Indian Political System

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An Introduction

IS INDIA A NATION ?

NATION: “a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory” (Oxford Dictionary)

In India we have…..

• No. of religions • Diverse physical features - Dry deserts, Evergreen forests, Fertile plains • No. of languages (200) and dialects (1400) • No uniform civil code • Diversity of clothing and attire • Diversity in food habits • Numerous tribal cultures

Emergence of a Nation - Freedom Struggle

• • • • • • •

Revolt of 1857 Phase of Moderates Gandhiji’s entry Extremist forces Second World War Partition Independence

A legal document for governance….. THE CONSTITUTION

Constitution of India - The Making

• Cabinet Mission Plan • ‘Constituent Assembly’ constituted in Nov, 1946 • Drafting Committee (Chairman: B R Ambedkar) • 2 years, 11 months, 18 days

• CAME INTO EFFECT: 26th Jan, 1950 • ‘British India’ + ‘Princely States’

IS THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY TRULY REPRESENTATIVE ?? (British India: 296 seats Princely States: 93 seats)

Features of the Constitution

• Longest written Constitution in the world

– 395 Articles (450), 22 Parts (24), 8 Schedules (12)

• • • • •

Fundamental Rights Directive Principles of State Policy Federal System with Unitary Bias Parliamentary form of Government Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty & Judicial Supremacy • Universal Adult Franchise

Largely a borrowed Constitution!!!

• British Constitution – Parliamentary Government, Legislative Procedure, Bicameralism

• US Constitution – Fundamental Rights, Independent Judiciary

• Irish Constitution – Method of election of President, DPSPs

• South African Constitution – Procedure for Amendment of Constitution “AN INTELLIGENT ACT OF POLITICAL ENGINEERING”

• Canada, USSR, Japan, Australia, France etc.

Nature of India

• • • • • • • •

Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic Liberty (of thought, expression, belief, faith) Equality (no privileges to any section) Fraternity

Fundamental Rights

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. FRs are justiciable !!

Right to Equality Right to Freedom Right Against Exploitation Right to Freedom of Religion Cultural and Educational Rights Right to Constitutional Remedies

Directive Principles of State Policy
“ideals that the State should keep in mind while formulating policies and enacting laws”

Few Examples:

-

Provide free legal aid to poor

-

Secure the right to work

-

Organize village panchayats

-

Prohibit consumption of intoxicating drinks

-

Uniform civil code

-

Protect and improve environment

-

To promote monuments, places of historic importance

DPSPs are NOT justiciable !!

Fundamental Duties

• Added to the Constitution in 1976 • Inspired by USSR • Mostly found in ‘socialistic’ nations Few Examples: - Respect national flag and national anthem - Uphold and protect the integrity of India - Safeguard public property - Promote harmony and brotherhood

“RIGHTS NEED TO BE BALANCED WITH DUTIES”

Organs of Union Government

Legislature

• Parliament consists of President & 2 Houses: – Lok Sabha – Rajya Sabha • Powers & Functions of Parliament – Makes laws (for whole of India) – Executive is responsible to Parliament – Financial Powers – Constituent Powers – Judicial Powers

Legislature (contd.)

LOK SABHA – ‘House of the People’ • Maximum Strength: 552 (530 from states; 20 from UTs; 2 nominated)

• • • • •

Normal term of 5 years President can dissolve before 5 years Members are directly elected by people Universal Adult Franchise (above 18 yrs) Constituencies readjusted after each Census

(Ban on readjustment till 2026; Current Basis: 2001 census )

15th Loksabha

• Total Strength: 540 • Half-way Mark: 271

• UPA (273) - TMC(19) = 254 • Outside support for UPA: 50 = BSP (21) + SP (22) + RJD (4) + JDS (3) • CURRENT STRENGTH = 304

Legislature (contd.)

RAJYA...
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