(Sample Material) IAS Online Coaching : Polity - President of India

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Subject: Polity

Topic:  President of India

India adopted the Westminster model of democracy where the Parliament is supreme and the political executive composed of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister is the head of the Government- de facto head. President is the lead of State and is the nominal head- counterpart of the British monarch- de jure head.

President, as the Head of the State, symbolises the nation. In some democratic systems, the head of the State is also the head of the government and, therefore, he is also the head of the political executive. The US Presidency represents this form. In Britain, the monarch is the symbolic head, representing - the British nation. The powers of the Government are vested in the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister. The President of India is the first citizen and represents the Indian nation and does not, therefore, belong to any particular political party. He is largely ceremonial in his status.

Article 52 states that there shall be a President of India.

According to Art. 53, the executive powers of the Union shall be vested in the President.

Ques. 1 : Election of the President has became more political in nature rather than constitutional. Examine?

Ans. Constituent Assembly debated whether the President should be directly or indirectly elected. Some preferred direct election of the President. The suggestion was rejected on the following grounds
If President of India is elected directly by people, it will be a partisan election- the President will represent a particular political party which denies the office universal character. He may not work impartially
Secondly, a directly elected Chief Executive will insist on enjoying real powers and not satisfied with a ceremonial role and thus clash with the council of ministers, particularly if the Presidency and the Council of Ministers come from different parties.

A middle course was chosen by the framers of the Indian Constitution by having an electoral college with elected representatives from parliament and the state assemblies.

Article 54 of the constitution says:

The President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of-

  • The elected members of both Houses of Parliament and

  • The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States (including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puduchery after the Constitution 70th amendment Act, 1992).

In India, no special electoral college is elected, as in the case of America (in the USA, members of electoral college are elected by the people.) In India the electoral college is made up of the elected MPs and elected MLAs of all states and the two UTs of NCT of Delhi and Puduchery. Election of the President of India is by the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote as provided by Article 55(3) of the Constitution.

The nominated members of Parliament and legislative assemblies have no right to vote in the election. Similarly, the members of the Legislative Councils of the State Legislatures have also been excluded from the electoral college.

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