About Prime Minister of IndiaThe Prime Minister of India is the head of the executive branch of the Government of India. His position is distinct from that of the President of India, who is the head of the State. As India follows a parliamentary system of government modelled after the Westminster system, most of the executive powers are exercised by the Prime Minister. He acts as an advisor to the President and is the leader of the Council of Ministers. The President appoints the Prime Minister of India and on his advice, appoints the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister can be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
Roles and Responsibilities of Prime MinisterThe roles and responsibilities of the Prime Minister are as follows:
Link between President and Council of Ministers:The Prime Minister is the leader of the Council of Ministers and serves as the channel of communication between the President and the Council of Ministers. It is his duty to communicate to the President all the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers and to provide information regarding administration of the Union or proposals for the legislature as called for by the President.
Allocation of Portfolios:He allocates portfolios among the ministers and distributes work among various ministries and offices. The Prime Minister coordinates work among various ministries and departments through the Cabinet Secretariat.
Inside the pageAbout Prime Minister of India Roles and Responsibilities of Prime Minister Powers/Authorities of Prime Minister Facilities offered to Prime Minister Selection Process of Prime Minister Term and Retirement Age of Prime Minister Eligibility Criteria to become Prime Minister of India Salary of Prime Minister of India Where does the Prime Minister Live? Interesting Facts about Indian Prime Ministers List of Prime Ministers of India
In-Charge of Ministries:Prime Minister also retains certain portfolios that are not allocated to other ministers. He is generally in charge of the following ministries/departments:
- Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
- Ministry of Planning
- Department of Atomic Energy
- Department of Space
- Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
Leader of the Cabinet:The Prime Minister summons and presides over meetings of the cabinet and determines what business shall be transacted in these meetings.
Link between the Parliament and the Cabinet:The Prime Minister is also the link between the cabinet and the Parliament. He is the chief spokesperson of the government in the Parliament, along with the leader of the party in majority in the Lok Sabha. It is his responsibility to announce important policy decisions. The Prime Minister can also intervene in debates of general importance in the Parliament to clarify the government’s stand or policy.
Official Representative:The Prime Minister represents India in various delegations, high-level meetings and international organisations and also addresses the nation on various occasions of national importance.
Powers/Authorities of Prime MinisterThe various powers and authorities enjoyed by the Prime Minister are as follows:
Head of the Government:The Prime Minister of India is the head of the Government. Though the President is the head of the State, most of the executive decisions are taken by the Prime Minister. All the important decision-making bodies in India, like the Union Cabinet and the Planning Commission, run under his supervision.
Leader of the Council of Ministers:As far as the Prime Minister’s relation to the Council of Ministers is concerned, his position is that of “First among Equals”. In the case of death or resignation of the Prime Minister, the entire Council of Ministers has to resign. The ministers directly report to the Prime Minister. He can also remove a minister by asking for his resignation or having him dismissed by the President. If any difference of opinion arises between the Prime Minister and any other minister, the opinion of the Prime Minister prevails.
Leader of the Parliament:The Prime Minister is the Leader of the House to which he belongs. He can also take part in debates in the House of which he is not a member. He can also advise the President to dissolve the Lok Sabha.
Representative of the Country:In international affairs, he is the spokesperson of the country. The Prime Minister plays a major role in directing India’s foreign policy.
Facilities offered to Prime MinisterSome of the amenities provided to the Indian Prime Minister are:
- Official residence: 7, Race Course Road or “Panchavati”
- Personal staff Special Protection Group (SPG) who is responsible for his security
- Prime Ministerial car (currently BMW 750i)
- Exclusive aircraft (Air India One)
Selection Process of Prime MinisterThe Constitution states that the President of India should appoint the leader of the party or alliance which is in majority in the Lok Sabha as the Prime Minister of India. In case no party or alliance enjoys majority, the President appoints the leader of the largest party or alliance as the Prime Minister. But he has to win the confidence vote in the Lower House of the Parliament as early as possible. A member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha can be appointed as the Prime Minister. If he is not a member of either House of the Parliament then he has to be elected to either House within six months of his appointment. As the Prime Minister, he is the Leader of the House of which he is a member.
Term and Retirement Age of Prime MinisterUnlike the President, the Prime Minister does not have a fixed tenure. The full term of the Prime Minister is five years, which coincides with the normal life of the Lok Sabha. However, the term can end sooner if he loses the vote of confidence in the Lower House. So, it can be said that he remains in power as long as he enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister can also resign by writing to the President.
There are no term limits on the office of the Prime Minister. There is also no official retirement age.
Eligibility Criteria to become Prime Minister of IndiaTo be eligible for the position of the Prime Minister of India, a person should:
- Be a citizen of India.
- Be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
- Complete 25 years of age if he is a member of the Lok Sabha or 30 years if he is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
A person cannot be the Prime Minister of India if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India, the government of any state, or any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said governments.
Salary of Prime Minister of IndiaAccording to Article 75 of the Constitution of India, the salary of the Prime Minister is decided by the Parliament and revised from time to time. As on 31 July 2012 the monthly pay and allowances of the Prime Minister of India was Rs. 1,60,000 (US $2,600).
Pay and Allowance of the Prime Minister on 31 July 2012 (in rupees)
|Daily Allowance||62,000 (@ 2,000 per day)|
Former Prime Ministers of India are provided with:
- Rent-free accommodation for lifetime.
- Medical facilities, 14 secretarial staff, office expenses against actual expenditure, six domestic executive-class flight tickets, and unlimited
- free train travels for first five years. SPG cover for one year.
Where does the Prime Minister Live?The official residence of the Indian Prime Minister is 7, Race Course Road. It is also his main workplace. The official name of the residence is “Panchavati”. It was built in the 1980s. The entire complex spreads over an area of 12 acres and comprises five bungalows. When a person is appointed as the new Prime Minister, his predecessor vacates the residence and the incumbent is advised to move to his official residence at the earliest.
Interesting Facts about Indian Prime Ministers
- Jawaharlal Nehru was the longest serving Indian Prime Minister, starting from India's independence in 1947 to his death in 1964.
- Gulzari Lal Nanda served twice as the acting Prime Minister of India after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
- Indira Gandhi was named “Woman of the Millennium” in a poll organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1999.
- Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first woman to receive the Bharat Ratna. She was also awarded Bangladesh’s highest civilian award “Bangladesh Swadhinata Samman” in 2011.
- Morarji Desai was the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India. He was also the first Prime Minister to resign without completing his full term.
- Morarji Desai is the only Indian Prime Minister to be conferred upon the Nishaan-e-Pakistan (Pakistan’s highest civilian award).
- Rajiv Gandhi was the youngest Indian Prime Minister; he assumed office at the age of 40.
- Rajiv Gandhi was the first Prime Minister of India to live in 7, Race Course.
- P.V. Narasimha Rao was the first Prime Minister from South India.
- H.D. Deve Gowda was the first Prime Minister of India who was a member of the Rajya Sabha.
- Dr. Manmohan Singh was the longest-serving Prime Minister of India who was a member of the Rajya Sabha (2004-2014).
List of Prime Ministers of IndiaSince independence in 1947, India has had 15 different Prime Ministers till now. There have been many outstanding leaders from different political parties who held India’s top post. Some of them served a complete five-year term while others governed the nation for more than five years. With Narendra Modi as the present Prime Minister, let’s take a look at the legacy left behind by the Prime Ministers of India since 1947.
|Name||Took office||Left office||Party|
|Shri. Narendra Modi||May 26, 2014||Incumbent||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Dr. Manmohan Singh||May 22, 2004||May 26, 2014||Indian National Congress|
|Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee||Mar 19, 1998||May 22, 2004||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Shri Inder Kumar Gujral||Apr 21, 1997||Mar 19, 1998||Janata Dal|
|Shri H. D. Deve Gowda||Jun 1, 1996||Apr 21, 1997||Janata Dal|
|Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee||May 16, 1996||Jun 1, 1996||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao||Jun 21, 1991||May 16, 1996||Congress (I)|
|Shri Chandra Shekhar||Nov 10, 1990||Jun 21, 1991||Janata Dal (S)|
|Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh||Dec 2, 1989||Nov 10, 1990||Janata Dal|
|Shri Rajiv Gandhi||Oct 31, 1984||Dec 2, 1989||Congress (I)|
|Smt. Indira Gandhi||Jan 14, 1980||Oct 31, 1984||Congress (I)|
|Shri Charan Singh||Jul 28, 1979||Jan 14, 1980||Janata Party|
|Shri Morarji Desai||Mar 24, 1977||Jul 28, 1979||Janata Party|
|Smt. Indira Gandhi||Jan 24, 1966||Mar 24, 1977||Congress|
|Shri Gulzari Lal Nanda||Jan 11, 1966||Jan 24, 1966||Congress|
|Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri||Jun 9, 1964||Jan 11, 1966||Congress|
|Shri Gulzari Lal Nanda||May 27, 1964||Jun 9, 1964||Congress|
|Shri Jawaharlal Nehru||Aug 15, 1947||May 27, 1964||Congress|
Last Updated on May 21, 2015