ROLE OF THE PRESIDENT


We know that the President of India takes the salute during the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath. He addresses the nation on the eve of Republic Day and Independence Day and also during the annual joint sitting of parliament. He welcomes State Visitors to India from other countries.



What is the role played by the President within the government? What are his responsibilities?



HOW IS THE PRESIDENT ELECTED?

The President is elected by the members of an electoral college that comprises all elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies of the States of India. The President holds office for a term of five years. He is sworn in by the Chief Justice of India and takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India.




WHAT DOES THE PRESIDENT DO?


• The President of India is the Head of the State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

• Various Articles of the Constitution define the role and powers of the President.

• All visiting Heads of State and Government are received by the President. The President appoints India’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners in foreign countries and receives Credentials from heads of foreign missions based in New Delhi.

• The President is ‘Visitor’ to 114 Higher Educational Institutions including Central Universities, Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research as well as the Indian Institute of Science.


• After a general election to the Lok Sabha, the President invites the political party that has got the majority to form the government. He appoints the leader of the party with the majority as Prime Minister and on his advice, he swears in Members of the Council of Ministers.

• The President can summon one or both houses of Parliament for a session. He also has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha. No act of Parliament can become law without the approval of the President. When both Houses of Parliament pass a bill, it has to be signed by the President before it becomes law.

• The President is the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces. He can declare war or peace when it has been approved by Parliament. He also appoints officials like the Chief Election Commissioner and the Attorney General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

• On the advice of the Council of Ministers, he can declare a state of emergency like a state of war. He can declare President’s Rule in a state if the state government has failed. The President also has the power to pardon anyone given a death sentence by law courts or even reduce the sentence of a prisoner. He is the final court of appeal for prisoners.

ACTIVITY:

~~~ If you live in Delhi you can visit Rashtrapati Bhavan every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Book a tour on Rashtrapati Bhavan website at https://presidentofindia.gov.in/rbvisit/rbvisit.aspx

You can also witness a Change of Guard Ceremony every Saturday. For details, check Rashtrapati Bhavan website at http://presidentofindia.nic.in/changing-of-the-guard.htm

~~~ In school, enact a scene from the Parliament with students playing the role of the President, Prime Minister and speakers of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

~~~ For a class project, write a small essay on the topic –‘If I was the President of India’.