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Functions of The Vice President of India

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Functions of The Vice President of India

Though the Vice-President is the highest dignitary in India, next only to the President, the Indian constitution assigns only one function to the Vice-President. The Vice-President acts to function as the ex-officio chairman of the council of states. But if there is a vacancy in the Presidency due to death, resignation or, impeachment of the President, the Vice-President fills the gap as acting President.

He acts as acting President till a new President is elected and assumes charge. The Vice-President also takes charge of the Presidency when the President is not able to perform his functions due to prolonged absence or, illness or, any other disability.

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Only next to the President, the Vice-President is the highest dignitary in India, qualifications required of a candidate to be elected as the Vice-President of India are almost similar to those of the President. He must be a citizen of India and must be 35 years of age. The only difference between the two is that the Presidential candidate must have the qualification to be a member of the Lok-Sabha while the Vice- Presidential candidate must have the qualification to be elected a member of the Rajya Sabha.

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Neither the President nor the Vice-President shall hold any office of profit under the government of India or, under any state government or any local body under the government.

Neither the President nor the Vice-President shall be a member of either House of the Parliament. If a member of the Parliament is elected President or Vice-President, he shall resign his membership of the Parliament before entering the office of the President or the Vice- President.

However, the President, a sitting Vice-President, ministers at the centre and in the states, the state governors etc. are not barred from seeking election to the office of the Vice-President of India.

Like the President, the Vice-President also is elected for a term of 5 years. Vacancy in the office of the Vice-President may occur through death; resignation or, removal. The Vice-President may be removed from office by a resolution of the council of states passed by a majority of its members. Such a resolution has to be passed by the House of People.

Like the President, the Vice-President also is indirectly elected under the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. The Vice-President is elected by the members of the two Houses of the Parliament. The members of the state legislative assemblies do not form a part of the Electoral College to elect the Vice-President.

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