The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India. The President is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of India and is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. The President is indirectly elected by the people through elected members of the Parliament of India (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) as well as of the Legislative Assemblies in States of India (Vidhan Sabha) and serves for a term of five years. Historically, ruling party (majority in the Lok Sabha) nominees (for example, United Progressive Alliance nominee Pranab Mukherjee) have been elected or largely elected unanimously. Incumbent presidents are permitted to stand for re-election. A formula is used to allocate votes so there is a balance between the population of each state and the number of votes assembly members from a state can cast, and to give an equal balance between State Assembly members and the members of the Parliament of India. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, then there is a system by which losing candidates are eliminated from the contest and their votes are transferred to other candidates, until one gains a majority.
Although Article 53 of the Constitution of India states that the President can exercise his or her powers directly or by subordinate authority, with few exceptions, all of the executive authority vested in the President are, in practice, exercised by the popularly elected Government of India, headed by the Prime Minister. This Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister with the help of the Council of Ministers. The President of India resides in an estate in New Delhi known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan (which roughly translates asPresident’s Palace). The presidential retreat is The Retreat in Chharabra, Shimla and Rashtrapati Nilayam (President’s Place) in Hyderabad. The 13th and current President is Pranab Mukherjee, who was elected on 22 July 2012, and sworn-in on 25 July 2012. He is also the first Bengali to be elected as President. He took over the position from Pratibha Patil, who was the first woman to serve in the office.
ORIGIN—-India achieved independence from British Rule on 15 August 1947, initially as aDominion within the Commonwealth of Nations with George VI as the King of India, represented in the country by a Governor-General. Still, following this, the Constituent Assembly of India, under the leadership of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, undertook the process of drafting a completely new constitution for the country. The Constitution of India was eventually enacted on 26 November 1949 and came into force on 26 January 1950,:26making India a republic.:9 The offices of monarch and governor-general were replaced by the new office of President of India, with Rajendra Prasad as the first incumbent.:1 Legislative
Legislative power is constitutionally vested in the Parliament of India of which the president is the titular head. The President summons both the Houses (the Lok Sabhaand the Rajya Sabha) of the Parliament and prorogues them. He can dissolve the Lok Sabha. :147 These powers are formal and by convention, the President uses these powers according to the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The President inaugurates the Parliament by addressing it after the general elections and also at the beginning of the first session each year. Presidential address on these occasions is generally meant to outline the new policies of the government. :145 All bills passed by the Parliament can become laws only after receiving the assent of the President.
The President can return a bill to the Parliament, if it is not a money bill or a constitutional amendment bill, for reconsideration. When, after reconsideration, the bill is passed and presented to the President, with or without amendments, the President is obliged to assent it. The President can also withhold his assent to a bill when it is initially presented to him (rather than return it to the Parliament) thereby exercising a pocket veto. When either of the two Houses of the Parliament of India is not in session, and if government feels the need for immediate procedure, the President can promulgate ordinances which have the same force and effect as laws passed by Parliament. These are in the nature of interim or temporary legislation and their continuance is subject to parliamentary approval. Ordinances remain valid for no more than six weeks from the date the Parliament is convened unless approved by it earlier.
The President appoints, as Prime Minister, the person most likely to command the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha(usually the leader of the majority party or coalition). The President then appoints the other members of the Council of Ministers, distributing portfolios to them on the advice of the Prime Minister. 72 The Council of Ministers remains in power during the ‘pleasure’ of the President. In practice, however, the Council of Ministers must retain the support of the Lok Sabha. If a President were to dismiss the Council of Ministers on his or her own initiative, it might trigger a constitutional crisis. Thus, in practice, the Council of Ministers cannot be dismissed as long as it commands the support of a majority in the Lok Sabha. The President is responsible for making a wide variety of appointments. These include:72 Governors of States
The Chief Justice, other judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts of India The Attorney General
The Comptroller and Auditor General
The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners The Chairman and other Members of the Union Public Service Commission Vice Chancellor of central university and academic staff of central university through his nominee Directors of IITs and NITs
Ambassadors and High Commissioners to other countries
All money bills originate in Parliament, but only if the President recommends them. He or she presents the Annual Budgetand supplementary Budget before Parliament. No money bill can be introduced in Parliament without his or her assent. The President appoints a finance commission every five years. Withdrawal from the contingency fund of India is done after the permission of the President. :48 The Contingency Fund of India is at the disposal of the President.
The President appoints the Chief Justice of the Union Judiciary and other judges on the advice of the Chief Justice. He or she dismisses the judges if and only if the two Houses of the Parliament pass resolutions to that effect by a two-thirds majority of the members present. According to Article 143 of Indian Constitution, if the President considers a question of law or a matter of public importance has arisen, he or she can ask for the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court.
The President is the supreme commander of the defence forces of India. The President can declare war or conclude peace, subject to the approval of parliament only under the decision of the Council of the Armed Forces Chief staffs,Military Secretary and President’s Officer (Deputy Military Secretary). All important treaties and contracts are made in the President’s name. He also appoints the heads of the armed forces.
The President can declare three types of emergencies: national, state, financial. :12 National emergency
See also: The Emergency (India)
National emergency can be declared in the whole of India or a part of its territory on causes of war or armed rebellion or an external aggression. Such an emergency was declared in India in 1962 (Indo-China war), 1971 (Indo-Pakistan war), 1975 to 1977 (declared by Indira Gandhi on account of “internal disturbance”) Under Article 352 of the India Constitution, the President can declare such an emergency only on the basis of a written request by the Cabinet Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. Such a proclamation must be approved by the Parliament within one month. Such an emergency can be imposed for six months.
It can be extended by six months by repeated parliamentary approval, there’s no maximum duration.[page needed] In such an emergency, Fundamental Rights of Indian citizens can be suspended.:33 The six freedoms under Right to Freedom are automatically suspended. However, the Right to Life and Personal Liberty cannot be suspended.(Article 21):20.6 The President can make laws on the 66 subjects of the State List (which contains subjects on which the state governments can make laws). Also, all money bills are referred to the President for its approval.:88 The term of the Lok Sabha can be extended by a period of up to one year, but not so as to extend the term of Parliament beyond six months after the end of the declared emergency. :223 State emergency
If the President is satisfied, on the basis of the report of the Governor of the concerned state or from other sources that the governance in a state cannot be carried out according to the provisions in the Constitution, he/she can declare a state of emergency in the state. Such an emergency must be approved by the Parliament within a period of 2 months. Under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, it can be imposed from six months to a maximum period of three years with repeated parliamentary approval every six months. If the emergency needs to be extended for more than three years, this can be achieved by a constitutional amendment, as has happened in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. During such an emergency, the President can take over the entire work of the executive, and the Governor administers the state in the name of the President. The Legislative Assembly can be dissolved or may remain in suspended animation. The Parliament makes laws on the 66 subjects of the state list (see National emergency for explanation). A State Emergency can be imposed via the following:
1. By Article 356 – If that state failed to run constitutionally i.e. constitutional machinery has failed:159 2. By Article 365 – If that state is not working according to the given direction of the Union Government. This type of emergency needs the approval of the parliament within 2 months. It can last up to a maximum of three years via extensions after each 6-month period. However, after one year it can be extended only if 1. A state of National Emergency has been declared in the country or in the particular state. 2. The Election Commission finds it difficult to organise an election in that state. On 19 January 2013, President’s rule was imposed on the Indian State of Jharkhand, making it the latest state where this kind of emergency has been imposed. Financial emergency
If the President is satisfied that there is an economic situation in which the financial stability or credit of India is threatened, he/she can then proclaim a financial emergency, as per the Article 360. :159 Such an emergency must be approved by the Parliament within two months. It has never been declared. :604 A state of financial emergency remains in force indefinitely until revoked by the President.:195 The President can reduce the salaries of all government officials, including judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, in case of a financial emergency. All money bills passed by the State legislatures are submitted to the President for approval. He can direct the state to observe certain principles (economy measures) relating to financial matters.
Article 58 of the Constitution sets the principle qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of the President. A President must be: A citizen of India
Of 35 years of age or above
Qualified to become a member of the Lok Sabha
A person shall not be eligible for election as President if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments. Certain office-holders, however, are permitted to stand as Presidential candidates. These are: The current Vice President.
The Governor of any State.
A Minister of the Union or of any State (Including Prime Minister and Chief Ministers). :72 In the event that the Vice President, a State Governor or a Minister is elected President, they are considered to have vacated their previous office on the date they begin serving as President. Under The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, a candidate, to be nominated for the office of president needs 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders for his or her name to appear on ballot. Conditions for Presidency
Main article: Electoral College (India)
Certain conditions, as per Article 59 of the Constitution, debar any eligible citizen from contesting the presidential elections. The conditions are: 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 be elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as President. The President shall not hold any other office of profit.
The President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residences and shall be also entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law and until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule. The emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office.
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