Jagdeep Dhankhar,
71, was elected Vice President of India Saturday. He will replace M Venkaiah
Naidu whose five-year term in office ends on August 10. Dhankhar won the Vice-Presidential
polls with a large margin defeating Opposition’s consensus candidate Margaret

Within the ambit
of a Parliamentary democracy, the role of a President is that of a figurehead
with hardly any discretionary powers. In a similar scheme, the Vice President’s
powers are further diminished. The role, powers and functions of the Vice
President of India are laid out as follows.

The post of the
Vice President of India is the second-highest constitutional post in the
country. An Indian citizen above 35 years of age, who is qualified for election
as a member of Rajya Sabha, can be elected Vice President.

Also Read | How India elects its Vice-President

The Vice
President, just like the President of India, is elected through an electoral
college. Members of both houses of Parliament – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – vote
in the elections, including nominated members.

Functions of
the Vice President of India

The Vice President
of India is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the
Indian Parliament. The VP presides over sessions of the Rajya Sabha and takes
care of day-to-day matters of the Upper House.

The Vice President
of India also steps in as the acting President if a serving President resigns,
or is impeached or is incapacitated to carry on the responsibilities of the
office. At this time, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha takes charge of
the Upper House.

Former Vice
Presidents of India: A list

Radhakrishnan:1952- 1957, 1957-1962                               

Husain: 62-67

V. V. Giri: 67-69

Gopal Swarup
Pathak: 69-74

B. D. Jatti:

Hidayatullah: 79-84

Venkataraman: 84-87

Shankar Dayal
Sharma: 87-89

K. R. Narayanan: 92-97

Krishan Kant: 97-2002

Bhairon Singh
Shekhawat: 2002-2007

Mohammad Hamid
Ansari: 2007-2012, 2012-2017

M Venkaiah Naidu:
2017- 2022