What are the Duties and Functions of the Vice-President of India?



The Vice-President performs some important functions and duties. They are the following:

1. The Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States. He may cast his vote when there is a tie.

2. He represents the Council of States on ceremonial occasions.

3. He protects the rights and privileges of the members of the Council of States.

4. He visits foreign countries on goodwill missions.

5. If the President is not able to perform his functions due to absence or illness etc. the Vice-President shall perform the functions of President until the President resumes his duty.

6. If the post of President falls vacant due to his resignation, removal, and death or otherwise, then the Vice-President shall act as the President until a new President is elected. This period between the Vice-President acting as the President and the election of a new President can be extended for a maximum period of six months.

In the United States of America, the Vice-President acts as the President till the expiry of the term of the President whom he succeeds in case the President dies in office. In India, this practice is not in vogue.

When President Zakir Hussain died in office in 1969, V.V. Giri, the then Vice-President, acted as the President, and within 6 months he himself was elected as the President.

While acting as the President, the Vice-President shall not perform his duty as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

While acting as the President, the Vice-President has the same powers, privileges and immunities as the President.

The post of Vice-President is not superfluous. His position is one of honour, dignity, as well as of influence. He presides over the meetings of the Rajya Sabha. He is also likely to act as the President in some situations. As such he is the 'No.2 Citizen' of the country.

But he has potential to be promoted to the position of No.1 Citizen of India. It would be right to describe the Vice-President as a 'President-in-waiting' or a 'Shadow President.'