From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Vice President of India
Mains level : Not Much
A major political party has declared that West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar would be the candidate for the post of Vice-President.
About Vice President of India
- The VP is the deputy to the head of state of the Republic of India, the President of India.
- His/her office is the second-highest constitutional office after the president and ranks second in the order of precedence and first in the line of succession to the presidency.
- The vice president is also a member of the Parliament as the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- As in the case of the president, to be qualified to be elected as vice president, a person must:
- Be a citizen of India
- Be at least 35 years of age
- Not hold any office of profit
- 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 difference is because the vice president is to act as the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Roles and responsibilities
- When a bill is introduced in the Rajya Sabha, the vice president decides whether it is a money bill or not.
- If he is of the opinion that a bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha is a money bill, he shall refer it to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- The vice president also acts as the chancellor of the central universities of India.
- Article 66 of the Constitution of India states the manner of election of the vice president.
- The vice president is elected indirectly by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament and NOT the members of state legislative assembly.
- The election is held as per the system of proportional representation using single transferable votes.
- The voting is conducted by Election Commission of India via secret ballot.
- The Electoral College for the poll will comprise 233 Rajya Sabha members, 12 nominated Rajya Sabha members and 543 Lok Sabha members.
- The Lok Sabha Secretary-General would be appointed the Returning Officer.
- Political parties CANNOT issue any whip to their MPs in the matter of voting in the Vice-Presidential election.
- The Constitution states that the vice president can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an Effective majority (majority of all the then members) and agreed by the Lok Sabha with a simple majority( Article 67(b)).
- But no such resolution may be moved unless at least 14 days’ notice in advance has been given.
- Notably, the Constitution does not list grounds for removal.
- No Vice President has ever faced removal or the deputy chairman in the Rajya Sabha cannot be challenged in any court of law per Article 122.