Prime Minister of India: Role, Responsibilities, and Election Process

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What is the role of the Prime Minister of India as the head of government?

Overseeing all areas of governance and managing day-to-day administration

Why is it important for the Prime Minister to be from the majority party in the Lok Sabha?

To ensure stability and legitimacy in office

How does the Prime Minister represent India internationally?

By attending international summits and meetings

What event led to Narendra Modi beginning his second term as Prime Minister?

A landslide victory in general elections

Why is the Prime Minister often seen as the public face of India internationally?

Due to their role as an ambassador for India

What body must the political party or coalition of the Prime Minister have a majority in for stability?

Lok Sabha (Lower House)

What is the role of the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs in relation to the Prime Minister?

Makes the final decisions on foreign policy, national security, and defense strategies

What are the specific eligibility criteria to become the Prime Minister of India?

Needs to have been born in India

In what situation can the President declare a national emergency, transferring additional powers to the Prime Minister?

Civil unrest within a state

How is the Prime Minister usually chosen in India?

By invitation from the Governor of the PM's residing state

What is one of the key qualifications required to become the Prime Minister of India?

Must be a citizen of India by birth

What happens after a candidate is nominated for the position of Prime Minister in India?

They need to prove their majority in Lok Sabha to take office

Study Notes


The Prime Minister of India is head of government of India and leader of its ruling political party. It is one of the most powerful offices in the country's democratic framework, with the incumbent member often being viewed as the public face of the Indian state among the international community and abroad. The current prime minister of India is Narendra Modi, who began his second term as Prime Minister after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide victory in the general elections held in April-May 2019.

This article will discuss the role and responsibilities of the Prime Minister of India, their qualifications, and how they are elected.

Role and Responsibilities of the Prime Minister of India

The Prime Minister serves many critical functions within the Government of India:

  1. Head of government: As the chief executive, the PM oversees all areas of governance and manages the day-to-day administration of the central government. They ensure the smooth functioning of domestic policies and initiatives while also representing India internationally.

  2. Leader of the majority party: The Prime Minister must belong to the party or coalition that has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, which is the lower house of Parliament. This ensures stability and provides legitimacy to the person occupying the highest office in the country.

  3. Chairman of Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs: This committee formulates foreign policy, national security, and defense strategies, making the Prime Minister the key decision maker when it comes to these matters.

  4. Appointment of other ministers: Based on their judgment, the Prime Minister decides who to appoint as members of the Union Council of Ministers, which may include representatives from different parties depending on the nature of the governing alliance.

  5. Counselor for other states: In times of crisis or emergency situations, the Prime Minister acts as a counselor to the respective state governments to guide them through complex issues.

  6. Emergency powers: During periods of war, external aggression, armed rebellion, or internal disturbances, the President can declare a national emergency, transferring additional powers to the Prime Minister, enabling the latter to take decisive action on various fronts.

These roles require extensive knowledge of various aspects of the Indian economy, society, and politics, as well as excellent communication skills and the ability to build consensus across diverse stakeholders.

Qualifications and Election Process for the Prime Minister of India

To become the Prime Minister of India, individuals need to meet specific eligibility criteria:

  1. They must be citizens of India by birth.
  2. They must be at least 25 years old.
  3. They must be a member of the Lok Sabha.

However, there have been instances where Prime Ministers were not directly elected representatives of any constituency; Rajiv Gandhi was an example. He became Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi died in 1984. Later, he himself lost his seat in the subsequent election.

Although Prime Ministers are usually chosen from among MPs elected to the Lok Sabha, there is no constitutional requirement for this. The process involves the Governor of the state the PM chooses to reside in inviting the majority party in Lok Sabha to nominate a candidate for the position. Once the candidate is nominated, they must prove their majority in the House to be sworn in as the Prime Minister of India.

Learn about the key functions, duties, qualifications, and selection process of the Prime Minister of India. Explore the significance of this high-profile position in the Indian political framework.

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