India Gets 13th Vice President

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M Venkaiah Naidu has sworn in as the 13th Vice President of India. He has been administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Mr. Naidu was elected as the Vice President on 5th of August defeating opposition candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu was born on 1st July 1949 at Chavatapalem, in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. He acquired his bachelor’s degree in law with specialisation in international law from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

He was elected as the president of the students union of colleges affiliated to his University and joined RSS and ABVP during his college days.

The Vice-President of India is the second-highest constitutional office in India after the President. Article 63 of Indian Constitution states that “there shall be a Vice-President of India.”

The Vice-President acts as President in the absence of the President due to death, resignation, impeachment, or other situations.

The Vice-President of India is also ex officio Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. When a bill is introduced in Rajya Sabha, vice-president decides whether it is a financial bill or not. If he is of the opinion, a bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha is a money bill, he would refer the case to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha for deciding it.

In order to be qualified to be elected as Vice-President, a person must:

-Have completed more than 35 years of age
-Not hold any office of profit

While in order to be a President, a person must be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha (House of Peoples), the Vice-President must be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). This difference is because the Vice-President is to act as the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

The Vice-President is elected indirectly, by an electoral college consisting of members {elected as well as nominated} of both houses of the Parliament. The election of the Vice-President is slightly different from the election of the President as the members of state legislatures are not part of the electoral college for the vice-presidential election.

The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of the Vice-President must be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and 20 electors as seconders. Every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs.15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India. The Election Commission of India, which is a constitutional autonomous body, conducts the election.

The election is to be held no later than 60 days of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President. A Returning Officer is appointed for the election, usually the Secretary-General of either House of the Parliament, by rotation.

The Returning Officer issues a public notice of the intended election, inviting nomination of candidates. Any person qualified to be elected and intending to stand for election is required to be nominated by at least twenty Members of Parliament as proposers, and at least twenty other Members of Parliament as seconders.

The nomination papers are scrutinized by the Returning Officer, and the names of all eligible candidates are added to the ballot.

The election is proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote by secret ballot. Voters stack-rank the candidates, assigning 1 to their first preference, 2 to their second preference, and so on.

The number of votes required by a candidate to secure the election is calculated by dividing the total number of votes by two, and adding one to the quotient by disregarding any remainder. If no candidate obtains the required number of first-preference votes, the candidate with the least number of first-preference votes is eliminated and his/her second-preference votes are transferred.

The process is repeated until a candidate obtains the requisite number of votes. Nominated members can also participate in the election.

After the election has been held and the votes counted, the Returning Officer declares the result of the election to the electoral college. Thereafter, he/she reports the result to the Central Government (Ministry of Law and Justice) and the Election Commission of India and the Central Government publishes the name of the person elected as Vice-President, in the Official Gazette.

The Vice-President may resign his office by submitting his resignation to the President. The resignation becomes effective from the day it is accepted.

The Vice-President holds office for five years. The Vice-President can be re-elected any number of times. However, the office may be terminated earlier by death, resignation or removal. The Constitution does not provide a mechanism of succession to the office of Vice-President in the event of an extraordinary vacancy, apart from a re-election. However, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha can perform the Vice-President’s duties as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha in such an event.

Removal: The Constitution states that the Vice-President can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an effective majority and agreed to by a simple majority (50% of present and voting members) of the Lok Sabha (Article 67(b)). But no such resolution may be moved unless at least 14 days’ advance notice has been given. Notably, the Constitution does not list grounds for removal. No Vice-President or ex officio Vice-President has ever faced removal proceedings.

Salary: There is no provision for the salary of the Vice-President of India in that capacity. He or she receives a salary in the capacity as the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States), which is currently Rs. 1,25,000 per month. In addition, he or she is entitled to a daily allowance, free furnished residence, medical, travel and other facilities. The constitution provides that when the ex-officio Vice-President acts as the President or discharges the duties of the President, he or she is entitled to the salary and privileges of the President. The pension for the Vice-President is 50% of the salary.

Article 66 of the Indian Constitution states the manner of election of the Vice-President. The Vice-President is elected indirectly by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of Proportional Representation by means of the Single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot conducted by election commission.

The Vice President is elected by an electoral college which includes members of the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of Indian parliament) and the members of the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian parliament). The nominated members of the mentioned houses are also eligible to vote in the election process.

In the election, voting will be done by a secret ballot and the members of parliament will use a “special pen” to mark their preference.

For the 2017 election, the electoral college consists of:

– Rajya Sabha members: 233 elected and 12 nominated
– Lok Sabha members: 543 elected and 2 nominated.

LIST OF VICE-PRESIDENTS OF INDIA

No. Name
(birth–death)
Took office Left office President(s)
1 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
(1888–1975)
13 May 1952 12 May 1962 Rajendra Prasad
2 Zakir Husain
(1897–1969)
13 May 1962 12 May 1967 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
3 Varahagiri Venkata Giri
(1894–1980)
13 May 1967 3 May 1969 Zakir Husain
4 Gopal Swarup Pathak
(1896–1982)
31 August 1969 30 August 1974 Varahagiri Venkata Giri (1969–1974)
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1974)
5 Basappa Danappa Jatti
(1912–2002)
31 August 1974 30 August 1979 Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1974–1977)
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (1977–1979)
6 Mohammad Hidayatullah
(1905–1992)
31 August 1979 30 August 1984 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (1979–1982)
Giani Zail Singh (1982–1984)
7 Ramaswamy Venkataraman
(1910–2009)
31 August 1984 24 July 1987 Giani Zail Singh
8 Shankar Dayal Sharma
(1918–1999)
3 September 1987 24 July 1992 Ramaswamy Venkataraman
9 Kocheril Raman Narayanan
(1920–2005)
21 August 1992 24 July 1997 Shankar Dayal Sharma
10 Krishan Kant
(1927–2002)
21 August 1997 27 July 2002 Kocheril Raman Narayanan (1997–2002)
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (2002)
11 Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
(1923–2010)
19 August 2002 21 July 2007 A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
12 Mohammad Hamid Ansari
(1937–)
11 August 2007 11 August 2017 Pratibha Patil (2007–2012)
Pranab Mukherjee (2012–2017)
Ram Nath Kovind (2017)
13 Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu
(1949–)
11 August 2017 Incumbent Ram Nath Kovind

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