Difference between President and Prime Minister – President vs Prime Minister

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The difference between President and Prime Minister is that a President is usually referred to as the head of the state of a republic country, while a Prime Minister is the head of the legislative or the Central Government. India is a democratic country and follows the parliamentary rule. The roles and responsibilities of the leaders of the country are clearly defined. Leaders of countries help in shaping the world. The President and Prime Minister are the leaders who work for the benefit of their countries. Many people aspire to be world leaders on these posts.

Difference between President and Prime Minister PDF

It depends on the form of the Government (Presidential or Parliamentary) to decide whether a country should have a President and Prime Minister or only one of the executives. Although both positions have very similar or overlapping authorities, their government roles differ. In this article, let us learn about the difference between President and Prime Minister, their roles and responsibilities, relationships, etc.

Difference between President and Prime Minister

In several countries like Indonesia and the United States, the President performs the role of both State Head and Government leader. In India, the President of India is elected by the legislative assembly and appoints the Prime Minister.

  • However, it is also important for the Prime Minister to get a nod from the members of Lok Sabha, who the people elect.
  • To be elected as a Prime Minister in India, the individual should be a citizen of India and a member of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

In the table below, let us learn the difference between President and Prime Minister based on their roles and responsibilities, appointments, powers, etc.

President vs Prime Minister

Difference between President and Prime Minister
Position President Prime Minister
Referred to as The first citizen of the country, OR,

Head of the state or a country

Leader of the central government, OR,

Most powerful person in the country

Head Head of the state or a country Head of the Government or the Council of Ministers
Role Plays an important role in passing bills related to reformation or making laws Plays an important role in deciding policies and laws
Appointed by The President is elected by the legislative assembly and parliament The Prime Minister is appointed by the president

The Prime Minister also needs the majority of Lok Sabha who are elected by the people

Party The President does not belong to any party The Prime Minister represents the party that has achieved the highest votes during the elections of the Lok Sabha
Power of Declaring a State of Emergency The President can declare a state of emergency The Prime Minister does not have the power to declare a state of emergency
First leaders of India Rajendra Prasad Jawaharlal Nehru
Current in India Currently, Droupadi Murmu is serving as the President of India Currently, Mr Narendra Modi is serving the country as the Prime Minister

President and Prime Minister

The President of India is entitled to legislative, executive, and judicial powers by the Indian Constitution. He is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of India. He appoints Governors of the States, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice of India, High Court Judges, Judges of the Supreme Court, etc.

  • President is the nominal head and the first citizen of the country, but the Prime Minister is the leader of the Government. So, actual power lies with the Prime Minister of India.
  • But, as per the Indian Constitution, the difference between powers of President and Prime Minister in India is that President is the one who appoints the Prime Minister and has the power to dismiss the PM at any time, which makes him/her more powerful.

Who is a President?

The President of India can command the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and postpone it. Bills can become laws only after they are signed and approved by him/her. He/She can impose state and national emergencies under Article 356 and Article 352, respectively.

  • He/She can also declare a financial emergency under Article 360.
  • He/She can grant an award, pardon, revoke, or remission a person, and can minimize the sentence of death of a person.

Who is a Prime Minister?

PM gives recommendations to the President to appoint ministers. He can ask any minister to resign at any time as per his will or can ask President to dismiss any minister if such a situation occurs. In the meetings of the council of ministers, Prime Minister’s decision is the final.

  • Allocations or reshuffling of departments of Ministers can be done anytime by the PM.
  • He plays the role of a guide, leader, director, etc., to other ministers.

Relationship between President and Prime Minister

In a country like India, where the role of Prime Minister and President is clearly defined, it is important to understand the relationship between the two in terms of working.

  • The Prime Minister serves as a communication channel between the President of India and the council of ministers.
  • On the advice of the PM, President appoints the Attorney General of India, Chairman of various Commissions, CAG, etc.
  • Prime Minister plays an active role in advising the President about the postponement, summoning, and dissolving of sessions of Parliament.


Key Difference between President and Prime Minister

The key difference between President and Prime Minister is based on the role, power, and position. Both are important leaders of the country. Both leaders try to make their countries self-reliant and prosperous. Although both positions have overlapping authorities, several points still highlight the difference between them.

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