News: Recently, Draupadi Murmu, has taken oath as the 15th President of India. With this, she became the first tribal woman to become the President of the country. Read the news here.
Let’s Understand In Simple Language:
Draupadi Murmu, a tribal leader and former Jharkhand Governor, has been elected as the 15th President of India. She’s now the second woman President Of India, the first being Pratibha Patil. The 64-year-old President belongs to the Santhal Tribe of Odisha. Prior to her presidency she served as the ninth Governor of Jharkhand between 2015 and 2021 and held various portfolios in the cabinet of the Government of Odisha between 2000 to 2004.
The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India. The president is the nominal head of the executive, the first citizen of the country, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
The office of president was created when India officially became a republic on 26 January 1950 after gaining independence on 15th August 1947, when its constitution came into force.
Election of President of India:
The President of India is elected by an electoral college consisting of:
- Elected members of the two Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the States – Article 54.
- It includes the national capital territory of Delhi and the Union territory of Pondicherry.
- The President‘s election is held in accordance with a system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.
- There shall be uniformity in the scale of representation of the different states at the election of the President – Article 55.
Conditions as per Article 58:
- The candidate should be an Indian citizen.
- Should have completed the age of thirty-five (35) years.
- Should be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha.
- Should not hold any office of profit under the Union Government or any state government or any local or other authority.
Condition as per Article 59:
- The President should not be a member of any house of Union or State legislature.
President’s Term Of Office:
- The oath of office to the President is administered by the Chief Justice of India and in his absence, by the senior most judge of the Supreme Court available.
- An election should be held to fill the vacancy of the Presidential post before the expiration of the President‘s term – Article 62(1).
- The President holds office for a five-year term from the date on which he enters the office.
- President can resign at any time by addressing the resignation letter to the Vice-President of India.
- When a vacancy occurs in the President‘s office due to his death, resignation or removal, or otherwise, the Vicepresident acts as the President until a new President is elected.
- An election to fill such vacancy should be held within six months from the date of occurrence of such vacancy.
- A person is eligible for re-election to Presidential office.
Impeachment Of The President:
- President may be impeached from his office for violation of the Constitution – Article 61
- The impeachment charges may be initiated by either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha and it should be signed by at least 1/4th members.
- Regarding the charges, a 14 days notice should be given.
- The resolution of the charges for the impeachment of the President should be passed by at least 2/3rd majority.
- After the charges are investigated in the other House of Parliament. If the resolution is passed in this House also with a 2/3rd majority, then the President stands removed from his office from the date on which the bill is so passed.
Powers and Functions of the President:
Executive Powers – Article 53:
All executive powers of the Union are vested in him. These powers are exercised by him either directly or
through subordinate officers in accordance with the Constitution. The Supreme Command of the Defence Forces is vested in the President and exercises it in accordance with the law.
- Executive powers of the President must be exercised in accordance with the Constitution. In particular, it includes the provisions of article 14 (equality before law)
- President appoints the Prime Minister and other ministers, and they hold office during his pleasure.
- He appoints the Attorney General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners, the Chairman and Members of the UPSC, the Governors of the states, the Chairman and the members of the Finance Commissions, etc.
- The President can appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of SCs, STs, and OBCs.
- The President also receives the credentials of Ambassadors and High Commissioners from other countries.
- The President is the Commander in Chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
- The President of India can grant a pardon to or reduce the sentence of a convicted person for one time, particularly in cases involving the punishment of death.
The Legislative Powers:
- The President can summon or end a session of the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha.
- He can address the Parliament at the commencement of the first session after the general election and the first session of each year.
- He can also summon a joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament which is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- The President can appoint a member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings the positions of Speaker as well as Deputy Speaker are vacant.
- He also can appoint any member of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceeding when both the Chairman‘s and Deputy Chairman‘s offices fall vacant.
- He can nominate 12 members to the Rajya Sabha with extraordinary accomplishments in literature, science, art, and social service and two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community.
- President‘s prior recommendation or permission is needed for introducing bills in the parliament involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, alternation of boundaries of states, or creation of a new state
- When a bill is sent to the Parliament after it has been passed by the parliament, the President can give his assent to the bill or withhold his assent to the bill or return the bill (if it is not a Money Bill or a Constitutional Amendment Bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament.
- When a bill is passed by a State legislature and is reserved by the Governor for consideration of the President, the President can give his assent to the bill, withhold his assent to the bill or direct the Governor to return the bill (if it is not a Money bill) for reconsideration of the State Legislature.
- President can promulgate ordinances when both the Houses of Parliament are not in session. These ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within six weeks of their reassembly. The ordinance can be effective for a maxi-mum period of six months and six weeks – Article 123.
Emergency Powers of the President:
President may proclaim a state of emergency in the whole or part of India if he realizes/feels that a grave
the situation has arisen in which the security of India on part of its territory might get threatened by war or external aggression or rebellion. – Article 352.
The President can declare three types of emergencies:
- National Emergency
- State Emergency or President’s Rule.
- Financial Emergency: Article – 360.
About Santhal Tribe:
- Santhal is the third largest scheduled tribe community in the country after Gond and Bhil.
- The word ‘Santhal’ is derived from two words; ‘santha’ meaning calm and peaceful and ‘ala’ meaning man.
- In the past, the Santhals were leading a nomadic life.
- Gradually they came to settle down in the Chota Nagpur plateau.
- Towards the end of the 18th century, they migrated to the Santhal Parganas of Bihar, and then they came to Odisha.
- They are majorly found in Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.
- Santhals speak Santhali which has its own script called ‘OL chiki’ invented by Pandit Raghunath Murmu.
- Santhali in OL-Chiki script has been included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.
The Santhal rebellion (also known as the Sonthal rebellion or the Santhal Hool) was a revolt by the Santhal in present-day Jharkhand, India, against the British East India Company and the zamindari system. It began on June 30, 1855, and the East India Company declared martial law on November 10, 1855, which lasted until January 3, 1856, when martial law was lifted and the insurrection was put down by the Presidency soldiers. The four Murmu Brothers – Sidhu, Kanhu, Chand, and Bhairav – spearheaded the revolt.
- In the tribal heartland of what was then known as the Bengal Presidency, the Santhal uprising began as a reaction against the British East India Company’s revenue system, usury practices, and the zamindari system in India.
- It was a revolution against colonial tyranny, which was enforced by local zamindars, police, and the British East India Company’s judicial system through a twisted revenue system.
- The Santhals were forest dwellers who relied on them for survival. The British East India Company established the Damin-i-koh area in modern-day Jharkhand in 1832 and welcomed Santhals to reside there.
- Santhals from Cuttack, Dhalbhum, Manbhum, Hazaribagh, Midnapore and other areas came to settle due to promises of land and economic benefits.
- The economy was soon controlled by Mahajans and zamindars, who were employed by the British East India Company as tax-collecting middlemen.
- Many Santals have fallen prey to unethical money lending. They were given loans at astronomical interest rates.
- Their farms were forcibly confiscated and they were forced into bonded labor when they were unable to repay the loan.
- Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu, two brothers who commanded the Santals throughout the insurrection, were the catalysts for the rebellion.
- The Santhal revolt (also known as the Hul revolt ) started on 30th June 1855, with the help of prominent leaders like Sidhu, Kanhu, Chand, and Bhairav, and also their two sisters Phulo and Jhano.
- The depressed and anguished Santhals engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Britishers and formed their own troops which included the farmers, villagers, and women.
- In this quest, they were able to capture large parts of land including Rajmahal Hills, Bhagalpur district, and Birbhum.
- They militarized over 10000 Santhal people. The villagers put to fire the storehouses and the warehouses and all forms of communication lines were disrupted.
- The government applied all possible means to suppress the movement. In order to curb the rebellion, Britishers used heavy loaded weapons against bows and arrows used by the Santhals.
- The landlords were in the support of the government whereas the local people supported the Santhals in full vigor.
- Unfortunately, the duo Sidhu and Kanhu were arrested and the revolt had a brutal end.
- The Santhals were repressed and the movement came to an end in 1856.
Questions related to the topic:
Q. Given below are two statements:
Assertion (A): The Union Executive is headed by the President of India.
Reason (R) : There is no limitation on the power of the President.
In the context of the above which of the following is correct?
(a) Both (A) and (R) are true, and (R) is the correct explanation of (A).
(b) Both (A) and (R) are true, but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A).
(c) (A) is true, but (R) is false.
(d) (A) is false, but (R) is true.
Q. How is the President elected in India?
(b) By Rajya Sabha Members
(c) By Lok Sabha Members
(d) By Indirect Election.
Q. The two Union Territories which have been given right to take part in the election of the President of India by the 70th Amendment of the Indian Constitution, are:
(a) Delhi and Chandigarh
(b) Delhi and Puducherry
(c) Delhi and Daman & Diu
(d) Chandigarh and Puducherry
Q .Assertion (A): The President of India is elected by indirect election.
Reason (R): There is a provision for the Electoral College consisting of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
In the context of the above statements select the correct answer.
(a) (A) is true, but (R) is false.
(b) (A) is false, but (R) is true.
(c) Both (A) and (R) are individually true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A).
(d) Both (A) and (R) are individually true, but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A).
Q. The electoral college of President consists of –
1. Elected members of both houses of Parliament
2. Elected members of both houses of State Legislatures.
3. Elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all states.
4. Elected members of legislative assemblies of Delhi and Pondicherry.
(a) 1,2 and 3 are right
(b) 1 and 3 are right
(c) 1,2, 4 are right
(d) 1,3,4 are right.
Q. Which one of the following is not correct regarding Presidential election?
(a) Election of the successor must be held before the expiry of the term of the incumbent President
(b) The President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
(c) On the expiration of his term, he continues to hold office until his successor enters his office.
(d) President’s election may be postponed on the ground that the electoral college is incomplete.
Q.Consider the following statements:
In the electoral college for Presidential Election in India,
1. The value of the vote of an elected Member of Legislative Assembly equals State Population divided by Number of elected Member of the state assembly x 100.
2. The value of the vote of an elected Member of Parliament equals the total value of the votes of all elected MLAs divided by the total number of elected MP
3. There were more than 5000 voters in the latest elections.
Which of these statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2
(b) Only 2
(c) 1 and 3
(d) Only 3
Q. Who led the Santhal Uprising?
(a) Sidhu and Kanu
(b) Birsa Munda
(c) Tana bhagat
(d) Nilambar and Pitambar
Q. In which of the following present states of India did the Santhal Rebellion take place?
(b) Madhya Pradesh.
More on this website for your UPSC Preparation:
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: https://currentaffairsupsc.in/international-relations/
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: https://currentaffairsupsc.in/science-technology/
ENVIRONMENT & ECO.: https://currentaffairsupsc.in/environment-ecology-and-biodiversity/