The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India, the largest democracy in the world. The President is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of India and is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
The President is indirectly elected by the people through 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 (for example, United Progressive Alliance nominee Shri Pranab Mukherjee) have been elected or largely elected unanimously. Incumbent presidents 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 the members of the Parliament of India. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, then there is a system by which losing candidates are eliminated from the contest and their votes are transferred to other candidates, until one gains a majority. The Vice-President is elected by a direct vote of all members (only elected) of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Although Article 53 of the Constitution of India states that the President can exercise his or her powers directly or by subordinate authority, with few exceptions, all of the executive authorities vested in the President are in practice exercised by popularly elected Government of India, headed by the Prime Minister. This Executive power, is exercised by the Prime Minister with the help of Council of Ministers.
The President of India resides in an estate in New Delhi known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan (which roughly translates as President's Palace). The presidential retreat is The Retreat in Chharabra, Shimla and Rashtrapati Nilayam (President's Place) in Hyderabad.
The 13th and current President is Pranab Mukherjee elected on 22 July 2012, and sworn-in on 25 July 2012. He is also the first Bengali to be elected as the president. He took over the position from Pratibha Patil who was the first woman to serve in the office.
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... Narayanan – 10th President of India (1997–2002) ... and 9th Vice-President of India (1992–1997) ...
... I would like to thank the people of India for electing me to this high office ... been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting and defending the constitution as President ... Mukherjee was sworn-in by the Chief Justice of India on 25 July 2012, becoming the first Bengali to hold the post of President of India ...
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