In India, the President is considered the first citizen of the country. Moreover, he is the first head of state of the nation, and a symbol of solidarity and integrity. The President of India is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in the country. 

There are several powers and duties of a president, such as legislative powers, executive powers, judicial powers, appointment powers, financial powers, military powers, diplomatic powers, etc. 

If you are a law aspirant or student working hard on CLAT preparation, then you must know everything about the President of India. The current President of India is Shri Ram Nath Kovind, who took charge in July 2017. But how is the President of India elected? What are the election process and eligibility criteria? Let’s discuss these points here. 

Eligibility Criteria to Become Indian President

In Article 58 of the Constitution of India, there are some principal qualifications that need to be met in order to become the president of the nation. To participate in the presidential election, the person:

  • Must be an Indian citizen
  • Should be above 35 years of age
  • Should be qualified to become a Lok Sabha member
  • Must not own any profit organization under central or state government, or under any other authority that is controlled by the central or state governments. 

Certain other ministers may be elected as the President of India even if they are not qualified to become a Lok Sabha member. These candidates can be:

  • Current vice president of India
  • Governor of a state
  • Chief Minister of any state
  • Prime Minister
  • Union Minister

However, if any of the above ministers are elected as the President of India, they need to vacate their previous position. For instance, if a chief minister becomes a president, then he will no longer be a CM. 

If someone has been the President of India, he is subject to be reelected as a president, subject to the constitutional provisions.

Along with the eligibility criteria for the election of President of India mentioned above, the candidate also requires 50 proposers and 50 seconders who can propose and elect his name on the ballot.

India President Election Process

In the CLAT online classes, you might have studied several important topics related to Politics. If you haven’t learned about the election process of the President of India, here it is.

In the presidential election process, there is an electoral college involved which elects the president. This electoral college consists of elected members of parliament (MPs), elected members of Vidhan Sabha (State Legislative Assemblies) of all states, and the elected members of legislative assemblies (MLAs) of union territories. 

So, the Indian President is not elected directly by the people, but by several ministers who are part of the electoral college comprising members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and Vidhan Sabha. The election process goes through a secret ballot procedure. 

Nomination

For the successful nomination of the candidate in the election, he needs to have 50 electors as proposers and another 50 electors and seconders. After the nomination, the candidate needs to deposit INR 15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India as a security amount. If a candidate doesn’t receive at least one-sixth of the total votes polled, then the security amount is forfeited. 

Voting

Once the nomination is done and the security amount has been deposited, the election is done using the single transferable vote (STV) method. A secret ballot system is used for voting, where not all electors cast equal votes. This is a different strategy for voting.

Counting

The election follows a principle that says that the number of votes cast by the State Legislators will be equal to the number of votes cast by Parliament members. Furthermore, the legislators who belong to bigger states have the right to cast more votes compared to those from small states. Lastly, the principle also states that if a state has a lesser number of legislators, then they can cast more votes. If a state has more legislators, it can cast fewer votes. 

Result

The winner of the election is the one who finds a higher number of votes than a certain quota. It is different from the usual processes where the candidate with the highest number of votes is the winner. 

Oath

Once the result has been declared for the winner of the presidential election, the final step is the oath or affirmation. It is taken in the presence of the Chief Justice of India, before taking on his role as the President of India.

Wrapping Up:

The election process for the president is quite tedious and complicated, unlike the other elections. Since this is different, the law exams often ask questions related to it. You must ensure that you include the President of India topic in your CLAT study material and memorize the entire process.