The post of Vice-President of India is modelled on the lines of American Vice-President. In India, Vice-President has the second-highest office in the country. Article 63 of the Indian Constitution mentions the post of Vice-President. This topic is important for IAS Exam as it forms an important section of Political Science subject in all the three stages of exam – Prelims, Mains and Interview.
Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu is the current Vice President of India and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He is in office since 11 August 2017. Candidates can go through the list of Vice Presidents of India From 1950 to 2022 on the page linked here.
This article will talk about the topic ‘Vice-President’ in detail. Aspirants will also read about the election of Vice President of India, his qualifications, and the term of his office. They may also download the ‘Vice President’ notes PDF below.
Vice President of India – Indian Polity Notes:- Download PDF Here
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How the Vice President is elected in India?
There is no direct election for the Vice-President of India however, he/she is indirectly elected by an Electoral College. The election process is quite similar to that of the President of India but the electoral college that elects President is different from the electoral college responsible for the election of Vice-President of India.
The difference between the electoral college that elects President and the one electing Vice-President of India is given below:
- In electoral college for Vice President, both elected and nominated members of both the Houses of Parliament take part. In presidential elections, nominated members are not a part of the electoral college.
- For Vice President’s elections, states have no role to play unlike in President’s elections where state legislative assemblies’ elected members are a part of the electoral college.
Note: The principle of election used in Vice President’s elections is ‘Proportional Representation’ by means of a single transferable vote. (It is similar to that of President’s.)
Who can be a Vice President of India?
An Indian citizen can qualify for the post of Vice President if he is 35 years old or more. Another qualification for a candidate to run for vice-presidential elections is to be qualified to be elected as Rajya Sabha member. Read in detail about the Rajya Sabha on the linked page. An office of profit cannot be held by the Vice President of India. The qualifications of this post are on the same lines of Presidential qualifications.
Who participates in Vice President election?
An electoral college comprising below-given categories of people elect the Vice President. The mode of election hence is termed as ‘indirect election’. The principle of election used is Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferrable Vote.
- Elected members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. To know more about Lok Sabha, visit the given link.
- Nominated members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
You can know in detail the –
- There can be no more than 2 nominated members in Lok Sabha and 12 in Rajya Sabha. (To know more on differences between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, aspirants may check the linked article.)
- State Legislative Assemblies in case of unilateral legislatures and State legislative councils along with Assemblies in case of bilateral legislatures; don’t participate in the election of Vice President
Who is qualified to become Vice President of India?
An Indian Citizen who has completed 35 years of age is qualified to become the Vice-President of India given, he is also qualified to be a Rajya Sabha member. However, he should not be a member of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha and if he is elected as Vice President when he has a seat in either of the house, he is deemed to have vacated that seat on his first day in the office. He also is not allowed to hold any office of profit under union government, state government, public authority and local authority.
Note: The following people are also qualified to become the Vice President of India:
- Sitting President of India
- Sitting Vice President of India
- Governor of State
What is the term of office of Vice President?
From the date, he enters his office, Vice President holds the position for five years. However, he can resign before five years by handing over his resignation to the President. The other ways where a vacancy is created in the office of Vice President are given below:
- When he completes his term of five years
- When he resigns
- When he is removed
- On his death
- When his election is declared void
Is Vice President also impeached as President of India?
No, unlike President of India who can be impeached formally; there is no formal impeachment for Vice President. Rajya Sabha simply can pass a resolution with a majority and Lok Sabha can pass it. Also, unlike President of India who can be impeached on the ground of ‘Violation of Constitution,’ there is no ground mentioned in the constitution for the removal of Vice President of India.
Note: Supreme Court decides election disputes related to the office of Vice President.
Powers and Functions of Vice President
The functions of Vice-President are two-fold:
- He acts as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. In this capacity, his powers and functions are similar to those of the Speaker of Lok Sabha. In this respect, he resembles the American vice-president, who also acts as the Chairman of the Senate – the Upper House of the American legislature.
- He acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death or otherwise. He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months, within which a new President has to be elected. Further, when the sitting President is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice-President discharges his functions until the President resumes his office.
- The election of a person as Vice-President cannot be challenged on the ground that the electoral college was incomplete (i.e., existence of any vacancy among the members of the electoral college).
- If the election of a person as Vice-President is declared void by the Supreme Court, acts done by him before the date of such declaration of the Supreme Court are not invalidated (i.e., they continue to remain in force).
While acting as President or discharging the functions of President, the Vice-President does not perform the duties of the office of the chairman of Rajya Sabha. During this period, those duties are performed by the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
Vice Presidents [Article 63 – Article 71]
Article 63 to Article 71 of the Indian Constitution deals with the election, qualification, and removal of Vice Presidents of India. The table below highlights these Articles in gist.
|Vice Presidents of India [Article 63 to Article 71]|
|Article 63||There shall be a Vice President of India|
|Article 64||The Vice-President shall be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States and shall not hold any other office of profit|
|Article 65||The Vice-President to act as President or to discharge his functions during casual vacancies in the office, or during the absence, of President|
|Article 66||The Vice-President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament. The Vice-President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State.|
|Article 67||The Vice-President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date of his appointment.|
|Article 68||An election to fill a vacancy created because of the completion of the term of office of Vice-President shall be completed before the expiry of the term.
The election to fill a vacancy created because of the death, resignation or removal of Vice-President shall be held as soon as possible.
|Article 69||Every Vice-President shall make an Oath or Affirmation on entering upon his office before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him|
|Article 70||Discharge of President’s functions in other contingencies|
|Article 71||Matters relating to, or connected with, the election of a president or vice-president|
Questions related to the Vice President of India for UPSC
There are a few facts related to VP of India which aspirants must be clear with for the upcoming UPSC exam as these can help them fetch good scores if questions are asked from this section in prelims or mains.
|Is Vice-President of India the Chairman of Rajya Sabha?||Yes, Vice President is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha.|
|When can Vice President act as President?||When the President’s office is vacant due to:
|Can Vice President act as himself and as the President simultaneously?||No, when he acts as President, his seat as Vice President is taken over by Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha|
|What is the maximum period till Vice President serves as President?||The maximum period of six months|
|What are the major articles related to Vice President in the Indian Constitution?||The articles (63-71) are related to the Vice President. (To know more about important articles in Indian Constitution, refer to the linked article.)|
|Has any amendment made in the constitution in relation to the office of Vice President?||11th Constitutional Amendment changed the way of election of Vice President. Originally, Vice President has to be elected by the two houses that have to assemble in a joint-sitting|
|Can Vice President be re-elected?||Yes, he/she can be|
|What is the Vice President’s salary?||Parliament is entitled to fix Vice President’s salary. The current salary is Rs. 1.25 lakh which he/she draws as a chairperson of Rajya Sabha|
|Any Vice-President who has served two terms or more than two terms?||Dr S. Radhakrishnan (1952-1962) & Mohammad Hamid Ansari (2007-2017)|
The topic ‘Vice President’ should be read carefully by the aspirants. It should be followed by the topic, ‘President.’ The relevant articles to Indian Polity are given below.
Vice President of India – Indian Polity Notes:- Download PDF Here