New Delhi: India follows a parliamentary system of government, wherein the executive powers of the government are vested in the hands of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister of India is not directly elected by the people, rather he or she is appointed by the President. The leader of the political party which secures an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha will be appointed as the Prime Minister of the country.
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India, served his term in office from 15 August 1947 to 27 May 1964.
Here are the qualifications or eligibility criteria of the Prime Minister of India:
1) The candidate should be a citizen of India.
2) He or she must either be a member of the Lok Sabha (Lower House or House of the people) or the Rajya Sabha (Upper House).
3) If the candidate is a member of the Lok Sabha, he or she should be at least 25 years old. If the candidate is a Rajya Sabha member, then he or she must be 30 years of age.
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, the central figure of the Indian National Congress was the third Prime Minister of India.
4) The President may appoint a person as the Prime Minister who is a member of neither of the Parliamentary House. In such a case, the selected candidate must become a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha within a period of six months.
5) The candidate must be a member of the political party or coalition which has garnered majority votes in the Lok Sabha.
6) The candidate must not hold any office of profit under the Indian government or government of any other state.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee has served three terms as the Prime Minister of India. He was honoured with Bharat Ratna in 2015.
7) In case the candidate is appointed as the Prime Minister of the country, then he or she must vacate from any other post they serve in private or government company. The chosen candidate can take up the post only after the completion of their term.
8) Most importantly, the candidate should not hold any criminal charges proved in any court of justice in India.
Following are the powers of the Prime Minister of India:
1) The President of India takes the advice of the Prime Minister to appoint the Council of Ministers.
2) The tenure of the Prime Minister is for a period of five years. However, the person can stay in power as long as he or she holds majority support in the Lok Sabha. The term of the person can end sooner if he or she loses the vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha.
Manmohan Singh served as the Indian Prime Minister from 2004 to 2014.
3) The Prime Minister conducts and presides over the Cabinet meetings and its proceedings.
4) The Prime Minister distributes various portfolios among the ministers some of which includes defence, home affairs, finance, railways, agriculture, law and justice. Notably, the Prime Minister has the power to change the departments allotted to the ministers at any time.
Narendra Damodardas Modi is the 14th Prime Minister of India who is serving his term from 2014 till now.
The Prime Minister who heads the Council of Ministers is known as the ‘Keystone of the Cabinet Arch’. The Council of Ministers, which is appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, is collectively responsible for the Lok Sabha. They consist of Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of States and the Deputy Ministers.
The Cabinet, which serves as a link between the Legislature and the Executive bodies of the country, comprises of the Prime Minister and 35 other senior ministers of the Government.