Vice President of India

Role of the Vice President

According to the Constitution of India, the office of the Vice President is the second highest constitutional post in independent India. The Vice President is the ‘ex-officio’ Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

The office of the Vice President in India is complementary to that of the President, in that, the Vice President takes over the role of the President in the latter’s absence.

In other words, the role of the Vice President is to assist the President in being the nominal head of the Republic of India. However, one must remember that the office of the President and the Vice President cannot be combined in one person, as per the Constitution of India.

Powers and Functions of the Vice President

The Vice President of India, after the President, is the highest dignitary of India, and certain powers are attached to the office of the Vice President. These are:

  • The Vice President shall discharge the functions of the President during the temporary absence of the President due to illness or any other cause due to which the President is unable to carry out his functions.
  • The Vice President shall act as the President, in case of any vacancy in the office of the President by reason of his death, resignation, removal through impeachment or otherwise. The Vice President shall take over the duties of the President until a new President is elected and resumes office.
  • The Vice President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States.
  • When the Vice President acts as, or discharges the functions of the President, he or she immediately ceases to perform the normal functions of being the Chairman of the Council of States.

List of Vice Presidents of India

Vice PresidentFromToPresident
Mohammad Hamid AnsariAug 11, 2007Incumbent
  • Pratibha Patil
  • Pranab Mukherjee
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Aug 19, 2002Jul 21, 2007A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Krishan Kant
  • Aug 21, 1992
  • Aug 21, 1997
  • Jul 24, 1997
  • Jul 27, 2002
  • Kocheril Raman Narayanan
  • A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Kocheril Raman NarayananSep 3, 1987Jul 24, 1992Shankar Dayal Sharma
Shankar Dayal SharmaSep 3, 1987Jul 24, 1992Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Ramaswamy Venkataraman Aug 31, 1984Jul 24, 1987Giani Zail Singh
Justice Muhammad HidayatullahAug 31, 1979Aug 30, 1984Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Basappa Danappa JattiAug 31, 1974Aug 30, 1979Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
Gopal Swarup PathakAug 31, 1969Aug 30, 1974Sh. Varahagiri Venkata Giri
Sh. Varahagiri Venkata GiriMay 13, 1967May 3, 1969Dr. Zakir Hussain
Dr. Zakir HussainMay 13, 1962May 12, 1967Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Dr. Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanMay 13, 1952May 12, 1962Dr. Rajendra Prasad