Droupadi Murmu: 15th President of India


    In News

    • Recently, former Jharkhand Governor and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Droupadi Murmu was elected as the 15th President of India.

    About Droupadi Murmu

    • She is from Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.
    • She is also the first tribal woman to be elected to the position and the youngest as well.
    • She hails from the Santhal tribe.
    • She holds the record of being the only Governor of Jharkhand till date to complete a full tenure.

    President of India

    • Under the Constitution of India, there shall always be a President of India (Article 52 of the Constitution). 
    • He holds the highest elective office in the country and is elected in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Presidential and vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952. 
      • The said Act is supplemented by the provisions of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974, and the said Act under Rules form a complete Code regulating all aspects of conduct of elections to the Office of the President. 
    • Election 
    • The President is elected by an electoral college consisting of MPs of both Houses of Parliament and MLAs of the states of Delhi and Puducherry. 
    • Nominated members of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, and members of state Legislative Councils, are not part of the Electoral College.
    • Authority to conduct elections
      • Under Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the authority to conduct elections to the Office of President is vested in the Election Commission of India.
    • Term 
      • The President shall hold office for a term of 5 years from the date on which he enters upon his office.  
        • He shall, however, continue to hold office notwithstanding the expiry of his term, until his successor enters upon his office. [Article 56 of the Constitution of India]

    Powers and responsibilities of the President

    • Legislative powers enjoyed by the President of India
      • The President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha.
      • A bill that has been passed by both the houses of the parliament can become a law only if it receives the president. (subject to limitations.
      • The President of India has the power to nominate 12 members to the Rajya Sabha who have made extraordinary accomplishments in the fields of science, art, literature and social service.
    • Financial powers
      • The president has control over the Contingency Fund of India to meet unforeseen expenses like flood, drought, war etc.
      • His prior recommendation is a must in the introduction of the Money Bill and Financial Bill in Parliament.
      • The President appoints the finance commission after every 5 years which helps the Central and state government to decide the percentage of revenue between them.
    • Diplomatic powers
      • International Treaties and agreements that are approved by the Parliament are negotiated and concluded in the name of the President.
    • Military powers
      • He is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
      • He appoints the Chief of the Army, Chief of the Navy and Chief of the Air Force.
    • Judicial powers
    • The chief justice of India is appointed by the president of India.
    • The President has the power to appoint the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.
      • The President also has the power to grant pardon/respite to persons, who have been tried and convicted of any offence..
    • Power to pardon
      • The President of the Republic of India has the power to grant pardons if the punishment of the crime is an offence of against union law, granted by the military court or the punishment is that of death.
    • Emergency powers/President’s Rule
      • The President can declare three types of emergencies: national, state and financial, under Articles 352, 356 & 360
      • The President can rule the whole nation or individual states at times of emergency

    Other provisions

    • Situation where the President demits office before 5 years: There will be two such situations:
      • The first is when the President resigns his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Vice-President and 
      • The second when the President is removed from office by impeachment for violation of the constitution. 
    • Impeachment: According to Article 61 of the Constitution, when a President is to be impeached for violation of the Constitution, the charge shall be preferred by either House of Parliament. 
      • No such change shall be preferred unless:
        • The proposal to prefer such change is contained in a resolution which has been moved after at least fourteen days’ notice in writing signed by not less than one-fourth of the total number of members of the House has been given of their intention to move the resolution, and 
        • Such a resolution has been passed by a majority of not less than two third of the total membership of the House. 
    • Qualifications of President: According to Article 58 of the Constitution, no person shall be eligible for election as President unless:
      • he is a citizen of India, 
      • has completed the age of thirty-five years and 
      • is qualified for election as a member of the House of the People. 
      • A person shall not be eligible if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Government. 
    • Can a Member of Parliament or the State Legislature become the President?
      • The President shall nor be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any state and if any such member is elected President he shall be claimed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon office as President. 
    • Doubts and disputes
      • According to Article 71 of the Constitution, all doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with the election of a President or Vice-President shall be inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court.
      • Further, according to section 14 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, an election petition can be filed before the Supreme Court.