Vice president of India

In this article, we will discuss the vice-president of India. The contents of this article will include

  • Role
  • Qualification
  • Election
  • Term of Office
  • Salary & Pension

Role

The vice-president of India is the second citizen of the country because the office of the vice-president is the second-highest constitutional office after the president and ranks second in the order of precedence. The vice-president of India is a constitutional post as Article 63 of the constitution states that “There shall be a Vice-President of India.” The vice-president doesn’t possess such functional powers as the president of India. His main role is as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, as Article 64 of the Indian Constitution states that “The Vice-President shall be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States”.
The work of the chairman of the Rajya Sabha(upper house of the parliament) is similar to the role of the speaker in the Lok Sabha(lower house of the parliament).
In Lok Sabha, the speaker and deputy speakers are elected by the lower house itself, but in the case of Rajya Sabha, only the vice-chairman is elected by the upper house itself, because the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha is the vice-president.

However, when the post of president is vacant due to any reason then the vice president takes over as president, the vice president can continue serving as the president for a maximum of 6 months within which a new President shall be elected. For this time the work of the vice-president as chairman of Rajyasabha is taken care of by the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Qualification

The qualification required to become the vice-president is similar to those required for the president. The person must be:

  • A citizen of India
  • At least 35 years of age

Unlike in the case of the president, where a person must be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha, the vice president must be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha. This is because the vice president is to act as the ex-Officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Apart from this, the person must not hold any office of profit under the union government or any state government, any local authority, or any other public authority.
If the person is a member of parliament or any state government legislature(i.e. he is an MP or an MLA), then he has to resign from that membership before taking oath as the vice-president of India.

Election

The election of the vice-president is similar to the election of the president of India, with a slight difference.
The vice president is elected indirectly, by an electoral college consisting of members (elected as well as nominated) of both Houses of Parliament, by the system of proportional representation using single transferable votes and the voting is by secret ballot.
In the election of the president of India, both MLAs and MPs are part of the electoral college.(nominated members are excluded) but in the case of the election of the vice-president of India, the members of state legislatures(MLAs) are not part of the electoral college but the nominated members of Rajya Sabha are part of it.
Thus we can say that the members of parliament. i.e. MPs elect the vice-president of India.

Term of Office

The vice president holds office for five years. The same person can be nominated multiple times for the election to the office of vice-president. That implies the same person can become vice-president of India multiple times. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Mohmmad Hamid Ansari are examples of such instances, who had been the vice-president of India for 2 consecutive terms(10 years).

Salary & Pension

There is no provision for the salary of the vice president of India in that capacity. The vice president receives a salary in the capacity of the ex-Officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, which is 400,000 rupees per month. If we compare it with other government officials the president gets 5.00.000 rupees per month and the governors get 3,50,000 rupees per month.
The vice-president of India, along with the salary also gets free fully furnished residence, medical facilities, travel facilities, daily allowance, etc.
In extraordinary situations, when the vice-president acts as the president of India, he is entitled to the salary and privileges of the president.
The pension for the vice president is 50% of his salary.

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