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Unformatted text preview: 1 Unit–11: Executive Structure 11. 0 Objectives 11.1 Introduction 11.2 President of India 11.2.1 Qualifications 11.2.2 Method of Election 11.2.3 Term of Office and Removal of the President 11.3 Powers of the President 11.3.1 Emergency Power 11.4 The Prime Minister 11.4.1 The Council of Ministers and the Cabinet 11.4.2 Collective Responsibility 11.5 The Cabinet and the Parliament 11.5.1 Sources of Prime Minister’s Power and influence 11.6 The President and the Prime Minister 11.7 Let Us Sum Up 11.8 Some Useful Books 11.9 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 11.0 OBJECTIVES As in all parliamentary systems, India has both a nominal and real executive. This unit examines the office of the President of India and the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. After going through this unit you should be able to: • Describe the powers the President of India. • Explain the procedure for the election of the President of India. • Describe the composition and functions of the Council of Ministers • Identify the sources of power and influence of the Prime Minister • Discuss the position of the President and Prime Minister in the Indian political system. 11.1 INTRODUCTION The executive power of the government of India is vested in the President of India, who is both the formal head of the state and the symbol of the nation. The Constitution of India, however, bestows authority and dignity to the office of the President without providing adequate powers to rule. Instead, the President performs essentially a ceremonial role. The Prime Minister exercises real executive power. While the President is the head of the state, the Prime Minister is the head of the government. The President carries out the actual functions of the government only with the aid and advice of the Prime Minister. As one political scientist observed, for a President to use the executive powers formally vested in the office would be to misuse and abuse the trust reposed in the highest dignitary in the land. How are the incumbents of these two important offices of the executive elected or selected? What is the position of the President and the Prime Minister in the Indian political system? 2 What is the relationship between the executive and legislature in a parliamentary system such as one prevailing in India? These are some of the questions that we seek to address in this unit. 11.2 PRESIDENT OF INDIA The constitution has made detailed provisions to see that the President, the head of the state, is a ceremonial head and that he did not arrogate to himself any real power. The President is indirectly elected for term of five years and can be removed on the basis of impeachment proceedings brought against him by the Parliament. The Constitution also provides for the post of a Vice President, also indirectly elected, who would serve as head of the state in the event of the President’s incapacity or death....
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- Spring '12