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Introduction to Union Executive


The Union executive in India comprises the President, Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. It is a law implementation body. The President is called the nominal executive and Prime Minister is known as real executive.

The President (Art 52)

Article 52 of the Constitution states that ‘There shall be a President for the Union of India’. It is clearly stated in Article 53 that the executive powers of the Union shall be vested in the hands of the President.


Qualifications of the President

  1. Must be a citizen of India.
  2. Must have attained the age of 35 years.
  3. Must have all qualifications similar to that of a member of Lok Sabha.
  4. Should not hold an office of profit––national, state or local.
  5. Should be of a sound mind.


Election of President
The President of India is indirectly elected by an electrol college consisting of—

  • elected members of both Houses of Parliament.
  • elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies.
  • elected members of Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Pondichery (70th Amendment 1992)


The President can be impeached for the violation of the Constitution.

The motion for impeachment can be initiated in either House of the Parliament. However, before impeaching the President, a 14-day advance notice must be given of the said, cause endorsed and signed by not less than one-fourth of the members of the house.

If the motion is sustained by a two-third majority of members of both the Houses, the President stands impeached.


The President shall take the oath of the office in the presence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.


Powers and Functions of the President

  1. Legislative functions
    1. To summon, to prorogue, to dissolve the Parliament.
    2. The President enjoys power to address the first session of the Parliament after general elections—generally called the ‘Presidential speech’.
    3. President nominates 2 Anglo-Indians to Lok Sabha and 12 members to Rajya Sabha.
    4. No bill can become a law without the assent of the President. He enjoys the power to withhold a bill. This power is called ‘veto power’.
  1. Executive functions
    1. All administration is carried on in the name of the President.
    2. The President appoints the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers on recommendation of the Prime Minister.
    3. The highest constitutional functionaries such as Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) are appointed by the President. Similarly, he has the power to terminate them.
    4. He appoints members to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Commission for Woman (NCW).
  2. Financial powers
    1. Financial bills cannot be presented in the Parliament without the consent of the President.
    2. The members of the Finance Commission and Planning Commission are appointed by the President.
    3. The consolidated fund is in the name of the President.
  3. Judicial powers
    1. The President enjoys the power of pardoning the sentence of a person declared by the Supreme Court.
    2. The judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
    3. He can approach the Supreme Court for suggestions with reference to legal matters of the country.
  4. Military powers
    1. He is the supreme commander of the Armed Forces.
    2. He has the power to declare war or peace.
    3. He appoints chiefs of army, navy and air force.
  5. Emergency powers
    1. National Emergency (Article 352)
      The President may declare National Emergency if there is a threat to India’s security due to war or external aggression. For example, it was imposed in the year 1961 and 1975.
    2. State Emergency (Article 356)
      The ‘President Rule’ is imposed on any state on the recommendation of the Governor of the concerned state where there is a complete breakdown of constitutional machinery.
    3. Financial Emergency (Article 360)
      If the President is convinced that the financial stability and prestige of the nation is at risk, he may impose financial emergency.

Prime Minister and Council of Ministers


Article 74 of the Constitution states that there shall be a Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister for the Union of India. The Prime Minister is elected from among the members of the majority party in the Lok Sabha.


Powers and Functions of the Prime Minister

  1. The Prime Minister provides recommendations to the President regarding the the appointment of ministers to the cabinet.
  2. He is the head of the Government and responsible for all actions of the Government.
  3. The cabinet meetings are held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister.
  4. The Prime Minister acts as a link between the President and the Parliament.
  5. Before the expiry of a 5-year term, the Prime Minister may seek the dissolution of Lok Sabha.
  6. He recommends the President to appoint heads of highest constitutional bodies, commissions, judges, governors, chiefs of navy, etc.

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