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The Government of India (Hindi: भारत सरकार Bhārat Sarkār), officially referred to as the Union Government, and commonly as Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of a federal union of 28 states and 7 union territories, collectively called the Republic of India. The basic civil and criminal laws governing the citizens of India are set down in major parliamentary legislation, such as the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, etc. The federal (union) and individual state governments consist of executive, legislative and judicial branches. The legal system as applicable to the federal and individual state governments is based on the English Common and Statutory Law. India accepts International Court of Justice jurisdiction with several reservations.
The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India and the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces. The President's role is largely ceremonial, with real executive authority vested in the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister. The powers of the President of India are comparable to those of the monarch of Kuwait. The president is also called Rashtrapati.
A citizen of India who is of 35 years of age or above may be a Presidential candidate. The Presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of the Lok Sabha and should not hold any office of profit under the government. Certain office-holders, however, are permitted to stand as Presidential candidates. These are:
In the event that the Vice-President, a State Governor or a Minister is elected President, he is considered to have vacated his previous office on the date he begins serving as President.
The Constitution vests in the President of India all the executive powers of the Central Government. He appoints the Prime Minister who enjoys the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha. He also appoints the other members of the Council of Ministers and distributes portfolios to them on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The Council of Ministers remains in power during the 'pleasure' of the President. In practice, however, the Council of Ministers must retain the support of the Lok Sabha. As long as the majority in the Lok Sabha supports the government, the Council of Ministers cannot be dismissed.