Executive Composition and Powers

20/04/2024 0 By indiafreenotes

The Executive branch of the Government is central to the administration of state policy and plays a vital role in governance and policy implementation. In democratic systems, including India, the executive comprises the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, and the Council of Ministers, which includes Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers. This setup ensures that the real executive powers lie with the elected representatives, namely the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, while the President holds a largely ceremonial position with specific substantive powers in times of crisis and deadlock.

Composition of the Executive in India:

  1. President of India:

As the titular head of state, the President of India occupies the highest ceremonial position in the country and is also a part of the Union Executive. Elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament, as well as elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States and Union territories with legislatures, the President serves a five-year term. The role is largely ceremonial under normal circumstances, with most powers exercised by the President requiring the recommendation or consultation with the Prime Minister or the Council of Ministers.

  1. Vice-President of India:

Vice-President acts as the Rajya Sabha’s chairperson and steps in as acting President in the absence of the President due to resignation, removal, death, or incapacity. The Vice-President is elected by the members of both houses of Parliament and holds office for five years.

  1. Prime Minister:

Prime Minister is the head of government and exercises most executive powers. Appointed by the President, the Prime Minister must be a member of the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha and is usually the leader of the majority party in Parliament. The Prime Minister leads the Council of Ministers, defines its agenda, and guides its work.

  1. Council of Ministers:

The Council of Ministers, which supports the Prime Minister, is categorized into three types—Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers. Cabinet Ministers head major ministries and are part of the key decision-making processes. Ministers of State can either assist Cabinet Ministers or independently charge smaller ministries. Deputy Ministers assist both in administrative responsibilities.

Powers and Functions of the Executive in India:

  1. Legislative Powers:

Though primarily the function of the legislature, the executive has substantial influence over the legislative process. The President convenes and prorogues all sessions of Parliament and can dissolve the Lok Sabha. The President also inaugurates Parliament by addressing it after the general elections and the first session each year. Most importantly, no bill can become a law until the President gives assent. The executive (through the Council of Ministers) is responsible for introducing bills and ordinances and making policy decisions that need legislative approval.

  1. Administrative Powers:

The executive is responsible for the day-to-day administration of government affairs and implementing laws. This includes everything from staffing and managing the civil services to maintaining law and order, implementing welfare programs, and handling foreign relations.

  1. Financial Powers:

The executive also plays a crucial role in financial administration. The budget, prepared by the executive, outlines the government’s revenue and expenditure and must be passed by the Legislature. The President also has the power to make advances out of the Contingency Fund of India to meet unforeseen expenses.

  1. Judicial Powers:

The President of India has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence. This represents a crucial check on the judicial system, providing relief in extraordinary cases.

  1. Diplomatic Powers:

The executive is also responsible for all foreign affairs. The President represents India in international forums and can declare war or conclude peace, subject to the approval of Parliament. However, these powers are exercised by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

  1. Emergency Powers:

In times of national emergency (war, external aggression, or armed rebellion), or financial instability or failure of constitutional machinery in a state, the President has the authority to declare an emergency. During an emergency, the powers of the executive are drastically increased to restore order and stability.