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.
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.
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.