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Qualifications of the Vice President in India
Part IV of the Indian Constitution outlines the requirements for becoming Vice President of India. The Vice President holds the second-highest constitutional office in the country and is essential to the running of the Indian political system. Further, the Vice-President shall be ex officio Chairman of the Council of the States or Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Parliament) and shall not hold any other office of profit.
Qualifications of the Vice President
According to the Article 66 of the Indian Constitution, a candidate for Vice President of India must meet the following requirements −
Citizenship − A person must be a citizen of India to become the Vice President.
Age − A person must have attained the age of 35 years to become the Vice President.
Qualifications for Membership of Rajya Sabha − A person must possess the qualifications required for membership of the Rajya Sabha, which is the upper house of the Indian Parliament. These qualifications include being a registered voter and possessing certain educational and professional qualifications.
Not a Member of Parliament or State Legislature − A person who is a member of either House of Parliament or of a state legislature is not eligible to become the Vice President of India.
In addition to the aforementioned qualifications, the Indian Constitution mandates that the Vice President of India take an oath or affirmation prior to assuming office. The oath or affirmation is delivered by the President of India or a representative designated by him/her in that capacity.
The Vice President is elected for a five-year term, and future terms are possible.
The Constitution of India governs the procedure for the election of the Vice President in India. Article 66 of the Constitution stipulates that the Vice President is chosen by an Electoral College comprised of members of both houses of Parliament. There are 790 members in the Electoral College for the vice-presidential election. This covers all Lok Sabha members (lower house of Parliament) and Rajya Sabha members (upper house of Parliament).
Similar to that of the President, the Vice President of India is elected through a similar method. The procedure begins with the Election Commission of India issuing a notification calling for the election of the Vice President. The Returning Officer, who is often the Secretary-General of the Rajya Sabha, is where candidates must submit their nominations in order to run for office.
Comparative Evaluation with the USA
In the United States, a candidate for Vice President must meet the following requirements −
Citizen of the United States through birth.
Has attained 35 years of age.
Has resided in the United States for at least fourteen years.
The Vice President of the United States is elected by the Electoral College, a body of representatives selected by the citizens of each state.
Difference Between Qualification of VP in USA and India
In some ways, the requirements for becoming the Vice President of India and the United States are similar, while in others they are distinct.
In India, a person is eligible for the position of Vice President if he or she is an Indian citizen, has reached the age of 35, possesses the criteria for membership in the Rajya Sabha, and is neither a member of Parliament nor a state legislature. An Electoral College composed of members of both Houses of Parliament elects the Vice President.
In contrast, in the United States, a person may become Vice President provided he or she is a natural-born citizen of the United States, is at least 35 years old, and has been a resident of the country for at least 14 years. The Vice President is chosen by the Electoral College, a body of representatives elected by the citizens of each state.
Therefore, while both India and the United States require the Vice President to be a citizen of their respective countries and have a minimum age requirement, India also requires the Vice President to possess the qualifications necessary for membership in the Rajya Sabha and prohibits current members of Parliament or state legislatures from holding the office. In contrast, the United States requires the Vice President to be a citizen born in the country and a long-term resident.
The requirements for becoming Vice President of India are clearly outlined in the Indian Constitution. The Vice President occupies an important constitutional position and is essential to the running of the Indian political system. The office of Vice President of India has been exposed to numerous legal challenges over the years, resulting in the Indian judiciary establishing significant precedents.
The Indian Constitution specifies in detail the requirements for becoming Vice President of India. These requirements ensure that only qualified candidates may hold this vital constitutional position. The Vice President of India plays a crucial role in the operation of the Indian political system and serves as a crucial check on the President's authority.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Can an individual serving in a state legislature become India's Vice President?
Ans. No, a member of either House of Parliament or a state legislature is ineligible for the position of Vice President of India.
Q2. Exists a provision for the vice president of India to be impeached?
Ans. There is no provision for the Vice President of India to be impeached. A resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha and approved by the Lok Sabha is required to remove the Vice President from office.
Q3. Can the Vice President of India be prosecuted for any criminal offence committed while in office?
Ans. No, the Vice President of India enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution during his or her term in office.
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