156 of the Indian Constitution deal with the role and responsibilities, and with the appointment of the Governor of a state. The President of India appoints the Governor of any state. The general term for a Governor to hold office is five years, though the President may remove the incumbent Governor from office at any time and there is no “security of tenure”. In 1956, an amendment was made to the constitution, making it possible for the Governor to take additional charge of more states (usually a neighbouring state).
Governors of the various states of India and the dates they took charge are as follows (as on 19 January 2017) –
|Sl no||State||Name of the Governor||Since|
|1||Andhra Pradesh||E. S. L. Narasimhan||28 December 2009|
|2||Arunachal Pradesh||B.D. Mishra||3 October 2017|
|3||Assam||Banwarilal Purohit||10 October 2017|
|4||Bihar||Lalji Tandon||22 August 2018|
|5||Chhattisgarh||Shri Anandiben Patel||15 August2018|
|6||Goa||Mridula Sinha||31 August 2014|
|7||Gujarat||Om Prakash Kohli||16 July 2014|
|8||Haryana||Satyadeo Narain Arya||22 August 2018|
|9||Himachal Pradesh||Acharya Dev Vrat||12 August 2015|
|10||Jammu & Kashmir||Satya Pal Malik||22 August 2018|
|11||Jharkhand||Draupadi Murmu||18 May 2015|
|12||Karnataka||Vajubhai Vala||1 September 2014|
|13||Kerala||P. Sathasivam||5 September 2014|
|14||Madhya Pradesh||Anandi Ben Patel||23 January 2018|
|15||Maharashtra||C Vidhyasagar Rao||30 August 2014|
|16||Manipur||Najma Heptulla||21 August 2016|
|17||Meghalaya||Tathagata Roy||22 August 2018|
|18||Mizoram||Nirbhay Sharma||26 May 2015|
|19||Nagaland||Padhmanabha Acharya||19 July 2014|
|20||Odisha||Ganeshi Lal||29 May 2018|
|21||Punjab||V. P. Singh Badnore||22 August 2016|
|22||Rajasthan||Kalyan Singh||4 September 2014|
|23||Sikkim||Ganga Prasad||20 July 2013|
|24||Tamil Nadu||Banwarilal Purohit||6 October 2017|
|25||Telangana||E. S. L. Narasimhan (Additional Charge)||2 June 2014|
|26||Tripura||Kaptan Singh Solanki||22 August 2018|
|27||Uttar Pradesh||Ram Naik||22 July 2014|
|28||Uttarakhand||Baby Rani Maurya||22 August 2018|
|29||West Bengal||Keshari Nath Tripathi||24 July 2014|
President’s Representative, Not Agent of Centre
The Governor enjoys a number of executive, legislative, judicial, and emergency powers. The Governor’s assent is necessary for passing any law at the state level and this is a mere formality. The Governor also has the power to promulgate ordinances and to select the Chief Minister in case there is no majority in the state legislative assembly.
The Governor is consulted by the President in matters of High Court judges’ appointments and the Governor also appoints the district court judges. The most important power held by the Governor, however, is that of imposing the President’s Rule in case of any emergency arising in the state.
In such circumstances, the Governor overrides the advice of the state’s Council of Ministers and even the Chief Minister. In recent times, the role of the Governor has been re-examined after a number of Governors have been known to act upon the guidance of the Union Council of Ministers.
The Governor’s role is not to be an “agent of the Centre” but to act as a representative of the President – looking upon the welfare of the state and its people in a fair, unbiased, and nonpartisan manner. It is the Governor’s responsibility to behave circumspectly and harmoniously balance the differences that the central and state governments may have, keeping in mind only the welfare of the masses. While no such written rule exists, it is precisely for this reason that a person is not appointed as the Governor of his/her own state of origin.
While the 29 states of India have the Governors as the President’s representative, the Union Territories of the country have Administrative Heads to look after the various functions. The exceptions to this are the Union Territories of Delhi (National Capital Territory), Puducherry, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These three UTs have Lieutenant Governors (LGs). The LGs have the same power as that of any Governor of state in India.
The Administrative Heads of the other Union Territories is usually and a member of the Indian Administrative Services. In case of Chandigarh, though, for the sake of convenience the Governor of Punjab is also appointed the Administrative Head.
Here are the Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of the Union Territories of India (as on 19 January 2017) –
|Sl no||Union Territory||Lieutenant Governors/Administrators||Name||Since|
|1||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Lieutenant Governor||Admiral D K Joshi||22 August 2016|
|2||Chandigarh||Administrator||V. P. Singh Badnore||22 August 2016|
|3||Dadra and Nagar Haveli||Administrator||Praful Khoda Patel||30 December 2016|
|4||Daman and Diu||Administrator||Praful Khoda Patel||29 August 2016|
|5||Delhi (National Capital Territory)||Lieutenant Governor||Anil Baijal||31 December 2016|
|6||Lakshadweep||Administrator||Farooq Khan||6 September 2016|
|7||Puducherry||Lieutenant Governor||Kiran Bedi||29 May 2016|