Minimum Educational Qualifications
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This article is written by Manav Sony from Amity Law School, Kolkata. This article deals with the minimum education qualifications and criteria required for politicians in India.


The Indian Politics runs within the framework of the Country’s Constitution. Our country follows ‘Dual Polity System’ i.e. A Double Government which consists of Central Authority at the Centre and State at the periphery. Our constitution defines various organizational powers and also certain limitations of both center and state governments which is well organized, rigid and supreme. The actual purpose of an election is to give the people a chance to choose their representatives and make a government of their choice who basically frames policies to address their concerns.

Elections in India take place every 5 years. India has three levels of government- central, state and local. We follow the principle of ‘Universal Adult Franchise’ which gives rights to every citizen to have one vote and each vote will be treated equally. All the system and procedure of elections are carried out by a separate body known as ‘Election Commission’ where there are certain members of the office who look after the process in a fair manner. It is ensured that not a single citizen is denied their basic right, we have a system of voters list where the names of the voters are given so that they get to know about it. The voter lists are updated every 5 years. 

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This research paper deals with the Political System and Education Qualifications required for politicians in India. I have tried to portray each and every point in a systematic manner without using any political statements or any party name. It goes on explaining how the elections are conducted in our country and how the politicians are elected. Till now we know that elections in our country are conducted through voting machines (EVM) and in the end whoever gets the highest seats wins the election.

This paper also focuses on the election system conducted by various other countries and how they elect their politicians. It also talks about the current scenario of our country, how politicians actually work and give their contribution, what are their roles and responsibilities, the action plan formulated by them and also how the resources are used by them. Along with 0this, the paper discusses the merits and demerits of the elections, political scenario and how citizens have been benefited.

The main objective of this paper is to make people aware how education plays a key role through which politicians can take wise decisions which can benefit the common people and also a clean difference between our country’s politicians and the politicians of other countries. If we elect well educated politicians then only, we can bring a change otherwise we cannot.

If we try to obtain some election criteria from various countries then it will be quite helpful. The ultimate Goal is to suggest certain criteria which are actually required while electing a politician for a particular ward, zone, state or Country. All the matters in this paper are portrayed in a positive manner. Therefore, the need of hour is to understand the fact that we should have a proper criterion and also, we as responsible voters should be carefully aware of it and thus choose our leaders wisely. A wise approach will lead to positive impact. My message through this research paper will be that people can open their eyes and see where we are actually lagging behind with respect to other nations where politicians are elected in a very rigid manner. Where India stands actually with respect to others, are we really getting benefited with respect to current scenario or not and who are the ones who have actually made a huge difference and have left a great impression behind.


The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January, 1950. It is the second largest country by area, the second most populated country after China, and has the most populated democracy in the world. Modern humans came to India from Africa around 55,000 years back. India is the home for all religions. In the early medieval times, Christianism, Islam and Zoroastrians have put down roots on India’s southern and western coasts. Our country is known as the Secular, Federal, Republic and is basically governed in a democratic parliamentary system. It is a Nuclear Weapons state which actually ranks high in military power. India has managed quite well in lowering the poverty rate through raising the cost of increasing economic equality. Our country is well known for its vast culture, peace and harmony. From South Indians to Punjabis to Muslims, we have a wide range of cultures. The motto of our country is “Satyameva Jayate”. 

The Government India is totally governed according to the Constitution which is our country’s supreme document. All rules and regulations which are framed over there are amended by the citizens and if any of it is violated then they approach the court and hence seek justice. The constitution stated India to be “sovereign, democratic, republic”. Our Government is “quasi federal” which includes strong center but weak states. The country has grown to be federal since the beginning of 1990s. As discussed earlier, our Government includes three branches i.e. Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. Our country has a well-known political background with politicians who take a lead role in various states, playing various roles and also using their logic so as to benefit common people. The Government of India is located in New Delhi, which is known as our National Capital.

Political System of India

The Political System of India is totally governed by the Constitution of India. As we know that our country is a federal democratic republic in which The President of India is the head of the state and the Prime Minister is the head of the Government. The constitution clearly defines all the organizational powers of the center and state government which is totally supreme i.e. all the laws of the nation must be according to the provisions given in the constitution. There are 2 houses i.e. Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States) which fully represents the people of India as a whole. Lok Sabha has around 543 members elected from 543 Indian Constituencies. Whereas, in Rajya Sabha there are around 245 members out of which 233 members are elected through elections and the remaining 12 members are elected by The President. The elections in our country take place at a term of every 5 years. The first election in our state took place in the year 1951 which was won by Indian National Congress, who dominated the government till 1977. After that a new government was formed. In the year 2014 Bhartiya Janata Party came into force which again brought back the rule of a single party. In the year 2019 the “Economist Intelligence Unit” rated India as a flawed democracy.

The states actually have their own legislation. Some have two houses and some have just one house. The house where the legislative matters take place is called Vidhan Sabha. In the state elections members of the lower house are elected. The Supreme Court is the supreme body of our country. As the time has passed, we have seen that there have been vast changes in the Democracy of our country. From a multi fold increase in the size of the middle class to penetration of social media, we have seen a lot of changes.

The social and geographical expansion of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2014 altered the entire political landscape resulting in further marginalisation of the Congress, the decimation of the Left Front, and a huge reduction in the power of state-level parties. Similarly, as the BJP made huge profits across the board, various voting blocs curated in the past along lines of caste and class also seem to have melted in saffron colour. 

Elections in India

The Elections are carried on according with a parliamentary system, governed by the Constitution. The constitution mentions all the powers which have to be distributed between the centre and the states. As we all know that The President of India is the main head of our country and Supreme Commander in Chief for all defence forces. However, the Prime Minister of India, is the leader of the party or political alliance having majority in the national elections to the Lok Sabha, which exercises most executive powers for the matters that require nationwide affection under a federal system. Our country is divided into states. Each state has a Chief Minister who is a leader of the party or political alliance who has won a majority of votes at the state elections or known as state assembly elections. 

The elections are controlled by the Election Commission which is a federal body governed by the provisions of the constitution. The main tasks of the commission are to monitor and administer all the electoral process of India. This body is responsible to ensure that elections are free and fair, without any degree of unfairness anytime. Commission ensures that the conduct of members pre-elections, during elections and post-elections are according to the statutory legislations. Elections in the Republic of India include elections for:

  • Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha; 
  • Members of State Legislative Assemblies all over;
  • Members of the Parliament in the Rajya Sabha;
  • Members of State Legislative Council;
  • Members in Village Panchayats;
  • By-election is held when a person of a particular constituent dies, resigns, or is disqualified.

If a candidate wants to contest at the election, then he/she has to submit their nomination papers to the election commission. After scrutinising all the papers, a list of all the candidates is published. No party should use the resources by the government for any election campaigns. Also, no party should bribe the other candidates. If all such things come under the notice of the commission, then the nomination of that particular candidate is cancelled. Usually, the campaigning of elections ends two days before the polling day. Government officers are made in-charge of all the election processes. EVMs are used instead of Ballot Boxes so as to prevent any such fraud.  After a citizen votes his or her left index finger is marked with an indelible ink. This practice was adopted in the year 1962.
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Political Parties of India

India, has been the largest democracy the world has seen since 200 political parties were formed, since it attained Independence in the year 1947. As compared to other democracies, India consists of a large number of political parties and some of them are woven around their leaders. The two main parties in India are the Congress and BJP, which dominate national politics. At this present scenario we have around seven national parties, and many state parties.

Every political party in India irrespective of national or state must have a symbol and must be registered with Election Commission of India. Symbols are used for the parties so as to identify political parties so that illiterate people can vote by recognizing the party symbols. In the current scenarios, the Commission has framed the following five principles: 

  • A party, or State, must have a legislative presence.
  • A National party’s legislative presence must be in Lok Sabha. A State party’s legislative presence must be in the State Assembly.
  • A party can set up a candidate only amongst its own members.
  • A party that loses its recognition shall not lose its symbol immediately but shall be allowed to use that symbol for some time to try and retrieve its status. 
  • Recognition should be given to a party only on the basis of their performance at the elections and not because it is a small or thin group of some other recognized party.

As compared to other democracy, political parties represent different societies among the Indian Society and the region, and the values by them have also played a key role during the elections. The political parties represent the executive and legislative branch of the government. The people of India by using their power to vote choose their representatives. If a party fails to earn a majority at the elections, then they used to form a coalition. 

India has a multi-party system, where there are numerous national as well as regional parties. A regional party may gain a majority and rule a particular state. If a party rules at more than 4 states, then it is called a National Party. Out of 72 years of India’s independence, Congress has ruled our country for more than 53 years, according to a data on January 2020. On 22 May 2004, Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Prime Minister of India following the victory of the Congress & the left front in 2004 Lok Sabha election. The UPA ruled India without any support from the Left Front. Previously, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had taken office in 1999 after a general election in which BJP-led coalition of 13 parties called the National Democratic Alliance emerged with a huge majority. In May 2014, Narendra Modi of BJP was elected as the Prime Minister of India.

Political Scenario of Other Countries with Respect to India

The first Country that we will be referring to is none other than the United States of America (USA). The political scenario of the USA is a federal constitution republic where the President, the Congress and the Judiciary share powers with each other which are actually reserved to the national government, and federal powers gradually share sovereignty with the states together. The executive area is taken care by the President, the legislative area is taken care by two chambers of the congress i.e. the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judicial branch is divided into two sub parts i.e. Supreme Court and lower federal courts. The tasks which are looked after by the judiciary are to interpret the Constitution of USA and also the federal laws and regulations. All the layout and hierarchy of the federal government is mentioned under the provisions of the constitution. Unlike the UK and other similar systems of parliament, Americans vote for a specific candidate instead of directly selecting any particular political party.

With a federal government, officials are elected at the federal, state and local levels. Whereas, on a national level, the President is elected indirectly by the people, through an Electoral College. Legal requirements for the candidates who want to stand for presidential elections have remained the same since the year Washington accepted the presidency. As directed by the Constitution, a perfect presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. These requirements do not prohibit women or minority candidates from running.

The next country we are going to discuss is Russia. The system of Russia is under the idea of the Federal Semi Presidential Republic. According to the constitution, the President is the head of the country who looks after all the affairs of the country and also looks after the multi-party system with executive power, headed by the Prime Minister who is appointed by the President by the approval of the parliament. The legislative power is basically vested in the two houses of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Since the Soviet Union has collapsed, Russia has really faced a lot in gearing up their political system once again and thus they had to follow almost seventy-five years of soviet political governance. Once a new constitution and new government were formed and came into existence, Russia slowly came to a positive stabilisation at their political scenario. The regions of Russia gained political and all other support from Moscow.

At this federal stage, Russia elects a president who is the head of the state and a legislature which is one of the two chambers of the assembly. The president is elected for two consecutive terms of six years by the people. The federal assembly has two branches. The State Duma has around 450 members elected for the term of five years. Since 1990, there have been seven elections for the president and seven for the parliament.  The last presidential election was held in the year 2018, and the next is expected to be in 2024. Presidency in the Russian Federation is subjected to the articles 80-93 of the Russian Constitution, the information provided in these articles is explanatory to the system of elections in Russia, and the main points to be highlighted are the following:

  • The president is elected on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage through secret ballots.
  • The president is to be elected for a term of six years.
  • Any citizen of the Russian Federation with 35 or more years of age and that has had a permanent residence for at least 10 years in Russia can run for the presidency in Russia.
  • The same person may not be elected President of the Russian Federation for more than two terms running. 

Talking about the parliament, there are around 450 seats out of which half of the seats are allocated through proportional representation party voting, with a threshold of around 5%. The legislative body is subjected to articles 94-109 of the Russian Constitution and explain some important points about the elections for the parliament which are as follows: 

  • The Parliament/ State Duma is elected for a proportionate term of five years.
  • Any Russian Citizen who is at least 21 years old can be a candidate.
  • The president is to call the elections for the State Duma, according to the provisions in the constitution.
  • The Federation Council is elected indirectly, appointing one member of the government and one member from the legislative branch for each of 85 federal units of Russia according to the relevant laws and the provisions of the Constitution, as amended.

Politicians of India

The next thing which we are going to discuss is the Politicians of India. The politicians represent our country or states not only in our country but outside too. From Prime Minister to Chief Ministers, all play a key role in handling the grievances of the common citizens and solve their problems soon. A politician is a person who is highly active in party politics, or a person who basically holds an office of profit under the government. 

They use their knowledge and wisdom in framing the laws and regulations i.e. the actual way in which they want to handle their state or area or country as a whole. Precisely speaking a politician can be anyone who seeks to attain political power in any bureaucratic institute. Their posts and positions vary from executive, legislative or judiciary or national governments. They give speeches to people before voting so that they can gain the trust of the people and also if they win, they carry out various activities for the benefit. India has a quite unique system of politics as compared to the other countries. Politics of necessity has become expert users of the media. Earlier in the 19th century, they used the media as a part of their campaign rather than taking out any rally. Once a politician is elected, he/ she becomes the part of the government who has to deal with the permanent bureaucracy of the non-political members.

We have seen that there are various hot heated fights with words among them every time. We have also seen some of them a part of a huge scam or something upon the other. Our country is actually lagging behind in choosing them. The main reason behind this is that we don’t have basic guidelines framed for the qualifications that we actually need in a politician. Age and experience do matter but also one more thing which matters is education. If we elect wisely then, the benefit will fall upon us only.

Educational and Other Qualifications Required for Candidates

Our Constitution does not contain any proper provisions regarding the qualifications that are needed for the Candidates for standing at the elections. Till now we just have simple qualifications i.e. resident of the country or a particular area/state from where he wants to stand, a particular age of majority and not holding any office of profit. We see that there are no such educational and other moral qualifications mentioned for them. We saw that in other countries there are somehow educational qualifications needed even though it is not mentioned. From France to the USA we have quite educated politicians who represent their country and thus the citizens are quite relaxed there. 

As per various data and studies we have also seen that many foreign countries perform well at the country’s growth and economic patterns and also maintain their social backgrounds. But in India we do not see such changes or any reputable rate of economy and other social factors. Even for crimes or safety of women, various countries have quite stricter rules because of which crimes, rape, assault, dacoity and all other sorts of social evils are less or even not there. If you commit crime at Saudi Arabia, punishments include public beheading, stoning, amputation and lashing. Serious offences not only include internationally recognized crimes but also apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery. If someone commits a crime in the USA, then that particular person is punished with Capital Punishment. In all sorts of crimes committed, Capital Punishment is imposed. As we talk about the safety of women, Iceland followed by New Zealand and Austria ranks top 3 amongst all the other nations. If we talk about India, it ranks 133 out of 167 countries according to Georgetown University’s Institute for Women report. This is the reason why India is lagging behind because there are no set of criteria given. If we impose such things then our country can progress a lot better than other countries.

Now talking about the economy rates, USA, China and Japan ranks in the Top 3 having 21.4%, 14.1% and 5.2% respectively. Looking at all these factors we can only say that India needs to do a lot of hard-work then only we can succeed. Yes, today India is appreciated because of their efforts against Covid-19. India is doing quite well in their fight against this deadly pandemic which has infected millions of people and killed lakhs. The lawmakers need to understand the fact that still we need to have a proper criterion framed for them so that we progress more nicely and, in the end, we don’t have to depend upon any other nations for any import-export or any monetary help. 

The qualifications that are needed for a candidate is that they should attain at-least 70 percent at their class XII examinations and also, they should be a college graduate with a reputable percentage of marks irrespective of which stream. If that particular candidate has a knowledge of Political Science that will be really good. More emphasis should be given to those who have studied Humanities. The particular candidate should belong from a reputable background and also, he/she should not at all have any crime record. We have seen many political personalities having a huge crime record and also involved in corruption and all other sorts of malpractices which are against the morals of the society. 

Therefore, we need candidates who are not involved in all these. Also, the age of a candidate should be such that he/she can handle situations easily and also take proper decisions whenever needed. Most preferably, young candidates should be given a chance because they can actively take part in the decisions and use their knowledge wherever needed. There are certain subjects which play a key role and we used to study since our childhood i.e. Value Education, Moral Science and Basic Science which also plays a key role over here. 

Also talking about the background, the candidate should belong from a reputed family as mentioned earlier because family are the ones who teach moral values and proper care and education. Not only bookish knowledge is necessary over here but also knowledge from parents, grandparents and also all the other members of the society. Therefore, these are the only recommendations from my side that are needed so as to get proper politicians who can actually make a huge difference. 


The principle of free and fair elections is quite important postulate in the branch of democracy, that usually is a part of the Constitution of India. Election system is the only thing through which all the citizens can enjoy their basic rights and also liberties. This system also has a benefit at increasing the morals and also intellectual levels of the citizens. The weakness of this system is actually found in the social, economic or historical factors. 

As this system will get damaged or perish or even it may get end but it will never die at all. Also, politicians play a key role in the country’s political system. Without them our country cannot progress and thus we will not at all be bound by any law or provision. In the end I would like to conclude my paper by saying that we should choose our leaders wisely and also leaders should use their power correctly and in a proper manner because their decisions are most important for us too.

Politicians should have a proper criterion before elections take place. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to have a proper set of guidelines and also a way in which they can carry out a smooth process. India has the potential to progress quite well as compared to other countries. Thus, I hope that we have proper qualifications in the coming future and we elect good leaders.


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