President’s Address


    In News

    President Droupadi Murmu addressed the joint sitting of Parliament for the first time after assuming the position in July 2022.

    Major Highlights of Speech 

    • She lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, saying that it “respects honesty” and is “stable, fearless and decisive, and works to fulfill big dreams”.
    •  By 2047, we have to build a nation, which not only embraces its glorious past but also encompasses every golden aspect of modernity.

    About President’s address

    • History: In the United Kingdom, the tradition of the monarch addressing the Parliament began in the 16th century. 
      • In the United States, President Gorge Washington addressed Congress for the first time in 1790.
    • Evolution in India: In India, the practice of the President addressing Parliament was established after the promulgation of the Government of India Act in 1919.
      • Between 1947 and 1950, there was no address to the Constituent Assembly (Legislative).
      • After the Constitution came into force, President Rajendra Prasad addressed members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the first time on January 31, 1950. 
    • Constitutional Provisions: The Constitution gives the President and the Governor the power to address a sitting of the legislature. 
      • Article 87 of the constitution provides two instances when the President specially addresses both Houses of Parliament. 
        • The President of India addresses both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha at the beginning of the first Session after each general election when the reconstituted lower house meets for the first time. 
        • The President also addresses both the houses at beginning of the first session of each year.
    • Procedure and tradition: There is no set format for the President’s or Governor’s speech. The Constitution states that the President shall “inform Parliament of the cause of the summons”. 
      • The President’s speech essentially highlights the government’s policy priorities and plans for the upcoming year. The address provides a broad framework of the government’s agenda and direction.
      • After the President’s address, the two Houses move a motion to thank the President for her speech. 
    • Deviation from the text of the speech: The President or Governor cannot refuse to perform the constitutional duty of delivering an address to the legislature. 
      • But there can be situations when they deviate from the text of the speech prepared by the government. So far, there have been no instances of a President doing so. 
      • But there have been occasions when a Governor skipped or changed a portion of the address to the Assembly.
        • Most recently, Tamil Nadu’s Governor R N Ravi made changes to the prepared speech he read out in the Assembly. 
    • Importance 
    • The President’s address is seen as one of the most solemn occasions in the Parliamentary calendar. 
    • It is the only time in the year when the whole Parliament comes together. .
    • The President’s address serves as a platform for the government to make policy and legislative announcements.