Governor of India Notes
In India, a governor is the constitutional head of a state or union territory (UT). The role and powers of a governor in India are defined by the Indian Constitution. These notes provide a concise overview of the role and powers of a Governor in India, which can be helpful for UPSC exam preparation.
In imitation of the Government of India Act, of 1935, Article 163 of the Constitution of India empowers the Governor to perform certain voluntary works in the states. The Governor does not consult with the State Cabinet during the exercise of this power.
According to Article 153 of the Constitution, there will be a Governor in each state. However, for two or more states, the same person can be appointed as the governor.
In the autonomous districts described in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, the Governor may exercise his discretionary power in disputes over the distribution of mineral resources.
The Governor can also exercise his discretionary power in appointing and dismissing members of the Cabinet, including the Chief Minister, convening sessions of the Legislative Assembly and dissolving the Legislative Assembly.
It is the responsibility of the Governor to inform the President whether the administration of the State is being conducted in accordance with the Constitution. In this case, he enjoys his power according to his will.
In the constitution, the governors of Nagaland, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Sikkim, etc. can act at their own discretion.
How is a Governor Appointed in India?
In India, the appointment of a Governor (Article 155) is a constitutional process that involves the President of India and the Prime Minister. Here is how a Governor is appointed in India:
- Recommendation by the Prime Minister: The process begins with the Prime Minister of India, who recommends suitable individuals to fill the position of Governor for a particular state or union territory to the President of India. The Prime Minister’s recommendation is based on various factors, including the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and political considerations.
- Consultation with the Chief Minister: While the Governor is appointed by the President, the President usually consults with the Chief Minister of the concerned state before making the appointment. This consultation is not binding, but it is done to ensure that the appointment is made in a manner that is consistent with the political dynamics of the state.
- Appointment by the President: After receiving the Prime Minister’s recommendation and considering any consultation with the Chief Minister, the President formally appoints the Governor. The President issues a formal order of appointment, and the individual becomes the Governor of the respective state or union territory.
- Tenure: The Governor’s tenure is not fixed and can vary from state to state. However, they typically serve a term of five years. The President can remove a Governor before the completion of their term, but this is usually done under exceptional circumstances and requires specific grounds, such as the loss of confidence of the state legislature.
It’s important to note that the appointment of Governors in India is a politically sensitive process, and the choice of Governor can have implications for the functioning of the state government. Governors are expected to carry out their duties impartially and in accordance with the Constitution of India, regardless of their political background.
Additionally, the Governor’s role in the state is largely ceremonial, and they are expected to act in a manner that upholds the principles of federalism and constitutionalism. While they have certain powers, these powers are exercised within the framework of the Indian Constitution and in consultation with the state government.
Power & Function of Governor:
The important role of the Governor depends on the Chief Minister. Three major powers are vested to the governor of India. These are –
- Executive powers
- Legislative powers
- Discretionary powers
- Appointment of Chief Minister: The Governor appoints the Chief Minister, who is usually the leader of the majority party in the Legislative Assembly. However, the Governor’s choice is subject to the approval of the President of India.
- Appointment of Council of Ministers: On the advice of the Chief Minister, the Governor appoints other members of the Council of Ministers.
- Executive Actions: The Governor carries out executive actions on the advice of the Council of Ministers. Most executive decisions are made by the Council of Ministers, not the Governor.
According to Article 154 of the Constitution, the governing power of the state is vested in the Governor.
According to Article 164 of the Constitution, the Governor appoints the Chief Minister and appoints other Ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister.
Governor can nominate 1 person from the Anglo-Indian community in the Legislative Assembly.
The governor can also nominate a few people in the Legislative Assembly from various fields such as literature, science, arts, social service, etc.
The governors of Bihar, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh can appoint one minister (as an in-charge) in each of the respective states.
- Summoning and Proroguing of Legislative Assembly: The Governor summons and prorogues the sessions of the Legislative Assembly (in states with bicameral legislatures, this applies to the Legislative Assembly).
- Dissolution of Legislative Assembly: The Governor has the authority to dissolve the Legislative Assembly on the advice of the Chief Minister or in case of a constitutional breakdown. This typically leads to fresh elections.
- Address to the Legislature: The Governor addresses the Legislative Assembly at the beginning of each new legislative session, outlining the government’s policies and priorities.
- Assent to Bills: Before a bill passed by the state legislature becomes law, the Governor must give their assent. The Governor can also withhold assent and return the bill for reconsideration once.
The governor can send messages to any session or joint session of both houses of parliament.
The governor can send the bill to the president for consideration without signing it. However, the President when will send the bill to the Governor depends entirely on the President.
If the session in the Legislative Assembly is closed, the Governor may issue an ordinance for a maximum of 6 months and must pass it within 6 weeks in the Legislative Assembly.
- Reserving Bills: The Governor can reserve certain bills for the President’s consideration if they believe the bills, if enacted, might conflict with the Constitution.
- Dismissal of State Government: In extreme situations, when the government is unable to function as per constitutional norms, the Governor can recommend the dismissal of the state government to the President, leading to the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
- Appointment of Advocate General: The Governor appoints the Advocate General of the state.
In a situation when the majority does not hold by any party, the Governor has the discretion to select a candidate for the Chief Minister provided that the candidate should establish a majority coalition as soon as possible.
The governor has the right to impose the president’s rule in the state.
Pursuant to Article 353 of the constitution, If the president permits, the governor can overrule the advice of the council of ministers during the emergency period.
- Appointment of Judges (Article 217, 233): The Governor appoints judges of the High Court in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the concerned state.
- Administrative Functions: The Governor performs various administrative functions, such as issuing ordinances when the Legislative Assembly is not in session, appointing various state officials, and representing the state or union territory on ceremonial occasions.
Financial Powers of the Governor
In India, the financial powers of the Governor, who serves as the constitutional head of a state or union territory, are outlined in the Indian Constitution. These powers relate to the financial management and administration of the state or union territory. Here are the key financial powers of the Governor:
- Budget Approval: The Governor plays a crucial role in the state’s financial matters, including the budgetary process. The state government prepares an annual budget, which outlines its revenue and expenditure plans. The budget is presented to the state legislature, but it can only be implemented after the Governor’s approval. The Governor gives assent to the budget, allowing it to become law.
- Money Bills: In the case of money bills, which exclusively deal with matters related to taxation, borrowing, or expenditure, the Governor has a limited role. The state legislature can pass money bills only after obtaining the Governor’s recommendation. The Governor cannot veto or amend money bills but must forward them to the President of India for approval.
- Grants-in-Aid: The Governor has the authority to make grants-in-aid to various institutions and bodies within the state. These grants can be provided to promote education, culture, and social welfare or for any other purpose approved by the Governor.
- Expenditure Control: The Governor ensures that the state’s financial resources are used efficiently and in accordance with the law. They have the power to issue directions to the state government regarding the administration of finances.
- Veto Power: The Governor can withhold their assent to a bill passed by the state legislature, including financial bills, if they believe it is not in accordance with the Constitution or if it violates any financial procedure. However, this power is exercised sparingly and is subject to constitutional principles.
- Revenue Allocation: The Governor may have a role in the allocation of revenues between the state and local governments (panchayats and municipalities) to ensure the proper distribution of financial resources.
- Recommendation of Financial Emergency: In the event of a financial emergency in the state, the Governor can recommend to the President that financial emergency be declared. This is a rare and extreme measure that allows for central control over the state’s finances.
It’s important to note that while the Governor has certain financial powers, their role is primarily that of a constitutional head and ceremonial representative of the President in the state. The day-to-day financial management and administration are carried out by the elected government, particularly the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers, who are collectively responsible for the state’s financial decisions. The Governor’s financial powers are exercised within the framework of the Constitution and are subject to constitutional principles and procedures.
Qualifications of Governor in India
The desired qualifications to become a governor of India are constituted in Article 157.
- Must be a citizen of India.
- Age should be 35 years old or greater.
- Should not be a member of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha or the State Legislative Assembly.
- Should not hold an office of profit.
Impeachment of Governor of India
The Impeachment of the Governor in India is constituted in Article 160.
- The governor can resign by himself.
- On the advice of Prime Minister, the President can remove a Governor.
- The governor can not be removed without a valid reason.
- The governor can be dismissed for his unconstitutional activity.
In India, the impeachment of a Governor is not a common or straightforward process because Governors are not elected officials but appointed by the President of India. They serve as the constitutional heads of states and union territories and represent the President in those regions. The Indian Constitution provides certain safeguards to ensure their independence and impartiality. However, there are specific situations in which a Governor can be removed from office, but this is not referred to as “impeachment.”
Here are the circumstances under which a Governor can be removed from office in India:
- Change in Central Government: When there is a change in the central government (for example, following a general election), it is common for Governors appointed by the previous government to resign or be replaced by Governors appointed by the new government. This is a customary practice to align the Governor’s role with the political priorities of the ruling party at the center.
- Resignation: A Governor can resign from their position at any time by submitting their resignation to the President.
- Dismissal by the President: While it is rare and typically based on exceptional circumstances, the President of India can dismiss a Governor. However, this can only be done if the President is satisfied that the Governor has acted in violation of the Constitution or has grossly misused their powers. This decision is usually taken based on a report from the Council of Ministers at the central government level.
- Change in State/Union Territory: If there is a reorganization of states or union territories, Governors may be transferred or their positions may be abolished or created as a result of these changes.
- Completion of Term (Article 156): Governors typically serve a term of five years, but they can be reappointed for another term or transferred to a different state or union territory.
It’s important to emphasize that the removal of a Governor is not a political impeachment process like that of elected representatives. The process for the removal of a Governor is more about maintaining the constitutional balance and ensuring the Governor’s role aligns with the political dynamics of the central government and the state or union territory.
Constitutional Position of the Governor
|Article 154||The Governor is the highest-ranking executive authority in the state, responsible for administration.|
The Governor is granted the authority to act on behalf of the State as its executive head, and he may do so directly or through officers who report to him.
|Article 154(2)||Article 154(2) clarifies that Parliament has the authority to confer functions on authorities other than the Governor through legislation. This means that certain executive functions can be delegated to other authorities or bodies as determined by Parliament.|
|Article 163||(1) The Governor will be assisted and advised in the performance of his duties by a Council of Ministers, led by the Chief Minister, with the exception of any instances in which he is compelled to do so by this Constitution or another law.|
(2) If there is any question as to whether a situation qualifies as one in which the Governor is required to act in his discretion according to this Constitution, the Governor’s decision in that regard shall be final, and nothing the Governor does shall be deemed invalid on the basis that he ought or ought not to have acted in his discretion.
|Article 164||Article 164 establishes the framework for the appointment and functioning of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers in a state, along with their collective responsibility to the Legislative Assembly and their relationship with the Governor.|
|Article 161||Power of the Governor to grant pardons and others.|
Salary of Governor of India
The salary of the Governor in a state of India is Rs. 350,000. He also enjoys other payable allowances.
List of Governors of State in India (2023):
|Andhra Pradesh||Shri Justice (Retd.) S. Abdul Nazeer|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Lt. General Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik (Retired)|
|Assam||Shri Gulab Chand Kataria|
|Bihar||Shri Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar|
|Chhattisgarh||Shri Biswa Bhusan Harichandan|
|Goa||Shri P.S. Sreedharan Pillai|
|Gujarat||Shri Acharya Dev Vrat|
|Haryana||Shri Bandaru Dattatraya|
|Himachal Pradesh||Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla|
|Jharkhand||Shri C.P. Radhakrishnan|
|Karnataka||Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot|
|Kerala||Shri Arif Mohammed Khan|
|Madhya Pradesh||Shri Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel|
|Maharashtra||Shri Ramesh Bais|
|Manipur||Sushri Anusuiya Uikye|
|Meghalaya||Shri Phagu Chauhan|
|Mizoram||Dr. Kambhampati Haribabu|
|Nagaland||Shri La. Ganesan|
|Odisha||Prof. Ganeshi Lal|
|Punjab||Shri Banwarilal Purohit|
|Rajasthan||Shri Kalraj Mishra|
|Sikkim||Shri Lakshman Prasad Acharya|
|Tamil Nadu||Shri R. N. Ravi|
|Telangana||Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan|
|Tripura||Shri Satyadeo Narain Arya|
|Uttar Pradesh||Smt. Anandiben Patel|
|Uttarakhand||Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh (Retd.)|
|West Bengal||Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose|
Governor of India – important general knowledge points for any kind of competitive examinations for government jobs such as IAS, UPSC, SSC, CGL, Banking, Railway etc.