An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century.
Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government. This process is also used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.
India has an asymmetric federal government, with elected officials at the federal, state and local levels.
At the national level, the head of government, Prime Minister, is elected by the members of Lok Sabha, lower house of the parliament of India.
All members of Lok Sabha except two, who can be nominated by president of India, are directly elected through general elections which takes place every five years, in normal circumstances, by universal adult suffrage.
Members of Rajya Sabha, upper house of Indian parliament, are elected by elected members of the legislative assemblies of states and electoral college for Union Territories of India.
The Parliament of India comprises the head of state and the two Houses which are the legislature.
The President of India is elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of members of federal and state legislatures.
The House of the People (Lok Sabha) represents citizens of India (as envisaged by the Constitution of India, currently the members of Lok Sabha are 545, out of which 543 are elected for 5-year term and 2 members represent the Anglo-Indian community). The 550 members are elected under the plurality (‘first past the post’) electoral system.
Council of States (Rajya Sabha) has 245 members, 233 members elected for a six-year term, with one-third retiring every two years. The members are indirectly elected, this being achieved by the votes of legislators in the state and union (federal) territories. The elected members are chosen under the system of proportional representation by means of the Single Transferable Vote. The twelve nominated members are usually an eclectic mix of eminent artists (including actors), scientists, jurists, sportspersons, businessmen and journalists and common people.