Prime Minister of India
|Prime Minister of India|
Emblem of India
|Style||Mr. Prime Minister
|Residence||7 Race Course Road, New Delhi|
|Appointer||President of India|
|Term length||The prime minister is by convention the leader of the victorious party. No term limits are imposed on the office.|
|Inaugural holder||Jawaharlal Nehru
15 August 1947
|Formation||15 August 1947|
|Website||Prime Minister's Office|
The Prime Minister of India, as addressed to in the Constitution of India, is the chief of government, chief advisor to the President of India, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament. The prime minister leads the executive branch of the Government of India.
The prime minister is the senior member of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. The prime minister selects and can dismiss other members of the cabinet; allocates posts to members within the Government; is the presiding member and chairman of the cabinet and is responsible for bringing proposal of legislation. The resignation or death of the prime minister dissolves the cabinet.
The prime minister is appointed by the president to assist the latter in the administration of the affairs of the executive. The incumbent prime minister is Manmohan Singh, in office since 22 May 2004.
Origins and history
India follows a parliamentary system of government. In parliamentary systems fashioned after the Westminster system, the prime minister is the presiding and actual head of the government and head of the executive branch. In such systems, the head of state or the head of state's official representative (i.e., the monarch, president, or governor-general) usually holds a purely ceremonial position.
The prime minister is expected to become a member of parliament within six months of beginning their tenure, if they are not a member already. They are expected to work with other ministers to ensure the passage of bills through the legislature.
Constitutional framework and position of prime minister
The Constitution envisages a scheme of affairs in which the President of India is the head of the executive in terms of Article 53 with office of the prime minister as heading the Council of Ministers to assist and advise the president in the discharge of the executive power. To quote, Article 53 and 74 provide as under;
The executive powers of the Union shall be vested in the president and shall be exercised either directly or through subordinate officers, in accordance with the Constitution.— Article 53(1), Constitution of India
There shall be a Council of Ministers with the prime minister at the head to aid and advise the president who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.— Article 74(1), Constitution of India
Like most parliamentary democracies, a head of State's duties are mostly ceremonial, the Prime Minister of India is the head of government and has the responsibility for executive power. With India following a parliamentary system of government the prime minister is generally the leader of a party (or coalition of parties) that has a majority in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. The prime minister, in common with all other ministers at Central & state level, either has to be a current member of one of the houses of Parliament, or be elected within six months of being appointed.
Role and power of the prime minister
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The prime minister leads the functioning and exercise of authority of the Government of India. He is invited by the President of India in the Parliament of India as leader of the majority party to form a government at the federal level (known as Central or Union Government in India) and exercise its powers. In practice the prime minister nominates the members of their Council of Ministers to the president. They also work upon to decide a core group of Ministers (known as the Cabinet) as in-charge of the important functions and ministries of the Government of India.
The prime minister is responsible for aiding and advising the president in distribution of work of the Government to various ministries and offices and in terms of the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. The co-ordinating work is generally allocated to the Cabinet SecretariatWhile generally the work of the Government is divided into various Ministries, the prime minister may retain certain portfolios if they are not allocated to any member of the cabinet.
The prime minister, in consultation with the Cabinet, schedules and attends the sessions of the Houses of Parliament and is required to answer the question from the Members of Parliament to them as the in-charge of the portfolios in the capacity as Prime Minister of India.
Some specific ministries/department are not allocated to anyone in the cabinet but the prime minister himself. The prime minister is usually always in-charge/head of:
- Appointments Committee of the Cabinet;
- Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions;
- Ministry of Planning;
- Department of Atomic Energy; and
- Department of Space.
The prime minister represents the country in various delegations, high level meetings and international organisations that require the attendance of the highest government office and also addresses to the nation on various issues of national or other importance.
According to Article 84 of the Constitution of India, which sets the principal qualifications for member of Parliament, and Article 75 of the Constitution of India, which sets the qualifications for the minister in the Union Council of Minister, and the argument that the position of prime minister has been described as 'first among equals', A prime minister must:
- be a citizen of India.
- be a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. If the person chosen as the prime minister is neither a member of the Lok Sabha nor the Rajya Sabha at the time of selection, he must become a member of either of the houses within six months.
- be above 25 years of age if he is a member of Lok Sabha or above 30 years of age if he is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
- not hold 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 Governments.
The Prime Minister is required to make and subscribe in the presence of President of India before entering office, the oath of office and secrecy, as per the Third Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Oath of office:
I, <name>, do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge my duties as prime minister for the Union and that I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
— Constitution of India, Third Schedule, Part I
Oath of secrecy:
I, <name>, do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person or persons any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as prime minister for the Union except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as such Minister.
— Constitution of India, Third Schedule, Part II
By Article 75 of the constitution of India, remuneration of the prime minister as well as other ministers are to be decided by the Parliament and is renewed from time to time. The original remuneration for prime minister and other ministers were specified in the Part B of the second schedule of the constitution, which was later removed by an amendment.
In 2010, the prime minister's office reported that he did not receive a formal salary, but was only entitled to monthly allowances. That same year The Economist reported that, on a purchasing-power parity basis, the prime minister received an equivalent of $4106 per year. As a percentage of the country's per-capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product), this is the lowest of all countries The Economist surveyed.
|Salary in Oct 2009||Salary in Oct 2010||Salary in Jul 2012|
|100000 (US$1,600)||135000 (US$2,200)||160000 (US$2,600)|
Living former Prime Ministers
As of February 2014[update], there are only two living former Prime Minister of India (H.D. Deve Gowda and Atal Bihari Vajpayee). The most recent death of a former prime minister was that of I. K. Gujral (1919–2012), on 30 November 2012.
|Prime Minister||Term of office||Date of birth|
|H. D. Deve Gowda||1996–1997||18 May 1933|
|Atal Bihari Vajpayee||1998–2004||25 December 1924|
- Air transports of heads of state and government
- Official state car
- Presidents of India
- Deputy Prime Minister of India
- List of Prime Ministers of India by longevity
- Prime Minister's Office
- "Pay & Allowances of the Prime Minister" (PDF). pmindia.nic.in/. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Section 75(5) of the Constitution of India
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- The Constitution of India, Article 75-6
- "A Raise for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh?". Wall Street Journal. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "Leaders of the fee world: How much a country's leader is paid compared to GDP per person". The Economist. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2012.