Republic Day of India

January 30th, 2013 by Abhi Saini

The Canadian Prime Minister is the leader of the political party with the most seats in the House of Commons.

India, one of the world’s largest growing democracies, uses a completely different system to choose their leader.

The Indian republic is led by a President chosen by other elected officials from across the country.


This past Saturday marked the 64th Republic Day of India.

The Indian Constitution came into effect on January 26th, 1950 and, as a result, India became a republic.

India had removed itself from British rule in 1947 with the Indian Independence Act, but the country did not yet have a permanent constitution.


Abhi, our Research and Program Development Intern, summarizes how government and the electoral system work in India:

On July 19, 2012 India’s legislature elected Pranab Mukherjee as the country’s 13th president, replacing  incumbent President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the end of her 5 year term in the country’s highest elected office.

According to India’s Constitution of 1949, Article 324 vests powers in Election Commission of India to exercise its constitutional responsibility to “supervise, direct and control” the presidential election and to ensure that the elections are “free and fair.”

India, being a republic, is led by a president.  This leader is elected by representative lawmakers from Vidhan Sabha (Lower House at the provincial level), the Electoral College comprised of elected MPs from Lok Sabha (House of People or Lower House, elected directly by citizens), Rajya Sabha (Council of States or Upper House comprised of 250 members; out of which 12 are appointed by the president and rest are elected by the state and territorial legislature), and lastly by the legislatures representing India’s Union and Territories.

As outlined in Article 53 of the Constitution, executive powers are exercised through the president in accordance to the constitution. In addition, part 5 of the constitution notes that the president holds “supreme command” of armed forces regulated by law and plays a provisional role in the Legislative and Judicial Brach of the government. Further, the president is seen as the nation’s first citizen and represents the “Indian nation and does not, therefore, belong to any particular political party.”

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