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Central hub for discussion on Politics
President in India has become just a ceremonial head functioning like a rubber stamp. He is said to have no discretionary powers of his own and acts on advice of council of ministers. He has limited veto power as he cannot return the bill more than once, thus is bound by the advice of council of ministers. Most importantly there is a huge cost involved in maintaining the office of president such as accomodation expense (rashtrapati bhavan), salary of employees deployed therein, emoluments, pensions etc.
The position of president is not free from politicisation as he is elected by elected members of parliament and legislative assemblies. Thus, the party with majority power at centre and states will have a dominating influence on the choice of candidates.
What made framers of Indian constitution to retain the colonial legacy of ceremonial head of state for independent India is the non-partisan character of the office. The president is the first person on whose name international treaties were convened & whose signature makes a bill an act. Thus he is a person above party politics & his approval to a legislation leaves no room for conflict,on the allegation of partisanship. The post was not given discretionary powers to avoid formation of two parallel power blocks, which may lead to instability.
He enjoys executive power which needs to be exercised through council of ministers headed by the prime minister. All the executive orders are made on his name and most of the bills needs his assent. He has rights to keep communication with the prime minister's office and keep himself updated on the affairs of administration and proposed legislation. The council of ministers are individually responsible to the President of India.
While one may argue that USA president does have independent powers, but that system is totally different and has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this system, President is elected by people. ( Presidential Democracy)
The post of president was given ceremonial position so as to maintain continuity from pre-independence. Also to ensure that a country is not left without head in case of loss of majority, death of PM etc.
Our country has Parliamentary form of government. All real powers are vested in council of ministers headed by Prime Minister. President acts only on the advice of Council of ministers. So yes aptly asked why do we need President? Political instability is a common problem of our parliamentary system. It is administered by President. He provides continuity in the process of governance. However this is best done if the president is apolitical, which somehow has changed drastically nowadays.
President represents Indian Union and therefore, with respect to unity and integrity of India, office of President has special significance. Governance needs political as well as apolitical inputs. Apolitical or technical inputs can be better provided by the President.