Thursday, October 25, 2012


A President is the head of the State. He is elected by the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament and elected members of State Legislative Assemblies. He is the legal head of our governmental institution.

This is generally five years and the President has the right to renew it. In case the President is not available on account of any reason then the Vice President would act as the President for the country till the arrival of the actual President


(A) Basic Requirements for Being a Presidential Candidate 

A person is eligible for election as President if he is:
  • A citizen of India
  • Not less than 35 years of age
  • Qualified for election as a member of Lok Sabha
  • Not holding any office of profit under the Government. (Vice presidents, Governors are excluded for this eligibility)
  • Should not be a member of either house of Parliament or State Legislature.
(B) Educational Requirements

Being at a presidential post is no cakewalk; it requires patience, efforts and dedication. There are no assured steps or a dedicated path which could be followed to reach the right destination but broad guidelines from the predecessor’s life path could definitely help to achieve ones dreams. 
As seen from past history most of our presidents had a formal education in Bachelors of Arts followed by Masters in history/ political science / economics/ english  (one or combination of subjects). These subjects would help in taking a first step towards entry into politics.

A degree in law such as L.L.B, D.Litt. (Honors) would have an additional advantage. This would work for an individual’s benefit to understand the constitution, the legalities, policies, rules in further details.
(However exceptions are always there, and a very well known example is Mr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam who is a nuclear physicist and has still successfully served the presidential election)

(C) Professional Career

After an individual is qualified with the relevant educational degree, the next step is to start with a professional life.

A career in the relevant field of studies is the first choice. However it is advisable to choose a career in a field which would help an individual in achieving significant milestones. A person needs to create an image and an identity for himself and make the common man realize the potential, talent and capability within him/ her. An individual would have to start creating a public image for oneself so as to benefit in the future.

In addition to creating a public image, a career in government departments or a career catering to top bureaucrats would help. An individual could also pursue career in civil, defense services or can become an Indian diplomat. All this would help in increasing the contribution of work towards the country.

(D) Social and Cultural Activities

An aspiring candidate should have a keen interest in social and cultural activities. He / she needs to work effectively and actively to solve existing social issues, and also work towards the development of the society and against various other social stigmas. An individual should take up social activities right from their college days so as to have significant achievement in their stride.

(E) Political Career

Getting an entry into a political career is tough. Start a political career by joining a local party or their youth wing. Work with full dedication and devotion. Identify the issues persistent in your locality. Raise your voice, try to ease problems and be people friendly. Support of masses can help achieve tremendous success. A PEOPLE PERSON WILL ALWAYS EMERGE AS A WINNER. Good work will help achieve support both from the people and the political party.

Grow ahead in the career by participating in the district and state events. Contest for elections at district and at state levels. Aim to become member of legislative assembly and gradually develop a mark at Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Try proving your worth by handling different portfolios effectively. A good backing of your party will help you contest for presidential elections.

All of the above activities would help an individual move ahead and closer to their dreams of becoming a presidential candidate.

(F) Presidential Candidate

  • A nomination paper of a candidate for the election in the prescribed form has to be subscribed by at least fifty electors as proposers and at least fifty electors as seconders and has to be presented to the Returning Officer, either by the candidate himself or by any of his proposers or seconders.
  • The Security Deposit for the election of Rs.15000/- should also be deposited either in cash with the Returning Officer or a receipt showing that the amount has been deposited by the candidate or on his behalf in the Reserve Bank of India or in a Government Treasury should be furnished along with the nomination paper.
  • The candidate is also required to furnish a certified copy of the entry showing his name in the current electoral roll for the Parliamentary Constituency in which the candidate is registered as an elector.


Whenever the office becomes vacant, the new President is chosen by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of Parliament, the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies (Vidhan Sabha) and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of the President must be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders. Each candidate has to make a security deposit of INR15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India. The security deposit is liable to be forfeited in case the candidate fails to secure one-sixth of the votes polled.

The election is held in accordance to the system of Proportional representation by means of Single transferable vote method. The Voting takes place by secret ballot system. The manner of election of President is provided by Article 55 of the Constitution.

Each elector casts a different number of votes. The general principle is that the total number of votes cast by Members of Parliament equals the total number of votes cast by State Legislators. Also, legislators from larger states cast more votes than those from smaller states. Finally, the number of legislators in a state matters; if a state has few legislators, then each legislator has more votes; if a state has many legislators, then each legislator has fewer votes.

The actual calculation for votes cast by a particular state is calculated by dividing the state's population by 1000, which is divided again by the number of legislators from the State voting in the Electoral College. This number is the number of votes per legislator in a given state. For votes cast by those in Parliament, the total number of votes cast by all state legislators is divided by the number of members of both Houses of Parliament. This is the number of votes per member of either house of Parliament.

Although Indian presidential elections involve actual voting by MPs and MLAs, they tend to vote for the candidate supported by their respective parties

Thus the above guidelines would help an individual in achieving the dream to become a president of India. There is no shortcut rule to success. Chasing this dream into reality would require endless efforts and thankless jobs. Seizing the right opportunity and having a political background would always help. 

                                                                                       KINNARY SHETH
                                                                                   CAREER COUNSELOR

Visit to discover Indian blogs