President of India

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The President of India, (Hindi: राष्ट्रपति[1] Sanskrit, lit. Lord of the realm) is the head of state and first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Despite Article 53 of the Constitution stating the President can exercise their powers directly[2], with few exceptions, all of the authority vested in the President is in practice exercised by the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister.

The President is elected, from a group of nominees, by the elected members of the Parliament of India (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) as well as of the state legislatures (Vidhan Sabhas), and serves for a term of five years. Historically, ruling party (majority in the Lok Sabha) nominees have been elected and run largely uncontested. Incumbents are permitted to stand for re-election. A formula is used to allocate votes so there is a balance between the population of each state and the number of votes assembly members from a state can cast, and to give an equal balance between State Assembly members and National Parliament members. If no candidate receives a majority of votes there is a system by which losing candidates are eliminated from the contest and votes for them transferred to other candidates, until one gains a majority. The Vice-President is elected by a direct vote of all members (elected and nominated) of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The president of India resides in an estate in New Delhi known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan (which roughly translates as President's Abode). The presidential retreat is The Retreat in Chharabra, Shimla and Rashtrapati Nilayam (President's Place) in Hyderabad.

The 12th President of India is Her Excellency Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the first woman[3] to serve in the office, who was sworn in on 25 July 2007.


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