Why is the President of India referred to as a nominal head of the state?

The President of India is referred to as the nominal head of the state because India follows a parliamentary system of Government. He is not the real head of the executive as the real power is exercised by the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

Two Legislative powers of the President which suggest his nominal status are:

(i) According to the Constitution, the President is required to exercise his powers on the aid and advice of his Council of Ministers.

(ii) All proclamations of emergency made by the President have to be approved by the Parliament within 1 month. If it is not approved then it ceases to exist.

That is why the President of India is referred to as a nominal head of the state.


The President and the Vice President

The President is the head of the Indian Union and is the supreme commander of the defense forces of India. The President is elected indirectly by the members of the Electoral College. Read more

The High Courts and Subordinate Courts

The Constitution of India has provided for a High Court for each state. However, there may be one High Court for two states or union territories. This depends on the area and the population of the state or union territory. There are 21 High Courts in India. Delhi is the only union territory that has a High Court of its own. Read more

Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

India has a parliamentary form of government in which the Prime Minister is the real head of the country. The President is the nominal head who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. Read more

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