Governor of India: Powers, Functions, Appointment, UPSC Notes

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

A Governor of India is the constitutional authority of each one of the 28 states of the Republic of India, as stated in Article 154 of the Indian Constitution. The state executive is composed of the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Advocate-General of State, and the Council of Ministers. The Governor of State is appointed by the country’s president for five years. He/She serves as the executive head of a state. He acts as an agent of the union government in the state executive body. The Indian Constitution addresses provisions pertaining to the individual state governments in Articles 153–167.

Governor UPSC topic is important to prepare for all IAS aspirants as many questions related to the current affairs on the appointment of Governor of states can be asked in the examination. The article outlines all the important details about the appointment of the Governors of the various states of India, including their powers and functions, terms, qualifications, etc.


As the union government appoints the Governor in each state, he/she is both the nominal/constitutional head and an agent of the centre. He/She serves as the chief executive head and is a significant state executive member. The Governor of a state is chosen by the federal government. All executive decisions are made in the governor’s name, who serves as the de jure leader of the state government. However, the chief minister-led council of ministers, which is appointed by the people and thus possesses de facto executive authority at the level of the state, must be consulted before the governor may make any decisions.

He/She may also propose the President’s rule, establish or dissolve a ministry, and retain bills for the approval of the President. Friction between the elected CM and the union-nominated Governor of State has developed over time as a result of the utilization of these discretionary powers of the Governor.

Powers and Functions of Governor

There are several powers and functions of the Governor in India, which can be classified as executive, judicial, financial, legislative, and discretionary powers. Each has been briefly explained below.

Executive Power of Governor

The Governor has the following executive authority:

  • The state government must act in the governor’s name when taking any executive actions.
  • The Governor has the authority to specify the procedures for authenticating orders that have been issued in their name.
  • They may or may not establish regulations to streamline how state government business is conducted.
  • They appoint the Chief Ministers and other state ministries.
  • In the following states, it is their duty to select a Tribal Welfare Minister:
    • Jharkhand
    • Chattisgarh
    • Odisha
    • Madhya Pradesh
  • They select and set the compensation for the state’s advocate general.
  • They appoint the following individuals:
    • Chairman and Members of the State Public Service Commission
    • State Election Commissioner
    • Vice-Chancellors of the universities in the state
  • The governor seeks information from the state government
  • A constitutional emergency in the state is recommended to the President by him.
  • The governor enjoys extensive executive powers as an agent of the President during the President’s rule in the state.

Legislative Powers of Governor

The following are the legislative powers of the Governor:

  1. It’s in his power to prorogue the state legislature and dissolve the state legislative assemblies
  2. He addresses the state legislature at the first session of every year
  3. If any bill is pending in the state legislature, Governor may/may not send a bill to the state legislature concerning the same
  4. If the speaker of the legislative assembly is absent and the same is Deputy Speaker, then Governor appoints a person to preside over the session
  5. As President nominates 12 members in Rajya Sabha, Governor appoints ⅙ of the total members of the legislative council from the fields of:
    1. Literature
    2. Science
    3. Art
    4. Cooperative Movement
    5. Social Service
  6. As President nominates 2 members in the Lok Sabha, Governor nominates 1 member in state legislative assembly from Anglo-Indian Community.
  7. He can consult Election Commission for the disqualification of members
  8. With respect to the bill introduced in the state legislature, he can:
    • Give his assent
    • Withhold his assent
    • Return the bill
    • Reserve the bill for the President’s consideration (In instances where the bill introduced in the state legislature endangers the position of state High Court.)

Note: Governor can reserve the bill for the President’s consideration in the following cases:

  • When provisions mentioned in the bill violates the constitution (Ultra-Vires)
  • When provisions mentioned in the bill oppose Directive Principles of State Policy
  • When provisions mentioned in the bill hinders the larger interests of the country
  • When provisions mentioned in the bill concern the national importance
  • When provisions mentioned in the bill mention the acquisition of property that is dealt with Article 31A in the constitution. (Read more about important articles in the Indian Constitution in the linked article.)


  1. An ordinance can be promulgated by him when either the Legislative Assembly or Council (Unicameral/Bicameral) are not in session. (Read the Ordinance Making Power of President & Governor in the linked article.)
  2. The following reports are laid by him:
    1. State Finance Commission
    2. State Public Service Commission
    3. Comptroller and Auditor General (Concerning the state finance)

Judicial Power of Governor

The Governor’s judicial duties and powers include the following:

  • He has the following pardoning powers against punishment:
    • Pardon
    • Reprieve
    • Respite
    • Remit
    • Commute
  • President consults the Governor while appointing judges of High Court.
  • In consultation with the state High Court, Governor makes appointments, postings, and promotions of the district judges.
  • In consultation with the state high court and state public service commission, he also appoints persons to the judicial services.

Financial Power of Governor

The functions of the Governor with regard to financial duties and authority include the following:

  1. He looks over the state budget being laid in the state legislature
  2. His recommendation is a prerequisite for the introduction of a money bill in the state legislature
  3. He recommends the demand for grants which otherwise cannot be given
  4. Contingency Fund of State is under him and he makes advances from that to meet unforeseen expenditures.
  5. State Finance Commission is constituted every five years by him.

Discretionary Powers of Governor

The Governor of state, unlike the President of India, is conferred with power to act at his own discretion. There are two categories of discretion for the governor. One is Constitutional Discretion and the other is Situational Discretion.

Constitutional Discretion:

The constitutional discretion of the Governor is discussed here.

  1. When they have to reserve the bill for the consideration of the President of India, Governors can decide on their own without the advice of the Council of Ministers
  2. When he has to recommend the President’s rule in the state, he can act at his own discretion
  3. When he is given an additional charge as the administrator of the Union Territory, he can take actions at his own discretion
  4. When he has to determine the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration
  5. When he calls upon the Chief Minister to seek information regarding administrative and legislative affairs

Situational Discretion:

The Governors of states can act at their situational discretion in the following instances:

  1. When he has to appoint a Chief Minister after no party has a clear majority in the election or when the incumbent dies in office.
  2. When he dismisses the council of ministers on an inability to prove confidence in the state legislative assembly.
  3. When he dissolves the state legislative assembly on time when it loses its majority.

The other situations where the governor, though has to consult the council of ministers but finally can act at his own discretion are:

  1. When he has to establish separate development boards for Vidarbha and Marathwada in Maharashtra.
  2. When he has to establish separate development boards for Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat.
  3. With respect to law and order in the state for so long as the internal disturbance in the Naga Hills–Tuensang Area continues in Nagaland.
  4. With respect to the administration of tribal areas in Assam.
  5. Regarding the administration of the hill areas in Manipur.
  6. For peace and social and economic advancement of the different sections of the population in Sikkim.
  7. With respect to law and order in Arunachal Pradesh.
  8. When he has to establish separate development boards for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in Karnataka.

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Appointment of Governor

Each Governor of State is appointed by the Indian President through a warrant that bears his signature. They must be chosen by the central government. A few things to be noted here are,

  • There are neither direct nor indirect elections for the position of Governor, unlike presidential elections.
  • The position of governor is an autonomous constitutional office and does not belong to the union executive. They do not work for or report to the union government.
  • The nomination of a governor by the Union and his appointment by the President in India is based on the Canadian model of government.

Term of Governor

The Governor’s post has no set term because he serves at the President’s pleasure. The grounds for removing them are not specified in the Constitution of India, and the President has the authority to do so. The President may also move a Governor from one state to another. He is also subject to reappointment.

A few pointers to note here are;

  • An interregnum is not allowed; following which a Governor may sit in the office beyond 5 years (expiry of the term) till the new governor assumes the charge of the office.
  • When and as the President sees proper, the Chief Justice of the High Court of the relevant state may also be appointed as the Governor on an interim basis. (Example: In the instance of a governor’s death, the Chief Justice of an HC can be appointed as the state’s Governor.)

Qualification of Governor

Unlike members of the Lok or Rajya Sabha, or even the Prime Minister or President, who must fulfil a number of requirements to hold the office, the Governor of India just needs to fulfil two requirements:

  • He ought to be a citizen of India.
  • He ought to be at least 35 years old.

The administration must adhere to the following two conventions before proposing a candidate for the role of Governor:

  • That person is not appointed as the governor who belongs to the state. He shall be an outsider having no relation with the state he is being appointed to.
  • The President consults with the Chief Minister before appointing a Governor.

It should be noted that neither of the aforementioned conventions is infallible and has frequently been disregarded by the union administration.

A person must meet the following requirements in order to be appointed as a Governor:

  1. He/She cannot be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. On the first day in office, he must give up his position if he has previously served in either house.
  2. He/She shouldn’t hold any office of profit.
  3. Raj Bhavan is made available to them for their dwelling without the requirement of paying rent.
  4. His allowances, emoluments, and privileges are determined by the Parliament.
  5. When a Governor is in charge of two or more states, the states split the remunerations and allowances owed to him in such proportion determined by the President.
  6. During their term in office, Parliament cannot reduce their compensation.
  7. They are granted immunity from all criminal prosecution, including for their own personal acts.
  8. Arrest or imprisonment of the Governor cannot take place. Only civil proceedings can be initiated for his personal acts that too after giving two months’ of prior notice.

List of Governor of State 2023

In the UPSC exam, questions can be asked about the current Governor of any Indian state. To answer such questions correctly, candidates must be ready with the complete list of the Governor of State, which is given below:

States/UTs Governor of State
Chhattisgarh Biswabhusan Harichandan
Ladakh Brigadier B. D. Mishra (Lieutenant Governor)
Andhra Pradesh S. Abdul Nazeer
Bihar Rajendra Arlekar
Assam Gulab Chand Kataria
Andaman & Nicobar Admiral D K Joshi (Lieutenant Governor)
Maharashtra Ramesh Bais
Haryana Bandaru Dattatreya
Goa P. S. Sreedharan Pillai
Gujarat Acharaya Devvrat
Arunachal Pradesh Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik
Himachal Pradesh Shiv Pratap Shukla
Jharkhand C. P. Radhakrishnan
Punjab Banwarilal Purohit
Kerala Arif Mohammed Khan
Chandigarh Banwarilal Purohit (Administrator)
Madhya Pradesh Mangubhai Chaganbhai Patel
Karnataka Thawar Chand Gehlot
Manipur Anusuiya Uikey
Meghalaya Phagu Chauhan
Mizoram Hari Babu Kambhampati
Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha (Lieutenant Governor)
Nagaland La. Ganesan
Odisha Ganeshi Lal
Lakshadweep Praful Patel (Administrator)
Telangana Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan
Rajasthan Kalraj Mishra
Sikkim Lakshman Acharya
Tamil Nadu R.N. Ravi
Uttarakhand Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh
Tripura Satyadev Narayan Arya
Uttar Pradesh Anandiben Patel
Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena (Lieutenant Governor)
West Bengal C. V. Ananda Bose
Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu Praful Patel (Administrator)
Puducherry Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan (Lieutenant Governor)

Constitutional Provisions for Governor of India

Several constitutional provisions enlist and enshrine the powers and functions of a Governor. They have been listed below for your reference.

  • Article 154: Being the State executive head, they or their subordinates will perform all executive functions.
  • Article 163: Apart from the functions performed by them at their discretion, the Governor of State will be advised and aided by the Council of Ministers and Chief Minister. It is interesting to note here that even the President does not have the power to work at his/her own discretion.
  • Article 164: The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

Governor Article

The following articles of the Indian Constitution are related to the Governor of India, which must be checked thoroughly by the UPSC aspirants:

Articles Provisions
153 Governors of states
155 Appointment of Governor
156 Term of office
Article 157 Qualifications for appointment
158 Conditions of office
160 Discharge of the functions of the Governor in certain contingencies
161 The authority to issue pardons and other relief. Learn more about the Pardoning Power of the Governor here.
175 Right of the Governor to address and send messages to the house or houses of the state legislature
176 Special address by the Governor
201 Bills reserved by the Governor for consideration of the President
213 Power of Governor to promulgate ordinances
217 Governor is consulted by the President in the matter of the appointments of the judges of the High Courts
233 Appointment of district judges by the Governor
234 Governor appointments to the state’s judicial service of individuals (apart from district judges)

Check all important articles of Indian Constitution here.

Governor UPSC

Governor of India is an important topic in the UPSC Syllabus, coming under the section of Indian Polity. It is one of the basic fundamental topics that are to commit to the memory. The topic is heavily inquired in the UPSC Prelims and Mains alike. To get a better grip on your preparation, refer to our list of Polity Books for UPSC.

Governor UPSC Questions

Some sample questions based on Governor UPSC notes are shared below:

Q1. For the removal of a Governor from office, the President seeks advice from __.

(a) Council of Ministers

(b) Chief Minister

(c) Supreme Court

(d) None of the above

Answer: (d)

Q2. Who is the chief executive head of the state?

(a) Governor

(b) Chief Minister

(c) President

(d) None of the above

Answer: (a)

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