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Governor of India

Role of Governor of India

The Governor is the head of a state just like the President is the head of the republic. The Governor is the nominal head of a state, while the Chief Minister is the executive head. All executive actions of the state are taken in the name of the Governor. However, in reality he merely gives his consent to the various executive actions. He or she is devoid of taking any major decisions. The real powers in the executive dealings of a state rest with the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.

According to an amendment in the Constitution of India, brought about in 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states. Apart from the governors in the states, Lieutenant governors are appointed in Union Territories of Delhi, Andaman Nicobar Island and Pudducherry. All other union-territories are governed by an Administrative Head (an IAS officer). The only exception is Chandigarh. The governor of Punjab is also the lieutenant governor of Chandigarh.

The powers of the Lieutenant Governor of a union-territory are equivalent to the powers of a Governor of a state in India. Both are appointed by the President of India for a term of 5 years.

Legislative Powers
  • As the Governor is said to be a part of the State Legislature, he has the right of addressing and sending messages, summoning, deferring and dissolving the State Legislature, just like the President has, in respect to the Parliament. Although these are formal powers, in reality, the Governor must be guided by the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers before making such decisions.
  • The Governor inaugurates the state legislature and the first session of each year, by addressing the Assembly, outlining the new administrative policies of the ruling government.
  • The Governor lays before the State Legislature, the annual financial statement and also makes demands for grants and recommendation of ‘Money Bills’.

  • The Governor constitutes the State Finance Commission. He also holds the power to make advances out of the Contingency Fund of the State in the case of any unforeseen circumstances.
  • All bills passed by the Legislative Assembly become a law, only after the Governor approves them. In case it is not a money bill, the Governor holds the right to send it back to the Vidhan Sabha for reconsideration. But if the Vidhan Sabha sends back the Bill to the Governor the second time, then he has to sign it.
  • The Governor has the power to promulgate an ordinance when the Legislative Assembly is not in session, and a law has to be brought into effect immediately. However, the ordinance is presented in the state legislature in the next session, and remains operative for a total of six weeks, unless it is approved by the legislature.

Judicial Powers
  • The Governor can grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishments. He can also suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of an offence against the law.
  • The Governor is consulted by the President in the appointment of the Chief Justice to the High Court of that particular state.
Emergency Powers
  • In case no political party bags a majority in the Vidhan Sabha of the state, the Governor holds the power to use his discretion to select the Chief Minister.
  • The Governor informs the President in an official report, of a particular emergency arisen in the state, and imposes ‘President’s Rule’ on the behalf of the President. The Governor, in such circumstances, overrides the advice or functions of the Council of Ministers, and directs upon himself, the workings of the state.

Eligibility Criteria

As per the Constitution of India, the following are the eligibility criteria for the appointment of the Governor in a particular state:
  • He or she must be a citizen of India.
  • He or she must have completed 35 years of age.
  • 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. There is no bar to the selection of a Governor from amongst the members of the Legislature, provided that on appointment, he or she immediately ceases to be a Member of the Legislature.

Salary of the Governor

The monthly salary of a Governor is Rs 1,10,000, as specified in the Governor’s (Emoluments, Allowances and Privileges) Act of 1982. The Governor is also entitled to certain benefits and allowances, which shall not be diminished during his office term of five years.

Facilities for the Governor

In addition to the monthly salary, the Governor is entitled to a number of special facilities such as medical facilities, residence facilities, traveling facilities, reimbursement of phone and electricity bills, and many other allowances. The Governor is provided an official residence free of rent. The Governor and his or her family is also provided free medical attendance for life. A fixed amount of money is also allotted as the Governor’s traveling expenses across the country.

Selection Process of the Governor

The Governor is not elected by the process of direct or indirect voting (like the Chief Minister, the Prime Minister or the President). The Governor of a particular state is appointed directly by the President of India, for a period of five years. The Governor must meet all the eligibility criteria enumerated above, to be appointed by the President.

Duty Term of the Governor

A governor of a state in India holds office for a period of five years, but it is subject to termination earlier if:
  • The Governor is dismissed by the President, at whose pleasure he holds the office. In reality, the President is advised by the Prime Minister of the country, who decides the dismissal of the Governor of a state, usually on the grounds of gross delinquency namely corruption, bribery and violation of the Constitution.
  • The Governor resigns from his post. There is no retirement age of the Governor, as he or she stays in office for a fixed term. There is no provision for a Governor to be impeached from office, unlike that of a President.

Pension of the Governor

A Governor of a particular state is entitled to a fixed pension, as per the Constitution of India. In August 2013, a Bill for hike in pension for the Governor was initiated. Besides a fixed pension, a Governor is also entitled to emoluments such as secretarial allowances and medical benefits for life.

The Residence of the Governor

As the Governor is the nominal head of a particular state in India, he or she is entitled to reside in the Raj Bhavan of that state, during his or her term of office. Like the President of India who resides in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi, each state has a Raj Bhavan, which is allotted to the Governor and his family. The Governor must vacate the Raj Bhavan on the expiry of his or her term of office.

Interesting Facts

The first woman to become a Governor of a state in India was Sarojini Naidu. She was the Governor of Uttar Pradesh from 15 August 1947 till her demise on 2 March 1949.

List of Governors of India

Current governors of states
StateNameTook office
Andhra PradeshE. S. L. NarasimhanDecember 28, 2009
Arunachal PradeshB. D. MishraOctober 3, 2017
AssamJagdish MukhiOctober 10, 2017
BiharLalji TandonAugust 23, 2018
ChhattisgarhAnandiben Patel (additional charge)August 15, 2018
GoaMridula SinhaAugust 31, 2014
GujaratOm Prakash KohliJuly 16, 2014
HaryanaSatyadeo Narain AryaAug 22, 2018
Himachal PradeshAcharya Dev VratAugust 12, 2015
Jammu and KashmirSatya Pal MalikAugust 23, 2018
JharkhandDraupadi MurmuMay 18, 2015
KarnatakaVajubhai ValaSeptember 1, 2014
KeralaP. SathasivamSeptember 5, 2014
Madhya PradeshAnandiben PatelJanuary 23, 2018
MaharashtraC. Vidyasagar RaoAugust 30, 2014
ManipurNajma HeptullaAugust 21, 2016
MeghalayaTathagata RoyAug 22, 2018
MizoramKummanam RajasekharanMay 29, 2018
NagalandPadmanabha AcharyaJuly 19, 2014
OdishaGaneshi LalMay 29, 2018
PunjabV. P. Singh BadnoreAugust 22, 2016
RajasthanKalyan SinghSeptember 4, 2014
SikkimGanga PrasadAugust 22, 2018
Tamil NaduBanwarilal PurohitOctober 6, 2017
TelanganaE. S. L. Narasimhan (additional charge)June 2, 2014
TripuraKaptan Singh SolankiAug 22, 2018
Uttar PradeshRam NaikJuly 22, 2014
UttarakhandKrishan Kant PaulJanuary 8, 2015
West BengalKeshari Nath TripathiJuly 24, 2014

List of Current Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of Union Territories

Current lieutenant governors and administrators of union territories
Office and union territoryNameTook office
Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar IslandsDevendra Kumar JoshiOctober 8, 2017
Administrator of ChandigarhV. P. Singh BadnoreAugust 22, 2016
Administrator of Dadra and Nagar HaveliPraful Khoda Patel (Additional charge)December 30, 2016
Administrator of Daman and DiuPraful Khoda PatelAugust 29, 2016
Lieutenant Governor of DelhiAnil BaijalDecember 31, 2016
Administrator of LakshadweepFarooq KhanSeptember 6, 2016
Lieutenant Governor of PuducherryKiran BediMay 29, 2016

Last Updated on April 08, 2020