How India Chooses its Head of State

Article 10 / 12 , Vol 35 No 3 (Autumn)

How India Chooses its Head of State

On July 19, 2012, India, the world’s largest democracy, elected its 13th President, Pranab Mukherjee. This article outlines the history of the Indian presidency and the powers of the office. It explains the indirect election process whereby members of the national and state legislatures choose a Head of State.

The Office of the President is a symbol of the Indian Republic. The office has been a source of advice, counseling and guidance to the Governments of the day, especially in times of difficulty and crises. Such a role is particularly crucial in a country like India with its vast size, large populace and enormous diversities.

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