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Working of Institutions – Organs of the Government Name of Institution I LEGISLATURE (a) Lok Sabha Composition Way of Elections Powers 543 The representatives from Exercises the real power It controls the Council different constituencies are on behalf of the people. of Ministers. directly elected by the The view of the Lok Discussions and people. Sabha prevails in the debates are held on common meeting of important issues to be both the houses. made into a law which is fist passed by it. Lok Sabha exercises more powers in money matters. The Lok Sabha may not accept changes made by Rajya Sabha. (b) Rajya Sabha 250 It is indirectly elected It cannot reject money related Laws passed by Lok Sabha. Can only delay by 14 days. Functions Lok Sabha passes the budget of Govt. or any other money related law. It looks after the interests of various states, regions or federal units. It discusses about the laws passed by Lok Sabha, makes changes and passés them. II EXECUTIVE (a) Prime Minister 1 The President appoints the He continues in power leader of the majority party so long as he remains that commands majority in the leader of majority LS as PM. There is no party/ coalition. direct election. He is the head of the govt. Exercises general supervision of different ministries and can dismiss them. The PM chooses the various ministers. He chairs cabinet meetings and coordinates the work of different Depts. His decisions are final in case disagreements arise between Depts. He distributes work to PM is the most powerful various ministers. within the Cabinet and controls it. The PM of a coalition govt. can’t take decision as he likes, has to accommodate different groups, factions in his party (b) Council of Ministers (COM) 60 – 80 The President appoints them on the advice of the P.M. They are usually from the party or the coalition that No minister can openly criticize any decision of the government even if it is about another Every ministry has secretaries who are civil servants. has the majority in LS. (i) Cabinet Ministers (ii) Ministers of state with independent charge. (iii) Ministers of State (c) 20 Ministry/Dept. It is the inner ring of They are in charge of the Council of Ministers the major ministries who meet to take The cabinet works as a decisions in name of team. The ministers may Council of Ministers have different views in Cabinet Meetings. and opinions but everyone has to own up to every Cabinet decisions. They an usually incharge of small Ministries. They participate in Cabinet meetings only when specially invited . They are attached and required to assist Cabinet Ministers. 1 The elected MPs and the She is the Head of the elected MLAs elect her. The State and has nominal candidate has to get a powers. majority of votes to win the She is the supreme election in accordance with commander of the the system of proportional She supervises the overall functioning of all political institutions in the country so that they operate in harmony to achieve objective of the State. representation by means of defence forces in India. All govt. activities single transferable vote. ,laws, internal treaties She exercises powers on are made in her name. advice of COM and can them to reconsider her She appoints the PM advice. COM, Chief Justice Supreme Court, High A bill becomes a law Court Judges, only after the governors of state, President’s ‘assent. She Election can delay it and send it Commissioner back for reconsideration ambassadors. but if Parliament passes it again, she has to sign it. (a) JUDICIARY Supreme Court The judges are appointed by It controls judicial the President on the PM’s admin. In country and advice and on the advice of its decisions are the CJ of India. binding on all other courts of the country. It is independent of Executive and Legislature. Supreme Court (Sc) Once the judges are appointed, it is nearly impossible to remove them. It is the highest court of appeal in Civil/Criminal cases. Takes up dispute between citizens, govts. (State or union). Acts as the guardian of Fundamental Rights. It gives a fair judgement which is They have the power to interpret the constitution and can declare laws\ actions of govt. as in valid if it finds them against the constitution. This is called Judicial Review. (i) (b) trusted and accepted by everyone. Chief Justice of 1 the Country (CJ) The senior most judge of All the above. SC is appointed the CJ by He is the senior most the President. judge of the state. All the above High Court The judges are appointed Once the judges are by the President on the appointed, it is nearly PM’s advice and the Chief impossible to remove Justice of India’s them. consultation. They interpret the constitution and can declare laws/ actions of govt. as invalid. They act as the gourdian of Fundamental Rights. It is independent of the Legislature and the executive. He gives his consultation to appoint supreme Court of High Court Judge. They prevent the miuse of govts power, check malpractices. Working of Institutions Ques. 1 How does the Parliament exercise political authority? Ans. 1 The parliament exercises political authority in the following ways: 1. Parliament is the final authority for making laws in any country. It can make new laws, change existing ones or abolish them and make new ones. 2. Parliament all over the work exercise some control over those who run the government. In India, they can take decisions only so long as they enjoy the Parliament support. 3. Parliaments control all the money the governments have. 4. It is the highest forum of discussion and debate on public issues and national policy in any country. Ques. 2 Which are the two houses of the parliament? What is the difference between them? Ans. The two houses of Rajya Sabha. the Parliament are the Lok sabha and the Lok Sabha Rajya Sabha 1. It is the House of the 1. People. It is the Council of States. 2. It has 543 members (and 2. 2 nominated) It has 233 members (and 12 nominated by President). 3. The members are directly 3. elected by people as representatives through elections. The members are indirectly elected. 4. It is addressed by the 4. speaker. It is addressed by the Vice President of India. 5. The term of members is 5 5. years. 1\3 members retire after every 2 years. So the term of each member is 6 years. Ques. 3 Which of the two houses of the Parliament is more powerful and How? Ans. 3 On most matters, Lok Sabha exercises supreme power and is more powerful than Rajya Sabha. 1. Any ordinary bill needs for to be passed by both the houses. But if there is a difference between the two, final decision is taken in a joint session in which members of both Houses sit. Because of the larger number of members, the view of the Lok Sabha is likely to prevail. 2. Lok Sabha exercises more power on money matters. Rajya Sabha can only delay these by 14 days or suggest changes. 3. Lok Sabha controls the council of Ministers. Only a person who enjoys the support of majority of members of LS is appointed the PM. If the majority of Lok Sabha members have no confidence in Council of Ministers, all ministers with the PM, have to quit. The Rajya Sabha does not have this power. Ques. 4 Why are the functionaries called as the executive? Ans. The functionaries are called as the executive because they are in charge of the execution of the policies of the government. Thus, when one talk about ‘the government’ we usually mean the executive. Ques. 5 What are the two kinds of executive? What is the difference between the two? Ans. The two kinds of executive are: 1. Political executive and 2. Permanent executive POLITICAL PERMANENT It is elected by the people for a specific The Civil servants are appointed period. Political leaders who take big for a long turn basis. They decisions fall in this. remain in office even when the ruling party changes. Ques. 6 Why does the political executive have more powers than nonpolitical executive? Ans. In a democracy the will of the people is Supreme. The minister is elected by the people and thus empowered to exercise the will of the people on their behalf. He or she is finally answerable to the people for all the consequence s of its decisions. That is way political executive has more powers than non-political executive. Ques.7 What is a Cabinet – Sectratariat? Ans. Every ministers has Sectraries who are civil servants. The secretaries provide the necessary background information to the ministers to take decisions. The Cabinet as a team is assisted by the Cabinet Secretariat. This includes many senior civil servants who try to Co-ordinate the working of different ministers. Ques. 8 Why are the parliamentary democracies in most countries known as Cabinet form of government? Ans. It is not practical for all ministers to meet regularly and discuss everything. Therefore the decisions are taken in Cabinet meetings. That is why parliamentary democracy in most countries is often known as Cabinet form of government. Ques. 9 What is a Coalition government? What constraints has it imposed on the powers of the Prime Minister? Ans. Coalition government is a government formed by an alliance of two or more political parties usually when no single party enjoys majority support of the members in a legislature. The Prime Minister of a Coalition government can not take decisions as he likes. He has to accommodate different groups and factions in his party as well as among alliance partners. He also has to heed to the views and positions of the coalition partners and others parties on whose support the survival of the government depends. Qs. 10 How does the President remain only a nominal executive/ Ans. The President is the head of the State who exercises only nominal powers. The President of India is like the queen of Britain whose functions are to a large extent ceremonial The President supervises the overall functioning of all the political institutions in the country so that they operate in harmony to achieve the objectives of the State. The President can never claim the kind of direct popular mandate that the Prime Minister enjoys. This ensures that he remains a nominal executive only. All government activities take place in the name of the President. All laws and major policy decisions of the government are issued in her name. All major appointments are made in the President’s name. But the President exercises all these powers only on the advice of the Council of Minister and the Prime Minister. Q.11 What kind of disputes can be settled by the Supreme Court? Ans. The Supreme Court can take up disputes between: (a) Citizens of the country (b) Citizens and government (c) Two or more State Governments (d) Governments at the union and state level. Q. 12 What is Office Memorandum? Ans. Office Memorandum is a communication issued by an appropriate authority stating the policy or decision of the government. Q.13 What is public interest litigation? Why does judiciary enjoy high level of confidence among people? Ans. In recent years the Courts have given several judgements and directives to protect public interest and human rights. Anyone can approach the court if public interest is hurt by the actions of the government. This is called Public Interest Litigation. The courts intervene to prevent the misuse of the governments power to make decisions. They check malpractices on the part of public officials. Therefore, judiciary enjoys a high level of confidence among the people. Q.14.How does the constitution ensure that courts are independent of legislative and executive. Explain in detail. Ans. The judges do not act on the direction of the government or according to the wishes of parties in power. The judges of SC and HC are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Ministers and in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In practice it now means that the senior judges of the SC select the new judges. There is very little scope for interference by the political executive. Once a person is appointed as jude of the Supreme or High Court, it is nearly impossible to remove him or her from that positions as difficult as removing the President of India. A judge can be removed only by an impeachment motion passed separately by two-third members of the two houses of the Parliament. The Supreme Court and the High Court have the power to interpret the constitution of our country. Qu. 15 Why do we need a Parliament. The parliament exercises political authority in the following ways: 1. Parliament is the final authority for making laws in any country. It can make new laws, change existing ones or abolish them and make new ones. 2. Parliament all over the work exercise some control over those who run the government. In India, they can take decisions only so long as they enjoy the Parliament support. 3. Parliaments control all the money the governments have. 4. It is the highest forum of discussion and debate on public issues and national policy in any country. Ans 1 In all democracies, an assembly of elected representatives exercises supreme political authority on behalf of the people. In India such a national assembly of elected representatives is called a Parliament. Q. 16 How is a government order passed? Explain with the help of an example. Ans. A govt. order is passed in the following ways: The President of India in his address to the Parliament announces the intention of govt. to implement it. Like Mandal Commission. The Union Cabinet takes a formal decision to implement the recommendations. The Prime Ministers informs the Parliament about the decision through a statement in both the houses. The decision of the Cabinet is sent to the Department of Personnel and Training. The Senior offices of the department drafts on order in line with the Cabinet decision and take the ministers approval. An officer signs the order on behalf of Union Govt. And hence the order is passed. E.g on August 13, 1990 the Govt. of India issued on order O.M. No. 36012/31/90 – Est (SCT) dated 13.8.1990. The Joint Secretary signed the order.