The Governor is known as the head of the state just like the President who acts as the head of the whole republic. The Governor is the nominal head and is the one whose signature makes any bills into laws. All executive actions are taken in his name. However, in reality, a Governor’s office is just an honorable role and holds no actual power at all. He merely gives consent to the decisions taken by the Chief Minister who is the Executive Head of the state.
This article seeks to help you understand and learn the functions and powers of the Governor for your UPSC exams. This chapter is very important as it is part of both your IAS Prelims and Mains subject syllabus.
Powers of the Governor of the State in India
- The Governor is part of the State Legislature and has the right to send and receive messages, summoning, postponing, and dissolving the legislature just like the President of India can for the Central Legislature.
- The Governor appoints the new Legislature and opens the first session of every new year. He also stipulates guidelines and new policies to be followed by the ruling party.
- It is the duty of the Governor to put down the annual financial report and has the right to demand grants and funds for money bills.
- The Governor is part of the State Finance Commission and can take funds out of the Contingency Fund of the State in case of unforeseen circumstances.
- All bills passed by the Legislative can only become law after it gets assent from the Governor.
- The Governor has the right to promulgate an ordinance in case the Assembly is not in session but a law has to be brought into effect immediately. However, it will only be effective for six weeks after which a meeting has to brought in and the Legislative Assembly decides if the law can be effective further.
- The Governor can grant pardons and remissions for punishments. He can suspend or remit punishments of any prisoner he wants to.
Eligibility Conditions for Becoming a Governor
According to the Constitution of India, the qualifications to be met by a person to be appointed as a Governor of the State are:
- He or she must be a citizen of India.
- He or she must have completed 35 years of age minimum.
- He or she must not hold any other office of profit.
- He or she must not be a member of the Legislature of the Union or of any other state.
Who Appoints the Governor of State?
The selection procedure of the appointment of the Governor is not done by voting elections of any kind, be it direct or indirect. The Governor of the State is directly appointed into office by the President of India for a term of 5 years. He or she must meet all eligibility criteria enumerated in the Constitution of India to be appointed by the President.
The Governor services office for a tenure of 5 years but could face termination earlier if he or she is dismissed by the President on grounds of extreme delinquency such as corruption, bribery, or constitutional violations. There is no proper procedure for a governor’s impeachment. He or she holds office by the grace of the President and can be directly removed by the President too. The Governor can also resign from his or her post voluntarily before the completion of his or her term if they want to.
Though the office of the Governor holds no actual concrete power and there have been many discussions and debates for the removal of this designation from the Constitution of India, this post still holds importance and honor. It also acts as a small check and balance on the State Executive. The Governor also acts as a bridge between the Centre and the State.