President vs Prime Minister of India: Difference and Comparison

The heads of state play a critical role in the globalization platform for the proper operation of any country. State heads are the public face of the countries they lead.


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The President and Prime Minister of India are the two most powerful people in the country. The President is India’s first citizen, and the Prime Minister is the country’s most powerful figure.

Key Takeaways

  1. The President of India is the ceremonial head of state, while the Prime Minister holds executive power.
  2. An electoral college elects the President, whereas the President appoints the Prime Minister based on a parliamentary majority.
  3. The Prime Minister of India is more active in policy-making and governance than the President.

President vs Prime Minister of India

The difference between a President and Prime Minister is that the President is the first citizen of the country, holds the topmost position, and the official bills get passed with the recommendation of the President. The Prime Minister is the leader of the executive and the most powerful individual in the country. The Prime Minister with the Council of Ministers can decide the policies and the bills to be passed.

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The President is the controller of the amalgamate armed force. The President is elected by appointed members of both houses of the Parliament, and the Legislative Assembly of the state, along with the union territories.

The President appoints all the important heads of the state and the Prime Minister of India.

The Prime Minister is the appointed head of the winning party in the Lok Sabha election. The Prime Minister is the head of the council of ministers and gets appointed by the President.

The appointment of ministers to the various portfolio, coordination between the various ministers and the departments get done through the Cabinet Secretariate.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPresident of IndiaPrime Minister of India
ReferenceLeader of the country.Leader of the winning party.
Judicial PowerCan pardon a person on death row.No power.
PartyHave a party.Head of the political party.
RemovalImpeachmentNo confidence motions.
PowerCan declare a state of emergency.Cannot declare.

What is the President of India?

The President of India is the head of all the states and the Commander of the Combined Armed Forces.

The election of the President gets conducted indirectly by the directly elected members of both the Houses(Rajya and Lok Sabha) and the legislative assemblies of the State and the Union Territories.

The President has immense responsibilities and authority to protect the Constitution.

Roles and Responsibilities of President:

Legislative Powers:

  • The President has the potential to adjourn the Lok Sabha.
  • A bill passed by both houses needs the President’s approval to make it a law.
  • A President has the potential to propose 12 members to the Rajya Sabha. This nomination gets done based on the contribution to science, art, literature, or social science.
  • For redressal, the President can send a bill back to the Parliament, and the exception is a money bill or a constitutional amendment bill.

Executive Powers:

  • The executive powers of the country get vested with the President.
  • The Parliament has the authority to grant extra powers to the President that can later get delegated to the governors.

Appointment Powers:

  • The Prime Minister and the Chief Justice get appointed by the President.
  • The President elects members to the state and can dismiss a Governor based on any violation of the Constitution.
  • The President appoints Ambassadors to other counties, Attorney General, and many more.

Miltary Powers:

  • The President is the Commander of the Combined Armed Forces.
  • The President can declare war or peace based on the advice of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
  • Any treaty signed with foreign countries is in the name of the President.

Power to Pardon:

Only the President of India gets the power to grant a pardon if the punishment is death.

president of india

What is the Prime Minister of India

The Prime Minister of India is the managerial front of the Government of India. The leader of the political party who gains the majority gets appointed as the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister acts as an advisor to the President and the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister can be an associate of the Rajya Sabha or the Lok Sabha.

The term of the Prime Minister is for five years since the term of the Lok Sabha is for five years unless dissolved by the President. 

As India follows the Westminister system model of Government, the executive power gets employed by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the oldest affiliate of the decision-making council in the Parliament.

The Prime Minister has to get the majority support of the Lok Sabha, else will have to resign as instructed by the President.

Roles and Responsibilities of Prime Minister:

The connection between President and Council of Ministers:

The Prime Minister is the figurehead of the delegate of Ministers. The Prime Minister serves as a communication link between the President and the Council of Ministers.

The Prime Minister must keep the President abreast of the decisions taken, administration, or any proposals for the legislature.

Allocation of Portfolios:

The distribution of portfolios among the ministers gets done by the Prime Minister. He ensures the work gets thoroughly distributed. The Prime Minister can even dismiss the minister.

The Prime Minister coordinates between the various departments and ministry through Cabinet Secretariat.

prime minister of india

Main Differences Between the President and Prime Minister of India

  1. The President is the head of the country. The Prime Minister is the superior of the Cabinet and the delegate of Ministers.
  2. The President has the power to pardon criminals on death row. The Prime Minister has no command above the Justices.
  3. The President can be removed only by impeachment, which requires a special majority. The Prime Minister can be removed from office if there is a no-confidence motion.
  4. The President does not belong to any party. The Prime Minister is the principal of the leading party.
  5. The President can declare a state of emergency. The Prime Minister does not have the power to declare a State of emergency.
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