HomeGeneral KnowledgeIndian Polity Short Notes For Exams part 3

Indian Polity Short Notes For Exams part 3

Union (Article 52-151)


  • Executive Head of the State and the first citizen of India.
  • The 42nd Amendment of the Constitution made it obligatory for the President to accept the advice of the Council of Ministers. However, the 44th Amendment Act amended the word ‘obligatory’ and added that the President can send the advice for reconsideration.


  • Must be a citizen of India.
  • Must be 35 years of age.
  • Should be eligible to be a member of the Lok Sabha.
  • Must not hold any office of profit.


  • Indirectly elected through an Electoral College consisting of elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament, elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States, and elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
  • Members of the Legislative Councils have no right to vote in the Presidential election.
  • The Supreme Court decides all disputes regarding the President’s election.


  • The term is 5 years with no upper limit on the number of times a person can become the President (Article 57).
  • The President can give resignation to the Vice-President before the full term.
  • The salary of the President is ₹5,00,000 per month.
  • In case of vacancy in the office of the President due to death, resignation, or removal, the Vice-President acts as the President. If unavailable, the Chief Justice of India or the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court shall act as the President of India.
  • Dr. Zakir Hussain was the first President to die in office. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was the second.
  • Justice M Hidayatullah was the first Chief Justice of India to be appointed as the President (July 1969-August 1969).

Impeachment Procedure:

  • It is a quasi-judicial procedure. The President can be impeached only on the grounds of violation of the Constitution (Article 61).
  • The impeachment procedure can be initiated in either House of the Parliament.

Powers of President

  • Formal Head of the Administration.
  • Appoints and removes high authorities like the Prime Minister, other Ministers of the Union, Judges, Governors of States, and Chiefs of Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • Nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from persons of literature, art, science, and social work, and 2 members in the Lok Sabha of the Anglo-Indian Community.
  • Parliament passed the 126th Amendment Bill in December 2019, abolishing the provision of Anglo-Indians to Lok Sabha and some State Assemblies.
  • Declares wars and concludes peace, subject to the approval of the Parliament.
  • Holds veto power.
  • Under Article 72, the President has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites, or remission of punishment or to suspend, remit, or commute the sentence of any person convicted with the death sentence.
  • Under Article 123, the President can promulgate Ordinances when the Parliament is not in session.

Emergency Powers:

  • Can declare National Emergency (Article 352).
  • Can impose President’s Rule in a State (Article 356).
  • Can declare Financial Emergency (Article 360).

Types of Vetoes

  • Absolute Veto: Involves withholding the assent to the Bill. Once vetoed, the Bill cannot become a law unless it is reintroduced and passed again by the Legislature.
  • Qualified Veto: Can be overridden by the Legislature with a higher majority than the one required for passing the Bill initially.
  • Suspensive Veto: Can be overridden by the Legislature with an ordinary majority.
  • Pocket Veto: Involves a delay in giving assent to the Bill. The President does not formally veto the Bill but delays it by not taking any action on it.
  • The President of India is vested with three types of vetoes: absolute veto, suspensive veto, and pocket veto. There is no qualified veto in the case of the Indian President.
  • The Veto Power has been exercised only twice:
    • (a) by Dr. Rajendra Prasad
    • (b) by R. Venkataraman.


  • Article 63 of the Constitution stipulates a Vice-President for India.
  • The Vice-President is elected by both the Houses of Parliament.
  • He serves as the Ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) as per Article 64.
  • The present salary of the Vice-President is ₹4,00,000 per month.
  • The first Vice-President of India was Dr. S Radhakrishnan.
  • The first and only Vice-President who died in office was Shri Krishna Kant (1997-2002).

Council of Ministers

  • Article 74 of the Constitution states that there shall be a Council of Ministers, with the Prime Minister at its head, to aid and advise the President.
  • It is composed of all Union Ministers— the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers.
  • The other Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister under Article 75(1).
  • A Minister must be a member of either House of Parliament or be elected within 6 months of assuming office under Article 75(5).
  • The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha, meaning the Lok Sabha can remove the Council of Ministers from office by passing a No-confidence Motion (Article 75 (3)).
  • Ministers are also responsible for their departments and can be removed from office by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. This is essentially an individual responsibility under Article 75 (2).

Prime Minister

  • The Prime Minister is the head of the Government and the head of the Council of Ministers.
  • Appointed by the President on the basis of being the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha.
  • If no party holds an absolute majority or if a Prime Minister resigns or dies, the President can use discretion in the choice of the Prime Minister.
  • Article 78 stipulates the duties of the Prime Minister, including communicating all decisions taken by the Cabinet to the President and furnishing information relating to the administration of the Union or any legislation upon the President’s request.
  • Serves a term of five years but can be re-appointed. Can continue in office upon the request of the President until a new government is formed if the Lok Sabha is dissolved.
  • If the Government is defeated in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister and the entire Cabinet must resign. Defeat in the Rajya Sabha does not necessitate resignation.

Some Facts

  • Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister and the longest-serving Prime Minister so far.
  • The first and only acting Prime Minister was Gulzarilal Nanda.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first PM to die abroad, while in office at Tashkent. Gulzarilal Nanda has acted twice as the acting Prime Minister.
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh was the only PM who did not face Parliament while being in office.
  • The youngest Prime Minister was Rajeev Gandhi and the oldest Prime Minister was Morarji Desai.
  • The AB Vajpayee government (May 1996–June 1996) had the shortest tenure (13 days).




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