MAJOR POLITICAL THEORIES, PREAMBLE, AND , THE SALIENT FEATURES OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA , FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS , DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES, INDIAN FEDERAL SYSTEM, EMERGENCY PROVISIONS , UNION EXECUTIVE

CONTENTS

 

  1. 1.      MAJOR POLITICAL THEORIES
  2. 2.      PREAMBLE AND  THE SALIENT FEATURES OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
  3. 3.      FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
  4. 4.      DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES
  5. 5.      INDIAN FEDERAL SYSTEM
  6. 6.      EMERGENCY PROVISIONS
  7. 7.      UNION EXECUTIVE

 

 

 

 

 

MAJOR POLITICAL THEORIES

 

 

4.1 Liberalism

 

Liberalism is fairly an old political ideology . Its roots can be traced to the days of the

sixteenth century . Since then it has passed through numerous stages.  The  Western

Enlightenment had refused to accept moral goals as absolute truths; the English Glorious

revolution (1688) had denounced the divine rights of the kings;

The French Revolution gave the cardinal ideas of ‘Liberty , Equality , and Fraternity’ and

the  American  War of Independence a little earlier (1775-76) laid emphasis on the declaration

of human rights.

 

4.1.1 Meaning of Liberalism

 

Harold Laski, an English scholar of Political Science once wrote: “It (liberalism) is not

easy to describe, much less to define, for it is hardly less a habit of mind than a body of

doctrine”. What it means is that liberalism is too dynamic and too flexible a concept to give

it a precise meaning.  And yet the scholars have made attempts to define it. Sartori says,

‘V ery simply , liberalism is the theory and practice of individual liberty , juridical defense and

the constitutional state.”  According to Koerner, “Liberalism begins and ends with the

ideals of individual freedom, individual human rights and individual human happiness”.

Encyclopaedia Britannica defines liberalism “as an idea committed to freedom, as a method

and policy in government, as an organizing principle in society and as a way of life for the

individual and the community .”

 

Liberalism is a theory of reforms, for it has stood for reforms in economic, social and

political fields. It is a theory of liberty , individual liberty , individual autonomy , for it has

argued in favour of the development of human personality . It is a theory of democracy , for

it has favoured constitutional government, government based on the consent of the people,

rule of law , decentralization, free and fair elections. T o conclude, we may highlight three

aspects of liberalism which clearly help us in understanding its meanings: in social sphere,

liberalism stands for secularism and a society that opposes, all kinds of social discrimination;

in economic sphere, it favors a capitalistic economy , individual ownership of the means of

production and maximum profit-earning motive, in political sphere, it stands for a democratic

polity , individual rights and liberties, responsive and responsible government, free and

impartial judiciary and the like.

 

4.1.2 Features of Liberalism

 

We may identity certain characteristics of liberalism. These characteristic features are :

(1) Individual Liberty :  Liberalism is essentially an ideology of liberty . Its love for individual

liberty is unquestionable. It has become libertarianism. For the liberals, liberty is the very

essence of human personality . It is a means to one’s development.

(2) Individual-centred theory: Liberalism begins and ends with individual. For liberals,

individual is the centre of all activities, the focal point; individual is the end while all other

associations, including the state, are the means, which exist for the individual. individual is

the centre around which all things move.

 

(3) Capitalistic Economy :Liberalism advocates free-market economy , i.e., the capitalistic

mode of economy. It believes in private property system, regarding property rights as

sacrosanct; maximum profit as the only motive; capitalistic mode of production and

Individual and the S tate distribution as the only essence; the market forces as the controlling means of economy .

 

(4) Limited State: Liberalism advocates the concept of limited state. The liberals view

the state as a means for attaining the good of the individual. They oppose every type of

totalitarian state. They are of the opinion that a more powerful state means a less free

individual. Locke used to say , “because the functions of the state are limited, so are limited

its powers.”

 

(5) Opposed to  Traditions/Superstitions :  As liberalism rose as a reaction against

traditions/superstitions, it is, by its nature, opposed to all reactionary measures. Liberalism,

emerging from Renaissance and Reformation, stood, and actually stands, for reason and

rationalism.  As against the feudal model of man as a passive being, liberalism favours a

model of man who is more active and more acquisitive.

 

(6) Democracy: Liberalism is an exponent of democratic government. It seeks to establish

a government of the people, by the people and for the people; a government that functions

according to the Constitution and constitutionalism; a government that upholds the rule of

law; a government that secures rights and liberties of the people. Liberalism, McGovern

says, is a combination of democracy and individualism.

 

(7) Welfareism :Liberalism is closely associated with welfarism. Welfarism, as a state

activity , is the idea that state works for the welfare of the people. The liberal concept of

state activity is one where the state serves the people. In other words, the welfare sate is

a ‘social service’ state.

 

4.1.3  Weaknesses of Liberalism

 

Liberalism has its own inherent defects. It is a philosophy full of tensions. On the one

hand, it unfurls the flag of liberty , and on the other , it argues for equality. On the one hand,

it works, within the framework of market society , it promises equal opportunities to all. On

the one hand, it asks for unlimited rights to acquire property , and on the other , it seeks to

demand a share of profit for the welfare of those who are unemployed and the needy . On

the one hand, it builds a capitalistic economy , ending up ultimately in inequalities, and on

the other , it endeavours to establish an egalitarian society .

 

4.2 Marxism

 

Following the establishment of factories and the capitalistic

mode of production during the 17th-18th centuries West, the

conditions of the workers deteriorated. The workers who

entered the factories were subject to all sorts of exploitation

: long hours of work, life in slums, ill-health etc. The result

was exploitation of the workers, ever-increasing gap between

the rich and the poor , economic inequalities, degradation and

alienation. Karl Marx and Frederich Engels realised clearly

the adverse effects of capitalism and in the process, brought

out what is called scientific socialism or Marxism (after the

name of Marx). Those who contributed to the Marxian

philosophy after Marx and Engels include, among others,  V .I.

Lenin (Russia), and Mao Zedong (China).

Alienationmeans aloofness, estrangement, apathy, cutting off. Marx finds

alienation in extermination i.e., man finds himself external (alien) to his

activity, his self.

 

4.2.1 Marxism and its Basic Postulates

 

Marxism is the political philosophy of the working class as liberalism is the political philosophy

of the capitalist class. It is a theory of social change : why social changes take place and

how do these changes come into effect? The social changes take place because of the

material factors and through a method called ‘dialectical materialistic’ method.

Marxism is based on certain assumptions/postulates. These are :

 

1) Nothing happens in the world on its own; there is always a cause -effect relationship

in what we see around. The relations of production (i.e., material relations among

the people), as the basis of society , provide the cause while the productive forces

constitute the effect.

2) The real development is always the material development (i.e., the economic

development). The progressive development of productive forces indicates the

progressive level of development.

3) The material (i.e. economic) factor is the dominant factor in both individual life and

social life.

4) Human being is born at a particular stage of social / material development, i.e., born

in a social setting which exists independent of him. But being an active being, human

being makes his own social setting. Marx had said, human beings are born in history ,

but they make history .

5) Social classes, especially the opposing classes, through their struggle and following

the process of revolution, move in the forward direction. That is why the Marxists

say that every subsequent society is better than the preceding society .

6) Revolutions mean total and wholesome changes; they are not a negative force, but

are what Marx had called, the locomotives of history .  When launched and successful,

revolutions take the society to a higher stage of development.

 

Individual and the S tate 7) The state, being the result of a class society , is a class institution. It is neither impartial nor just; it is a class institution. It is a partisan, oppressive and exploitative institution;

it exists to serve the dominant class of which it is an instrument. In the capitalist

society , the capitalist state protects and promotes the interests of the capitalists while

in the socialist society , it protects and promotes the interests of the working class. By

the time the socialist society becomes fully communistic, the state would, by then,

have withered away .

 

Withering away of the state, according to the Marxists, means disappearing

of the state, i.e., slowly and gradually the state apparatus would go the whole

way .

Thus, Marxism advocates communism as the highest form of society where men would

work as they wish and would get what they want : “from each according to his ability to

each according to his needs.”

 

4.2.2 Highlights of Marxism

 

Marxism revolves around the following theoretical propositions.

Dialectical materialism is the sum-total of the general principles which explain as to

why and how social changes take place. The social changes take place because of the

material factors and through the dialectical materialistic method. The dialectical materialistic

method is a triple method. According to Marx,

Relations of Productionsconstitute the basis of the society at any given point of time.

What are called the social relations among the people are, for the Marxists, the relations of

production.

 

Productive Forces constitute those elements which originate from the relations of

production, but which, though opposite to the latter , promise more production through newer

methods/devices.

 

In very simple words, the Marxian theory states that all development takes place through

struggle between opposites and because of factors which are economic.

New Mode of Production is the result of the struggle between the relations of

production and productive forces at a matured stage of their development. The new

mode of production has the merits of both the relations of production and productive

forces; hence a higher stage of economic development.

 

Historical Materialismis also called the economic/materialistic/ deterministic

interpretation of history . The Marxian explanation of history is that it is a record of the

self-development of productive forces; that the society keeps marching on its path of

economic/ material development; that each stage of development indicates the level of

development attained; that history is the history of numerous socio- economic formations:

primitive communistic, slave-owning, feudal, capitalist and thereafter the transitional socialist

followed by the communist society; that each succeeding society is an improvement over

the preceeding one; that the socialist society , after the abolition of the capitalist society

would be a classless society but with a state in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat;

the communist society , which follows the socialists society , would be both classless society

and stateless society .

 

Individual and the State worker who creates value in the commodity when he produces it. But he does not get what he produces, he gets only the wages: over and above the wages is what goes to the

employer.  That is the surplus value. The surplus value is the difference between what the

value a labourer produces and what he gets in the form of wages. In simple words, the

labourer gets the wages; the employer , the profit.  This surplus value makes the rich, richer

and the poor, poorer . It is through surplus value that capitalists thrive.

Theory of Class Struggleis another tenet of Marxism. In the Marxian view , all hitherto

history has been the history of class struggle between opposing classes. Class struggle is

the characteristic of class societies. In the classless societies, there is no class struggle

because there are, in such societies, no opposing/ antagonistic classes. Class struggle, in

class societies, (i.e., in slave-owning society , the feudal society , the capitalist society) is of

mainly three types: economic, ideological, political.

 

Marxism advocates revolution. Revolutions, the Marxists say , are locomotives of history .

Revolutions occur when the relations of production come into conflict with the productive

forces, leading, thus, to a new mode of production. They bring about a complete

transformation of society , without violence if possible, and with it, if necessary . Revolutions,

indicate changes: wholesome changes, changes in the very character of a given society .

They signify the coming up of a higher stage of social development. Accordingly, the

Marxists regard revolution as a positive phenomenon.

 

Dictatorship of the proletariatmeans the rule of the working class. It is a state of the

workers in the socialist society which follows the capitalist society. It is the dictatorship of

the workers in the socialist society in the sense there is the dictatorship of the capitalists in

the capitalist society . There capitalists rule the way they want; now the workers’ rule in

the socialist society the way the workers want. Nevertheless, Marx makes it clear that the

dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the workers’ state, is an interim or a transitional

arrangement which functions between the capitalist society and the communist society.

Once the socialist society is completely established, the workers state will not be needed,

i.e., it will wither away (disappear slowly). Lenin insists that the dictatorship of the proletariat

is better than the bourgeois state, both quantitatively and qualitatively (at it looks after the

interests and welfare of the whole multitude of the workers rather than handful of capitalists).

The socialist society that follows the capitalist society after its abolition is a  classless

society. It is a classless society in the sense that all are workers wheresoever they work,

in the office, in the factory or on the fields: each gets job according to one’ s ability (‘from

each according to his abilities to each according to his work’). The communist society

which follows the socialist society, will be both the classless society and the stateless

society .

 

4.2.3 Relevance of Marxism

 

Marxism, both as a philosophy and also as a practice, has attained a position unparallelled

in social and political thought. Its appeal crosses all boundaries, and in fact, all limits. Its

adversaries are as much convinced of its strength as are its admirers.  And yet its

shortcomings are obvious.

 

Changes do not occur simply because of the clashes between the opposing classes. History

is indebted to class cooperation as well for its development. Material factor , though important

and dominating it may be, is not the sole factor in explaining the whole complex of society’ s

intricacies. Indeed, man does not live by bread alone, but it is also true that he can not live

without it. Marxism has underestimated the worth and strength of national/ patriotic

sentiments.  T o say that the workers have no fatherland of their own, as Marx used to say ,

is to make them parentless. Marxism also underestimated the importance of the state.  To

say that the State is a class institution and therefore, an oppressive and exploitative one is

to oversimplify things.

 

The Marxian formulations, in practice, have been really disappointing. Marxism, as a practice,

has failed, whatever be the reasons. One chief reason has been its centralizing tendency:

the dictatorship of the proletariat becomes the dictatorship of the communist party , the

party’s dictatorship becomes, ultimately , the dictatorship of one man: be that a Stalin or a

Mao. In the Soviet Union, reform movement (Glasnost, especially) initiated by Mikhail

Gorbachev marked the beginning of the end of the communist movement not only in

Europe but almost the world over .  The communist China has introduced numerous

liberalization measures in its economy and polity .  The relevance of Marxism as an alternative

ideology before the world is no more unquestioned.

 

4.3 Gandhism

 

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was the supreme leader of

the Indian nationalist movement which he had led for about

thirty years, between 1917 and 1947. He was a thinker in so

far as he had challenged most of the assumptions and doctrines

of his times, and in their places, provided possible and plausible

alternatives.

 

It is really difficult to project Gandhiji in any particular frame.

He was more than a Plato, one can possible call him a

Socrates; he was more than an Aristotle, one can call him a

Buddha; he was more than a Mill or a Marx, one can call him

Individual and the S tate a Guru Nanak. Gandhiji was a liberal among the Marxists, and a Marxist among the

liberals; he was a democrat among the individualists and an individualist among the socialists.

He was an idealist among the realists, and a realist among the idealists. He had combined

in himself the virtues of all the known ideologies, past and present.

 

4.3.1 Gandhi as a Critic of Western Civilization

 

Gandhiji was a critic of  Western Civilization. His complaint against western materialism is

that it destroys the very essence of spiritualism. He regarded the western type of man as

an atomistic individual, with all flesh and no soul.

As against the state that existed in the  West, Gandhiji advocated what he called, the

Ramrajya; as against the western style of managing things through the centralizing forces,

he stood for a decentralized polity .  As against materialism, industrialization and capitalism,

he made a strong plea for Swadeshi, cottage industries and the theory of Trusteeship.

 

4.3.2 State, Decentralization, Cottage Industries,  T rusteeship

 

Gandhiji is not an admirer of the type of the state that exists in the Western Society . For

him, the  Western state represented ‘violence in a concentrated form’; it is a soulless

machine.  Accordingly, Gandhiji, as a philosophical anarchist, admitted the state, but very

unwillingly , only when it is most needed.

Anarchistis one who is opposed to every type of state; anarchism is a theory of

lawlessness: without state, without government, without law .

Gandhism stands for a non-violent state based on (i) the consent of the people (ii) the near

unity in the society . Gandhiji advocated decentralization of power: both political and

economic. The spirit of Gandhian democracy is the spirit of decentralization. Decentralization

means devolution of power at each level beginning from individual/ local unit and reaching

the apex. The essence of decentralization, according to Gandhiji, is that all powers flow

from below and go up, in ascending order .

 

So considered, political power, in the Gandhian scheme, is vested in the individuals: the

centre of all activity , the repository of Swaraj; from individual, power is transferred to the

village; from village, the power goes to the higher unit, and ultimately , ends up with the

central/ national government which, practically performs only the coordinating functions.

Thus what is or what can not be done by the individual is done by the village, what is not

done by the village is done by the local/ regional government; what is not done by the

regional/ provincial government is done by the central/ national government. The spirit of

the Gandhian Ramrajya is that it is a self-regulating system where everyone is one’ s own

ruler, and not a hindrance to one’ s neighbours.

 

Gandhiji’s concept of decentralization has an economic aspect. He argued for the devolution

of economic power as well. He advocated village economy through the promotion of

village, small, cottage industries. In fact, he was for the self-reliant village economy. His

concept of Swadeshi is “that spirit which requires us to serve our immediate neighbours

and use things produced in our neibourhood in preference to those more remote.”

Gandhiji favoured the revival of indigenous industries so that people could have enough to

eat. In his opinion, any kind of economy which exploited people and helped concentrated

wealth in fewer hands, stands condemned.

 

Individual and the S tate Gandhiji’s idea of trusteeship was unique. It was unique because it aimed at establishing cordial relations between the capital and the labour . Declaring all property to be the property of the community as a whole, Gandhiji pleaded that all the employers (industrialists, capitalists

and the like) are the trustees of what they hold.  As such, they all are entitled only for the

money they need to satisfy their necessities as do the employees (the workers etc.). For

Gandhiji no individual is the owner: all work and all are the workers; everyone gets for the

service one renders; the profit is not of the owner , but is what belongs to the community .

The employers are the trustees, and not the masters; the employees as necessary

components of the enterprises, are the workers and not the slaves.

 

4.3.3 Ends and Means

 

According to Gandhiji, ends and means constitute two aspects of the same reality, i.e., two

sides of the same coin. They form an organic whole. Ends grow out of the means “As are

the means, so are the ends”. Gandhiji used to say . He also said, the means may be likened

to a seed; the ends, to a tree and there is just the same inviolable connection between the

means and the ends as there is between the seed and the tree.” He argued that the state

can not attain its ideal character as long as the means are tainted with violence. That is

why he always laid emphasis on the purity of means to achieve the ends. Impure means

can not achieve pure ends. He said once: “I would not accept Swaraj if it comes through

bloodshed”.  Again, “For me, Ahimsa comes before Swaraj.” So close and inseparable is

the relation between the two that if one takes care of the means, the ends will take care of

themselves. Furthermore, the realization of the goal has to be, for Gandhiji, in proportion to

that of the means.

Gandhiji was no Machiavelli. For Machiavelli, ends justify the means; for Gandhiji, means

justify the ends.

 

4.3.4 Society and Sarvodaya

 

Gandhism is not only a theory of politics, economy, religion, strategy , but also is a theory of

society . Gandhiji’ s whole social philosophy is a philosophy of equality: equality not in the

sense of absolute equality , but in the sense that as human beings, all are equal.  Asociety

based on equality , according to Gandhiji, is a society which rejects any and every type of

discrimination: either on the basis of caste, creed, class, sex, race, or region. We are born

as human beings, not as Hindus or Muslims,  We are born as human beings, not as an upper

caste being or a dalit. Gandhiji is opposed to all types of discriminatory tendencies and

trends. For him, there is only one caste, one class, one religion, one race, and that is

humanity . He, therefore, did not admit any discrimination. In fact, he was more for the

welfare of the weaker, i.e., for women as compared to men; for the weaker sections of

society: the Harijans, the Dalits. It is not that he wanted to deprive ‘A ’ and ‘give’ to ‘B’; it

is that he wanted to give ‘B’ more so as to enable him to get to the heights of ‘A ’. He

advocated equality so as to level people in social, economic, and political hierarchy . His

concept of equality aimed at bridging the gaps and not distancing them.

Gandhiji’s concept of Sarvodaya sums up his views on the kind of society he used to

dream. Sarvodaya, as Gandhiji had visualised, is the greatest good of all the members of

the society . It is the welfare of all. It is the good of the individual together with the good of

all the individuals, i.e., the good of each with the good of all. The concept of good in

Sarvodaya is not merely material, it is moral and spiritual as well.

 

 

What  you Have Learnt

 

In this lesson, you have learnt about three major political theories: Liberalism, Marxism

and Gandhism.  Y ou now know that liberalism is a political philosophy which advocates the

autonomy of individual, the constitutional state, the responsive government, rights and

liberties of the individual, free press, rule of law , impartial judiciary , decentralization and

the like.  Y ou also know that Marxism is a political philosophy of the working class, which

advocates equality, social justice, absence of all types of exploitation, a planned economy

with employment for each and all.  Y ou also know that Gandhism is a political philosophy of

Satya and  Ahimsa, an alternative solution of all problems faced by humanity, a synthesis of

all major political ideologies of the world.

 

 

PREAMBLE  AND  THE SALIENT FEATURES OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

 

he Constitution of India was framed by a Constituent  Assembly .  This  Assembly was an

indirectly elected body . It had laid down certain ideals to be included in the Constitution.

These ideals included commitment to democracy, guarantee to all the people of India-Justice, equality and freedom. It had also proclaimed that India will be a Sovereign

Democratic Republic.

 

The Constitution of India begins with a Preamble.The Preamble contains the ideals,

objectives and basic principles of the Constitution. The salient features of the Constitution

have evolved directly and indirectly from these objectives which flow from the Preamble.

In this lesson you will learn about the framing of the Constitution, its political philosophy as

reflected in the Preamble and the salient features of the Constitution.

 

5.1 The Constitution

 

The Modern State is considered to be a state for the welfare of the people. It is therefore,

suggested that it should have a government of a particular form with appropriate powers

and functions.

The document containing laws and rules which determine and describe the form of the

government, the relationship between the citizens and the government, is called a

Constitution.

 

As such a constitution is concerned with two main aspects the relation between the different

levels of government and between the government and the citizens.

A constitution is the basic fundamental law of a State. It lays down the objectives of the

State which it has to achieve. It also provides for the constitutional framework that is,

various structures and organs of the governments at different levels. In addition, it describes

the rights and duties of the citizens. It is, therefore, considered to be the basis for the

governance of the country both in terms of goals and objectives as also their structures

and functions.

 

5.2  The Constituent Assembly

 

The Constitution of India was framed by the Constituent Assembly. The Assembly was

constituted in 1946.

The members of the Constituent  Assembly were indirectly elected by the members of the

existing Provincial  Assemblies. In addition, there were members nominated by the rulers

of the Princely States. With Independence of India, the Constituent Assembly became a

fully sovereign body .

 

The Constituent  Assembly, following the partition of the country in 1947, consisted of 299

members as on 31st December 1947. Of these 229 members were elected by the provincial

assemblies and the rest were nominated by the rulers of the princely states. Majority of

the members in the Constituent  Assembly belonged to the Congress party.  All prominent

leaders of the freedom movement were members of the  Assembly.

Princely States  During the British Rule there were about 560 areas which were not

directly under the control of the British. These were Kingdoms or ‘Riyasats’ under

Indian rulers or Princes.  These were called ‘Princely States’.  T o name a few , Kashmir ,

Patiala, Hyderabad, Mysore, Baroda were some of the princely states.

 

5.2.1 Working of the Constituent Assembly

 

The Constituent Assembly was chaired by the President of the Assembly Dr. Rajendra

Prasad was elected as the President of the Assembly .  The Assembly worked with the

help of a large number of committees and sub-committees. The committees were of two

types : (a) relating to matters concerning with procedures, and (b) concerning important

issues. In addition there was an  Advisory Committee primarily advised from outside.  The

most important committee was the Drafting Committee. Dr. B.R.  Ambedkar was the

Chairman of the Drafting Committee. The task of the Committee was to prepare the draft

of the Constitution. The Constitutent  Assembly met for 166 days spread over a period of

2 years 11months and 18 days. The procedure followed in the Assembly was Similar to

that which is followed in legislature.  Y ou will study about the legislative procedure in detail

in subsequent lesson on Parliament and the legislative  Assemblies.

The leaders of the Constituent Assembly were conscious that the need of the hour was

general agreement on different issues and principles.  As a result, deliberate efforts were

made to achive consensus. While arriving at any decision, the aspirations of the people

were uppermost in the minds of the members of the Assembly.

 

5.3 Objectives of the Constitution

 

The Constitution of independent India was framed in the background of about 200 years

of colonial rule, a mass-based freedom struggle, the national movement, partition of the

country and spread of communal violence. Therefore, the framers of the Constitution

were concerned about the aspirations of the people, integrity and unity of the country and

establishment of a democratic society .  Amongst the members there were some who held

different ideological views. There were others who were inclined to socialist principles,

still others holding Gandhian thinking but nothing could act as any kind of impediment in the

progress of the  Assembly’s work because all these members were of liberal ideas. Their

main aim was to give India a ‘Constitution’ which will fulfill the cherished ideas and ideals

of the people of this country .

 

Dr . Rajendra Prasad signing the new constitution

Conscious efforts were made to have consensus on different issues and principles and

thereby avoid disagreement. The consensus came in the form of the ‘Objectives Resolution’

moved by Jawahar Lal Nehru in the Constituent  Assembly on December 17, 1946 which

was almost unanimously adopted on January 22, 1947. In the light of these ‘Objectives’

the  Assembly completed its task by November 26, 1949. The constitution was enforced

with effect from January 26, 1950. From that day India became a Republic. Exactly

twenty years before the first independence day was celebrated on Jan. 26, 1930 as decided

by the Lahore session of the Congress on Dec. 31, 1929. Hence, January 26, 1950 was

decided as the day to enforce the constitution.

 

5.4 The Preamble

 

As you know that the Constitution of India commences with a Preamble. Let us find out

what a ‘Preamble’ is.  The Preamble is like an introduction or preface of a book. As an

introduction, it is not a part of the contents but it explains the purposes and objectives with

which the document has been written. So is the case with the ‘Preamble’ to the Indian

Constitution.  As such the ‘Preamble’provides the guide lines of the Constitution.

Preamble of Indian Constitution

 

The Preamble, in brief, explains the objectives of the Constitution in two ways: one, about

the structure of the governance and the other , about the ideals to be achieved in independent

India. It is because of this, the Preamble is considered to be the key of the Constitution.

The objectives, which are laid down in the Preamble, are:

i) Description of Indian State as Sovereign, Socialist, Secular , Democratic Republic.

(Socialist, Secular added by 42nd  Amendment, 1976).

ii) Provision to all the citizens of India i.e.,

a) Justicesocial, economic and political

b) Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship

c) Equality of status and opportunity

 

THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

 

PREAMBLE

 

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA,having solemnly resolved to

constitute India into a 1[SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR

DEMOCRA TIC REPUBLIC]  and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE,  social, economic and political;

LIBERTYof thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITYof status and of opportunity;

and to promote among them all

FRA TERNITY   assuring the dignity of the individual and the2[unity and integrity of the Nation];

IN OUR CONSTITUENT  ASSEMBL Y  this twenty-sixth day of

November, 1949, do  HEREBY  ADOPT , ENACT   AND GIVE  TO

OURSEL VES  THIS  CONSTITUTION.

 

 

5.5 Sovereign, Socialist, Secular , Democratic Republic

 

Sovereignty

 

Sovereignty is one of the foremost elements of any independent State. It means absolute

independence, i.e., a government which is not controlled by any other power : internal or

external.  Acountry cannot have its own constitution without being sovereign. India is a

sovereign country . It is free from external control. It can frame its policies. India is free to

formulate its own foreign policy .

 

Socialist

The word socialist was not there in the Preamble of the Constitution in its original form. In1976, the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution incorporated ‘Socialist’and ‘Secular’, in the

Preamble. The word ‘Socialism’ had been used in the context of economic planning. It

signifies major role in the economy . It also means commitment to attain ideals like removal

of inequalities, provision of minimum basic necessities to all, equal pay for equal work.

When you read about the Directive Principles of the State Policy , you will see how these

ideals have been incorporated as well as partly , implemented in the Constitution.

 

Secularism

In the context of secularism in India, it is said that ‘India is neither religious, nor irreligious

nor anti-religious.’ Now what does this imply? It implies that in India there will be no

‘State’ religion – the ‘State’ will not support any particular religion out of public fund. This

has two implications, a) every individual is free to believe in, and practice, any religion he/

she belongs to, and, b) State will not discriminate against any individual or group on the

basis of religion.

 

Democratic Republic

As you have noticed while reading the Preamble to the Constitution, that the Constitution

belongs to the people of India.  The last line of the Preamble says ‘…. Hereby Adopt,

Enact  And Give T o Ourselves This Constitution’. In fact the Democratic principles of the

country flow from this memorable last line of the Preamble. Democracy is generally

known as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Effectively this

means that the Government is elected by the people, it is responsible and accountable to

the people. The democratic principles are highlighted with the provisions of universal adult

franchise, elections, fundamental rights, and responsible government. These you will read

in subsequent lessons.

 

The Preamble also declares India as a Republic. It means that the head of the State is the

President who is indirectly elected and he is not a hereditary ruler as in case of the British

Monarch. Under chapter of Union Executive you will read in detail about the election of

the President ofIndia.

 

5.6 Justice, Liberty and Equality

 

The struggle for freedom was not only against the British rule but their struggle should also

usher in an era of restoring the dignity of men and women, removal of poverty and end to

all types of exploitation. Such strong motivations and cherished ideals had prompted the

framers to lay emphasis on the provisions of Justice, Liberty and Equality to all the citizens

of India.

 

Justice

 

Justice promises to give people what they are entitled to in terms of basic rights to food,

clothing, housing, participation in the decision-making and living with dignity as human

beings. The Preamble covers all these dimensions of justice – social, economic and political.

Besides, the granting of political justice in the form of universal adult franchise or the

representative form of democracy .  You will read socio-economic justice in next lessons.

 

Liberty

 

The Preamble also mentions about liberty of thought and expression. These freedoms

have been guaranteed in the Constitution through the Fundamental Rights. Though freedom

from want has not been guaranteed in the Fundamental Rights, certain directives to the

State have been mentioned in the Directive Principles.

 

Equality

 

Equality is considered to be the essence of modern democratic ideology .  The Constitution

makers placed the ideals of equality in a place of pride in the Preamble. All kinds of

inequality based on the concept of rulers and the ruled or on the basis of caste and gender ,

were to be eliminated. All citizens of India should be treated equally and extended equal

protection of law without any discrimination based on caste, creed, birth, religion, sex etc.

Similarly equality of opportunities implies that regardless of the socio-economic situations

into which one is born, he/she will have the same chance as everybody else to develop his/

her talents and choose means of livelihood.

 

5.7 Fraternity, Dignity , Unity and Integrity

 

In the background of India’ s multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi- religious society and

keeping in view the partition of the country , the framers of the Constitution were very

much concerned about the unity and integrity of our newly independent country. There

was a need for harmonious co-existence among various religions, linguistic, cultural and

economic groups. Inclusion of phrases like ‘dignity of individuals’, ‘fraternity among people’

and ‘unity and integrity of the nation’ in the Preamble highlight such a need.

Egalitarian:  Asociety , which feels concerned for meeting the needs of all its

members, is known as egalitarian society.  An egalitarian state is expected to reduce

inequalities among citizens and fulfill minimum requirements of all.

The Preamble has provided for a vision humane which is, democratic, secular and,

therefore, egalitarian. Therefore, inspite of not being a part of the Constitution, the

Preamble has always been given due respect and regard by the courts while

interpreting the Constitution.

 

5.8 Salient Features of The Constitution

 

So far you have read about the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. In the subsequent

paragraphs you are going to read about the salient features of the Indian Constitution

which directly and indirectly flow from the Preamble, indicating the faith of framers in the

ideals, objectives and goals as mentioned in our Constitution.

 

A Written Constitution

 

The Indian Constitution is mainly a written constitution.  Awritten constitution is framed at

a given time and comes into force or is adopted on a fixed date as a document. As you

have already read that our constitution was framed over a period of 2 years, 11 months

and 18 days, it was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and enforced on January 26, 1950.

Certain conventions have gradually evolved over a period of time which have proved

useful in the working of the constitution. The British Constitution is an example of unwritten

constitution. It is to be noted though, that a written constitution is ‘mainly’ an enacted

document, there could be bodies or institutions which may not be included in the constitution

but form an important part of governance. In Indian context one can mention the Planning

Commission. It is very important body for country’s planning and development. But, the

planning commission was set up in March 1950, not by an  Act of Parliament, nor as a Part

of the Constitution of India. It was set up by a cabinet resolution. The Indian constitution

is the lengthiest in the world.  The original constitution had 395  Articles and 8 Schedules,

while, the constitution of US has only 7  Articles.

 

A Combination of Rigidity and Flexibility

 

The Indian Constitution is a unique example of combination of rigidity and flexibility .  A

constitution may be called rigid or flexible on the basis of its amending procedure. In a rigid

constitution, amendment of the constitution is not easy .  The Constitutions of USA,

Switzerland and  Australia are considered rigid constitutions.  While, the British Constitution

is considered flexible because amendment procedure is easy and simple.

The Constitution of India provides for three categories of amendments. In the first category ,

amendment can be done by the two houses of Parliament simple majority of the members

present and voting of before sending it for the President’ s assent. In the second category

amendments require a special majority . Such an amendment can be passed by each House

of Parliament by a majority of the total members of that House as well as by the 2/3rd majority of the members present and voting in each house of Parliament and send to the

President for his assent which cannot be denied. In the third category besides the special

majority mentioned in the second category, the same has to be approved also by at least

50% of the State legislatures. Thus, you see that the Indian Constitution provides for the

type of amendments ranging from simple to most difficult procedure depending on the

nature of the amendment.

 

Federal Polity

 

India has adopted a federal structure. In a federation there are two distinct levels of

governments. There is one government for the whole country which is called the Union or

Central Government.  Also there is government for each Unit/State. The United States of

America is a federation whereas the United Kingdom (Britain) has a unitary form of

government. In a unitary structure there is only one government for the whole country and

the power is centralised.

 

The Constitution of India does not use the term ‘federal state’. It says that India is a

‘Union of States’. There is a distribution of powers between the Union/Central Government

and the State Governments. Since India is a federation, such distribution of functions

becomes necessary . There are three lists of powers such as Union List, State List and the

Concurrent List. These lists have been explained in Lesson 8 in detail. On the basic of this

distribution, India may be called a federal system.

 

The supremacy of the judiciary is an essential feature of a federation so that the constitution

could be interpreted impartially . In India, the Supreme Court has been established to guard

the constitution. However , in case of Indian federalism, more powers have been given to

the Union Government in administrative, legislative, financial and judicial matters. In fact,

The Indian federal set up stands out with certain distinctive unitary features. The makers

of our constitution while providing for two sets of government at the centre and in the

states provided for division of powers favouring the Central Government, appointment of

the Head of the State government by the Central Government, single unified judiciary ,

single citizenship indicate the unitary nature of our federalism. Therefore, it is said that

India has a quasi-federal set up.

 

Quasi Federal: It means a federal set up where despite having two clear sets of

government – central and the states, more powers are given to the Central Government.

 

Parliamentary Democracy

 

India has a parliamentary form of democracy .  This has been adopted from the British

system. In a parliamentary democracy there is a close relationship between the legislature

and the executive. The Cabinet is selected from among the members of legislature. The

cabinet is responsible to the latter . In fact the Cabinet holds office so long as it enjoys the

confidence of the legislature. In this form of democracy , the Head of the S tate is nominal.

In India, the President is the Head of the State. Constitutionally the President enjoys

numerous powers but in practice the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister,

which really exercises these powers. The President acts on the advice of the Prime Minister

and the Council of Ministers.

 

Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties

 

Every human being is entitled to enjoy certain rights which ensure good living. In a

democracy all citizens enjoy equal rights. The Constitution of India guarantees those rights

in the form of Fundamental Rights.

 

Fundamental Rights are one of the important features of the Indian Constitution. The

Constitution provides for six Fundamental Rights about which you will read in the following

lesson. Fundamental Rights are justiciable and are protected by the judiciary . In case of

violation of any of these rights one can move to the court of law for their protection.

Fundamental Duties were added to our Constitution by the 42nd Amendment. It lays down

a list of ten Fundamental Duties for all citizens of India. While the rights are given as

guarantees to the people, the duties are obligations which every citizen is expected to

perform.

 

Single Integrated Judicial System

 

India has a single integrated judicial system. The Supreme Court stands as the apex court

of the judicial system. Below the Supreme Court are the High Courts. The High Courts

control and supervise the lower courts. The Indian judiciary , thus, stands like a pyramid

with the lower courts as the base, High Courts in the middle and the Supreme Court at the

top.

 

Independence of Judiciary

 

Indian judiciary is independent an impartial. The Indian judiciary is free from the influence

of the executive and the legislature. The judges are appointed on the basis of their

qualifications and cannot be removed easily

 

Single Citizenship

 

In a federal state usually the citizens enjoys double citizenship as is the case in the USA.

In India there is only single citizenship. It means that every Indian is a citizen of India,

irrespective of the place of his/her residence or place of birth. He/she is not a citizen of the

Constituent State like Jharkhand, Uttaranchal or Chattisgarh to which he/she may belong

to but remains a citizen of India.  All the citizens of India can secure employment anywhere

in the country and enjoy all the rights equally in all the parts of India.

 

Universal  Adult Franchise

 

Indian democracy functions on the basis of ‘one person one vote’. Every citizen of India

who is 18 years of age or above is entitled to vote in the elections irrespective of caste,

sex, race, religion or status. The Indian Constitution establishes political equality in India

through the method of universal adult franchise.

 

Emergency Provisions

 

The Constitution makers also foresaw that there could be situations when the government

could not be run as in ordinary times.  T o cope with such situations, the Constitution elaborates

on emergency provisions. There are three types of emergency; a) emergency caused by

war, external aggression or armed rebellion; b) emergency arising out of the failure of

constitutional machinery in states; and c) financial emergency .

 

 

What You Have Learnt

 

AConstitution symbolises independence of a country. Framework and structure for the

governance of a free country are provided in the Constitution.  The Constituent  Assembly

prepared the draft of the Constitution by keeping the ‘Objectives Resolution’ as the backdrop

which reflected the aspirations of the people of India.

 

The framing of the Constitution was completed on November 26, 1949 when the Constituent

Assembly formally adopted the new Constitution. The Constitution came into force with

effect from January 26, 1950.

 

The Constitution begins with a Preamble which declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist,

Secular, Democratic, Republic.  The Preamble also mentions the goals of securing justice,

liberty and equality for all its citizens and promotion of national unity and integrity on the

basis of fraternity among the people assuring dignity of the individual.

The Constitution of India has several distinctive features. It is the lengthiest Constitution in

the world and it is a combination of rigidity and flexibility .  The Constitution provides for a

quasi-federal set up with a strong centre. There is a clear division of powers between the

Centre and the States. The Supreme Court of India, is the apex court of India which will

resolve the disputes between the centre and state or between the states.

India has a parliamentary democracy .  The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime

Minister enjoys the real powers and is responsible to the Parliament.

The Indian Constitution provides for Fundamental Rights which are justiciable.  T en

Fundamental Duties have also been added to the Constitution. The Directive Principles of

State Policy give a concrete shape to the welfare concept.

 

 

 

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

 

eople in democractic conutries enjoy certain rights, which are protected by judicial

system of the country concerned. Their violation, even by the State, is not allowed by the

courts. India respects the rights of the people, which are listed in our Constitution, under

the heading “Fundamental Rights”. In lesson, a mention has been made of the Fundamental

Rights as one of the salient features of the Constitution. In this lesson, we will discuss in

detail various Fundamental Rights which are incorporated in chapler III of the Constitution.

 

6.1 Meaning And Importance Of Fundamental Rights

 

The rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution, are called ‘Fundamental Rights’. These

rights ensure the fullest physical, mental and moral development of every citizen. They

include those basic freedoms and conditions which alone can make life worth living.

Fundamental Rights generate a feeling of security amongst the minorities in the country .

They establish the framework of ‘democratic legitimacy’ for the rule of the majority . No

democracy can function in the absence of basic rights such as freedom of speech and

expression.

 

Fundamental Rights provide standards of conduct, citizenship, justice and fair play .  They

serve as a check on the government.  V arious social, religious, economic and political

problems in our country make Fundamental Rights important. In our Constitution,

Fundamental Rights are enumerated in Part III from Article 14 to 32. These rights are

justiciable.

 

Justiciable:Justiciable means that if these rights are violated by the government or

anyone else, the individual has the right to approach the Supreme Court or High

Courts for the protection of his/her Fundamental Rights.

 

Our Constitution does not permit the legislature and the executive to curb these rights

either by law or by an executive order .  The Supreme Court or the High Courts can set

aside any law that is found to be infringing or abridging the Fundamental Rights.  Y ou will

read about it in detail in the lesson on ‘Judiciary’. Some of the Fundamental Rights are also

enjoyed by foreigners, for example, the Right to Equality before Law and Right to Freedom

of Religion are enjoyed by both i.e. citizens as well as foreigners. The Fundamental Rights

though justiciable are not absolute. The Constitution empowers the government to impose

certain restrictions on the enjoyment of our rights in the interest of public good.

Seven Fundamental Rights were enshrined in the Constitution of India. However the Right

to Property was removed from the list of Fundamental Rights by the 44th Amendment  Act

of the Constitution in the year 1976. Since then, it has been made a legal right. There are

now six Fundamental Rights.

 

The Fundamental Rights are: -1. Right to Equality

2. Right to Freedom

3. Right against Exploitation

4. Right to Freedom of Religion

5. Cultural and Educational Rights, and

6. Right to Constitutional Remedies.

 

Recently by the 86th Amendment  Act, the Right to Education has been included in the list

of Fundamental Rights as part of the Right to Freedom by adding  Article 21(A).

 

6.2 Right T o Equality

 

Right to Equality means that all citizens enjoy equal privileges and opportunities. It protects

the citizens against any discrimination by the State on the basis of religion, caste, race,

sex, or place of birth. Right to Equality includes five types of equalities.

 

6.2.1 Equality Before Law

 

According to the Constitution, “The State shall not deny to any person equality before law

or equal protection of laws within the territory of India”.

‘Equality before law’ means that no person is above law and all are equal before law,

every individual has equal access to the courts. ‘Equal protection of laws’ means that if

two persons belonging to two different communities commit the same crime, both of them

will get the same punishment.

 

6.2.2 No Discrimnation on Grounds of Religion, Race, Caste,

Sex, Place of Birth or any of them

 

No citizen shall be denied access to shops, restaurants and places of public entertainment.

Neither shall anyone be denied the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads etc. maintained

wholly or partly out of State funds. However, the State is empowered to make special

provisions for women, children and for the uplift of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled  Tribes

and other backward classes (OBC’ s). The State can reserve seats for these categories in

educational institutions, grant fee concessions or arrange special coaching classes.

 

6.2.3 Equality Of Opportunity In Matters Of Public Employment

Our Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity in matters relating to employment or

appointment to public services to all citizens. There shall be no discrimination on the basis

of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or residence in matters relating to employment

in public services. Merit will be the basis of employment. However , certain limitations

have been provided to the enjoyment of these rights.

 

6.2.4 Abolition of Untouchability

 

The Constitution abolishes untouchability and its practice in any form is forbidden.

Action in the box are considered as offences when committed on the grounds of

untouchability .

refusing admission to any person to the public institutions;

preventing any person from worshipping in place of public worship;

insulting a member of Scheduled Caste on the grounds of untouchability;

preaching untouchability directly or indirectly .

 

6.2.5 Abolition of Titles

 

All titles national or foreign which create artificial distinctions in social status amongst the

people have been abolished.

 

This provision has been included in the Constitution to do away with the titles like ‘Rai

Sahib’, ‘Rai Bahadur’ have been conferred by the British on a few Indians as a reward

for their effective co-operation to the colonial regime. The practice of conferring titles like

this is against the doctrine of equality before law .  T o recognise the meritorious service

rendered by individual citizens to the country or mankind, the President of India can confer

civil and military awards on those individuals for their services and achievements such as;

Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padam Sri, Param V eer Chakra, V eer Chakra etc., but

these cannot be used on ‘titles’.

 

6.3.1 Six Fundamental Freedoms

 

The Constitution guarantees the following six Fundamental Freedoms:

(i) Freedom of speech and expression.

(ii) Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms.

(iii) Freedom to form associations or unions.

(iv) Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India.

(v) Freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.

(vi) Freedom to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Let us study these freedoms one by one briefly.

(I) Freedom of Speech  And Expression

 

It is an important freedom. This freedom ensures free and frank speech, discussion and

exchange of opinions. It includes the freedom of the press. However these freedom like

freedom of speech and expression are not absolute. The state is empowered to impose

reasonable restrictions on the exercise of this right in the interest of security of the state,

public order , morality etc.

 

These freedoms can be suspended during the State of National Emergency .  As soon

as the State of National Emergency is declared under  Article 352, the above-mentioned freedoms except the right to life and liberty , automatically remain suspended

as long as the State of National Emergency continues.  All these freedoms get restored

as soon as the proclamation of National Emergency is lifted.

 

6.3.2 Protection in Respect of Conviction for  An Offence

 

This Constitutional provision assures protection against arbitrary arrest and excessive

punishment to any person who is alleged to have committed an offence. No person shall

be punished except for the violation of law which is in force when the crime was committed.

An accused cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself/herself.

No person shall be punished for the same offence more than once.

 

6.3.3  Protection of Life and Personal Liberty

 

The Constitution lays down that no person shall be deprived of his/her life or personal

liberty except according to the procedure established by law . It guarantees that life or

personal liberty shall not be taken away without the sanction of law . It ensures that no

person can be punished or imprisoned merely at the whims of some authority . He/she may

be punished only for the violation of the law .

 

6.3.4  Prevention against Arbitrary Arrest and Detention

 

Our Constitution guarantees certain rights to the arrested person.  As per the provision, no

person can be arrested and/or be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds

for detention. He /she has the right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of his/her

choice. The accused has to be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of

twenty-four hours of arrest.

 

These safeguards however are not available to foreigners as well as to those citizens

detained under Preventive Detention  Act.

 

Preventive Detention:When the State feels that a person is likely to commit

crime or is a threat to the security of the State, he/she may be detained without trial

for a limited period. However , no person can be kept under detention for more than

three months until permitted by an Advisory Board consisting of persons who are

qualified to be appointed as judges of the High Courts. Such a board is presided over

by a sitting judge of a High Court.

 

6.3.5 Right to Education

 

By the 86th Amendment Act of the Constitution a new article 21-Ahas been added after

Article 21. By this Amendment Act, Right to Education has been made a Fundamental

Right and has been deleted from the list of Directive Principles of State Policy .  According

to it, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of

six to fourteen in such a manner as the State may by law determine”. It further states that

it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to

their child or ward between the age of six to fourteen years.

 

 

6.4 Right against Explotation

 

The people of India were exploited not only by the British but also by the money lenders

and zamindars.  This system was called forced labour . Right against exploitation prohibits

all forms of forced labour as well as traffic in human beings . The violation of this provision

is an offence punishable under law . The state require citizens services in times of major

calamities such as floods, forestfire, foreign aggression etc.

Our Constitution also provides safeguards for children. It bans the employment of children

below the age of fourteen years in any factory , mine or hazardous occupations.

Traffic in human beings means sale and purchase of human beings as goods and

commodities for immoral purposes such as slavery and prostitution

 

Right to Freedom of Religion

 

India is a multireligious state. Besides Hindus, there are Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and

many others residing in our country.  The Constitution guarantees to every person freedom

of conscience and the right to practice and propagate any religion.

It also permits every religious group, the right to manage its own affairs in matters of

religion. Every religious sect has the right to establish and maintain in stitutions for religious

and charitable purposes. Each religious group is also free to purchase and manage

its movable and immovable property in accordance with law , for the propagation of its

religion.

 

Our Constitution lays down that no religious education can be imparted in any educational

institution which is wholly maintained out of the state funds. This restriction does not apply

to those educational institutions which are not wholly maintained out of State funds. But,

even in those institutions, no child can be compelled to receive religious instructions against

his /her wishes.

 

Right to Freedom of Religion is not absolute. It can be restricted on the grounds of public

order, morality and health.  The state shall not impose restrictions arbitrarily .

 

6.6  Cultural and Educational Rights

 

India is a vast country with diversity of culture, Script and languages. People take pride in

their own language and culture.

 

Our constitution provides necessary guarantees to preserve maintain and promote their

culture and language. The Constitution allows minorities to establish and maintains

educational institutions of their own. It also provides that the state shall not discriminate

against any educational institution while granting financial aid on the grounds that it is being

run by a minority community .

These rights ensure that minorities will be given assistance by the state in the preservation

of their language and culture. The Ideal before the state is to preserve and propagate the

composite culture of the country .

 

6.7    Right  to Constitutional Remedies

 

After reading about all the Fundamental Rights, a question may arise in your mind : what

can an individual do if one or more of his or her Fundamental Rights are encroached upon

by the State?

 

Part III of our Constitution provides for legal remedies for the protection of these rights

against their violation by the State or other institutions/individuals. It entitles the citizens of

India to move the Supreme Court or High Courts for the enforcement of these rights. The

State is forbidden from making any law that may be in conflict with the Fundamentals

Rights.

 

The Constitution empowers the Supreme Court and High Courts to issue orders or writs

as mentioned in the box given below .

 

HABEAS CORPUS;(Latin term) It is an order by the court to the state to produce

the person physically before it justify the confinement or release of the person.

MANDAMUS: (Latin term) It is a command or an order from a superior court to a

subordinate court or tribunal or public authority to perform its duty in case it is not

doing it.

 

PROHIBITION:It is an order issued by the Superior Court to forbid a subordinate

court or tribunal from proceeding with a case which is beyond its jurisdiction.

QUO W ARRANTO: This writ is issued to restrain a person from acting in a public

office to which he /she is not entitled.

 

CERTIORARI :  The term certiorari means “to be informed of what is going”. It is

an order to a lower court from a superior court to transfer the matter to it or to any

other court for deciding the matter .

 

These writs go a long way in protecting the rights of the individuals against encroachment

by the legislature, the executive or any other authority . If the Fundamental Rights are the

cornerstone of our democracy , then the Right to Constitutional Remedies is the soul of the

part III of the Constitutions.

 

 

What You Have Learnt

 

Fundamental Rights have been incorporated in part III of our Constitution from article 14-32. These rights protect and safeguard the dignity and status of the citizens. These rights

are justiciable i.e. are enforceable by the court of law .  At present there are six Fundamental

Rights. Recently by an Amendment  Act of the Constitution, Right to Education has been

added.

 

These Rights are not absolute, reasonable restrictions can be imposed on these rights in

the interest of peace, national defence, morality , comman good and good relations with

other countries.  The first right that comes under Fundamental Rights is the Right to Equality .

Under the Constitution, all are equal before law and the state can not discriminate between

citizens on the basis of religion, race, sex, place of birth or any of them. Uuntouchability

has been abolished and made an offence punishable by law .  The state has been forbidden

from conferring honorary titles on citizens that create social disparities.

 

Right to Freedom has been granted for the all round development of the body, mind and

spirit of all the citizens. It provides six freedoms to citizens. This Right helps protection of

life and personal liberty . It also protects the individual from arbitrary arrest and detention.

Our Constitutions prohibits traffic in human beings and forced labour . Employment of

children below the age of fourteen years in mines, factories and hazardous jobs is banned.

India is a multi religious country . Our Constitution neither promotes nor interferes in their

religious affairs. India believes in secularism. Every religious community is free to establish,

maintain and run its own religious institutions. Every citizen has been granted freedom to

profess and propagate his/her religion.

 

Cultural and Educational rights provide the right to conserve our culture. Educational

institutions maintained by the state on getting financial aid from the state cannot refuse

admission to children on the grounds of religion, race, caste, language or any of them. The

minorities have been given the right to establish and manage institutions of their own for

the preservation and propagation of their language and culture. While giving financial aid to

any institution, the state will not discriminate on the basis of religion or language.

Lastly the Constitution guarantees enjoyment of Fundamental Rights by citizens under the

Right to Constitutional Remedies. The Supreme Court and High Courts have been given

powers to issue orders, directions and writs for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights .

Dr . B.R  Ambedkar has rightly called the writs as the “ Soul of the part III of the Constitution”:

 

 

 

DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

 

he Constitution of India aims to establish not only political democracy but also socio-economic justice to the people to establish a welfare state. With this purpose in mind, our

Constitution lays down desirable principle and guidelines in Part IV .  These provisions are

known as the Directive Principle of State Policy . In this lesson we will study about Directive

Principles in detail.

 

It is a well-established saying that rights have significance only when enjoyed in consonance

with the duties. Therefore, the Fundamental Duties were inserted in Article 51Aof our

Constitution in 1976 by 42nd Amendment Act. In the original Constitution in 1950, there

was no mention of these duties. It was expected that the citizens would fulfil their duties

willingly.  We will also learn about these duties in this lesson.

 

 

7.1 Meaning of Directive Principles of S tate Policy

 

Directive Principles of State Policy are in the form of instructions/guidelines to the

governments at the center as well as states. Though these principles are non-justiciable,

they are fundamental in the governance of the country .  The idea of Directive Principles of

State Policy has been taken from the Irish Republic. They were incorporated in our

Constitution in order to provide economic justice and to avoid concentration of wealth in

the hands of a few people. Therefore, no government can afford to ignore them. They are

infact, the directives to the future governments to incorporate them in the decisions and

policies to be formulated by them.

 

7.2 Classification Of The Directive Principles

 

Directive Principles of State Policy have been grouped into four categories. These are: (1)

the economic and social principles, (2) the Gandhian principles, (3) Principles and Policies

relating to international peace and security and (4) miscellaneous.

 

7.2.1 The economic and social Principles

 

The state shall endeavour to achieve Social and Economic welfare of the people by:

(1) providing adequate means of livelihood for both men and women.

(2) reorganizing the economic system in a way to avoid concentration of wealth in few

hands.

(3) securing equal pay for equal work for both men and women.

(4) securing suitable employment and healthy working conditions for men, women and

children.

(5) guarding the children against exploitation and moral degradation.

(6) making effective provisions for securing the right to work, education and public

assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement.

(7) making provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity

relief.

(8) taking steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings

etc.

(9) promoting education and economic interests of working sections of the people

especially the SCs and ST s.

(10) securing for all the workers reasonable leisure and cultural opportunities.

(11) making efforts to raise the standard of living and public health.

(12) providing early childhood care and education to all children until they complete the

age of 6 years.

 

7.2.2 The Gandhian Principles

 

There are certain principles, based on the ideals advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. These

Principles are as follows : -(1) T o organize village Panchayats.

(2) T o promote cottage industries in rural areas.

(3) T o prohibit intoxicating drinks and drugs that are injurious to health.

(4) T o preserve and improve the breeds of the cattle and prohibit slaughter of cows,

calves and other milch and drought animals.

7.2.3 Directive Principles of S tate Policy Relating  T o Interna-tional Peace And Security :

India should render active cooperation for world peace and security and for that the state

shall endeavour to : -(1) promote international peace and security .

(2) maintain just and honourable relations between nations.

(3) foster respect for international laws and treaty obligations.

(4) encourage settlements of international disputes by mutual agreement.

 

7.2.4 Miscellaneous

 

The Directive Principles in this category call upon the state : -(1) T o secure for all Indians a uniform civil code.

(2) T o protect historical monuments.

(3) T o save environment from pollution and protect wild life.

(4) To make arrangements for disbursement of free legal justice through suitable

legislation.

 

7.3 Directive Principles : Universalisation of Education,

Child Labourand S tatus of  Women

 

Illiteracy is a big hindrance in the achievement of the goals of socio-economic

justice and welfare state.

 

7.3.1        Universalisation of Education

 

The percentage of literate people at the time of independence was only 14%. Our

government realized the importance of education and laid stress on the spread of literacy

among the masses. Efforts have been made by the governments to raise this level. But a

large section of our population is still illiterate. The foremost effort which is required in this

field-is the spread of elementary education and its universalisation. Due to increased number

of drop outs at the primary stage, the number of illiterates between 15 to 35 years of age

has constantly increased.

 

According to National Policy on Education, 1986, the government has launched National

Literacy Mission, and ‘Operation Blackboard’ for the spread of mass literacy at primary

stage. For those who were deprived of the benefits of education in their childhood, the

government and many voluntary agencies are making special efforts to educate them by

opening night schools and adult literacy centers.

 

Many distance education programmes through correspondence courses, distance education

and open learning have been started in different states. The National Institute of Open

Schooling and several Open Universities have been set up to attain the goal of universalisation

of education. The Directive Principles providing free and compulsory education for children

upto the age of 14 years has been included through the 86th Amendment Act, 2002 in the

list of Fundamental Rights under  Article 21A.

Though much has been achieved but still there is a long way to go to accomplish this

objective of a welfare state.

 

7.3.2 Child Labour

 

Y ou have already read that one of the Directive Principles provides opportunities and

facilities to children to develop in a healthy manner .  Y ou have also read about the Fundamental

Right against Exploitation of children. Employment of children below the age of 14 years

in mines and industries which are hazardous to their health is prohibited.

Inspite of these provisions, the desired results have not been reached. In most of the

cases, the parents attitude is not conducive to the elimination of child labour . They force

their children to do some sort of work to earn money and contribute to the family income.

Poverty and social stigma are certain constraints on the path of eradication of this problem

apart from the lack of will.  All efforts by governments at various levels would prove futile

unless the willingness and awareness to get rid of the social challenge comes from within.

Dr.  Abdul Kalam’s ‘dream of developed India 2020’ can be achieved only when the children

who are the future of the country are secured and protected from being exploited. The

children should not be deprived of their right to enjoy childhood and right to education.

 

7.3.3 Status of  Women

 

Indian society basically is a male dominated society in which father has been head of the

family and mother ’ s position has been subordinated to him. The position of a woman in

such a system is naturally weak. Women have been suffering a great deal on account of

cruel social customs and religious practices like, pardah and dowry etc.

 

Women as an integral part, account for 495.74 million and represent 48.3% of the country’ s

total population as per 2001 census. Necessity of raising the status and education of women

has already been stressed in our Constitution through Fundamental Rights and various

Directive Principles of State Policy .  They have been provided with the right to an adequate

means of livelihood and equal pay with that of men for their work. Women workers have

also been provided for health-care and maternity-relief.

 

Even in the Fundamental Duties stress has been laid on the duty of every citizen of India

to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

 

Many laws and judicial decisions have restored the dignity of women. T o protect their

rights, measures have been taken to give them share in the family property . For their

emancipation from cruel practices like bride burning for dowry , wife beating, sati etc. laws

have been enacted. Prohibition of female infanticide, foetouscide, discrimination against

girl child and child-marriage are some of the other measures that will help in improving the

status of women.

 

T o empower women, reservation of one third of seats through the 73rd and 74 th Amendment

Act, 1991,1992 for them has been made in the Panchayats and Municipalities. There is a

similar proposal for reservation of seats for them in the Parliament and in the state

Legislatures.

 

7.4 Critical Analysis Of Directive Principles

 

Many critics have called these Directive Principles of State Policy as not better than

‘New Y ear Greetings’. Even the rationale of inserting such high sounding promises has

been questioned. It has been asserted that Directives are in the form of holy wishes

having no legal sanction behind them. Government is not bound to implement them. Critics

point out that they are not formulated keeping the practical aspect these ideals in mind.

Despite all this, it can not be said that these Principles are absolutely useless. They have

their own utility and significance. The Directive Principles are just like a polestar that

provide direction. Their basic aim is to persuade the government to provide social and

economic justice in all spheres of life, keeping in view its limited material resources, at the

earliest possible. Many of them have been implemented very successfully . Actually, no

government can afford to ignore these instructions as they are the mirror of the public

opinion and also reflect the basic spirit of the Preamble of our Constitution. Some of the

steps taken in this direction are being listed below:

(1) Land reforms have been introduced and Jagirdari and Zamindari systems have been

abolished.

(2) There has been rapid industrialisation and tremendous increase in the agricultural

production through Green Revolution.

(3) National Commission for the Welfare of Women has been established.

(4) Ceiling has been placed on land and property to fix the limit of person’s holdings.

(5) The privy purses of ex-princes have been abolished.

(6) Life Insurance, General Insurance and most of the banks have been nationlised.

(7) In order to reduce economic disparity , Right to Property has been deleted from the

chapter on Fundmental Rights.

(8) Subsidized public distribution schemes have been launched to help the poor people.

(9) The rules require that both men and women are paid equal wages for equal work.

(10) Untouchability has been abolished. Sincere efforts have been made for the upliftment

of the SCs ,ST s and of other Backward Classes.

(11) Through 73rdand 74th Amendments to the constitution, (1991 & 1992 respectively),

Panchayati Raj has been given the constitutional status with more powers.

(12) Small scale and village industries and Khadi Gram Udyog have been encouraged to

bring prosperity to the rural areas.

(13) India has also been actively co-operating with the U.N. to promote international

peace and security .

 

The above steps on the part of the central and state governments indicate that many

Directive Principles of State Policy have been implemented to lay down the foundations of

a secular, socialist and welfare state. However , still there is a long way to go to achieve all

of them in full.

There are many hindrances in the non-implementation of Directive Principles of State

Policy.  The main reasons are – (a) lack of political will on the part of the states, (b) lack of

awareness and organized action on the part of the people and (c) limited material resources.

 

7.5 Distinction between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

 

Now that you know about Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy ,

which are playing an important role in the establishment of the political and socio-economic

society in India, it is important for you to learn about the distinction between the two. The

Fundamental Rights are claims of the citizens recognized by the state. They are in the

nature of denial of certain authority to the government. They are, therefore, negative in

nature. The Directive Principles are like positive directions that the government at all

levels must follow to contribute to the establishment social and economic democracy in

India.

 

Another point of difference as mentioned earlier is that while the Fundamental Rights are

justiciable and are enforceable by the court of law , the Directive Principles are non-justiciable. In other words, the Supreme Court and the High Courts have the powers to

issue orders or writs for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. The Directive Principles of

State Policy , on the other hand, confer no legal rights and create no legal remedies. This

should not lead us to conclude that the Directive Principles are inferior or subordinate to

the Fundamental Rights.

 

7.5.1 Relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

 

Inspite of these differences, there is a close relationship between the two. Fundamental

Rights and Directive Principles are complementary and supplementary to each other.

Whereas the Fundamental Rights establish political democracy, the Directive Principles

establish economic and social democracy . No government can afford to ignore them while

formulating its plans and policies as it is responsible for all its actions to the people in

general.  Although there is no legal sanction behind these principles, the ultimate sanction

lies with the people. The people with their opinion will never let the ruling party to acquire

power again if it fails to adhere to these guiding principles. Thus, our Constitution aims at

bringing about a synthesis between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of state

policy .  T ogether, they form the core of the Constitution.

 

7.6 Fundamental Duties

 

Rights and Duties are two sides of a coin. There are no rights without duties, no duties

without rights. In fact, rights are born in a world ofDuties. The original Constitution enforced

in 1950, did not mention Fundamental Duties of the citizens. It was hoped that citizens

would perform their duties willingly . But, 42nd Amendment to the Constitution added a new

list of 10 duties in chapter IVunder  Article 51Aof the Constitution.

 

7.6.1 Duties Enlisted

 

(i) T o abide by the Constitution and respect our National Flag and National  Anthem.

(ii) T o follow the noble ideals that inspired our national freedom movement.

(iii) T o protect the unity and integrity of India.

(iv) T o defend the country when the need arises.

(v) T o promote harmony and brotherhood among all sections of the people and to respect

the dignity of women.

(vi) T o preserve our rich heritage and composite culture.

(vii) T o protect and improve our natural environment including forests, rivers, lakes and

wildlife.

(viii) T o develop scientific outlook and humanism.

(ix) T o protect public property and not to use violence.

(x) T o strive for excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity .

(xi) Clasue (K) Art 51A  Amendment Act 86th 2002.

(K) “a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education of his child or as the case

may be ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

 

7.6.2 Nature of Fundamental Duties

 

Fundamental Duties for citizens are in nature of a code of conduct.  Afew of these duties

are even vague and unrealistic. The non-justiciable character of these duties make them

less interesting. Moreover , their ambiguous language is another hindrance in their being

obeyed e.g. a citizen does not know how to maintain sovereignty , integrity and glorious

heritage of the country .

There is a lot of truth in the argument of the critics, yet, it would not be proper to call these

duties as only pious declarations.

 

 

What Y ou Have Learnt

 

The Directive Principles of State Policy are included in Part IV of the Constitution. The

framers of the Constitution included them with a special purpose of bringing about social

and economic equality .  These principles give directions to the state for making laws and

policies for the collective good of the people. These Principles are non justiciable and are

not enforceable by the Courts of law . But they are nevertheless fundamental to the

governance of country .

For the sake of convenience, they were classified into four categories -(1) Socio-economic principles

(2) Gandhian

(3) International peace and Security

(4) Miscellaneous

 

The Directive Principles lay stress on universalisation of education, abolition of child labour

and improvement of the status of women. They provide a framework for establishing

welfare state and achieving economic and social democracy .

 

There are important differences between the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.

The former are justiciable and positive in nature.  At the same time, there is close relationship

between the two. They are equally important to bring social and economic democracy in

practice. The Courts have been laying stress on the implementation of Directive Principles.

Rights and Duties are two sides of the same coin. In the interest of the well being and

progress of the society , Rights and Duties must be adhered to equally by all.

 

 

 

 

INDIAN FEDERAL SYSTEM

 

n lesson 5 dealing with Salient Features of the constitution of India you have learnt that

the founding fathers of Indian Constitution adopted a Federal structures.

In a federal set up there is a two tier of Government with well assigned powers and

functions. In this system the central government and the governments of the units act

within a well defined sphere, co-ordinate and at the same time act independently .  The

federal polity , in other words, provides a constitutional device for bringing unity in diversity

and for the achievement of common national goals.

 

 

8.1 Features of Indian Federalism

 

The Constitution of India has adopted federal features; though it does not, in fact, claim

that it establishes a federation The question whether the Indian Constitution could be

called a federal constitution troubled the minds of the members of the Constituent  Assembly.

This question cannot be answered without going into the meaning of federalism and the

essential features that are evident in federal state. Let us examine them and try to find out

whether India is a federation or not.

 

8.1.1 Written Constitution

 

The most important feature of a federation is that its constitution should be a written one,

so that both the Union Government as well as the State can refer to that as and when

needed. The Constitution of India is a written document and is the most elaborate

Constitution of the world. It establishes supremacy of the Constitution because both the

union and the states are given powers by the Constitution as to be independent in their

spheres of governance.

 

8.1.2 Rigid Constitution

 

The procedure of amending the Constitution in a federal system is normally rigid. Indian

Constitution provides that some amendments require a special majority. Such an amendment

has to be passed by majority of total members of each house of the Parliament as well as

by two-thirds majority of the members present and voting there in. However, in addition to

this process, some amendments must be approved by at least 50% of the states.  After this

procedure the amendment is signed by the head of the state i.e; the President. Since in

India important amendments can be amended through this procedure. Hence, Indian

Constitution has been rightly called a rigid constitution.

 

8.1.3  Division of Powers

 

In our Constitution, there is a clear division of powers, so that the States and the Centre

are required to enact and legislate within their sphere of activity and none violates its limits

and tries to encroach upon the functions of the other . Our constitution enumerates three

lists, viz. the Union, the State and the Concurrent List. The Union List consists of 97

subjects of national importance such as Defence, Railways, Post and T elegraph, etc. The

State List consists of 66 subjects of local interest such as Public Health, Police etc. The

Concurrent List has 47 subjects important to both the Union and the State. such as Electricity ,

Trade Union, Economic and Social Planning, etc.

 

8.1.4 Supremacy of the Judiciary

 

Another very important feature of a federation is an independent judiciary to interpret the

Constitution and to maintain its sanctity.  The Supreme Court of India has the original

jurisdiction to settle disputes between the Union and the States. It can declare a law as

unconstitutional, if it contravenes any provision of the Constitution.

 

8.2 Nature of Indian Federation

 

In spite of the fact that the Indian Constitution establishes a federal structure, it is indeed

very difficult to put the Indian Constitution in the category of a true federation. The framers

of the Constitution have modified the true nature of Indian federation by incorporating

certain non-federal features in it. These are :

 

Article I of the Constitution describes India as a ‘Union of States’, which implies two

things: firstly , it is not the result of an agreement among the States and secondly , the States

have no freedom to secede or separate from the Union. Besides, the Constitution of the

Union and the States is a single framework from which neither can get out and within

which they must function. The federation is a union because it is indestructible and helps

to maintain the unity of the country .

 

The Centre appoints the Governors of the States and may take over the administration of

the State on the recommendations of the Governor or otherwise. In other words, Governor

is the agent of the Centre in the States. The working of Indian federal system clearly

reveals that the Governor has acted more as centre’ s representative than as the head of

the State. This enables the Union government to exercise control over the State

administration. The control of the Union over states after the imposition of National

Emergency .

 

The equality of units in a federation is best guaranteed by their equal representation in the

Uppers House of the federal legislature (Parliament). However, this is not applicable in

case of Indian States. They have unequal representation in the Rajya Sabha. In a true

federation such as that of United State of  America every State irrespective of their size in

terms of area or population it sends two representatives in the upper House i.e. Senate.

In addition to all this, all important appointments such as the Chief Election Commissioner ,

the Comptroller and  Auditor General are made by the Union Government. Besides, there

is single citizenship. There is no provision for separate Constitutions for the states. The

States cannot propose amendments to, the Constitution.  As such amendments can only be

made by the Union Parliament.

 

In order to ensure uniformity of the administrative system and to maintain minimum common

administrative standards without impairing the federal system.  All India Services such as

IAS and IPS have been created which are kept under the control of the Union. In financial

matters too, the States depend upon the Union to a great extent. The States do not possess

adequate financial resources to meet their requirements. During Financial Emergency , the

Center exercises full control over the State’ s finances.

 

In case of disturbances in any State or part thereof, the Union Government is empowered

to depute Central Force in the State or to the disturbed part of the S tate.  Also, the Parliament,

by law may increase or decrease the area of any State and may alter its name and

boundaries.

 

The federal principle envisages a dual system of Courts. But, in India we have unified

Judiciary with the Supreme Court at the apex.

The Constitution of India establishes a strong Centre by assigning all-important subjects to

the Centre as per the Union List. The State Governments have very limited powers.

 

Financially the States are dependent on the Centre

 

From the above discussion, it is clear, that there is a tilt in favor of the Centre at the cost of

the States. The States have to work in close co-operation with the Centre. This has lent

support to the contention that the Indian Constitution is federal in form but unitary in spirit.

Constitutional experts have called it ‘semi-federal’ of ‘quasi federal’ system.

 

8.3 Centre-State Relations

 

We have seen that the Constitution of India provides for a federal system. Both the Union

and the State are created by the Constitution and derive their respective authority from it.

Y et there is a criticism that India is a federal State but with unitary features. How far is

this criticism valid?  T o understand this, it is desirable to study the relationship between the

Union and the States.

 

The relations between the Centre and the states which constitute the core of federalism

have been enumerated in Parts XI and XII of the Constitution under the heads, legislative,

administrative and financial relations. Let us examine them one by one.

 

8.3.1 Legislative Relations

 

Regarding legislative relations, there is a threefold division of powers in the Constitution.

We have followed a system in which there are two lists of legislative powers, one for the

Centre and the other for the State, known as the Union List and the State List, respectively .

An additional list called the Concurrent List has also been added.

The Union List which consists of 97 subjects of national interest is the largest of the three

lists. Some of the important subjects included in this list are: Defence, Railways, Post and

T elegraph, Income T ax, Custom Duties, etc. The Parliament has the exclusive power to

enact laws on the subjects included in the Union List for the entire country.

 

The State List consists of 66 subjects of local interest. Some of the important subjects

included in this List are  Trade and Commerce within the State, Police, Fisheries, Forests,

Industries, etc. The State Legislatures have been empowered to make laws on the subjects

included in the State List.

 

The Concurrent List consists of 47 subjects of common interest to both the Union and the

States. Some of the subjects included in this list are: Stamp Duties, Drugs and Poison,

Electricity , Newspapers etc. Both the Parliament and the State Legislatures can make

laws on the subjects included in this list. But in case of a conflict between the Union and

the State law relating to the same subject, the Union law prevails over the S tate law .

Power to legislate on all subjects not included in any of the three lists vests with the

Parliament.

 

Under certain circumstances, the Parliament can legislate on the subjects mentioned in

the State List.

 

8.3.2  Administrative Relations

 

The framers of the Indian Constitution never intended to create administrative co-operation

and co-ordination between the centre and states.

The executive power of the State is to be exercised in such a way as to ensure compliance

with the laws made by the Parliament. Further, the Union Executive is empowered to give

directions to a State, if necessary , for the requisite purpose.

 

The Union Government can issue directions to the States to ensure compliance with the

laws of the Parliament for construction and maintenance of means of communications,

declared to be of national and military importance, and also on the measures for the protection

of Railways. In addition to all this, the Parliament can alone adjudicate on inter-state river

disputes.  Also, a provision has been made for constituting an Inter- State Council to advise

the president on inter-state disputes.

 

Even the State governments may delegate some of its administrative functions relating to

the State subjects, to Union Government for a specified period.

The Constitution of India has certain special provisions to ensure uniformity of the

administrative system. These include the creation of All India Services such as IAS and

IPS and placing members of these services in key administrative positions in the states.

The presence of  All India Service Officers further paves way for the Central Government

to exercise its authority and control over the states. The members of these services are

recruited by the Centre but are appointed in the States. No disciplinary action can be taken

against them by the State Governments without the permission of the Centre. The

Constitution also makes provision for the creation of new  All India Service by the Parliament

on the recommendation of the Rajya Sabha. The President also puts the entire control of

the state administrative machinery under the control of the Union which you will study in

details while going through the lesson on emergency provisions.

 

Y ou would also recall that the Union executive is empowered to give such directions to a

state as it may appear necessary for the purpose to the Union Government. The Union

Government has wide powers to issue directions based on the subjective view of the

Union and may, therefore, interfere with the state autonomy in the field of administration.

Ordinarily, the central police force and  Army are posted to the states at the request of the

State Government. However , there have been occasions when the CRPF of BSF have

been deployed in states much against the state wishes of the State Government. Thus, the

center plays a very important role in the administrative sphere of activity concerning the

States.

 

8.3.3 Financial Relations

 

The distribution of financial resources is especially critical in determining the nature of the

State’ s relationship with the Centre. Both the Union and the State have been provided

with independent sources of revenue by the Constitution. The Parliament can levy taxes

on the subjects included in the Union List. The States can levy taxes on the subjects in the

State List. By and large taxes that have an inter-state base are levied by the Centre and

those with a local base by the State.

 

The Union List consists of items of taxation which fall under the following categories:

(i) T axes levied by the Union but collected and appropriated by the State such as stamp

duties and duties of excise on medicinal and toilet preparations etc.

(ii) T axes levied and collected by the Union but assigned to the States viz. railways, sea

or air etc.

(iii) T axes levied and collected by the Central and may be distributed between the Central

and the states if the Parliament by law so provides, such as union excise duties,

excise on toilet preparations etc.

(iv) T axes levied and collected and retained by the Centre such as customs, surcharge

on income tax etc.

(v) T axes levied and collected by the Centre and distributed between the union and the

states such as taxes other than agriculture etc.

 

It is clear that in the financial sphere too the Centre is better equipped. The Centre can

exercise control over the state finances and grants-in-aid both general and special to meet

the expenditure on developmental schemes. During financial emergency , the President

has the power to suspend the provisions regarding division of taxes between the Centre

and the State. He can also impose other restrictions on the expenses of the State.

State plans are framed within the priorities of the central plan and they are executed with

the approval of the Planning Commission. Further, the States have to carry out the centre-sponsored schemes for which the Centre gives grants and the conditions under which

these are to be made. The Planning Commission has created an over-centralized planning

system. No initiative is left to the states and the centrally formulated schemes have been

inappropriately and unimaginatively imposed upon them.

 

8.4 Demand for Greater Autonomy for the States

 

The founding fathers of the Indian Constitution were deeply concerned about ensuring the

unity and integrity of the country .  They were aware of the forces of disruption and disunity

working within the country.  These dangers at the time of independence could be handled

only by a strong government at the Centre.

Therefore, the framers of the Constitution assigned a predominant role to the Centre.  At

the same time they made provisions for the establishment of a co-operative federalism.

The working of the Indian federation during the last five decades clearly shows that the

relations between the Centre and the States have not always been cordial.

The administrative Reforms Commission and several other Commissions were appointed

by the Government of India from time to time to regulate Centre State relations. The

Union Government appointed Sarkaria Commission to suggest ways and means to improve

Centre-State relations.

 

The recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission assume importance so as to evolve an

appropriate policy in the areas of legislative, administrative and financial relations. It has

not suggested wholesole structural changes in the fundamental fabric of the Constitution.

It felt that federalism is more a functional arrangement for co-operative action than a

static institutional concept. The Commission strongly recommended the establishment of

permanent Inter-State Council. In addition, it desired that both the Centre and the States

should have the concern for the development of backward territory or areas. If the economic

development of these backward regions are undertaken in a planned manner, the separatist

tendencies will be automatically controlled. Differences between the Union and the States

should be resolved by mutual consultation. It has taken a favourable view on the demand

of the States to provide more financial resources at their disposal. In order to improve

Centre-State relations in the country , it has suggested economic liberalization and suitable

amendments to the Constitution.

 

 

What You Have Learnt

 

In a federal system of government there is a need for clear cut division of power between

the Union and States. This also requires a written and rigid constitution and an independent

judiciary to decide disputes between the Union and the States. Though the Indian Constitution

has all such features of a federal state, it is indeed difficult to put the Indian Constitution in

the category of true federations.

 

The framers of the Constitution have incorporated certain non federal features in it such

as single citizenship, single judiciary , a strong centre, appointment of the Governor by the

President, unequal of representation in the Rajya Sabha and so on.  All these indicate a tilt

towards strong centre. The states have to work in close co-operation with the centre. The

constitution is federal in form but unitary in spirit. The study of Center-State relationship in

legislative, administrative and financial spheres also clearly shows that the Centre is stronger

as compared to the states. The Centre has been assigned a dominant role which became

necessary keeping in view the dangers to the unity and integrity of the nation. Therefore,

there are provisions for a co- operative federalism.

 

The working of the Indian Constitution over the year indicates that relations between the

center and the States have not remained very co-ordinal. The states have started demanding

more autonomy.  V arious commissions have been appointed by the Government of India to

review the centre- state relations. The Sarkaria Commission examined the problem and

recomended changes in the area of federal, legislative, administrative and financial relations.

 

 

EMERGENCY PROVISIONS

 

ou have read in the preceding lesson that the Constitution of India is federal in nature

having a unitary bias. On the one hand, it has all the characteristic features of a federation,

while, on the other hand the Centre is more powerful than the States.

When the Constitution of India was being drafted, India was passing through a period of

stress and strain. Partition of the country , communal riots and the problem concerning the

merger of princely states including Kashmir.  Thus, the Constitution-makers thought to

equip the Central Government with the necessary authority , so that, in the hour of emergency ,

when the security and stability of the country is threatened by internal and external threats.

Therefore, some emergency provisions were made in Constitution to safeguard and protect

the security , integrity and stability of the country and effective functioning of State

Governments.

 

9.1 Emergency Caused by  War , External  Aggression etc.

 

Provisions have been made in the Constitution for dealing with extraordinary situations

that may threaten the peace, security , stability and governance of the country or a part

thereof. There are three types of extraordinary or crisis situations that are envisaged.

First, when there is a war or external aggression has been committed or there is threat of

the same, or if internal disturbances amounting to armed rebellion take place; second,

when it becomes impossible for the government of a State to be carried on in accordance

with the Constitution; and third, if the credit or financial stability of the country is threatened.

In each case the President may issue a proclamation with varying consequences. In this

section we will discuss the emergency caused by war etc., popularly known as the national

emergency.

 

9.1.1 Proclamation of National Emergency (Article 352)

 

The Constitution of India has provided for imposition of emergency caused by war , external

aggression or internal rebellion.  This is described as the National Emergency .  This type of

emergency can be declared by the President of India if he is satisfied that the situation is

very grave and the security of India or any part thereof is threatened or is likely to be

threatened either (i) by war or external aggression or (ii) by armed rebellion within the

country.  The President can issue such a proclamation even on the ground of threat of war

or aggression. According to the 44th Amendment of the Constitution, the President can

declare such an emergency only if the Cabinet recommends in writing to do so.

Such a proclamation of emergency has to be approved by both the Houses of Parliament

by absolute majority of the total membership of the Houses as well as 2/3 majority of

members present and voting within one month, otherwise the proclamation ceases to operate.

In case the Lok Sabha stands dissolved at the time of proclamation of emergency or is not

in session, it has to be approved by the Rajya Sabha within one month and later on by the

Lok Sabha also within one month of the start of its next session. Once approved by the

Parliament, the emergency remains in force for a period of six months from the date of

proclamation. In case it is to be extended beyond six months, another prior resolution has

to be passed by the Parliament. In this way , such emergency continues indefinitely . But if

the situation improves the emergency can be revoked by another proclamation by the

President of India.

 

The 44th Amendment of the Constitution provides that ten per cent or more members of

the Lok Sabha can requisition a meeting of the Lok Sabha and in that meeting, it can

disapprove or revoke the emergency by a simple majority . In such a case emergency will

immediately become inoperative.

 

National Emergency has been declared in our country three times so far . For the first time,

emergency was declared on 26 October 1962 after China attacked our borders in the

North East. This National Emergency lasted till 10 January 1968, long after the hostilities

ceased.

 

For the second time, it was declared on 3 December 1971 in the wake of the second India-Pakistan War and was lifted on 21 March 1977.  While the second emergency , on the basis

of external aggression, was in operation, third National Emergency (called internal

emergency) was imposed on 25 June 1975. This emergency was declared on the ground

of ‘internal disturbances’. Internal disturbances justified impositin of the emergency despite

the fact that the government was already armed with the powers provided during the

second National Emergency of 1971 which was still in operation.

 

9.1.2 Effects of National Emergency

 

The declaration of National Emergency has far-reaching effects both on the rights of

individuals and the autonomy of the states in the following manner :

(i) The most significant effect is that the federal form of the Constitution changes into

unitary .  The authority of the Centre increases and the Parliament assumes the power

to make laws for the entire country or any part thereof, even in respect of subjects

mentioned in the State List.

(ii) The President of India can issue directions to the states as to the manner in which

the executive power of the states is to be exercised.

(iii) During this period, the Lok Sabha can extend its tenure by a period of one year at a

time. But the same cannot be extended beyond six months after the proclamation

ceases to operate. The tenure of State  Assemblies can also be extended in the same

manner.

(iv) During emergency , the President is empowered to modify the provisions regarding

distribution of revenues between the Union and the States.

(v) The Fundamental Rights under Article 19 about which you have already learnt are

automatically suspended and this suspension continues till the end of the emergency .

But according to the 44th Amendment, Freedoms listed in  Article 19 can be suspended

only in case of proclamation on the ground of war or external aggression.

 

From the above discussion, it becomes quite clear that emergency not only suspends the

autonomy of the States but also converts the federal structure of India into a unitary one.

Still it is considered necessary as it equips the Union Government with vast powers to

cope up with the abnormal situations. The exigencies of the situation prevailing in the

period 1975-77 necessitated certain changes in the Constituion reagarding emergency

provisions. Therefore, the 44th amendment was passed on 30th  April 1979 to strengthen

the democratic features of the Indian Constituion and to protect citizens’ rights even during

the national emergency .

 

 

9.2 Emergency due to Failure of Constitutional Machinery in a State

 

It is the duty of the Union Government to ensure that governance of a State is carried on

in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Under Article 356, the President

may issue a proclamation to impose emergency in a state if he is satisfied on receipt of a

report from the Governor of the State, or otherwise, that a situation has arisen under

which the Government of the State cannot be carried on smoothly . In such a situation,

proclamation of emergency by the President is called ‘proclamation on account of the

failure (or breakdown) of constitutional machinery .’ In popular language it is called the

President’ s Rule.

 

Like National Emergency , such a proclamation must also be placed before both the Houses

of Parliament for approval. In this case approval must be given within two months, otherwise

the proclamation ceases to operate. If approved by the Parliament, the proclamation remains

valid for six months at a time. It can be extended for another six months but not beyond

one year . However , emergency in a State can be extended beyond one year if

(a) a National Emergency is already in operation; or if

(b) the Election Commission certifies that the election to the State  Assembly cannot be

held.

 

This type of emergency has been imposed in most of the States at one time or the other for

a number of times. It was in 1951 that this type of emergency was imposed for the first

time in the Punjab State. In 1957, the Kerala State was put under the President’ s Rule.

There have been many cases of misuse of ‘constitutional breakdown’. For example, in

1977 when Janata Party came into power at the Centre, the Congress Party was almost

wiped out in North Indian States. On this excuse, Desai Government at the Centre dismissed

nine State governments where Congress was still in power .  This action of Morarji Desai’s

Janata Government was strongly criticised by the Congress and others. But, when in 1980

(after Janata Government had lost power) Congress came back to power at the Centre

under Mrs.Gandhi’ s leadership and dismissed all the then Janata Party State Governments.

In both cases there was no failure of Constitutional machinery , but actions were taken only

on political grounds.

 

In 1986, emer gency was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir due to terrorism and insurgency .

In all, there are more than hundred times that emergency has been imposed in various

States for one reason or the other . However , after 1995 the use of this provision has rarely

been made.

 

9.2.1 Effects of Imposition of President’s Rule in a State

 

The declaration of emergency due to the breakdown of Constitutional machinery in a

State has the following effects:

(i) The President can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the State

Government or he may vest all or any of those functions with the Governor or any

other executive authority .

(ii) The President may dissolve the State Legislative  Assembly or put it under suspension.

He may authorise the Parliament to make laws on behalf of the State Legislature.

(iii) The President can make any other incidental or consequential provision necessary to

give effect to the object of proclamation.

The way President’ s Rule was imposed on various occasions has raised many questions.

At times the situation really demanded it. But at other times, President’s Rule was imposed

purely on political grounds to topple the ministry formed by a party different from the one

at the Centre, even if that particular party enjoyed majority in the Legislative  Assembly.

Suspending or dissolving assemblies and not giving a chance to the other political parties to

form governments in states has been due to partisan consideration of the Union Government,

for which  Article 356 has been clearly misused.

 

In view of the above facts, Article 356 has become very controversial. In spite of the

safeguards provided by the 44th Amendment Act, this provision has been alleged to be

misused by the Union Government.  That is why , there is a demand either for its deletion or

making provision in the Constitution to restrict the misuse of this Article. The Sarkaria

Commission which was appointed to review the Centre–State relations also recommended

that  Article 356 should be used only as a last resort. The Commission also suggested that

the State Legislative  Assembly should not be dissolved unless the proclamation is approved

by the Parliament. It further suggested that all possibilities of forming an alternative

government should be fully explored before the Centre imposes emergency in a State on

grounds of breakdown of Constitutional machinery .  The Supreme Court held in the Bommai

case that the Assembly may not be dissolved till the Proclamation is approved by the

Parliament. On a few occasions such as when Gujral Government recommended use of

Article 356 in Uttar Pradesh, the President returned the recommendation for reconsideration.

The Union Government took the hint and dropped the proposal.

 

9.3 Financial Emergency

 

The third type of Emergency is Financial Emergency provided under  Article 360. It provides

that if the President is satisfied that the financial stability or credit of India or any of its part

is in danger, he may declare a state of Financial Emergency . Like the other two types of

emergencies, it has also to be approved by the Parliament. It must be approved by both

Houses of Parliament within two months. Financial Emergency can operate as long as the

situation demands and may be revoked by a subsequent proclamation.

 

9.3.1 Effects of Financial Emergency

 

The proclamation of Financial Emergency may have the following consequences:

(a) The Union Government may give direction to any of the States regarding financial

matters.

(b) The President may ask the States to reduce the salaries and allowances of all or any

class of persons in government service.

(c) The President may ask the States to reserve all the money bills for the consideration

of the Parliament after they have been passed by the State Legislature.

(d) The President may also give directions for the reduction of salaries and allowances

of the Central Government employees including the Judges of the Supreme Court

and the High Courts.

So far, fortunately , financial emergency has never been proclaimed.

 

 

What Y ou Have Learnt

 

According to the Indian Constitution, the President has been given extraordinary powers

to deal with certain abnormal situations in order to protect the security , integrity and stability

of the country. For this purpose, there are three types of emergencies which can be

proclaimed by the President of India on the written advice of the Union Cabinet. These

three types of emergencies are :

(a) National emergency (Article 352).

(b) Emergency due to the breakdown of constitutional machinery in a State (Article

356).

(c) Financial emergency (Article 360).

 

National emergency under  Article 352 has been declared three times so far.  T wice it was

imposed due to the external aggression once by China and another time by Pakistan,

whereas it was declared only once on the basis of the fear of internal disturbances. This

emergency was imposed on 25 June 1975. Emergency on account of failure of Constitutional

machinery has been declared in most of the States some time or the other . But Financial

Emergency has not been declared so far.

 

Emergency , when imposed, affects the Fundamental Rights of the citizens. It also affects

the autonomy of the StateGovernments. The powers of the Union Government increase

and it can make laws even on the subjects included in the State List. The Centre gives

directions to the State Governments. Practically speaking, the federal nature of the

Constitution changes into a unitary form. So much so that when the proclamation of national

emergency is in operation, some of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution

remain suspended.

 

The second type of emergency under  Article 356 is the most frequently imposed emergency.

Under this, a State is put under the President’ s Rule if the elected representatives fail to

form or run the government in a State according to the Constitution of India. This is the

most misused form of emergency which has been vehemently criticised by many .

The third type of emergency is Financial Emergency which has not been declared so far.

During this type of emergency , the President of India may give directions to the Union as

well as State Governments to reduce the salaries and allowances of their employees

including the judges. The purpose of declaring this type of emergency is to solve the

financial crises.

 

The proclamation of each type of emergency is made by the President on the written

advice of the Union Cabinet. Such a proclamation has to be approved by both the Houses

of Parliament within one month in case of National Emergency and within two months in

case of the remaining two types of emergencies, from the date of imposition of such

emergency .  The Proclamation of national emergency as well as the imposition of President’ s

Rule, if approved by the Parliament, will continue to be in operation for six months from

the date of proclamation. In case it is to be extended beyond six months, a subsequent prior

resolution has to be passed by the Parliament to this effect. In case of Financial Emergency

once proclaimed, it continues to operate as long as it is required.

 

The Emergency Provisions provide the President with sweeping powers to deal with abnormal

and extraordinary situations.  Any misuse of these powers can easily lead to subversion of

democracy . But the actual working of the Constitution for more than five decades has

demonstrated that emergency powers were generally used in the interest of the country

barring a few cases where emergency was imposed due to political considerations. In spite

of misuse of emergency provisions in some of the States, there is a broad consensus that

emergency provisions still have a role to play under the conditions prevailing in India.

 

 

UNION EXECUTIVE

 

The President cannot at the same time be a member of Parliament or of a State

Legislature. If a member of Parliament or State Legislature is elected as President

his/her seat will be deemed to have been vacated on the date, he/she assumes office

as President of India.

 

10.1.1 Election Procedure

 

The President is elected by an Electoral College consisting of the elected members of both

Houses of Parliament i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and of the State Legislative

Assemblies (Vidhan Sabhas). Nominated members of Parliament and members of State

Legislative Councils are not members of the Electoral College. The election is held by

means of single transferable vote system of proportional representation. The voting is

done by secret ballot.

 

The framers of the Constitution were keen to obtain parity between the votes of the

elected members of Parliament on one side and elected members of Legislative  Assemblies

of all the States on the other .  They devised a system to determine the value of vote of each

member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly , so as to ensure equality .

The value of vote of each memberof Legislative  Assembly of a state is

determined by the formula as given below:-=

 

 

Total population of the State

 

Number of elected members of State Legislative Assembly

÷1000

 

In simple words the total population of the State is divided by the number of elected

members of the State Legislative  Assembly, and the quotient is divided by 1000.

Example:Let us suppose that the population of Punjab is 1,35,51,060 and the number of

members of State Vidhan Sabha is 104. The votes which each Legislature is entitled to

cast will be:-1,35,51, 000

1000

104

÷

= 130.29

= 130 [As the remainder .29 is less than 50%, it is ignored]

The value of each vote of a Member of Parliamentis determined by adding all the

votes of members of the State Legislative  Assemblies including the Legislative  Assemblies

 

 structure e of Government of Union  Territory of Delhi and Pondicherry divided by total member of elected members

of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

=

Total number of votes of Member of all the State Legislative Assemblies

Total number of elected Members of both Houses of Parliament

 

Example :  The votes of all the State Legislative  Assemblies are added. Let us suppose

that the total number of votes of all the Legislators is 5,44,971 and the total number of

elected members of Parliament is 776. Then the number of votes of each member of

Parliament will be

=

5, 44, 971

776

= 702.28

= 702

At both the stages if the remainder is less than 50% of the divides, it is ignored. But when

the remainder is 50% or more, one vote is added to the quotient.

 

Single Transferable V ote System: The election of the President is held through single

transferable vote system of proportional representation. Under this system names of all

the candidates are listed on the ballot paper and the elector gives them numbers according

to his/her preference. Every voter may mark on the ballot paper as many preferences as

there are candidates. Thus the elector shall place the figure 1 opposite the name of the

candidate whom he/she chooses for first preference and may mark as many preferences

as he/she wishes by putting the figures 2,3,4 and so on against the names of other candidates.

The ballot becomes invalid if first preference is marked against more than one candidate

or if the first preference is not marked at all.

 

Counting of  Votes and Declaration of Result

 

Members of State Legislative Assemblies cast their votes in States Capitals, while Members

of Parliament cast their votes in Delhi in the States Capitals. Counting of votes is done at

New Delhi. First preference votes of all the candidates are sorted out and counted. T o be

declared elected a candidate must get more than 50% of the total valid votes polled. This

is known as Quota. The Quota is determined by totalling the total number of votes polled

divided by the number of candidates to be elected plus one. In this case, since only the

President is to be elected, so division is done by 1+1. One (01) is added to the quotient to

make it more than 50%.

Quota =

Total number of votes polled

1

1 1

+

+

At the first count only first preference votes are counted. If any of the candidates reaches

the quota, he/she is declared elected. In case no candidate reaches the quota, then the 2

nd

preference votes of the candidate getting the least number of first preference votes are

transferred to other candidates. Thus the candidate getting the least number of votes is

eliminated. If after counting, a candidate reaches quota, he/she is declared elected as the

President. In case no candidate reaches quota, even at this stage, then the votes of next

candidate getting the least number of votes are transferred to the others. It continues till

any one candidate gets the quota of votes.

 

Structur e of Government Let us understand it with the following example. Supposing the total number of valid votes

is 20,000 and there are four candidates  A, B, C and D. The quota in this case will be

20, 000

1 1 +

+ 1 = 10001.

Let us assume that first preference votes cast in favour of all the four candidates are as

follows:-A = 9000

B = 2000

C = 4000

D = 5000

As no candidate has reached the quota i.e. 10001, candidate ‘B’ getting the least number

of votes gets eliminated and his votes transferred to the other candidates.

Supposing as a result of transfer of votes ‘A ’ gets 1100, ‘C’ gets 500 and ‘D’ 400. Now the

position would be as follows:

A= 9000 + 1100 = 10,100

B = 6000 + 400 = 6400

C = 4000 + 500 = 4500

Since ‘A ’ reaches quota he is declared elected as the President.

Before entering upon the office the President has to take an oath of office in the presence

of the Chief Justice of India.

 

 

10.2   The President:  Tenure and Removal

 

The President is elected for a term of five years and is eligible for re-election, though a

convention has developed that no President seeks election for the third term. However,

the first President Dr . Rajendra Prasad was elected for two full terms. He/she may resign

before the expiry of his term, or the office of President may fall vacant due to his/her

death. His term of office commences from the date he takes the oath of office.

 

10.2.1 Privileges and Immunities

 

The President of India enjoys certain privileges and immunities which include the following:

1. The President is not answerable to any court of law for the exercise of his functions.

2. The President can neither be arrested nor any criminal proceedings be instituted

against him in any court of law during his tenure.

3. The President cannot be asked to be present in any court of law during his tenure.

4. A prior notice of two months time is to be served before instituting a civil case against

him.

 

10.2.2 Removal of the President

 

The President can only be removed from office through a process called impeachment.

The Constitution lays down a detailed procedure for the impeachment of the President.

He can only be impeached ‘for violation of the Constitution’. The following procedure is

intentionally kept very difficult so that no President should be removed on flimsy ground.

The resolution to impeach the President can be moved in either House of Parliament.

Such a resolution can be moved only after a notice has been given by at least one-fourth

of the total number of members of the House. Such a resolution charging the President for

violation of the Constitution must be passed by a majority of not less than two-third of the

total membership of that House before it goes to the other House for investigation.

The charges levelled against the President are investigated by the second House. President

has the right to be heard or defended when the charges against him are being investigated.

The President may defend himself in person or through his counsel. If the charges are

accepted by a two-third majority of the total membership of the second House, the

impeachment succeeds. The President thus stands removed from the office from the date

on which the resolution is passed.

 

This procedure of impeachment is even more difficult than the one adopted in  America

where only simple majority is required in the House of Representatives to initiate the

proceedings.

 

IMPEACHMENT : An impeachment is a quasi-judicial procedure leading to the

removal of a high public official, say , the President as in India, on the grounds of the

violation of the Constitution.

 

10.2.3  V acancy in the Office of the President

 

Whenever the office of the President falls vacant either due to death or resignation or

impeachment, the Vice-President officiates for a period not more than six months. The

Constitution has made it obligatory that in such cases (of vacancy in the office of President)

election for a new President must be held within six months. The newly elected President

then holds office for his full term of five years.  Thus, when President Fakhruddin Ali

Ahmad died in 1977,  Vice-President B. D. Jatti officiated and the new President (Sanjeeva

Reddy) was elected within six months.

 

In case the President’ s office falls vacant and the  Vice-President is not available (or  Vice-President acting as President dies or resigns in less than six months), the Chief Justice of

India is required to officiate till the new President is elected. This provision was made in

1969 by the Parliament to enable Chief Justice Hidayatullah to officiate when President

Zakir Hussain had died, and Vice-President V . V . Giri resigned.

If a President is temporarily unable to discharge his duties, due to illness or otherwise, the

Vice-President may discharge the functions of the President without officiating as the

President.

 

10.3 Powers of The President

 

The Constitution has vested the President with vast powers. Broadly the powers of the

President can be classified as Executive, Legislative, Financial and Judicial Powers. His

emergency powers are already dealt with in Lesson No. 9.

 

10.3.1 Executive Powers

 

The President is head of State and executive powers of the Union have been vested in

him. The President is empowered to exercise these powers either directly or through

officers subordinate to him which means through the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

also. His executive powers are given below:-The President appoints the Prime Minister and he appoints other ministers on the

advice of the Prime Minister . He allocates portfolios among the ministers on the

advice of the Prime Minister . He may remove any Minister on the advice of the

Prime Minister .

 

The President appoints the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court and High

Courts. However, in all judicial appointments, the Chief Justice of India is consulted. Besides

the President may also consult such other judges of the Supreme Court as the President

may be deemed necessary.  While appointing Chief Justice and justices of High Courts the

President has to consult the State Governor also. In the appointment of High Court judges,

the President also consults the Chief Justice of the State. But now in accordance with the

1993 decision of the Supreme Court as re-interpreted in 1999 (see Lesson 12), the President

is bound by the recommendations of a panel of senior most judges of the Supreme Court

in matters of all judicial appointments. This panel headed by the Chief Justice is known as

the collegium of the Supreme Court.  The President appoints the Attorney General, the

Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and other

Election Commissioners, the Chairman and Members of Union Public Service Commission

(U.P .S.C.). He/she also appoints the Governors of States and Lt. Governors of Union

T erritories.  All such appointments are made on the advice of the Union Cabinet headed by

the Prime Minister .

 

The President is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. As such, the President

makes appointments of Chiefs of Army, Navy , and  Air Force. The President can declare

war and make peace. In his/her capacity as head of state, the President conducts the

country’s foreign affairs.  The President appoints India’s ambassadors and high

commissioners in other countries; and the President receives foreign ambassadors and

high commissiners.  All diplomatic work is conducted in his/her name (by the foreign office

and Indian envoys abroad), and all international treaties are negotiated and concluded in

his/her name.

 

All laws enacted by the Union Parliament are enforced by him/her.  All officials appointed

by him/her (such as Governors and Ambassadors) may be removed or recalled by him/

her , on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.

 

All the functions are performed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.  All

decisions of the Union Government are communicated to him/her by the Prime Minister .

The President can ask the Prime Minister only once to have a recommendation of the

executive reconsidered by the Cabinet.  The President can also refer a minister’ s decision

to the Cabinet for its consideration. The President cannot seek a second reconsideration.

 

10.3.2 Legislative Powers

 

The President being an integral part of Parliament enjoys many legislative powers. These

powers are given below:

 

The President summons, and prorogues the Houses of Parliament. He may summon the

Parliament at least twice a year, and the gap between two sessions cannot be more than

six months. The President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha even before the expiry

of its term on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. In normal course he/she dissolves

Lok Sabha after five years. The President nominates twelve members to Rajya Sabha

from amongst persons having special knowledge in the field of literature, science, art and

social service.  The President may also nominate two members of  Anglo-Indian community

to the Lok Sabha in case that community is not adequately represented in the House. The

President can call a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament in case of a disagreement

between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on a non-money bill. So far thrice such joint sittings

have been summoned (see Lesson no. 11).  The President has the right to address and

send messages to Parliament. The President addresses both Houses of Parliament jointly

at the first session after every general election as well as commencement of the first

session every year . These addresses contain policies of the government of the day .

Every bill passed by Parliament is sent to the President for his/her assent. The President

may give his/her assent, or return it once for the reconsideration of the Parliament. If

passed again the President has to give her assent.  Without his/her assent no bill can become

a law .  The President may promulgate an ordinance when the Parliament is not in session.

The ordinance so issued has the force of law .  The ordinance so promulgated should be laid

before both Houses of Parliament when they reassemble. If it is neither rejected by the

Parliament nor withdrawn by the President, it automatically lapses six weeks after the

commencement of the next session of Parliament. Generally a bill is moved by the

Government to enact a law in place of the ordinance.

 

10.3.3 Financial Powers

 

All money bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha only with the prior approval of the President.

The Presidenthas the control over Contingency Fund of India. It enables her to advance

money for the purpose of meeting unforeseen expenses.  Annual budget and railway budget

are introduced in the Lok Sabha on the recommendation of the President. If the Government

in the middle of the financial year feels that more money is required than estimated in the

annual budget, it can present supplementary demands. Money bills are never returned for

reconsiderations. The President appoints the Finance Commission after every five years.

It makes recommendations to the President on some specific financial matters, especially

the distribution of Central taxes between the Union and the States.  The Presidentalso

receives the reports of the Comptroller and  Auditor-General of India, and has it laid in the

Parliament.

 

Contingency Fund of India:It is a fund kept by the Union Government to meet

any unforeseen expenditure for which money is immediately needed. The President

has full control over this Fund. The Presidentpermits withdrawals from this Fund.

 

10.3.4 Judicial Powers

 

Y ou have seen above that the President appoints Chief Justice and other judges of the

Supreme Court. The President also appoints Chief Justices and other judges of the High

Courts. The President appoints law officers of the Union Government including the

Attorney-General of India.

 

The President, as head of state, can pardon a criminal or reduce the punishment or suspend,

cummute or remit the sentence of a criminal convicted by the Supreme Court or High

Courts for an offence against the federal laws. The President can pardon a person convicted

by a Court Martial. His/her power of pardon includes granting of pardon even to a person

awarded death sentence. But, the President performs this function on the advice of Law

Ministry.

 

The President enjoys certain immunities. He is above the law and no criminal proceedings

can be initiated against him/her (see section 10.2.1 above).

 

10.4 Position of the President

 

The office of the President is of high dignity and eminence, not of real powers. The

powers formally vested in him/her are actually exercised not by his/her, but by the Union

Council of Ministers, in his/her name. If the Presidenttries to act against the wishes of the

ministers, the Presidentmay create a constitutional crisis. The Presidentmay even face

impeachment and may have to quit. Thus, the President has no alternative but to act in

accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister , who after all is head of the real executive.

The Prime Minister is in regular touch with the President.

 

The Council of Ministers is responsible to Lok Sabha, and can be removed on its adverse

vote only . In practice the ministers do not hold office during the pleasure of the President.

The Constitution, 42nd Amendment  Act has made it obligatory for the President to act only

on the advice of the Council of Ministers. The Presidentcannot act independently .

His/her powers are formal. It is the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister

which is the real executive. In accordance with the 44th Amendment  Act of the Constitution,

the President can send back a bill passed by the Parliament for reconsideration only once.

If the bill is again passed by the Parliament, the President has to give his assent to the bill.

In the Constituent  Assembly, Dr . B.R.  Ambedkar had rightly said, “The President occupies

the same position as the King in the British Constitution”. But in reality the President of

India is not a mere rubber stamp. The Constitution lays down that the President has to

preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. The Presidentcan ask a newly appointed

Prime Minister to seek a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha within a stipulated period of

time.  All the administration of the country is carried on in her name. The Presidentcan ask

for any information from any minister .  All the decisions of the Cabinet are communicated

to the President.  The Presidentis furnished with all the information relating to administration.

It is in this context that the utility of the office of the President comes to be fully realised

when the Presidentgives suggestions, encourages and even warns the government. It is in

this context, the President emerges as an advisor , a friend and even a critic.

 

By way of conclusion, we may describe the position of the President in the words of Dr.

B.R. Ambedkar.  According to him/her, the President is the Head of State but not the

executive.  The Presidentrepresents the nation but does not rule over the nation.  The

Presidentis the symbol of nation. His/her place in the administration is that of a ceremonial

head.

 

10.5   The  Vice-President

 

The Constitution of India provides for the office of the  Vice-President.  The  Vice-President

of India is elected indirectly by an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses

of Parliament, on the basis of proportional representation by means of single transferable

vote system. The voting is held by secret ballot. The Vice-President cannot be a member

of either Houses of Parliament, or of a State Legislature.  The  Vice-President has to

possess the following qualifications:

He/she has to be a citizen of India, who should not be less than 35 years of age, should not

hold any office of profit and should be eligible to be elected as a member of the Rajya

Sabha.

The Vice-President is elected for a term of five years. He/shemay resign from the office

of the  Vice-President even before the expiry of five years by writing to the President.  The

Vice Presidentcan be removed before five years if a resolution to this effect is passed by

a majority of members of Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.

 

10.5.1 Functions of the  Vice-President

 

The  Vice-President is the ex-of ficio Chairman of Rajya Sabha which means that whosoever

is the Vice-President, he/shepresides over the Rajya Sabha and performs normal duties

of a presiding officer .  These include maintenance of order in the House, allowing members

to speak and ask questions, and putting bills and motions to vote. Since the  Vice-President

is not a member of the Rajya Sabha,  he/shecannot vote in the House. But, in case of a tie

(equality of votes in favour and against a bill),  the  Vice Presidentexercises his/her casting

vote so that a decision can be reached.

 

If ever a vacancy arises in the office of President, due to death, resignation or impeachment,

the Vice-President officiates as the President for not more than six months (see above).

During that period, he enjoys all powers of the President, and does not preside over the

House when he officiates as President.

In case the President is temporarily unable to discharge his/her functions, the  Vice-President

may be called upon to discharge his/her functions, without becoming officiating President.

 

10.6 Prime Minister and The Council of Ministers

 

The executive powers of the President are exercised by the Council of Ministers. The

Constitution provides that “there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at

the head to aid and advise the President in the excercise of his functions”. Here the word

“shall” indicates that the President cannot function without the Council of Ministers. The

President is the constitutional head of State, but the real Head of the government is the

Prime Minister.

 

10.6.1 Appointment of the Prime Minister

 

The Prime Minister is appointed by the President but the Presidentdoes not have freedom

in the selection of the Prime Minister . Normally the Presidenthas to invite leader of the

majority party to form the government. In case no single party is in clear majority ,  the

Presidentinvites the person who is likely to command support of two or more parties

which make up majority in the Lok Sabha. Once appointed, the Prime Minister holds

office so long as he/she enjoys the support of the majority of members of Lok Sabha. The

Prime Minister is normally leader of the majority party in Lok Sabha. However, there have

been cases when a member of Rajya Sabha was made the Prime Minister.  This happened

when Mrs. Indira Gandhi was first appointed, Prime Minster in 1966, or when I. K. Gujral

became Prime Minister in 1997 or when Rajya Sabha member Dr. Manmohan Singh

became the Prime Minister in 2004. In 1996 H.D. Deve Gowda was not a member of any

House. He later entered the Rajya Sabha.

 

Members of the Council of Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the

Prime Minister . While selecting the ministers, the Prime Minister the PM keeps in mind

that due representation to different regions of the country , to various religious and caste

groups. In a coalition government, the members of coalition parties have to be given due

representation in the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister decides portfolios of the

Ministers, and can alter these at his will.

 

In order to be a Minister , a person has to be a member of either of the two Houses of

Parliament. Even a person who is not a member of any of the two Houses can become a

Minister for a period of six months. Within six months the Minister has to get himself/

herself elected to either House of Parliament, failing which he/she ceases to be a Minister .

All the Ministers are collectively as well as individually responsible to the Lok Sabha.

The Council of Ministers consists of two category of ministers. These are: Cabinet Ministers

and Ministers of State. The Cabinet Ministers are usually senior members of the party/

coalition of parties. The Ministers of State come next to Cabinet Ministers. Some of the

Ministers of State have independent charge of a department while other Ministers of State

only assist the Cabinet Ministers. Sometimes even deputy ministers are also appointed to

assist the ministers.

 

Ministers other than Cabinet Ministers normally do not attend the meetings of the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister presides over the meetings of the Cabinet. All policy matters are

decided by the Cabinet. The Prime Minister has the authority to reshuffle the portfolios of

the Ministers or even ask for their resignation. In case of resignation or death of the Prime

Minister the entire Council of Ministers also goes out of office. This is because the Council

of Ministers is created by the Prime Minister, who also heads it.  The entire Council of

Ministers is responsibility to the Lok Sabha (see below 10.8)

 

 

S tructur e of Government 10.6.2 Powers and Functions of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the most important and powerful functionary of the Union Government.

The President is head of the government and leader of Lok Sabha. The President is

principal advisor to the President, and the country’s visible face and spokesperson in the

international affairs. His/her role is unparalled and the President gives direction to the

governance of the country .

 

The Prime Minister being the head of the Council of Ministers, selects the Ministers to be

sworn in by the President. The Ministers in fact are chosen by the Prime Minister and

remain Ministers as long as they enjoy the confidence of the Prime Minister . The Prime

Minister distributes portfolios among Ministers. The President can change the portfolios

as and when he desires. The Prime Minister can drop a Minister or ask for his/her

resignation.

 

The Prime Minister presides over the meetings of the Cabinet and conducts its proceedings.

As head of the Cabinet, he/she largely influences the decisions of the Cabinet. The Prime

Minister co-ordinates the working of various ministers. The President resolves disagreement

if any amongst different Ministers. Prime Minister is the link between the President and

the Cabinet. The decisions of the Cabinet are conveyed to the President by the Prime

Minister. It is he who keeps the President informed of all the policies and decisions of the

Government. No Minister can meet the President without the permission of the Prime

Minister.  All important appointments are made by the President on the advice of the Prime

Minister. It is on the advice of the Prime Minister that the President summons and prorogues

the session of the Parliament and even dissolves the Lok Sabha.

 

The Prime Minister is the “principal spokesman” and defender of the policies of the

Government in the Parliament. When any Minister is unable to defend his/her actions

properly , the Prime Minister comes to the help of that Minister both inside and outside the

Parliament. The Prime Minister is the leader of the nation. The nation looks to his/her for

guidance.  At the time of general elections, it is the Prime Minister who seeks mandate of

the people. The Prime Minister plays an important role in the formulation of domestic and

foreign policies. The President represents the country in the world arena, by participating

in the international meetings such as NAM, SAARC and United Nations.  All international

agreements and treaties with other countries are concluded with the consent of the Prime

Minister. The President is the Chief spokesperson of the policies of the country .

 

The Prime Minister has a special status both in the Government and in the Parliament.

This makes him/her the most powerful functionary . His/her position and powers depend

upon his/her personality.  Aperson of the stature of Jawaharlal Nehru or Indira Gandhi, is

always more effective than a person who lacks vision or depends on support from outside

his party. The Prime Minister is not only leader of the Parliament but also leader of the

nation. The Prime Minister has to secure the willing cooperation of all important members

of his/her own party . In a minority government, the Prime Minister has to depend on

outside help that might act as hindrance in his effective role.

 

10.7 The Council of Ministers and The Cabinet

 

The terms Council of Ministers and ‘The Cabinet’ are often used as inter-changeable

terms. In reality , they are not. Prior to 44th Amendment of the Constitution, the word

‘Cabinet’ was not mentioned in the Constitution. Let us distinguish between the Council of

Ministers and the Cabinet. The main points of difference are: The Council of Ministers

consists of all category of Ministers i.e., Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State. The

Cabinet on the other hand consists of Senior Ministers only. Its number varies from 15 to

30 while the entire Council of Ministers can consist of even more than 70. The Council of

Ministers as a whole rarely meets. The Cabinet on the other hand meets as frequently as

possible. It is the Cabinet that determines the policies and programmes of the Government

and not the Council of Ministers. Thus, ‘Cabinet is an inner body within the Council of

Ministers’. It acts in the name of the Council of Ministers and exercises all powers on its

behalf.

 

10.7.1 Powers and Functions of the Cabinet

 

It has enormous powers and manifold responsibilities.  All the executive powers of the

President are exercised by the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet determines and formulates the internal and external policies of the country. It

takes all major decisions regarding defence and security of the country . It has also to

formulate policies so as to provide better living conditions for the people.Cabinet has control

over national finance. The Cabinet is responsible for whole of the expenditure of the

government as well for raising necessary revenues. It is the Cabinet that prepares the text

of President’ s address to the Parliament. The Cabinet is also responsible for the issuance

of Ordinances by the President when the Parliament is not in session. The sessions of the

Parliament are convened by the President on the advice of the Cabinet conveyed through

the Prime Minister . The Cabinet prepares the agenda of the sessions of the Parliament.

 

 

10.8 Responsibility of The Ministers

 

We have already read that there is a Council of Ministers, with the Prime Minister as its

head to aid and advise the President. Constitutionally the Ministers hold office during the

S tructur e of Government pleasure of the President. But, in fact, they are responsible to, and removable by the Lok

Sabha.  Actually the Constitution has itself declared that the Council of Ministers shall be

responsible to the Lok Sabha (not to both the Houses). Ministerial responsibility is the

essential feature of parliamentary form of government. The principle of ministerial

responsibility has two dimensions: collective responsibility and individual responsibility .

 

10.8.1 Collective Responsibility

 

Our Constitution clearly says that “The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible

to ‘House of the People’.” It actually means that the Ministers are responsible to the Lok

Sabha not as individuals alone, but collectively also. Collective responsibility has two

implications. Firstly , it means that every member of the Council of ministers accepts

responsibility for each and every decision of the Cabinet. Members of the Council of

Ministers swim and sink together. When a decision has been taken by the Cabinet, every

Minister has to stand by it without any hesitation. If a Minister does not agree with the

Cabinet decision, the only alternative left to him/her is to resign from the Council of Ministers.

The essence of collective responsibility means that, ‘the Minister must vote with the

government, speak in defence of it if the Prime Minister insists, and he/she cannot afterwards

reject criticism of his act, either in Parliament or in the constituencies, on the ground that

he/she did not agree with the decision.’ Secondly , vote of no-confidence against the Prime

Minister is a vote against the whole Council of Ministers. Similarly, adverse vote in the Lok

Sabha on any government bill or budget implies lack of confidence in the entire Council of

Ministers, not only the mover of the bill.

 

10.8.2 Individual Responsibility

 

Though the Ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha, they are also individually

responsible to the Lok Sabha. Individual responsibility is enforced when an action taken by

a Minister without the concurrence of the Cabinet, or the Prime Minister, is criticised and

not approved by the Parliament. Similarly if personal conduct of a Minister is questionable

and unbecoming he may have to resign without affecting the fate of the Government. If a

Minister becomes a liability or embarrassment to the Prime Minister, he may be asked to

quit.

 

NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION :- It is a motion moved by a member of legislature

expressing no-confidence of the House in the Council of Ministers. If adopted by the

legislature, the Council of Ministers has to resign.

 

What You Have Learnt

 

India has adopted parliamentary form of government where the President is the constitutional

head of state. The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister is the real executive.

The President of India is indirectly elected by an Electoral College consisting of elected

members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of State Legislative

Assemblies (Vidhan Sabhas) by means of single transferable vote system of proportional

representation. The President is elected through a complicated system which ensures

equal voice (value of votes) of the national Parliament on the one side and all the State

Legislative  Assemblies on the other.

 

The President is elected for a term of five years. The President is eligible for reelection.

 

Structur e of Government The President may resign before the expiry of his/her term or can be removed from office

by impeachment.

 

The President enjoys vast powers. His/her powers can be classified into Legislative,

Executive, Financial and Judicial. But his/her powers are exercised by the Council of

Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.  The President enjoys numerous privileges and

immunities, and exerts influence in the field of administration. The President possesses the

right to be informed, to be consulted and to warn. The President is a guide and advisor of

the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is the real head of the Government. The

President is appointed by the President. The Prime Minister has to appoint the leader of the

majority party in Lok Sabha or leader of a group of parties as the Prime Minister.

The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister aids and advises the President in

the exercise of his functions. The Council of Ministers consists of two levels of Ministers–

Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State. The President appoints the Ministers on the

advice of the Prime Minister.

 

The Prime Minister is the leader of the nation. He/she is responsible for administration of

the country . He/she presides over the meetings of the Cabinet.  The Council of Ministers

works under his/her. The President represents the nation at all national and international

forums. The Prime Minister is the link between the President and the Council of Ministers.

He/she supervises and co-ordinates the working of different Ministries. He/she remains in

office as long as he/she enjoys the support of the majority of members in the Lok Sabha.  All

important appointments are made by the President on the recommendation of the Prime

Minister.

 

The Council of Ministers consists of all category of Ministers, while the Cabinet is a smaller

group consisting of senior Ministers. The Council of Ministers as a whole rarely meets. It is

the Cabinet which determines the policies and programmes of the Government. All the

Ministers are collectively as well as individually responsible to the Lok Sabha. The Council

of Ministers can be removed from office by Lok Sabha if a vote of no-confidence is adopted

by it.

 

The Cabinet formulates the external and internal policies of the government. It coordinates

the working of various departments. It has full control over the national finance.  Amoney

bill can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha by a Minister.

 

Indian polity ias100

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1950

 

The Representation of the People Act specifies the provisions for the allocation of seats in, and the delimitation of constituencies for the purpose of election to, the House of the People and the Legislatures of States, the qualifications of voters at such elections, the preparation of electoral rolls, the manner of filling seats in the Council of States to be filled by representatives of Union territories and matters connected therewith.

 

Definitions of the key terms used in Act:

 

a) “article” means an article of the Constitution;

b) “Assembly constituency” means a constituency provided [by law] for the purpose of elections to the Legislative Assembly of a State;

c) “Council constituency” means a constituency provided [by law] for the purpose of elections to the Legislative Council of a State;

d) “Parliamentary constituency” means a constituency provided [by law] for the purpose of elections to the House of the People;

e) “State” includes a Union territory;

f) “State Government”, in relation to a Union territory, means the administrator thereof.

 

Some salient points of the Act are:

 

HOUSE OF PEOPLE:

 

• The allocation of seats to the States in the House of the People and the number of seats, if any, to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and for the Scheduled Tribes of each State is in accordance with

 

the First Schedule of the Constitution.

• All the seats in the House of the People allotted to the States shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from parliamentary constituencies in the States.

• Every parliamentary constituency shall be a single-member constituency.

• The extent of all parliamentary constituencies except the parliamentary constituencies in the Union territory of Arunachal Pradesh shall be as determined by the orders of the Delimitation Commission made under the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 1972 and the extent of the parliamentary constituencies in the Union territory of Arunachal Pradesh shall be as determined by the order of the Election Commission under the provisions of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.

 

OFFICERS

 

1. Chief electoral officers:

There shall be for each State a chief electoral officer who shall be such officer of Government as the Election Commission may, in consultation with that Government, designate or nominate in this behalf.

Subject to the superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission, the chief electoral officer shall supervise the preparation, revision and correction of all electoral rolls in the State under this Act

 

2. District election officer:

For each district in a State, the Election Commission shall, in consultation with the Government of the State, designate or nominate a district election officer who shall be an officer of Government:

 

Provided that the Election Commission may designate or nominate more than one such officer for a district if the Election Commission is satisfied that the functions of the office cannot be performed satisfactorily by one officer. The district election officer shall also perform such other functions as may be entrusted to him by the Election Commission and the chief electoral officer.

 

3. Electoral registration officers

The electoral roll [for each parliamentary constituency in the State of Jammu and Kashmir or in a Union territory not having a Legislative Assembly], each assembly constituency and each Council  constituency] shall be prepared and revised by an electoral registration officer who shall be such officer of Government or of a local authority as the Election Commission may, in consultation with the

 

Government of the State in which the constituency is situated, designate or nominate in this behalf.

 

An electoral registration officer may, subject to any prescribed restrictions, employ such persons as he thinks fit for the preparation and revision of the electoral roll for the constituency.

 

ELECTORAL ROLL

For every constituency there shall be an electoral roll which shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of this Act under the superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission.

 

A person shall be disqualified for registration in an electoral roll if he—

(a) is not a citizen of India; or

(b) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court; or

(c) is for the time being disqualified from voting under the provisions of any law relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with elections.

 

No person shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for more than one constituency.

 

No person shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for any constituency more than once.

 

Every person who —

(a) is not less than [eighteen years] of age on the qualifying date, and

(b) is ordinarily resident in a constituency, shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for that constituency.

 

A person shall not be deemed to be ordinarily resident in a constituency on the ground only that he owns, or is in possession of, a dwelling house therein.

 

A person absenting himself temporarily from his place of ordinary residence shall not by reason thereof cease to be ordinarily resident therein.

 

A member of Parliament or of the Legislature of a State shall not during the term of his office cease to be ordinarily resident in the constituency in the electoral roll of which he is registered as an elector at the time of his election as such member, by reason of his absence from that constituency in connection with his duties as such member.

 

A person who is a patient in any establishment maintained wholly or mainly for the reception and treatment of persons suffering from mental illness or mental defectiveness, or who is detained in prison or other legal custody at any place, shall not by reason thereof be deemed to be ordinarily resident therein.

 

Any person having a service qualification shall be deemed to be ordinarily resident on any date in the constituency in which, but for his having such service qualification, he would have been ordinarily resident on that date.

 

“service qualification” means—

(a) being a member of the armed forces of the Union; or

(b) being a member of a force to which the provisions of the Army Act, 1950 (46 of 1950), have been made applicable whether with or without modifications; or

(c) being a member of an armed police force of a State, who is serving outside that State; or

(d) being a person who is employed under the Government of India, in a post outside India.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

• Every local authority in a State shall, when so requested by the chief electoral officer of the State, make available to any electoral registration officer such staff as may be necessary for the performance of any duties in connection with the preparation and revision of electoral rolls.

• No civil court shall have jurisdiction— (a) to entertain or adjudicate upon any question whether any person is or is not entitled to be registered in an electoral roll for a constituency.

• If any person makes in connection with— (a) the preparation, revision or correction of an electoral roll, or (b) the inclusion or exclusion of any entry in or from an electoral roll, a statement or declaration in writing which is false and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

 

 

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS

 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, an Act of Parliament (December 2005). The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.

 

The proposed Commission have a Chairperson and six other Members, including two women members, a Member Secretary and other supporting staff. The Chairperson is a person of eminence in the field of child development. The members are the experts in the field of child health, education, child care and development, juvenile justice, children with disabilities, elimination of child labour, child psychology or sociology and laws relating to children.

 

The Functions of the Commissions are:

 

• Examine and review the safeguards provided by Constitution or any law for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation

• Present to the Central Government, annually reports upon the working of those safeguards.

• Examine all factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of most vulnerable children and children in need of special care and protection

• Study treaties and other international instruments and undertake periodical review of existing policies, programmes and other activities on child rights and make recommendation for their effective implementation in the best interest of children.

• Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights

• Spread child rights literacy among various sections of the society and promote awareness

• inspect any juvenile custodial home, or any other place of residence or institution meant for children for the purpose of treatment, reformation or protection and take up with these authorities for

 

remedial action

• inquire into complaints and take suo motu notice of matters relating to,

a) deprivation of child’s rights;

b) non-implementation of laws for protection and  development of children;

c) non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or and to provide relief to such children, take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities;

• Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of child rights.

 

 

PARIVARIK MAHILA LOK ADALAT

 

The concept of Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat (PMLA) has been evolved by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to supplement the efforts of the District Legal Service Authority for redressal and speedy disposal of matters pending in various courts related to marriage and family affairs.

 

Objectives of Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat:

 

• To provide speedy and cost free dispensation of justice to women.

• To generate awareness among the public regarding conciliatory mode of dispute settlement.

•  To gear up the process of organizing the Lok Adalats and to encourage the public to settle their disputes outside the formal set-up.

• To empower public especially women to participate in justice delivery mechanism.

 

Methodology

 

The Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat functions on the model of the Lok Adalat. The Commission provides financial assistance to NGOs or State Women Commissions or State Legal Service Authority to organize the Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat.

 

• The NGOs approach the DLSA or District Judge and collect information about pending cases of family disputes within the district. Then the DLSA selects women related cases which are admissible in the Lok Adalat, and makes relevant files/case papers available to the NGOs. NGOs through their counsellors approach the parties and start counselling prior to the date of the PMLA to bring them to a compromise or settlement. If settlement occurs then the settlement will be noted down on paper in each case and the signatures of both the parties must be obtained on the document which will be presented before PMLA for its legal authentication.

 

Later the NGOs will organise PMLA on the specified date on which the cases will be brought up for settlement. At least 40% of the cases received from DLSA must be disposed of on the date of PMLA.

 

The District Judge will appoint a Presiding Officer, for the PMLA, who should be a Judge and two or more members who can be judges, advocates or social activists.

 

The Venue of the PMLA will be a suitable central place convenient to the panelists as well as the parties and preferably premises other than a Court Room. The panel will authenticate the settlement on the date of PMLA  Court decree will be issued as per the settlement and will be legally binding on both the parties. After that the settled cases will be withdrawn from the dealing courts.

 

NGOs shall not charge any fee from the parties.

 

Advantages

 

Advantages of the PMLA are that it is cheaper, it helps encourage the public to settle their disputes outside the formal set-up, it empowers the public (especially women) to participate in the justice delivery mechanism, and ideally, cases are amicably settled by the parties in a harmonious atmosphere. Interestingly, an award of the Lok Adalat has the same force as a decree by a Court of Law.

   

 

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Corporate Governance could be defined as ways of bringing the interests of investors and managers into line and ensuring that firms are run for the benefit of investors. It is concerned with the relationship between the internal governance mechanisms of corporations and society’s conception of the scope of corporate accountability.

 

Corporate governance is the acceptance by management of the inalienable rights of shareholders as the true owners of the corporation and of their own role as trustees on behalf of the shareholders.

 

Voluntary Guidelines issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs with respect to Corporate Governance

 

• Companies should issue formal letters of appointment to Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) and Independent Directors as is done by them while appointing employees and Executive Directors. Such a formal letter should form a part of the disclosure to shareholders at the time of the ratification of his/her appointment or re-appointment to the Board.

• The offices of chairman of the board and chief executive officer should be separate.

• The companies may have a Nomination Committee comprising of majority of Independent Directors, including its Chairman. This Committee should consider:

a) Proposals for searching, evaluating, and recommending appropriate Independent Directors and Non-Executive Directors [NEDs], based on an objective and transparent set of guidelines which should be disclosed and should, inter-alia, include the criteria for determining qualifications, positive attributes, independence of a director and availability of time with him or her to devote to the job;

b) Determining processes for evaluating the skill, knowledge, experience and effectiveness of individual directors as well as the Board as a whole.

c) With a view to enable Board to take proper and reasoned decisions, Nomination Committee should ensure that the Board comprises of a balanced combination of Executive Directors and Non-

 

Executive Directors.

d) The Nomination Committee should also evaluate and recommend the appointment of Executive Directors.

e) A separate section in the Annual Report should outline the guidelines being followed by the Nomination Committee and the role and work done by it during the year under consideration

• Independent Directors and NEDs should hold no more than seven directorships.

• The Board should put in place a policy for specifying positive attributes of Independent Directors such as integrity, experience and expertise, foresight, managerial qualities and ability to read and understand financial statements.

Disclosure about such policy should be made by the Board in its report to the shareholders. Such a policy may be subject to approval by shareholders.

• All Independent Directors should provide a detailed Certificate of Independence at the time of their appointment, and thereafter annually. Independent Directors should be restricted to six-year terms.

 

They must leave for three years before serving another term, and they may not serve more than three tenures for a company.

• Independent Directors should have the ability to meet with managers and should have access to information.

• NEDs should be paid either a fixed fee or a percentage of profits. Whichever payment method is elected should apply to all NEDs. NEDs paid with stock-options should hold onto those options for three years after leaving the board.

• Independent Directors should not be paid with stock options or profit-based commission.

• The Remuneration Committee should have at least three members with the majority of NEDs, and at least one Independent Director. Their decisions should be made available in the Annual Report.

• The Board should provide training for the directors.

• The Board should enable quality decision-making by giving the members timely access to information.

• The Board should put in systems of risk management and review them every six months.

• The Board should review its own performance annually and state its methods in its Annual Report.

• The Board should put in a system to ensure compliance with the law, which should be reviewed annually. All agenda items should be assessed for its impact on minority shareholders.

• The Audit Committee should be composed of at least three members, with Independent Directors in the majority and an Independent Director as the chairperson.

• The Audit Committee is responsible for reviewing the integrity of financial statements, the company’s internal financial controls, internal audit function and risk management systems. The Audit

 

Committee should also monitor and approve all Transactions.

• The Audit Committee should be consulted on the selection of auditors. The committee must be supplied with relevant information about the auditing firm.

• Every auditor should provide a certificate stating his/her/its arm’s length relationship with the client company.

• The audit partner should be rotated every three years; the firm should be rotated every five years. Audit partners should have a cooling off period of three years before they work with the client company again; the firm should have a cooling off period of five years.

• The Committee may appoint an internal auditor.

• The companies should ensure the institution of a mechanism for employees to report concerns about unethical behavior, actual or suspected fraud, or violation of the company’s code of conduct or ethical policy.

• The companies should also provide for adequate safeguards against victimization of employees who avail of the mechanism, and also allow direct access to the Audit Committee Chairperson in exceptional cases

 

 

PANI PANCHAYAT

 

Pani Panchayat is a voluntary activity of a group of farmers engaged in the collective management (harvesting and distribution) of surface water and groundwater (wells and percolation tanks).It aims at enabling equable distribution of water to all of its people in the village through Sustainable development of the watershed to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and participating communities through education, training and active participation in sustainable production activities. Further it also aims at developing holistic farming system through the use of organic farming based on scientific techniques are very successful remedy to the economic and ecological crises edangered by Green revolution.

 

The Principles of Pani Panchayat are:

 

a) Only group schemes are undertaken and not schemes of individuals. This fosters community spirit.

b) Sharing of water on the basis of number of persons in a family and not on the proportion of land holding. Water will be given on the basis of 0.5 acre per person in the family. Each family will be assumed of maximum five members and irrigate only one hect of land per family. If any family has land in excess of one hect it will remain as rainfed.

c) Rights of water do not go to the land but to the individual beneficiaries. This avoids inflation of land prices.

d) Beneficiaries should share 20 % of cost of the scheme proposed by any group. The balance to be obtained as a loan from the bank or partly through government subsidy if any available. A community lift irrigation scheme is beyond the means of a dry land farmer. He does not have the means to raise his share of 20% of the capital cost. Most of them, therefore, take a share of water much less than

 

they are entitled to. Many of the beneficiaries have raised their 20% contribution with great sacrifice.

e) The beneficiaries should administer and operate the scheme. Technical guidance, if any required, will be made available by Pani Panchayat.

f) Perennial crops like sugarcane requiring water throughout the year and in more quantity and more number of waterings should not be grown. This will enable to bring more area of seasonal crops under protective irrigation, by saving water.

g) The landless can also share water so that they gain full employment in the village itself by becoming share croppers to farmers having more land. Thus migration of land less persons can be prevented.

 

The Pani Panchayat model shows that irrespective of the rainfall pattern, a village can be self-sufficient with its own natural resources only. Pani Panchayat limits role of government up to water harvesting structures and allows community to use water at their wish, for equitable and effective development of water resources. Principles of Pani Panchayat ensure equity in opportunity and benefits for larger social spectrum.

 

The structure of Pani Panchayat comprised of –

 

a) Water user group for each lift irrigation scheme which in turn had a representation in the village level Pani Panchayat;

b) Election of the representatives of the village level Committee;

c) Decentralized decision making with public participation;

d) Monthly meeting of the committee to review, plan work and resolve conflicts;

e) Ensuring equitable water distribution;

f) Collection of Pani Patti;

g) Maintenance of the scheme

 

 

Gram Sabha

 

According to the 73rd Amendment Act, the administrative set up of Panchayat in the State consists of Village Panchayats, Intermediate Panchayats, District Panchayats, Gram Sabhas and Ward Sabhas.

 

Gram Sabha consists of all persons whose names are included in the electoral rolls relating to a Village Panchayat

 

Powers, Duties and Functions of Gram Sabha –

 

•  The Gram Sabha shall, in such manner and subject to such procedure as may be prescribed, perform such functions as enumerated in the Fifth Schedule.

•  The Gram Sabha shall make periodical reports to the Village Panchayat in respect of the matters specified in the Fifth Schedule.

•  The Village Panchayat shall carry out the recommendations, if any, made by the Gram Sabha in regard to the matters before it under this section.

•  When beneficiaries are to be selected for any scheme, project or plan, the criteria for eligibility and order of priority shall be fixed by the Panchayat subject to the terms and conditions prescribed in the scheme, project or plan and such criteria shall be published in the manner prescribed and intimated to the Gram Sabha.

•  The priority list prepared by the Village Panchayat after inviting applications for the selection of beneficiaries and conducting enquiries on the application received, shall be scrutinised at the meeting of the Gram Sabha in which the applicants will also be invited and a final list of the deserving beneficiaries, in the order of priority, shall be prepared and sent for the approval of the Village Panchayat.

•  The Gram Sabha may appoint, elect or constitute general or special sub- committees for detailed discussions on any issues or programmes and for the effective implementation of the schemes and the

decisions and in furtherance of its rights and responsibilities. The recommendations of such committees shall be placed before the Gram Sabha and if approved, shall be considered as decisions of the

 

Gram Sabha and action taken accordingly: Provided that such committees shall consist of not less than ten members of whom not less than half shall be women.

 

Meetings of Gram Sabha –

 

•  Gram Sabha shall meet at least once in two months at the place fixed by the Village Panchayat and to such meetings, the Convenor of the Village Panchayat shall, compulsorily invite the member of the Intermediate Panchayat, the District Panchayat and the Legislative Assembly representing the area of the Gram Sabha.

•  The Village Panchayat shall place before the Gram Sabha a report regarding the developmental programmes undertaken during the previous year and those that are proposed to by undertaken during the current year, and the expenditure therefor, and the annual statement of accounts and the administration report of the preceding year. If in any circumstances, any decision of the Gram Sabha could not be implemented, the Chairperson shall report the reason therefor, to the Gram Sabha.

•  The Gram Sabha shall, in its ordinary meeting or in the special meeting convened for the purpose discuss the report shall have the right to know about the budgetary provisions, the details of plan outlay, item wise allocation of funds and details of the estimates and cost of works executed or proposed to be executed within the area of the Gram Sabha.

•  The Audit Report or the Performance Audit Report placed for the consideration of the Gram Sabha shall be discussed in the meeting and its views, recommendations and suggestions shall be communicated to the concerned Village Panchayat.

•  The proceedings of every meeting shall be recorded in the Minutes Book immediately. Any member of the Gram Sabha is entitled to get a true copy of the minutes of one or more meetings by paying the requisite fee which shall be made available by the Secretary within a day of the receipt of the application with fee. The Minutes Book shall not be taken outside the office under any circumstances.

•  The Annual Meeting of the Gram Sabha shall be held not less than 3 months prior to the commencement of the next financial year, and the Village Panchayat shall place before such meeting:-

 

a) The annual statement of accounts;

b) The report of administration of the preceding financial year;

c) The development and other programmes of the works proposed for the next financial year;

d) The last audit note and replies, if any, thereto; and

e) The Medium Term Fiscal Plan, Annual Budget and Annual Plan for the next financial year of the Village Panchayat

 

 

PARLIAMENT OF INDIA

 

The Indian Parliament comprises two Houses – Lok Sabha (House of the People), and Rajya Sabha, (Council of the States), and the President of India.

Rajya Sabha

Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is composed of not more than 250 members. Out of this 238 are the representatives of the States and the Union Territories elected by the methods of indirect election.

 

Rest 12 members are nominated by the President.

 

The representatives of each state are elected by the elected member of the State Legislative Assembly in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable

vote. The representatives for the Union Territories are chosen in such a manner as the Parliament suggests.

 

Rajya Sabha is a permanent body. It is not subject to dissolution. However, the term of individual member is 6 years from the date of his election to the house. One-third of its members retire at the expiration of every second year.

 

The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. It, however, elects a Deputy Chairman from among its members who takes care of the day-to-day working of the House. Both

 

Houses have equal legislative powers except in the area of finance where the Lok Sabha is given overriding powers.

 

Lok Sabha

 

The Constitution of India provides that maximum strength of Lok Sabha House is 552. The composition consists of not more than 530 members chosen directly by direct election from territorial constituencies in the States, and not more than 20 members to represent the Union Territories.

 

In addition, the President chooses not more than two members from the Anglo-Indian community to represent the community in the Lok Sabha, if he feels that the community is not adequately represented in the House (Art. 331).

 

Lok Sabha members are directly elected by the citizens of India. Every citizen of India who has attained the age of 18 years is entitled to vote in elections to Lok Sabha.

 

The minimum age for qualification as a member of the Lok Sabha is 25 years. Each Lok Sabha is formed for a period of five years, at the end of which the House is dissolved.

 

The House can be dissolved before the completion of the term or it can be extended by a Proclamation of Emergency. The period of extension cannot exceed one year at a time.

 

A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, elected by the members of the Lok Sabha, conduct day to day business. The Deputy Speaker presides during the absence of the Speaker.

 

President

 

The President is the constitutional head of Republic of India, directly elected by an electoral college that includes elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the

 

Legislative Assemblies of the States.

 

The President performs certain constitutional functions:

 

• The President invites the leader of the majority party to form the Government after a new Lok Sabha is duly elected.

• The President nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha and has the right to nominate two members from the Anglo Indian community to the Lok Sabha if they are under-represented.

• On the advice of the Executive, the President summons the two Houses of Parliament to meet from time to time.

• The President has the power to discontinue a session in the two Houses and dissolve the Lok Sabha (in consultation with the Executive).

• The President has to agree to sign a Bill before it can become a law.

• If the Houses are not in session, the President can enact or promulgate Ordinances  having the same validity as a law passed in Parliament.

• The President has the power to appoint the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha on an interim basis.

• The President has the right to address either or both Houses of Parliament.

• The President has the power to call both Houses for a joint sitting in case a dispute arises over passing a Bill. In the joint sitting, the matter is decided by majority vote

 

 

FINANCIAL SECTOR LEGISLATIVE REFORMS COMMISSION

 

The Finance Minister announced the formation of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) (B. N. Srikrishna as Chairman) during his Budget speech of 2011-2012 to rewrite and harmonize financial sector legislations, rules and regulations.

 

There are over 60 Acts and multiple Rules/Regulations in the sector and many of them date back decades when the financial landscape was very different from what is obtaining today.

 

Large number of amendments made in these Acts over time has increased the ambiguity and complexity of the system. The Commission would simplify and rewrite financial sector legislations,

including subordinate legislations, to bring them in line with the requirements of the sector to achieve harmony and synergy among them.

 

This will remove ambiguity, regulatory gaps and overlaps among the various legislations making them more coherent and dynamic and help cater to the requirements of a large and fast growing economy in tune with the changing financial landscape in an inter-connected financial world. In the long-term, it would help usher in the next generation of reforms, contribute to efficient financial intermediation enhancing the growth potential of the nation Structure of the regulator proposed by FSLRC

 

The proposed regulatory architecture, therefore, will consist of:

 

• The central bank as the monetary authority, banking regulator and payment system regulator.

• A unified regulator for the rest of the financial sector.

• A deposit insurance-cum-resolution agency.

• A public debt management agency.

• A financial redressal agency.

• A financial sector appellate tribunal.

• A mechanism for coordination, systemic risk, financial development and other issues where the role of multiple agencies are involved (FSDC/similar to FSDC).

 

The functions of each of these seven proposed agencies are as follows:

 

a) Reserve Bank of India

 

It is proposed that RBI will perform three functions: monetary policy, regulation and supervision of banking in enforcing the proposed consumer protection law and the proposed micro-prudential law, and regulation and supervision of payment systems in enforcing these two laws.

 

b) Unified Financial Agency

 

The Unified Financial Regulatory Agency would implement the consumer protection law and micro-prudential law for all financial firms other than banking and payments. This would yield benefits in terms of economies of scope and scale in the financial system; it would reduce the identification of the regulatory agency with one sector; it would help address the difficulties of finding the appropriate talent in Government agencies.

 

This proposed Unified Financial Regulatory Agency would also take over the work on organized financial trading from RBI in the areas connected with the Bond-Currency-Derivatives Nexus, and from

 

FMC for commodity futures, thus giving a unification of all organised financial trading including equities, government bonds, currencies, commodity futures and corporate bonds.

 

The unification of regulation and supervision of financial firms such as mutual funds, insurance companies, and a diverse array of firms which are not banks or payment providers, would yield consistent treatment in consumer protection and micro-prudential regulation across all of them.

 

c) Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal

 

The present SAT will be subsumed in FSAT, which will hear appeals against RBI for its regulatory functions, the Unified Financial Agency, decisions of the FRA and some elements of the work of the resolution corporation.

 

d) Resolution Corporation

 

The present Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) will be subsumed into the Resolution Corporation which will work across the financial system.

 

e) Financial Redressal Agency

 

The FRA is a new agency which will have to be created in implementing this financial regulatory architecture. It will setup a nationwide machinery to become a one stop shop where consumers can carry complaints against all financial firms.

 

f) Public Debt Management Agency

 

An independent debt management oice is envisioned.

 

g) Financial Stability and Development Council

 

Finally, the existing FSDC will become a statutory agency, and have modified functions in the fields of systemic risk and development.

 

Regulators will have an empowered board with a precise selection-cum-search process for appointment of members.  The members of a regulatory board can be divided into four categories: the chairperson, executive members, non-executive members and Government nominees.  In addition, there is a general framework for establishing advisory councils to support the board.  All regulatory agencies will be funded completely by fees charged to the financial system

 

 

NATIONAL POLICY FOR CHILDREN 2012

 

India is home to the largest child population in the world. The Constitution of India guarantees Fundamental Rights to all children in the country and empowers the State to make special provisions for children. The Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution specifically guide the State in securing the tender age of children from abuse and ensuring that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner in conditions of freedom and dignity. The State is responsible for ensuring that childhood is protected from exploitation and moral and material abandonment.

 

The National Policy for Children (NPC), 1974 was adopted by the Government of India on 22nd August, 1974. This Policy describes children as a supremely important asset and makes the State responsible to provide basic services to children, both before and after birth, and also during their growing years and different stages of development.

 

With the advent of globalization and development, new challenges have emerged, which impact children’s lives, health, security and development. The recognition of the child as a person with inherent and inalienable rights, which are interrelated and interdependent, made it necessary to update and expand the 1974 Policy with focus on child rights. The revised Policy addresses continuing and new challenges, and aims to realize the full range of child rights for all children in the country.

 

Key priorities of the policy are:

 

a) Survival, Health and Nutrition

 

The right to life, survival, health and nutrition is an inalienable right of every child and will receive the highest priority. The State stands committed to ensure equitable access to holistic and essential health care, both preventive and curative, of the highest standard, for all children before, during and after birth, and throughout the period of their growth and development.

 

The State shall take all necessary measures to: Improve maternal health care, including safe delivery by skilled health personnel; Provide universal access to information for making informed choices related to birth and spacing of children; Secure the right of the girl child to life, survival and health; Provide access to management of neo-natal and childhood illnesses and protect children from all water borne, vector borne, communicable and other childhood diseases and Prevent discrimination faced by children with disabilities and provide health services needed by them.

 

b) Education and Development

 

Every child has equal right to learning, knowledge and education. The State recognises its responsibility to secure this right for every child, with due regard for special needs, through access, provision and promotion of required environment, information, infrastructure, services and supports, towards the development of the child’s fullest potential.

 

The State shall take all necessary measures to: ensure that all children enjoy their right to free and compulsory education from preschool to completion of secondary school without any disruption. The

 

State shall ensure that every child in the 6-14 years of age is in school and enjoys her fundamental right to education as enshrined in the Constitution under the RTE Act.

 

The State shall ensure that there is universalisation of secondary school education so that children are in schools until 18 years of age and provision for hostels and residential facilities, scholarships and free education are made to enable children continue in the education stream.

 

c) Protection

 

A safe, secure and protective environment is a precondition for the realisation of all other rights of children. Children have the right to be protected wherever they are.

 

It is the responsibility of the State to create a caring and protective environment for all children, to reduce their vulnerability in all situations and protect them from all forms of violence and abuse, neglect, stigma, discrimination, deprivation, exploitation including economic exploitation and sexual exploitation, abandonment, separation, abduction, sale or trafficking for any purpose or in any form, pornography, substance abuse, or any other activity that takes undue advantage of them, or harmstheir personhood and affects their development.

 

The State shall promote child friendly jurisprudence, enact progressive legislation, build a child responsive protection system, and promote effective enforcement of legislative and administrative measures for comprehensively addressing issues related to child protection.

 

d) Participation

 

The State has the primary responsibility to ensure that children are made aware of their rights, and provided with opportunities and support to develop skills to form aspirations and express their views, in accordance with their age, maturity and evolving capacities, and enable them to be involved in their own development and in all matters concerning and affecting them. The State shall engage all stakeholders in developing mechanisms for children to share their grievances without fear in all settings (family, schools, institutions, community). Children must know that the grievance procedure exists, know how it works, and know how to file a complaint.

 

The State shall promote and strengthen respect for the views of the child, within the family; community; schools and institutions; different levels of governance; as well as in judicial and administrative proceedings that concern them.

 

The State commits to allocate the required financial, material and human resources, with transparency, and their efficient and effective use, with accountability, to implement this Policy. Child budgeting will track allocation and utilisation of resources and their impact on outcomes for children

 

 

 

Discretionary Powers of the Governor in India

 

The entire administration of the State is carried out in the name of the Governor but practically the real authority is exercised by the Council of Ministers. During the normal circumstances, Governor acts according to the advice of his Council of Ministers. However, Constitution has also vested the Governor with certain discretionary powers, which he can use without the aid and advice of the

 

Council of Ministers or in other words, in the discharge of these functions the Governor concerned is not bound to seek or accept the advice of his Council of Ministers.

 

Discretionary powers of the Governor are:

 

a) Article 239:

 

Article 239 provides that a Union Territory shall be administered by the President through an Administrator or a Governor of a State, adjoining Union Territory, may be appointed as the Administrator of that Union Territory. Where the Governor of a State is appointed as the Administrator of an adjoining Union Territory, he shall exercise his functions as the Administrator without the aid and advice

 

of his Council of Ministers.

 

b) Sixth Schedule:

 

Para nine of 6th schedule is related to the licences or leases for the purpose of prospecting for or extraction of minerals. It  provides that “such share of the royalties accruing each year from licences or leases for the purpose of prospecting for or extraction of minerals guaranteed by the government of the State in respect of any area within an autonomous District as may be agreed upon between the government of the State and the District Council of such District shall be made over to that District Council. It further provides that if any dispute arises as to the share of such royalties to be made over

 

to a District Council, it shall be referred to the Governor for determination and the amount determined by the Governor in his discretion shall be deemed to  be final.

 

c) Article 371:

 

Article 371 of the Constitution provides that the President may confer special responsibilities upon the Governor with respect to the State of Maharashtra and Gujarat for the establishment of separate

 

Development Boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada, Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of Gujarat with the provision that a report on the working of each of these Boards will be placed each year before the

 

State Legislative Assembly.

 

Article 371 A of the Constitution has conferred special responsibilities on the Governor of Nagaland for certain purposes. The Governor after consulting his Council of Ministers, shall exercise his

 

individual judgement as to the action to be taken. These responsibilities are: with respect to law and order so long as internal disturbances occur in some areas of that State; to establish a Regional

 

Council for Tuensang District; to arrange for equitable allocation of money between Tuensang District and the rest of Nagaland.

 

Article 371 C of the Constitution confers special responsibilities upon the Governor of Manipur to secure the proper functioning of a Committee of the Members of the Legislative Assembly consisting of

 

the members representing the Hill Area.

 

Article 371 F (g) of the Constitution confers special responsibilities upon the Governor of Sikkim for peace and for an equitable arrangement for ensuring the social and economic advancement of

 

different sections of the population of Sikkim.

 

Article 371H (a) of the Constitution confers special responsibilities upon the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh with respect to law and order in the State of Arunachal Pradesh.

However, the Sarkaria Commission recommended that “before taking a final decision in the exercise of his discretion, it is advisable that the Governor should, if feasible consult his Ministers even in such

 

matters, which relate essentially to the administration of a State”. Such a practice will be conducive to the maintenance of healthy relations between the Governor and his Council of Ministers.

 

d) Appointment the Chief Minister

 

Governor uses his discretion in the appointment of the Chief Minister, where after the General Assembly elections, no single party or group commands absolute majority.  He may call such person to

 

form the government to whom he thinks fit to form the government. Similarly, if after the death or resignation of the Chief Minister on any political ground or after the defeat of the Chief Minister in

 

the House, any party or group is not in majority, the Governor may appoint such person as the Chief Minister to whom he thinks fit.

 

e) Article 200

 

When a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly of a State or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, has been passed by both Houses of the Legislature of the State, it shall be

 

presented to the Governor and the Governor shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President.

 

When a Bill is reserved by a Governor for the consideration of the President, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom: Provided that, where the

 

Bill is not a Money Bill, the President may direct the Governor to return the Bill to the House or, as the case may be, the Houses of the Legislature of the State together with such a message as it

 

mentioned in the first proviso to Article 200 and, when a Bill is so returned, the House or Houses shall reconsider it accordingly within a period of six months from the date of receipt of such message

 

and, if it is again passed by the House or Houses with or without amendment, it shall be presented again to the President for his consideration Procedure in Financial Matters

 

f) Dissolution of State Assembly:

 

The Governor has the power to dissolve the Legislative Assembly

 

 

 

Departmentally Related Standing Committees

 

There are 24 Departmentally Related Standing Committees covering under their jurisdiction all the Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India. Each of these Committees consists of 31

 

Members – 21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha to be nominated by the Speaker, Lok Sabha and the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, respectively. Provided that a member appointed as a Minister, shall

 

not be nominated as, or continue as, a member of any Committee. The term of Office of these Committees does not exceed one year.

 

A full-fledged system of 17 Departmentally Related Standing Committees came into being in April, 1993. Some examples: Committee on Commerce; Committee on Home Affairs; Committee on Human

 

Resource Development, etc.

 

Till 13th Lok Sabha, each Standing Committee consisted of not more than 45 members 30 to be nominated by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha and 15 to be nominated by the

 

Chairman, Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of Rajya Sabha. However, with re-structuring of DRSCs in July, 2004 each DRSC consists of 31 Members – 21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya

 

Sabha.

 

With reference to the Ministries/ Departments under their purview, the functions of these Standing Committees are:-

 

a) to consider the Demands for Grants of the related Ministries/Departments and report thereon. The report shall not suggest anything of the nature of cut motions;

b) to examine Bills, pertaining to the related Ministries/Departments, referred to the Committee by the Chairman or the Speaker, as the case may be, and report thereon;

c) to consider the annual reports of the Ministries/Departments and report thereon; and

d) to consider national basic long term policy documents presented to the Houses , if referred to the Committee by the Chairman or the Speaker, as the case may be, and report thereon :

 

The Standing Committees does not consider matters of day-to-day administration of the related Ministries/Departments and the recommendations of these committees are advisory in nature and hence,

 

not binding on Parliament.

 

The following procedure shall be followed by each of the Standing Committees in its consideration of the Demands for Grants and making a report thereon to the Houses, after the general discussion on

 

the Budget in the Houses is over, and the Houses are adjourned for a fixed period :-

 

a) the Committee shall consider the Demands for Grants of the related Ministries during the aforesaid period;

b) the Committee shall make its report within the specified period;

c) There shall be a separate report on the Demands for Grants of each Ministry;

d) The demand for grants shall be considered by the House with respect to the reports of the Standing Committee.

 

The following procedure shall be followed by each of the Standing Committees in examining a Bill and making a report thereon:-

 

a. the Committee shall examine only such Bills introduced in either of the Houses as are referred to it by the Chairman or the Speaker, as the case may be ; and

b. the Committee shall consider the general principles and clauses of such Bills and shall make report thereon within such time as may be specified by the Chairman or the Speaker, as the case may be.

 

The Departmentally Related Standing Committee System is a path-breaking endeavour of the Parliamentary surveillance over administration. With the emphasis of their functioning to concentrate on

 

long-term plans, policies guiding the working of the Executive, these Committees provide necessary direction, guidance and inputs for broad policy formulations and in achievement of the long-term

 

national perspective by the Executive

 

 

Difference between NRI, OCI and PIO

 

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is a citizen of India who holds an Indian passport and has temporarily emigrated to another country for six months or more for work, residence or any other purpose.

 

Strictly speaking, the term “non-resident” is an economic concept and refers only to the tax status of an person who, as per section 6 of the Income-tax Act of 1961, has not resided in India for a specified

 

period for the purposes of the Income Tax Act. The rates of income tax are different for persons who are “resident in India” and for NRIs. For the purposes of the Income-tax Act, “residence in India”

 

requires stay in India of at least 182 days in a calendar year or 365 days spread out over four consecutive years. According to the act, any Indian citizen who does not meet the criteria as a “resident of

 

India” is a non-resident of India and is treated as NRI for paying income tax.

This implies that-Person Resident in India for less than 182 days during the course of preceding financial year and has gone out of India or who stays outside India, in either case:

 

a) for or on taking up employment outside India; or

b) for carrying on outside India a business or vocation outside India; or

c) for any other purpose, in such circumstances as would indicate his intention to stay outside India for a uncertain period.

 

A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a citizen of any other country but whose ancestors were Indian nationals at least four generations away. A PIO card is issued to PIOs other than Bangladeshi and

 

Pakistani nationals with Indian origins, holding a foreign passport. The government issues a PIO Card to a Person of Indian Origin after verification of his or her origin or ancestry and this card entitles

 

a PIO to enter India without a visa. Spouse of a PIO can also be issued a PIO card though the spouse might not be a PIO. This latter category includes foreign spouses of Indian nationals, regardless of

 

ethnic origin, as long as they were not born in, or ever nationals of, the aforementioned prohibited countries. PIO Cards exempt holders from many restrictions that apply to foreign nationals, such as

 

visa and work permit requirements, along with certain other economic limitations. PIOs can acquire non-agricultural and plantation property in India; can admit children to all educational institutes in

 

India under NRI quota and can apply for various housing schemes of LIC, state governments and other government agencies. They are also exempted from registration at Foreigners Registration office

 

at District Headquarters if stay in India does not exceed 180 days.

 

The PIO card can be withdrawn under following circumstances:

 

a) the PIO card was obtained through fraud, concealment of facts or false representation;

b) the activities of the card holder in India do not conform to  the laws of the country and the Indian Constitution;

c) the card holder happens to be citizen of a country with which India is at war, or is supporting another country in acts of aggression against India;

d) the PIO has been found guilty of acts of terrorism, smuggling of arms and ammunition and narcotics;

e) has been sentenced in India up to one year’s imprisonment or fined up to Rs.10,000;

f) the card holder’s presence in India is detrimental to the interests of the country.

 

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is provided to a foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged

 

to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947. His/her children and grand children are also eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are

 

also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.

 

Following benefits will be given to an OCI:

 

(a) Multi-purpose, multiple entry, lifelong visa for visiting India.

(b) Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.

(c) Parity with NRIs in respect of economic, financial and education fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties.

 

Major differences between PIO and OCI:

 

a) While the PIO card is valid for 15 years, OCI registration entitles for lifelong visa.

b) While PIO is granted to foreigners married to Indian citizens or a person of Indian origin, such foreigners are not eligible for OCI registration.

c) Minors whose parents are Indian citizens or one parent is an Indian citizen and the other is not, are not covered under OCI scheme whereas they are eligible under PIO card scheme.

d) While the fee for PIO is Rs.15,000/- or equivalent in local foreign currency (Rs.7,500/- for minors), fee for OCI registration is US $ 275/- or equivalent in local currency and US $ 25/- for a PIO card

 

holder.

e) PIO card is not allowed to the nationals of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and China. OCI is not allowed at present to the nationals of Bangladesh and Pakistan.

f) while PIO card is granted to the PIOs whose parents/grandparents/great grandparents are or had been of Indian origin, OCI registration is granted to PIOs who were Indian citizens on or after 26th

 

January,1950 or eligible to be Indian citizen on 26th January,1950 and also to children/grand children of such persons

 

 

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

 

The CSIR was established in 1942 as an autonomous, non-profit organization with a wide ranging charter of functions.

 

CSIR functions:

 

v Promotion, guidance and co-ordination of scientific and industrial research

v Collection and dissemination of information on research and industry

v Founding of laboratories to carry forward scientific and industrial research

v Utilization of the new knowledge for development of industry

v Rendering assistance to other institutions conducting research, awarding of fellowships and publishing of scientific journals.

 

Brief introduction of some programmes of CSIR

 

a) The CSIR Programme on Bioactives is a mammoth network programme being coordinated by the R&D Planning Division (RDPD), CSIR. It engages 20 CSIR laboratories, 13 universities and three

 

well-known organizations in the traditional system of medicine. It involves screening of Ayurvedic formulations, plants, fungi, microbes and insects against 14 disease areas including cancer,

 

tuberculosis, filaria, malaria, ulcer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer diseases, to identify new lead molecules.

b) A mission mode programme on asthma has been launched for finding a cure for this disease following the realization of CSIR’s role as a nodal player in the field due to the existing expertise in its

 

allergy group and promise shown by its herbal medicine (Asmon) developed by the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata.  Studies carried out by CSIR have already led to significant increase in

 

the understanding of the disease viz., atopic nature of asthma, identification, purification and characterization of allergic proteins, identification of T-cell epitopes of allergens, development of in vitro

 

screening procedure using human endothelial cell adhesion molecules, identification of the human lung surfactant proteins in respiratory disorders, identification of SNPs in few candidate genes for

 

asthma, development and a mouse model of asthma.

The future studies envisaged include an integrated, networked and focused mission aiming at (i) development of therapeutic modalities using SPD and SPA; reversal of TH2 and TH1, response

 

identification of lead molecules by in vitro and in vivo model, (ii) a broad sample collection of affected population, validation of genes involved, studies on gene polymorphism, identification of molecular

 

markers, interactions expressive genes with other genes, determination of the genetic basis of asthma.

c) Psoriasis is one of the most common dermatological diseases affecting around 2 per cent of the world population but its cause and pathogenesis are not clearly understood. Most importantly no

 

preventive/curative therapy exists for psoriasis except the symptomatic management.  Based on the traditional knowledge, the development of a single plant based oral herbal formulation was initiated

 

under NMITLI for making it globally acceptable.  The project is being led by Lupin Laboratories as the industry partner.  Extensive studies comprising fingerprinting, activity guided fractionation,

 

efficacy studies, toxicology, safety pharmacology, pharmaco-kinetics and toxico-kinetics enabled the filing of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the first time in the country.  The

 

estimated market for psoriasis therapeutics is around 4 billion and the development will enable India to capture a significant part of the market.

d) Worldwide, around two billion people are infected with M. tuberculosis.  Nearly, 8 million new cases are added annually and the biggest burden is in South East Asia. Around 3 million deaths owing to

 

tuberculosis (TB) are reported every year and India accounts for a substantial percentage. With the rampant Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), TB is reaching almost epidemic proportions. It kills

 

one in three people co-infected with HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, TB is a major barrier to economic development, costing India over Rs. 12,000 crore a year. Considering these aspects CSIR through the

 

NMITLI scheme supported a project entitled “Latent M. tuberculosis: New targets, drug delivery systems and Bio-enhancers and therapeutics” in the year 2001. Significant success has been achieved in

 

the project.An IND for a new pharmacophore for the treatment of tuberculosis has been filed.  This is the first success achieved in developing new tuberculosis therapeutic in the last 40 years globally. 

 

The molecule, Sudoterb, works through combination therapy (compatible with the present drugs), is less toxic, clears the total infection within two months and no recurrence has been observed. It fits

 

well into the present four-drug therapy by replacing one or two drugs from the present cocktail.  Some new drug targets have also been developed along with a novel drug delivery system.

e) Eighteen research institutes and three industries, were brought together to develop the comprehensive, portable and versatile software package christened ‘BioSuite’. Led by TCS, the team has

 

developed the software, which will serve as a multipurpose tool for carrying out diverse bioanalyses ranging from gene analysis to comparative genomics, pathway modeling to homology modeling and

 

molecular visualization & manipulation to drug designing.  The software has several unique features, which are not present in similar other packages available in the market.  BioSuite comprises eight

 

modules involving 114 sub modules and 243 algorithms.

f) The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is a collaborative project with the Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.  The main objective of this

 

network project is to prevent misappropriation of India’s rich heritage of traditional knowledge.  India has had unsavoury experience of noting the grant of wrong patents on turmeric by USPTO and

 

neem by EPO.

These patents were successfully challenged by India and revoked in an expensive and time-consuming process.

The TKDL database provides an easily accessible and retrievable source for patent examiners to verify claims relating to traditional knowledge. The First phase of TKDL-Ayurveda presents information

 

and images gleaned from 14 Ayurvedic texts and transcribed in five international languages — English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese, using innovative IT software. Over 36,000 formulations

 

have been transcribed in patent application format. Currently work is in progress on the second phase, which will cover Unani, Siddha, and the residual work on Ayurveda. TKDL-Unani will cover

 

77,000 formulations.

g) As a leading S&T organization of a nation rich in marine bounty, CSIR is also investigating our oceans. An all India coordinated project ‘Drugs from the Sea’ funded by Department of Ocean

 

Development, Government of India, and coordinated by the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, is being conducted in collaboration with 10 participating laboratories for exploiting marine flora

 

and fauna for development of drugs as well as herbal remedies.  The programme covers all aspects of drug research including isolation of active molecules, their characterization and development

 

 

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007

 

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007 aims “to provide for more effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens guaranteed and

 

recognized under the Constitution and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

 

The salient provisions of the act are:

 

a) The act defines senior citizen as any citizen of India aged 60+, whether living in India or not.

b) Every Senior Citizen (parent or grand-parent) who is unable to maintain himself from his own income can claim maintenance from his children by writing an application to the tribunal.

c) A childless Senior Citizen can claim maintenance from his relative who is in possession of, or would inherit his property.

d) The maintenance in the act includes provision for food, clothing, residence, medical attendance and treatment.

e) Maximum amount which may be ordered for maintenance of a senior citizen by the Tribunal shall be such as prescribed by the State Government which shall not exceed Rs. 10,000/- per month.

f) Constitution of Maintenance Tribunals and Appellate Tribunals by the State Governments in all Sub Divisions and States within 6 months of commencement of this Act

g) Lawyers excluded from the proceedings

h) Elderly can choose to seek maintenance either under this Act or under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 if applicable but not under both the provisions

i) No Civil Court to have jurisdiction in respect of any matter to which any provision of this Act applies.

 

Procedure for application

 

Application for maintenance may be made by the senior citizen or parent to the Tribunal under Section 4 in layperson’s language giving names, full details and addresses of the persons from whom they

 

are demanding maintenance. If there is more than one child or relative, they may claim maintenance from one or all of them depending on their means of income.

 

Maintenance proceedings may be initiated against any child/children or relative in any district where the parent or senior citizen lives or last lived or where the child/children or relative live.

 

If such applicants are incapable of making an application themselves, any other person or registered voluntary organization authorized by him/her can make the application; or the Tribunal can take

 

suo motu cognizance and proceed. Upon receipt of the application, the Tribunal would issue notices to the children, conduct hearings, take evidence and order maintenance. Tribunal may also refer the

 

case for reconciliation or pass interim orders for maintenance.

 

If the children or relatives fail to pay the ordered maintenance without sufficient reason for 3 months after its due date, the senior citizen can approach the Tribunal again who may impose a fine or

 

order imprisonment of the child/relative upto a month or until payment is made whichever is earlier.

 

The act further specifies that if the elderly themselves and their children and specified relatives do not have sufficient means to maintain them then State Governments may establish, in a phased

 

manner, sufficient senior citizen homes and maintain the same for indigent or abandoned and neglected (by their kith and kin) beginning with at least one Old Age Home in each district sufficient to

 

accommodate a minimum of 150 elderly. State Government need to establish specific medical facilities, allocate doctors/hospital beds, expand treatment for chronic, terminal and degenerative diseases;

 

and conduct research on ailments of the elderly and ageing. It should take all measures to sensitize and orient the police and judiciary regarding protection of life and property of the elderly and

 

provisions of this act

 

An important provision has been made for the elderly to claim their property back from children, if given conditionally after commencement of the Act on promise of looking after their needs and

 

amenities if such promise is not fulfilled. Under Section 23, if after commencement of the act any Parents or senior citizens have transferred their property to their children or relatives on the condition

 

that they would provide certain maintenance and amenities to the senior citizen but subsequently neglect or refuse to do so the parents or senior citizens can get such transfers voided (cancelled) at their

 

option by having such transfer treated as a fraudulent or coercive acquisition and seek return of their property so transferred

 

 

NATIONAL POLICY FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

 

As a follow up action to the commitments made by India during the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing during Sep. 1995, the Department has drafted a National Policy for the

 

Empowerment of Women after nation-wide consultations to enhance the status of women in all walks of life on par with men and actualize the constitutional guarantee of equality without

 

discrimination on grounds of sex.

 

The goal of this Policy is to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women. Specifically, the objectives of this Policy include:

 

a) Creating an environment through positive economic and social policies for full development of women to enable them to realize their full potential;

 

b) The de-jure and de-facto enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedom by women on equal basis with men in all spheres – political, economic, social, cultural and civil;

 

c) Equal access to participation and decision making of women in social, political and economic life of the nation;

 

d) Equal access to women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational guidance, employment, equal remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public

 

office etc.;

 

e) Strengthening legal systems aimed at elimination of all forms of discrimination against women;

 

f) Changing societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women;

 

g) Mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development process;

 

h) Elimination of discrimination and all forms of violence against women and the girl child; and

 

i) Building and strengthening partnerships with civil society, particularly women’s organizations.

 

Achievements during the XI Five Year Plan

 

The Eleventh Five Year Plan was aimed at inclusive development. Its vision was that every woman in the country should be able to develop to her full potential and share the benefits of economic

 

growth and prosperity. Towards this end the approach adopted was to empower women and recognize their Agency thereby seeking to make them partners in their own development. This it sought to

 

do by mainstreaming gender in all sectors as well as by undertaking targeted interventions.

 

The Plan period saw the introduction of many new schemes and programmes targeted at particular groups or aimed at addressing specific issues. These included SABLA, for empowering adolescent girls,

 

IGMSY for supporting poor women during the final stages of their maternity, Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Yojana for women farmers, a scheme for leadership training of Minority women, Ujjawala for

 

combating trafficking and Dhanalakshmi to tackle the issue of declining sex ratio. Existing schemes were also modified to make them more effective and to plug identified gaps. Implementation of

 

Legislations enacted just prior to the XI Plan like the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005

 

was followed up with the States and a new legislation aimed at providing women a safe working environment, Protection Against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill was introduced in Parliament.

 

Several other policy decisions were made in the sector of women and children. Major amongst these was the launch of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) on March 8, 2010.

 

The Mission will work for strengthening inter-sectoral convergence at the Central, State, District and lower levels of governance making it possible for women to know about and access all Government

 

schemes and programmes. The National Mission Authority, supporting Committees and the National Resource Centre for Women have been established and have started functioning. The first pilot

 

convergence project was launched in Pali district of Rajasthan in September, 2011 and similar pilots are planned in other States/UTs. The State Governments are also establishing parallel structures at

 

the State level. 16 States/UTs have already established State Mission Authorities and 11 States are in the process of setting up of State Resource Centres for Women. The Mission stands testimony to the

 

commitment of Government to the empowerment of women in the country.

 

Another, landmark decision on which work has been initiated is the restructuring of the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh into a systemically important Non- Banking Finance Company with an enhanced corpus

 

of Rs 500 crores. The restructured RMK will have a pan-India office network and in its new and expanded form it will be facilitating the financial inclusion of more than 2 lakh women from the

 

disadvantaged sections of society on an annual basis towards the fifth year of its working.

 

The Eleventh Five Year Plan mentioned Gender Budgeting and Gender Outcome assessment and underlined the importance of Gender Audits of public expenditure, programmes and policies at

 

national, state and district levels. The Plan envisaged the strengthening of the Gender Budget Cells set up in the various Ministries and Departments. Towards this, in March 2007, the Ministry of

 

Finance issued a charter on Gender Budget Cells (GBCs) outlining the composition and functions of the GBCs. While, the charter was an important step towards institutionalising Gender Budgeting

 

within Government, the implementation of the charter remains a challenge.

 

A scheme on Gender Budgeting was introduced in 2007 with a view to building capacity so that a gender perspective was retained at all levels of the planning, budget formulation and implementation

 

processes. Both Central and State level officers have been trained under this scheme and as a direct consequence of these training efforts, a number of Ministries as well as State Governments have taken

 

GB initiatives.

 

Inclusion and mainstreaming of women also received special attention under programmes such as the MNREGA, the Right to Free & Compulsory Education, National Rural Health Mission, National

 

Rural Livelihood Mission and National Skill Development Mission. Gender Budgeting initiatives also led to development of new schemes in supposedly gender neutral sectors like Department of

 

Telecommunications and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

 

 

National Court Management Systems

 

Huge backlog and pendency has been a matter of concern as it delays the disposal of cases in the courts.  Of the 3 crore cases pending, 74% are less than 5 years old.

 

The Chief Justice of India has expressed the need of making the judicial system 5+ free, ‘five plus free’ (i.e., free of cases more than five years old) by addressing 26% of the old cases which are of more

 

than 5 years. There is an equally urgent need to shorten the average life cycle of all cases – not only time spent within each court, but also total time in the judicial system as a whole, to bring the

 

average to no more than about one year in each court.  There is also need to systematically maintain and continuously seek to enhance quality and responsiveness of justice.

 

The Government has been constantly endeavouring and working towards improvement in judicial system in the country jointly with the judiciary. In this direction the Government has been

 

undertaking computerization of courts since 2007 and has been investing on improving infrastructure in the judiciary since 1993-94.  Of late, establishment of National Court Management System has

 

been notified by the Chief Justice of India.  This would be addressing issues of case management, court management, setting standards for measuring performance of the courts and a national system of

 

judicial statistics in the country.

 

NCMS will include the following six main elements:

 

a) A National Framework of Court Excellence (NFCE) that will set measurable performance standards for Indian courts, addressing issues of quality, responsiveness and timeliness;

 

b) A system for monitoring and enhancing the performance parameters established in the NFCE on quality, responsiveness and timeliness;

 

c) A system of Case Management to enhance user friendliness of the Judicial System;

 

d) A National System of Judicial Statistics (NSJS) to provide a common national platform for recording and maintaining judicial statistics from across the country.

 

NSJS should provide real time statistics on cases and courts that will enable systematic analysis of key factors such as quality, timeliness and efficiency of the judicial system across courts, districts/states,

 

types of cases, stages of cases, costs of adjudication, time lines of cases, productivity and efficiency of courts, use of budgets and financial resources. It would enhance transparency and accountability;

 

e) A Court Development Planning System that will provide a framework for systematic five year plans for the future development of the Indian judiciary. The planning system will include individual

 

court development plans for all the courts; and

 

f) A Human Resource Development Strategy setting standards on selection and training of judges of subordinate courts.

 

The administrative and technological “backbone” of these systems will be maintained at the Supreme Court and overseen by a Committee consisting of the representatives

 

 

Pardoning Power under Indian Constitution

 

The Indian Constitution grants clemency powers to the President and the Governors of States, respectively through Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution of India, respectively. The purpose was to add a

 

humane approach by means of a reprieve or mercy.  Government of India has apparently reserved article 72 for grant of mercy to terrorists and hardened criminals whose cases are pleaded by foreign

 

powers.

 

Power of the President

 

Under Article 72(1) of the Constitution, the President is empowered to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment, or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any individual who

 

has been convicted of offences that are covered within the ambit of clauses (a) to (c) of Article 72(1).

 

The instances enumerated under Article 72(1) are: first, cases where the punishment or sentence has been given by a Court Martial; second, cases where the punishment or sentence relates to an offence

 

against any law concerning matters that the power of the Union extends to; and third, all cases where the sentence in question is a sentence of death

 

Article 72(1)(a) is qualified by Article 72(2), which states that the power conferred by law on any officer of the Armed Forces for the purpose of suspending, remitting or commuting a sentence passed by

 

a Court Martial would not be affected by the power of the President contained in Article 72(1)(a).

 

Further, Article 72(3)expressly provides that the power of the President to suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death under Article 72(1)(c) would not affect the power of the Governor of a State to

 

suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death under any applicable law in force.

 

Basic terminologies used:

 

1. Pardon: Completely absolves the guilt of the offender

 

2. Reprieve: Temporary suspension of the sentence

 

3. Respite: Awarding a lesser sentence on special ground

 

4. Remission: Reducing the amount of sentence without changing its character

 

5. Commutation: Substitution of one form a punishment for another form which is of a lighter character

 

Power of the Governor

 

In addition to vesting the power of pardon in the President of India, the Constitution also provides the Governor of a State the power to grant pardons; however, this power of the Governor, dealt with

 

under Article 161 of the Constitution, is narrower in scope than the power of the President to grant pardons under Article 72.

 

Article 161 of the Constitution empowers the Governor to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment, or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person who has been

 

convicted of an offence against any law that relates to a matter covered by the executive power of the State.

 

Procedure of dealing with Mercy petitions

 

Mercy petitions to the executive are often based on background personal and social factors that explain the conduct of the convicted person, their psychological and cultural background and other special

 

features, including material that could not be placed before the courts.

 

Any mercy petition submitted to the President is first received in his Secretariat. Thereafter it is forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs for its comments and recommendations. The separate section in

 

the Ministry deals with such petitions in detail. An officer of the rank of Deputy Secretary or Joint Secretary examines the judgment of the Supreme Court and puts up a note of approval of the Home

 

Minister.

 

Such petitions together with the recommendations are submitted to the President for final disposal. In the exercise of his power, the President can examine and evaluate the evidence afresh. If the

 

President agrees with the recommendations placed before him, he acts accordingly. In case of disagreement with the recommendations, he may send his note of disagreement to the Home Ministry. In

 

such an eventuality it is assumed that the Home Ministry will not differ from the views of the President

 

 

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

 

The National Development Council (NDC) or the Rashtriya Vikas Parishad is the apex body for decision making and deliberations on development matters in India, presided over by the Prime Minister.

 

The Council comprises the Prime Minister, the Union Cabinet Ministers, and Chief Ministers of all States or their substitutes, representatives of the union territories and the members of the Commissions.

 

It is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body. Its status is advisory to Planning Commission but not binding.

 

HISTORY

 

The N.D.C. was set up for the first time on august 6, 1952 by Government of India with a view to bring about a coordination of plans between the Central Ministers and the State Governments and to

 

strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation , to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres, and to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.

 

The first meeting chaired by Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru on November 8, 1952 and he described it as a forum for ‘intimate cooperation’ between the central and state governments in the task of

 

national development. Thus, apart from reviewing the working of the National Plan, the NDC is charged with considering important questions of social and economic policy affecting national

 

development and recommending measures to achieve the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

It has been set up with following objectives

 

1.To strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan.

 

2.To promote common economic policies in all vital spheres.

 

3.To ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country and

 

4.To secure cooperation of States in the execution of the plan.

 

FUNCTIONS

 

The functions of the Council are:

 

1.To prescribe guidelines for the formulation of the National Plan, including the assessment of resources for the Plan;

 

2.To consider the National Plan as formulated by the Planning Commission;

 

3.To consider important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development; and

 

4.To review the working of the Plan from time to time and to recommend such measures as are necessary for achieving the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.

 

The NDC  strengthen and mobilise the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan, to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres, and to ensure the balanced and rapid

 

development of all parts of the country. It is a true all-India body that reflects the federal character of our Union. But that is on paper. In practice, the NDC’s role has steadily eroded.

 

Today, it is reduced to a pale shadow of what was envisaged back in 1952. Part of the reason lies in the declining importance of the Five-Year Plans in the postreform era. But an equally-important

 

reason has to do with the rise of extra-constitutional bodies like the National Advisory Council whose views and debates on developmental issues have dominated the government’s agenda, unlike the

 

views of the NDC or of the Inter-State Council.

 

This is not to dispute the wisdom of the policy initiatives that have emerged from the NAC — whether it is the Right to Education Act or the proposed Food Security Act. But the success of any policy is

 

assured only when people, and their elected representatives, own it. The Centre would do well to bear that in mind and restore the NDC to its past position of eminence

 

 

 

COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL OF INDIA

 

The Constitution of India (Article 148) provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). CAG is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the

 

guardian of public purse. He controls the entire financial system of the country at the Centre and the State.

 

APPOINTMENT AND TERM

 

CAG is appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand and seal. He holds the office for a period of 6 year or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

CAG can resign any time from his office by addressing the resignation letter to the President and can also be removed by the President on same ground and in the same manner as a judge of the

 

Supreme Court of India. In other words, he can be removed by the President on the basis of a resolution passed to that effect by both the Houses of Parliament with special majority, either on the ground

 

of proved misbehavior or incapacity.

 

SAFEGUARD AND INDEPENDENCE OF CAG

 

Constitution has made some provisions to safeguard and ensure the Independence of CAG.

 

• He is provided with the security of tenure. He can be removed only by the President in accordance with the procedure as written in Constitution.

• He is not eligible for further office, either under the Government of India or of any state, after he ceases to hold his office.

• His salary and other service conditions shall be determined by the Parliament. Neither his salary nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension, or age of retirement shall be altered to his

 

disadvantage after his appointment.

• CAG’s administrative expenses of offices, salaries, allowances and pension are charged on the consolidated fund of India and they are not subject to vote in Parliament.

• No Minister represents the CAG in Parliament and no Minister can be called upon to take any responsibility for any action done by him.

 

DUTIES AND POWERS

 

Article 149 of the Indian Constitution authorizes the Parliament to prescribe the duties and powers of CAG in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body.

 

The duties and functions of CAG are as follows:

 

• He audits the accounts related to all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India as well as Consolidated Fund of each State and the Union Territory having a legislative assembly.

• He audits all expenditure from the Contingency fund of India and the Public Accounts of India as well as Contingency fund of each State and the Public accounts of each State.

• He audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and State Governments.

• CAG audits the receipts and expenditure of all bodies and authorities substantially financed from the government whether central or state as well as Government Companies and other corporations.

• He can audit the accounts of any other authority when requested by the President or the Governor. Example – audit of Local Bodies.

• According to Article 150 of the Constitution CAG advices the president with regard to prescription of the form in which the accounts of the centre and the states shall be kept.

• He ascertains and certifies the net proceeds of any tax or duty as per Article 279; his certificate is final.

• CAG submits his audit report relating to the accounts of centre to the President and of states to the Governor. President place the reports before both houses of Parliament and in States, Governor place

 

the reports before the state legislature.

 

CAG submits 3 audit reports to the President –

 

1. Audit report on appropriation accounts.

2. Audit report on finance accounts.

3. Audit report on public undertakings.

 

The President lays these reports before both houses of Parliament. After this, the Public Accounts Committee examines them and reports its findings to the Parliament.

CAG is an agent of the Parliament and conducts audit of expenditure on behalf of the Parliament. Therefore, he is responsible only to the Parliament.

 

CURRENT ACHIEVEMENTS OF CAG OF INDIA

 

The CAG is ranked 9th in the order of precedence and enjoys the same status as a judge of Supreme Court of India. The current CAG of India is Vinod Rai. He is the 11th CAG of India.

 

The CAG under Vinod Rai has constantly been in the limelight for its reports exposing mega corruption, particularly in 2G spectrum scam, CWG scam and Coal mining scam.

 

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has been appointed as external auditor of three major UN organisations namely:

 

• The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),

• The Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and

•  World Food Organisation (WFO).

 

Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai, has also been elected the Chairman of the United Nations’ panel of external auditors

 

 

RIGHT TO EDUCATION

 

Right to education guarantees free and compulsory education to all children between the age of 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. It states that ‘compulsory education’

 

means obligation of the appropriate government to provide free elementary education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education of every child in the six to

 

fourteen age group.

‘Free’ means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.

 

Indian parliament passed this act in 2009 and it came into force in 2010. The passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 marks a historic moment for the

 

children of India.

 

This Act serves as a building block to ensure that every child gets a quality elementary education and states have the responsibility to fulfill this obligation, with the help of families and communities.

 

The salient features of RTE Act are:

 

(i) All children aged 6-14 shall have the right to free and compulsory education at a neighborhood school.

(ii) No direct school fee or indirect cost on uniforms, textbooks, mid-day meals, transportation etc. needs to be borne by the child or their parents to obtain elementary education.

(iii) The Government will provide schooling free of cost until the child’s elementary education is completed.

(iv) All schools must comply with certain infrastructure and teacher norms. Two trained teachers will be provided for every 60 students at the primary level.

(v) Schools shall constitute School Management Committees comprising local officials, parents, guardians and teachers. The SMCs will monitor utilization of Government grants and the school

 

environment.RTE mandates inclusion of 50% women and parents of children from disadvantaged groups in SMCs.

(vi) It prohibits

 

(a) Physical punishment and mental harassment;

(b) Screening procedures for admission of children;

(c) Capitation fee;

(d) Private tuition by teachers and

(e) Running of schools without recognition etc.

 

The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrollment, attendance and completion on the Government. And it is the parents’ responsibility to send the children

 

to schools.

 

This act not only includes government schools but even private schools come under its purview with some conditions. According to Supreme Court directions, all private schools shall be required to enroll

 

children from weaker sections and disadvantaged communities in their incoming classes to the extent of 25% of their enrollment, by simple random selection. No seat in this quota can be left vacant.

 

These children will be treated on par with all the other children in the school and subsidized by the state at the rate of average per  learner costs in the government schools (unless the per learner costs in

 

the private school are lower).

 

The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights shall review the safeguards for rights provided under this Act, investigate complaints and will have the powers of a civil court in trying cases.

 

India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.

 

But there are several key issues regarding Right to education act.

 

• Awareness about the act is very low, especially at the levels below the state capitals.

• Needs a well defined grievance redressal mechanism to address complaints.

• Question of quality education.

• Question of what a child does after 14 year of schooling; there is no provision for further education after completing elementary education.

 

The idea of the Right to education Act seems appreciable but everything will depend on how far it goes on to be a success.  It has the potential to make the nation a true shining INDIA but for education

 

to be a meaningful right it must be available, acceptable, adaptable and accessible

 

 

 

ARMED FORCES SPECIAL POWERS ACT 1958

 

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is an act empowering armed forces to deal effectively in disturbed areas. Any area which is declared “disturbed” under disturbed areas act enables armed

 

forces to resort to the provisions of AFSPA. The choice of declaring any area as ‘disturbed’ vests both with state and central government. After an area comes under the ambit of AFSPA, any

 

commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or another person of equivalent rank can use force for a variety of reasons while still being immune to the prosecution. The act was

 

passed on 11 September 1958 by the parliament of India to provide special legal security to the armed forces carrying out operations in the troubled areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya,

 

Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura.(seven sisters).However, in 1990 the act was extended to the state of Jammu and Kashmir to confront the rising insurgency in the area. In Manipur, despite

 

opposition from the Central government, state government withdrew the Act in some parts in Aug, 2004.

 

Any state govt. can declare the state of emergency and introduce AFSPA in the following conditions:-

 

a) When the local administration fails to deal with local issues and the police proves inefficient to cope with them.

 

b) When the scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for the police to handle.

 

Section 4 of the act sets out the powers granted to the military stationed in a disturbed area. These powers are granted to the commissioned officer, warrant officer, or non-commissioned officer, only a

 

jawan (private) does not have these powers. The Section allows the armed forces personnel to use force for a variety of reasons.

 

The army can shoot to kill, under the powers of section 4(a), for the commission or suspicion of the commission of the following offenses: acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being

 

in force in the disturbed area prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons, carrying weapons, or carrying anything which is capable of being used as a fire-arm or ammunition. To justify the

 

invocation of this provision, the officer need only be “of the opinion that it is necessary to do so for the maintenance of public order” and only give “such due warning as he may consider necessary”.

 

The army can destroy property under section 4(b) if it is an arms dump, a fortified position or shelter from where armed attacks are made or are suspected of being made, if the structure is used as a

 

training camp, or as a hide-out by armed gangs or absconders.

 

The army can arrest anyone without a warrant under section 4(c) who has committed, is suspected of having committed or of being about to commit, a cognisable offense and use any amount of force

 

“necessary to effect the arrest”.

 

Under section 4(d), the army can enter and search without a warrant to make an arrest or to recover any property, arms, ammunition or explosives which are believed to be unlawfully kept on the

 

premises. This section also allows the use of force necessary for the search.

 

Section 5 states that after the military have arrested someone under the AFSPA, they must hand that person over to the nearest police station with the “least possible delay”. There is no definition in the

 

act of what constitutes the least possible delay.

 

Some case-law has established that 4 to 5 days is too long. But since this provision has been interpreted as depending on the specifics circumstances of each case, there is no precise amount of time after

 

which the section is violated. The holding of the arrested person, without review by a magistrate, constitutes arbitrary detention.

 

Section 6 establishes that no legal proceeding can be brought against any member of the armed forces acting under the AFSPA, without the permission of the Central Government. This section leaves the

 

victims of the armed forces abuses without a remedy.

 

Drawbacks:

 

The large scale violations of fundamental rights in the north eastern states is a direct consequence of the provisions of the AFSPA, of areas declared as Disturbed Areas under Section No. 3 and the

 

simultaneous acquiring of wide powers by army personnel under Section 4 of the Act.

 

The AFSPA, which grants armed forces personnel the power to shoot to arrest, search, seize and even shoot to kill, violates the Right to Life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India which

 

guarantees the right to life to all people.

 

The AFSPA also violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). India signed the ICCPR in 1978, taking on the responsibility of securing the rights guaranteed by the Covenant

 

to all its citizens. In particular, the Act is in contravention of Article 6 of the ICCPR guaranteeing the right to life.

 

AFSPA makes no distinction between a peaceful gathering of five or more people and a berserk mob. So, even innocents – who have no role in creating a situation that results in that region being called

 

‘disturbed’, also come under the purview of the law. The decision of the government to declare a particular area ‘disturbed’ cannot be challenged in a court of law.

 

At the same time, the AFSPA is an emergency legislation that constitutionally requires to be reviewed every 6 months. Yet it has been imposed in Manipur and other states of the north east for years on

 

end, which contributes to the misuse of unbridled and arbitrary powers by the armed forces.

 

On November 19, 2004, the Central government appointed a five member committee headed by Justice B.P Jeevan Reddy to review the provisions of the act in the north eastern states.

 

The committee submitted its report in 2005, which included the following recommendations:

 

(a) AFSPA should be repealed and appropriate provisions should be inserted in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967;

 

(b) The Unlawful Activities Act should be modified to clearly specify the powers of the armed forces and paramilitary forces and

 

(c) Grievance cells should be set up in each district where the armed forces are deployed.

 

The 5th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on public order has also recommended the repeal of the AFSPA. These recommendations have not been implemented

 

 

 

 

COMMUNAL VOILENCE BILL

 

The National Advisory Council recently released a draft ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011’.  The Bill intends to create a framework for

 

prevention and control of communal and sectarian violence.  It also aims to provide relief to victims of such violence. The proposed communal violence bill intends to prevent and control targeted

 

violence against the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and religious and linguistic minorities.

 

The key provisions are:

 

a) The state government can declare an area as communally disturbed under certain conditions. 

 

b) Measures to prevent and control violence shall be enforced by the District Magistrate, and other officers of the state government appointed as “competent authorities”.  The competent authority can

 

direct persons in the area to deposit their arms, ammunition, explosives and corrosive substances (even if they hold a license). When such directions are issued, the local police officer can search any

 

house or premises for such items. The competent authority can regulate assembly and movement of persons, and prohibit acts which could disturb peace, such as carrying of arms, knives etc., usage of

 

loudspeakers and burning of effigies.

 

c) Review committee constituted by the state government will investigate cases where a charge sheet has not been filed within three months of registering an FIR and may review cases where the trial

 

ends in acquittal. The state government can constitute special investigation teams to investigate offences if these offences were not investigated in a fair and impartial manner.

 

d) The state government shall establish Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences. The Bill also provides for the establishment of Additional Special Courts outside the state if the state government

 

feels that the trial within the state is not likely to be fair and impartial, it is in the interest of justice, or it is required for the safety of the accused, witnesses, public prosecutor or the Judge. Judges will be

 

appointed by the state government in concurrence with the Chief Justice of the High Court.

 

e) The Special Court can conduct proceedings at a protected place, avoid mentioning the identity of the witness in its orders and judgments and issue directions to protect the identity of the witness if it

 

considers it necessary or on the basis of an application by the witness or public prosecutor.

 

f) According to the Bill Communal Disturbance Relief and Rehabilitation Councils will be formed at the national, state and district levels. These national and state level councils will make

 

recommendations and issue guidelines on relief, rehabilitation and compensation to victims. The district council will assess compensation to victims, set up relief camps and prepare plans for prevention

 

of communal violence.

 

g) A Communal Disturbance Relief and Rehabilitation Fund will be constituted in every state and a Victims Assistance Fund will be established in each district.

 

h) The district council shall pay at least 20 percent of total compensation as immediate compensation to victims.

 

 

 

 

 

INTEGRATED CHILD PROTECTION SCHEME

 

India is home to almost 19% of the world’s children. More than one third of the country’s population, around 440 million, is below 18 years. The future and strength of the nation lies in a healthy,

 

protected, educated and well-developed child population that will grow up to be productive citizens of the country. It is alarming that, in 2011, the Crimes against children reported a 24% increase from

 

the previous year with a total of 33,098 cases of crimes against Children reported in the country during 2011 as compared to 26,694 cases during 2010. The State of Uttar Pradesh accounted for 16.6% of

 

total crimes against children at national level in 2011, followed by Madhya Pradesh (13.2%), Delhi (12.8%), Maharashtra (10.2%), Bihar (6.7%) and Andhra Pradesh (6.7%).

 

Thus there is an urgent case for increasing expenditure on child protection. so that the rights of the children of India are protected. The neglect of child protection issues not only violates the rights of the

 

children but also increases their vulnerability to abuse, neglect and exploitation.

 

GOI has launched the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) aimed at building a protective environment for children in difficult circumstances, as well as other vulnerable children, through

 

Government-Civil Society Partnership.

 

Objectives of the scheme are:

 

a) To create a safety net for children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law by building a protective environment for them, keeping their best interests in mind;

 

b)  To promote preventive measures to protect children from falling in the situations of vulnerability, risk and abuse;

 

c) To promote preventive measure to address the vulnerabilities of families and build their ability and capacity protect their children;

 

d) To supplement and strengthen the infrastructure established under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2000;

 

e) To build capacities of families, communities, and NGOs to strengthen care, protection and response to children;

 

f) To create State and District Child Protection Units as well as State Adoption Cells;

 

g) To promote in-country adoption and regulate inter-country adoption as well as ensure minimum standards;

 

h) To provide services to the more vulnerable categories of children through specialized programmes;

 

i) To establish linkages for restoration of children to their biological families and placement with adoptive families or foster families, where necessary;

 

j) To provide specialized institutional care to infants and children up to 6 years of age who are either abandoned or orphaned/destitute;

 

k) To check and end female foeticide and infanticide in the country;

 

l) To provide services to street and destitute children, including child beggars;

 

m) To provide for care and support services for children affected by HIV/AIDS;

 

n) To establish CHILDLINE in every district, for creating access in emergencies by providing counseling, restoration and rehabilitative services to children along with linkages to other available services

 

under various schemes of the Government of India/State Governments;

 

o) To train and sensitize local bodies, police, judiciary and other concerned departments of State Governments to undertake related responsibilities;

 

p) To strengthen the knowledge base by undertaking research and documentation, resource mapping of services, the creation of a Management Information System (MIS) for tracking vulnerable

 

children, and database management;

 

q) To carry out advocacy and spread awareness about child and family-related issues for supporting the family;

 

r) To network with the Allied Systems i.e. Government departments and Non-Government agencies;

 

s) To initiate any other need-based specialized innovative services through families, community and panchayats/local bodies, including child guidance and counseling especially to combat drug abuse,

 

sexual abuse, child marriage, and discrimination against the girl child

 

 

FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE

 

Financial action task force is an inter-governmental body responsible for setting global standards on anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism. The FATF Secretariat is housed at the

 

headquarters of the OECD in Paris and after long wait, India has finally become a full-fledged member of the FATF.

 

History of the FATF

 

In response to mounting concern over money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) was established by the G-7 Summit that was held in Paris in 1989.  Recognising

 

the threat posed to the banking system and to financial institutions, the G-7 Heads of State or Government and President of the European Commission convened the Task Force from the G-7 member

 

States, the European Commission and eight other countries.

 

Objective

 

The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other

 

related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.  The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative

 

and regulatory reforms. Starting with its own members, the FATF monitors countries’ progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations; reviews money laundering and terrorist financing

 

techniques and counter-measures; and, promotes the adoption and implementation of the FATF Recommendations globally.

 

The FATF monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption

 

and implementation of appropriate measures globally.  In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the

 

international financial system from misuse.

 

Benefits to INDIA

 

With its induction as the 34thmember country of the global body that chalks out policies to counter financial frauds, India will have access to information on suspicious financial transactions in

 

Switzerland, China, U.S and the U.K.

The development marks a significant step towards tracing the source of terror financing and black money stashed away in tax heavens abroad. India and its tax enforcement authorities—the Financial

 

intelligence unit, the Enforcement directorate, the central economic intelligence bureau and the Directorate of revenue intelligence would be able to exchange vital information from member countries

 

on money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

 

Current

 

In February 2012, the FATF completed a thorough review of its standards and published the revised FATF Recommendations. This revision is intended to strengthen global safeguards and further

 

protect the integrity of the financial system by providing governments with stronger tools to take action against financial crime. They have been expanded to deal with new threats such as the financing

 

of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and to be clearer on transparency and tougher on corruption.

 

The FATF currently comprises 34 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations, representing most major financial centres in all parts of the globe.

 

 

 

NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

 

The National Advisory Council (NAC) of India is an advisory body set up to monitor the implementation of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). It is a brainchild of Congress party president,

 

Sonia Gandhi and informally called as UPA’s Planning Commission for social agenda. NAC is also called as Shadow Cabinet.

 

NAC was set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during UPA-1 on 4 june 2004 with Smt. Sonia Gandhi as its Chairperson. She holds the rank and status of Union Cabinet Minister.

 

The task of the National Advisory Council (NAC) is to provide inputs in the formulation of policy by the Government and to provide support to the Government in its legislative business. In the

 

discharge of its functions, thus the NAC place a special focus on social policy and the rights of the disadvantaged groups.

 

The NAC comprises distinguished professionals drawn from diverse fields of development activity like Agriculture, social sector, education etc who serve in their individual capacities.

 

NAC Chairperson and Members term and salary

 

The salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of the Chairperson and members shall be such as the Government may by order specify from time to time.The Chairperson of the National

 

Advisory Council shall be entitled to the same salary, pay, allowances and other facilities to which a member of the Union Council of Minister is entitled.

 

The term of the members of the National Advisory Council shall be for a period of one year with effect from the date of their appointment which may be extended. Members shall draw such salary and

 

allowances and the Central Government may by order determine from time to time.

 

NAC Focus areas

 

There are so many focus areas of NAC but some important are below:

 

• Natural resource management, including revitalization of agriculture;

• Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes;

• Welfare of minorities;

• Poverty elimination and employment generation;

• Land rights and land reforms;

• Right to education to disadvantaged children;

• Health security and medical insurance;

• Social security and safety net for the disadvantaged groups;

• Urban poverty;

• Development of the northeast;

• Special Component plan for Scheduled Castes and the tribal sub-plan for Scheduled Tribes.

 

Criticisms

 

The NAC has been criticized by opposition parties and scholars as not in keeping with India’s constitution, and that it would emerge as an alternative, cabinet. However there’s an alternative view which

 

states that the NAC could deepen democracy by facilitating greater pre-legislative/pre-policy consultation.

 

The NAC has been sending off letters to the prime minister, signed by Sonia Gandhi. Given the power equations, he would have to treat the suggestions seriously even if many of them are not

 

implementable. She and the council have access to all the cabinet papers and files. This is a departure from the conventions governing a cabinet system.

 

It is like a form of parallel power centre which is governing the country without transparency and accountability and even today it diminishing the role of Planning Commission

 

 

WELFARE INITIATIVES BY GOI FOR DISABLED PERSONS

 

Persons with Disabilities (PWD) are defined as those suffering from four types of disabilities viz., Visual, loco-motor, hearing and speech and mental disabilities. In the Ninth Plan (1992-97), the earlier

 

paradigm shift in approach from “welfare” to development was moved further to “empowerment” which is more holistic by including both the welfare and development perspective. The major thrust in

 

the Tenth Plan has been to consolidate and strengthen the various programmes through coordinated efforts and innovative interventions in attending to the special problems and needs of these

 

disadvantaged groups. One of the thrust areas during the Tenth Plan has been to prepare disabled-friendly policies to create a hurdle-free environment.

 

According to the Census 2001, there are 2.19 crore persons with disabilities in India who constitute 2.13 percent of the total population. This includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, locomotor and

 

mental disabilities. Seventy five per cent of persons with disabilities live in rural areas, 49 per cent of disabled population is literate and only 34 per cent are employed. The earlier emphasis on medical

 

rehabilitation has now been replaced by an emphasis on social rehabilitation.

 

Some initiatives are discussed below:

 

• The Central Government has created a new Department of Disability Affairs which was earlier a part of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.  With the creation of this new Department,

 

government will be able to focus more on the policy issues and problems of the PwDs. There would be a separate budget for this department which would help in strengthening the existing schemes and

 

formulating the new ones, and also for technological innovations, which is very much required in this sector. It would now be easier to coordinate with various stakeholders, NGOs, State Governments,

 

other related Central ministries and international organizations like United Nations, as India is a signatory to UNCRPD.

 

• The Government constituted the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities with the former Governor, Sunder Singh Bhandari, as its chairperson. It recommends programmes for the

 

elimination of inequalities in status and on facilities and opportunities for the disabled in order to give the appropriate education and vocational training. The Commission also recommends packages for

 

poverty eradication, employment and other support services to achieve the goal of psycho-social acceptance of the disabled. It also reviews the working of the rehabilitation institutions. The members

 

will represent people with hearing impairment, visual impairment and locomotor disability.

 

• For the marginalised sections of the society National Policy for Persons with Disabilities has been finalised in 2005. The policy focuses on the prevention of disabilities, the physical and economic

 

rehabilitation measures for disabled persons. The policy is to be implemented by Government and other agencies.

 

• The Government of India has enacted three legislations for persons with disabilities viz.

 

a) Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, which provides for education, employment, creation of barrier free environment, social security,

 

etc.

b) National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability Act, 1999 has provisions for legal guardianship of the four categories and creation of

 

enabling environment for as much independent living as possible.

 

c) Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 deals with the development of manpower for providing rehabilitation.

 

• India’s first Sign Language Research and Training Centre has been established at the IGNOU Campus. It is an exclusive education project for teaching, learning, training and capacity building for the

 

vast deaf population of the country. It will be a full time teaching and training centre for Indian Sign Language combined with distance teaching/learning opportunities. The centre would consist of

 

short term, medium and full-fledged programmes for both the un-trained and experienced teachers of the deaf schools.  The inclusion of deaf people in the larger development activity of the country

 

depends significantly on promotion of Sign Language thus ISLRTC will play a major role in enhancing the lifestyles of deaf community in India.

 

 

• The Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), Kanpur is a public sector body, engaged in manufacturing of aids and appliances for persons with disabilities. The products

 

manufactured by the Corporation conform to ISI standards approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Marketing of products is done through Regional Marketing Centres at Kolkata, Mumbai,

 

Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Delhi and also through National Institutes, voluntary organisations, 65 the corporation has manufactured aids and appliances.

 

 

• Five Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) for the Persons with Disabilities has been set up in Srinagar, Lucknow, Bhopal, Sundernagar and Guwahati. These centres conduct training programmes to

 

prepare professionals in the field of rehabilitation as well as provide rehabilitation services to the disabled. Four Regional Rehabilitation Centres for Spinal Injuries and other Orthopaedic Disabilities at

 

Mohali, Cuttack, Jabalpur and Bareilly are providing services for basic management and follow-up of the spinally injured so as to make the affected persons functionally independent.

 

 

• The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) has been set up to help the disables financially. It is an apex-level financial institution for extending credit facilities to

 

persons with disabilities for their economic development. Funds assistance is disbursed through the channelizing agencies authorized by the State Governments/UT Administrations and Non-

 

Government Organisations. It also extends loans for pursuing education at graduate and higher levels. Besides, it assists in the upgradation of technical and entrepreneurial skills to enable beneficiaries

 

to manage their production units efficiently.

 

 

• Scheme for Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of AIDs and Appliances has been launched. The objective of the Scheme is to assist needy and disabled persons in procuring-durable,

 

sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation by reducing the impact of disability and enhancing

 

their economic potential. The scheme is implemented through agencies like voluntary organisations, National Institutes under the Ministry, ALIMCO, Zila Panchayats, DRDAs, etc. The implementing

 

agencies are provided grant-in-aid for purchase, fabrication and distribution of aids and appliances. The scheme also includes ambit medical/surgical correction and intervention that may be essential

 

prior to figment of aids and appliances.

 

 

• A Scheme of “Incentives to Employers in Private Sector for providing Employment to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)” has been introduced with effect from April 2008 to encourage employers to

 

employ PwDs. As per the Scheme the Government will reimburse the employer`s contribution to Employees Provident Fund and Employees State Insurance for a period of 3 years in respect of PwDs,

 

employed on or after 1.04.2008 with a monthly salary up to Rs. 2500/-. The apex Chambers of Industries have been requested to sensitize their members

 

 

E-GOVERNANCE

 

E-governance means rendering of government services and information to the public using electronic means.

 

These include government-to-government (G to G), government-to-citizens (G to C), and citizen to government (G to B).

 

G2C aims at connecting citizens to government by talking to citizens and supporting accountability, by listening to citizens and supporting democracy, and by improving public services. It will involve

 

better services to the citizens through single point delivery mechanism and will involve areas like: E-Citizen; E-Transport; E-Education; E-Medicine; E-Registration etc.

 

C2G will mainly constitute the areas where the citizen interacts with the Government. It will include areas like election when citizens vote for the Government; Census where he provides information

 

about himself to the Government; taxation where he is paying taxes to the Government.

 

G2G can also be referred as e-Administration.  It involves improving government processes by cutting costs, by managing performance, by making strategic connections within government, and by

 

creating empowerment. It will involve networking all Government offices so as to produce synergy among them. The major areas are: E-Secretariat; E-Court; E-Police etc.

 

Several significant initiatives have been taken at the Centre and the State level in this direction. At the Central level, the government has extensively promoted the use of IT in managing its internal

 

processes and has drawn up a ‘Minimum Agenda of e-Governance’. Further Ministries / departments have provision of 2 to 3 percent of their annual budgets to be spent on IT related activities. The

 

government has enacted IT Act 2000 which provides legal status to the information and transactions carried on the net. Several State Governments have also taken various innovative steps to promote

 

e-Governance and have drawn up a roadmap for IT implementation and delivery of services to the citizens on-line.

 

Some E-Governance Projects in India

 

• AKASH GANGA

This project is being used at the Dairy Co-operative Society, Gujarat. The project uses IT to help rural milk producers by integrating all operations from procurement of milk to accounting using DISK

 

(Dairy Information – Services Kiosk). Akash Ganga has facilitated more than 1,000 villages, in 34 districts spread over 8 States covering 2, 00,000 rural families in Gujarat and other states.

 

• E-CHOUPAL

This was established by ITC’s Agri Business Division in June 2000. It was specifically designed to tackle the challenges posed by the unique features of India agriculture, characterized by fragmented

 

farms, weak infrastructure, and the involvement of intermediaries. In order to protect agriculture farmers from opportunistic practice of intermediaries, it provides farmers with information relating to

 

farming equipments, weather, crop, etc.

 

• TKS (TATA KISAN SANSARS):

The TKSs, or farm centre, provides end – to – end solution, right from what crops to grow to how to sell them for the maximum returns. In Maharashtra, TKSs are changing the face of Indian

 

agriculture and improving the quality of rural life. TKS provides farmers with services for optimum utilization of nutrients plant protection, chemicals, water, and seeds. TKS tracks key parameters such

 

as soil, ground water, and weather on a real time basis with the help of Geographic information Systems (GIS) and satellite mapping technologies. Retail outlets at each Kendra are set up to sell products

 

but are not made online.

 

• TNCDW (Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women Ltd):

The project is aimed at social and economic empowerment of women in Tamil Nadu state. TNCDW maintains a database containing the details of citizens, births and deaths and deaths, land and

 

revenue records.

 

• DRISHTEE:

DRISHTEE is present in over 12 states including the north eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. It

 

has also started to work in Africa along with partners.

DRISHTEE is a revenue-generating platform for rural networking and marketing services that enable e-governance, education, and health service. The project provides online buying and selling

 

facilities citizens ration cords. The system tries to address the grievances raised by the public and enhances customer relationship.

 

• GYANDOOT

GYANDOOT is an intranet based Government to Citizen (G2C) service delivery portal commissioned in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh in January 2000. GYANDOOT aims to create a cost –effective,

 

replicable, economically self-reliant and financially viable model for taking the benefits of information and Communication technology (ICT) to the rural masses.

 

The goal of the project was to establish community – owned, technologically innovative and sustainable information kiosks in poverty – stricken, tribal dominated rural area of Madhya Pradesh. Kiosks

 

have been established in the villages Panchayat buildings.

 

• JAGRITI E – SEWA:

JAGRITI E – SEWA was inaugurated in March 2003. It touches the rural life with activities from agriculture, financial, travel, and e-government to communication services. The whole system can be

 

adapted to any language in the least possible time. JAGRITI is a platform for application of Information technology for the masses, with special focus on the needs of rural areas. Its activities, named as

 

d – commerce (desi commerce), include both physical and electronic mode involvement.

 

• LOKMITRA:

Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in Himachal Pradesh State, in order to make people aware of government policies and programmes, and also provide an interface to interact with

 

various government functionaries and solicit their active and direct contribution in the process governance. Lokmitra maintains a database with details on public, such as address, contract number, age,

 

driver license, etc.

 

• JANMITRA:

JANMITRA was launched in March 2002. It is an integrated e–platform that was implemented in the Jhalawar district Rajasthan and is replicated in the state of Uttranchal. All sections and

 

departments of collectorate are connected through Local Area Network (LAN) the main objective of the JANMITRA project is to provide a single – window facility to citizens to access government work,

 

various government procedures through computerization and use information and communication between the administration and the people to ensure transport, accountable and responsive

 

governance and make the right to information an effective tool in the hands of the rural masses.

 

• TELEMEDICINE:

Apollo Hospitals provide super specialty healthcare to millions of rural Indians through this project. Telemedicine is the use of ICT to facilitate healthcare when patients and doctors are separated by

 

distance. Using the software Med – Integra, patients and specialists can interact visually. It presently operates more than telemedicine centers in several states.

 

• LOKVANI:

LOKVANI was conceptualized by District Magistrate Sitapur in September 2004. The project is a public private partnership program that was implemented within the Sitapur district (88% rural

 

population and 39% literacy rate) of Uttar Pradesh state. LOKVANI system has empowered the citizens by generating awareness towards their rights through a seamless flow of information. The

 

services offered by LOKVANI are (a) Grievance and Petitions, (b) land records, (c) tender service, (d) employment services, (e) information related to government schemes and (f) information about

 

government services

 

 

THE UNION PARLIAMENT

 

The Constitution of India which came into force on 26 January 1950 provides for a bicameral Parliament consisting of the President and the two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha)

 

and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). However, the President is not a member of either House of the Parliament; still he is an integral part of the Parliament.

 

The cardinal functions of the Legislature include overseeing of administration, passing of budget, ventilation of public grievances, and discussing various subjects like development plans, international

 

relations, and national policies. The Parliament can, under certain circumstances, assume legislative power with respect to a subject falling within the sphere, exclusively reserved for the states. The

 

Parliament is also vested with powers to impeach the President, remove judges of Supreme and High Courts, the Chief Election Commissioner, and Comptroller and Auditor General in accordance with

 

the procedure laid down in the Constitution. All legislation requires the consent of both Houses of Parliament. In the case of Money Bills, the will of the Lok Sabha prevails. The Parliament is also vested

 

with the power to initiate amendments in the Constitution.

 

Parliament’s Control over Legislation

 

The Parliament has extensive power to make laws on the items given in the Union List as well as in the Concurrent List of VIIth Schedule of the Constitution.  In certain cases the Parliament can also

 

legislate on the matters included in the State List under Arts.249 (in the National Interest), 250 (during Proclamation of National Emergency), 252 (two or more state agreed) and 253 (to give effect to

 

international treaties).  Amending the Constitution is another major function of the Parliament.  However, Parliament in no way can amend the Constitution that it affects adversely the basic structure

 

of the Constitution.

 

Parliament’s Control over Executive

 

Parliamentary control over the executive is political in nature. It is based on the constitutional provision of collective responsibility of the Council of Minister to the popular House of Parliament and

 

Parliament’s control over the Budget (Art 75, 114-116 & 265). The answerability of the executive is direct, continuous, consonant and day-to-day when Parliament is sitting.

 

The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha so the continuance of the Government in office depends on its retaining the confidence of the House of the people. The existing

 

government must resign in case a ‘no confidence motion’ is passed against it in the Lok Sabha. 

 

The Parliament through procedures provided by the House like asking questions, calling attentions, adjournment motions, etc, keeps a constant vigil on the working of the administration and the lapses

 

of the Government. The Parliament also holds the power to elect and impeach the President and Vice-President of India.  The Parliament can also impeach the judges of Supreme Court and High Courts

 

on grounds of incapacity.

 

Parliament’s Control over Finance

 

The Parliament has a special function to have a grip on the finances of the country, which has two branches – revenue and expenditure. As regards revenue, it is expressly laid down by the Constitution

 

(Art 265) that not tax shall be levied or collected except by authority of law.

 

As regards expenditure the pivot of parliamentary control in the Consolidated Fund of India. This is the reservoir into which all the revenues received by the Government of India as well as all loans

 

raised by it are paid and the Constitution provides that no moneys shall be appropriated out of the Consolidated Fund except in accordance with law [Art 266 (3)]. Whether the expenditure is charged on

 

the Consolidated Fund of India or it is as amount voted by the House of the people, no money could be issued out of the Consolidated Fund of India unless the expenditure is authorized by an

 

Appropriation Act.

 

The budget is annually prepared by the Cabinet and it is submitted for the approval of the Parliament.

 

Money Bills can originate only in the Lok Sabha. After they have been passed by the Lok Sabha, they are sent to the Rajya Sabha for approval. Within 14 days the Rajya Sabha is expected to give its

 

consent. Thus the power of the Rajya Sabha is limited with regards to money Bills.

 

Further, to keep a vigil on the way the Executive spends the money granted by the legislature, there are two Standing Committees of the Parliament. They are the Public Accounts Committee and the

 

Estimates Committee. These two Committees exercise legislative control over the Executive on behalf of the Parliament. There are certain items of expenditure included in the Budget which are not

 

votable in the Parliament. These items include salary of the President, the Judges of the Supreme Court, and the members of the Union Public Service Commission etc. They are charged from the

 

Consolidated Fund of India.

 

Judicial Powers of the Parliament

 

The Parliament exercises some judicial powers also.

 

1. The Parliament can remove the President from office through impeachment.

2. The parliament can also remove the Vice-President from office.

3. The parliament can remove the judges of the High Courts and Supreme Court by passing a resolution to the effect.

4. It can punish its members or outsiders for the breach of its privileges or its contempt.

 

Electoral Powers of the Parliament

 

1. The elected members of the Parliament participate in the election of the President.

2. The Vice-President is elected by the members of both the Houses of Parliament.

 

 

 

NATIONAL SAMPLE SURVEY OFFICE (NSSO)

 

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) (earlier known as National Sample Survey Organisation) under the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation was established in 1950, with the

 

objective of obtaining comprehensive and continuing information relating to social, economic, demographic, industrial and agricultural statistics through sample surveys on countrywide basis.  It has

 

been, therefore, instrumental in developing a strong database that has helped the Central as well as State Governments in development planning and policy formulations.

 

Although, at the beginning, the NSSO started with the objective of collecting data for the construction of national accounts and its area of operation was kept restricted only to the rural areas of the

 

country during the two rounds, it gradually expanded its geographical coverage and the scope of its enquires to cover, by and large, all the important socio-economic aspects influencing the life of the

 

population in rural as well as urban areas. The NSSO now operates over the whole of rural and urban areas of India excepting only a few inaccessible and difficult pockets.

 

The wide variety of subjects brought under the coverage of surveys conducted so far by the NSSO can broadly be classified under four categories:

 

a) Household surveys on socio-economic subjects,

b) Surveys on land holding, livestock and agriculture,

c) Establishment surveys and enterprise surveys

d) Village surveys. 

 

Under the first category come the surveys on population, birth, death, migration, fertility, family planning, morbidity, disability, employment & unemployment, agriculture and rural labour, household

 

consumer expenditure, debt, and investment, savings, construction, capital formation, housing condition  and utilization of public services in health, education and other sector etc. 

 

Under the second category, the surveys on land holding, land utilisation, livestock number, product and livestock enterprises are covered.

 

Under the third category, Surveys on medium and small industrial establishments and own-account enterprises not covered by the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), surveys on other non-agricultural

 

enterprises in the unorganized sector and collection of rural retail prices from markets and shops in rural areas are covered.

 

Under the fourth category, surveys include collection from sample villages of various types of information on the availability of infrastructure facility in Indian villages.

 

Besides these, the NSSO has also conducted ad-hoc surveys and pilot enquires for methodological studies, such as, surveys on small and medium irrigation projects, rural electrification, railway travel,

 

pilot enquiries on employment-unemployment, construction activities, living condition of tribals, estimation of catch of fish from inland water, etc.

 

NSSO has now drawn up a ten-year programme for the conduct of socioeconomic surveys.  According to this programme the subjects to be covered in the NSSO during a decade will be as follows:

 

• employment-unemployment, and consumer expenditure

• unorganised enterprises in non-agricultural sectors

• population, births, deaths, disability, morbidity, fertility, maternity & child care, and family planning

• land holdings and livestock enterprises

• debt, investment and capital formation 

 

The NSSO has four Divisions namely, Survey Design & Research Division (SDRD), Data Processing Division (DPD), Field Operations Division (FOD) and Coordination & Publication Division (CPD) to

 

carry out different responsibilities. 

 

Survey Design & Research Division (SDRD) located at Kolkata is responsible for planning of the survey, finalization of sample design, schedules, instructions and tabulation programme, report writing,

 

etc. 

 

Data Processing Division (DPD) with its headquarters at Kolkata process the data collected through socio-economic surveys through its six Data Processing Centres across the country. 

 

Field Operations Division (FOD) is responsible for collection of data from the field on various surveys of the NSSO.  The FOD with head quarters at New Delhi functions through a network of 6 Zonal

 

Offices, 49 Regional Offices and 116 Sub-Regional Offices spread throughout the length and breadth of the country.

 

Coordination & Publication Division (CPD) coordinates the activities of all the Divisions.

 

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) functions under the overall direction of National Statistical Commission (NSC). The National Statistical Commission has the requisite independence and

 

autonomy of decision making in the collection; processing and the publication of NSS data. The autonomy includes the choice of subjects or items on which data have to be collected in a given field of

 

investigation or in a given period, the frequency with which the data on any item are to be collected, the preparatory or pilot work to be undertaken on different subjects, the sample design to be adopted,

 

the tabulation to be prepared, the form in which the data are to be collected and processed and the analysis and publication of results

 

 

 

NATIONAL POPULATION POLICY 2000

 

Population is the basic element of the state. With 1,210,000,000 (1.21 billion) people, India is currently the world’s second largest country in terms of population representing a full 17% of the earth’s

 

population. India’s 2011 census showed that the country’s population had grown by 181 million people in the prior decade.

 

When India gained independence from the United Kingdom about sixty years ago, the country’s population was a mere 350 million. Since 1947, the population of India has more than tripled.

 

India’s high population growth results in increasingly impoverished and sub-standard conditions for growing segments of the Indian population. Population plays an important role in economic

 

development of the country. The human resource of the country if skilled and trained contribute to the growth whereas on the other hand illiterate and unskilled population full of ethnic and linguistic

 

diversities acts as havoc for the nation. It may pose serious threat to the survival of mankind.

 

India was the first country in the world to launch a national programme, emphasizing family planning to the extent necessary for reducing birth rates “to stabilize the population at a level consistent

 

with the requirement of national economy”  in 1952 . The medical revolution has declined the death rate tremendously however, similar drop in birth rates was not noticed.

 

The First Five Year Plan (1951-56) focussed on promoting the safe period method and a gradual popularisation of mechanical and chemical contraceptives. Then the voluntary sterilization scheme was

 

introduced in 1956. Due to unexpected high popula¬tion growth rate in 1961 Census the ‘clinical ap¬proach’ of the population policy was replaced by an ‘extension education approach’. Thus, creation of

 

social climate in favour of small family norms, provision of readily accessible services, adoption of effective family planning meth¬ods by all eligible couples (about 90 million), stimu¬lating such social

 

changes as increasing marriage age, education and employment of women, accuser overall economic development, and continues research and evaluation, became the guide principles of population

 

policy. The schemes were not able to reap a positive result thus National Population Policy of India was formulated in the year 2000 with the long term objective of achieving a stable population by

 

2045 (now changed to 2070) at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection.

 

The immediate objective of the policy was to address the unmet needs for contraception, health care infrastructure, and health personnel, and to provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive

 

and child health care. The medium-term objective is to bring the TFR (Total Fertility Rate) (TFR is the average number of children each women would have in her life time) to replacement levels by

 

2010, through vigorous implementation of inter-sectoral operational strategies.

 

The policy also includes freezing of Lok Sabha seats at current level of 543 till 2026, compulsory registration of marriage and pregnancy, along with birth and death, cash incen¬tives for compliance

 

with requirements regarding antenatal checkup, institutional delivery by a trained birth attendant, increasing the number of health workers, improve the availability of contraceptives and strengthening

 

the health and family welfare services.

 

The population in India is high due to following reasons:

 

• The large size of the population is in the reproductive age-group.

• Higher fertility due to unmet need for contraception. Reproductive health and basic health infrastructure and services often do not reach the villages, and, accordingly, vast numbers of people cannot

 

avail of these services.

• High wanted fertility due to the high infant mortality rate (IMR). Repeated child births are seen as an insurance against multiple infant (and child) deaths and accordingly, high infant mortality

 

hinders all efforts at reducing TFR.

• Over 50 percent of girls marry below the age of 18, the minimum legal age of marriage, resulting in a typical reproductive pattern of “too early, too frequent, too many”. Around 33 percent births occur

 

at intervals of less than 24 months, which also results in high IMR.

 

There are two district approaches to the family welfare/planning programmes. One advocating long term measures with a view to improving overall social, economic and demographic structure of a

 

country and two, short-term measures with a view to reaping immediate results by way of averting the number of births.

 

The long term measures include well conceived population education, increasing the marriage-age, preventing child labour, compulsory education and adult literacy campaigns, restrain the maternity

 

benefits to small families, proved old age security, introduction of new life insulin policies carrying special benefits for those small families, developing intense network of scale industries based upon

 

agro-livestock raw material and utilising scheduled castes and schedule tribes manpower, diversifying our economy by of rapid urban industrial development, and beta health, education and

 

employment facilities partialarly for females. The long range approach reconises that the fertility behavior is a complex pi nominal and has to be dealt within the context overall socio-economic structure

 

of a society.

 

On the other hand short-term measures it eludes temporary and permanent methods of peeving child birth such as contraception, voluntary compulsory sterilisation, abortion after the birth

 

second/third child in the family and social and economic benefits/penalties for small/large family respectively. All such measures need people’s ap¬proval and participation.

 

Population stabilisation is a multisectoral endeavour requiring constant and effective dialogue among a diversity of stakeholders, and coordination at all levels of the government and society

 

 

Motions in Indian Parliament

 

A motion is a proposal by a member of the house for its opinion/decision.

 

The motions moved by the members to raise discussions on various matters fall into three principal categories:

 

• Substantive Motions — A substantive motion is a self-contained independent proposal submitted for the approval of the House and drafted in such a way as to be capable of expressing a decision of the

 

House. Examples are as impeachment of the President etc.

 

• Substitute Motions — Motions moved in substitution of the original motion for taking into consideration a policy or situation or statement or any other matter are called substitute motions. If adopted

 

by the house, it supersedes the original motion.

 

• Subsidiary Motions — It is a motion that, by itself has no meaning and is not capable of stating the decision of the House without reference to the original motion or proceedings of the House.

 

Subsidiary motions are further divided into:

 

a. Ancillary Motions –They are motions which are recognized by the practice of the House as the regular way of proceeding with various kinds of business.

b. Superseding Motions –They are motions which, though independent in form, are moved in the course of debate on another question and seek to supersede that question.

c. Amendments – They seek to modify or substitute only a part of the original motion.

 

TYPES OF MOTIONS:

 

1.) Privilege Motion

 

The motion will be introduced by the opposition if a minister has mislead the house by providing wrong information. Its purpose is to censure the concerned minister.

 

2.) Censure Motion

 

It can be brought against the ruling government or against any minister for the failure to act or seeking disapproval of their policy. It can be moved only in Lok Sabha only by the opposition. A censure

 

motion must specify the charges against the government for which it is moved. If a censure motion is passed in the Lok Sabha, the Council of ministers is bound to seek the confidence of the Lok Sabha

 

as early as possible.

 

3.) No Confidence Motion

 

This can be moved only in Lok Sabha and by the opposition of the house. It can be brought only against the Council of ministers and not against any individual minister. Unlike censure motion, a no-

 

confidence motion does not require any specific ground. Once admitted in the House, it takes precedence over all the pending business of the House. Generally the PM answers the allegations after the

 

members have spoken. If the motion is adopted by the House, the Council of Ministers is bound to resign. The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.

 

4.) Call – Attention Motion

 

A member (after permission from Speaker) calls the attention of the minister to any matter of ‘urgent public importance’. There is no Call – Attention motion in the Rajya Sabha.

 

5.) Adjournment Motion

 

Motion for an adjournment of the business of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance may be made with the consent of the Speaker.

 

6.) Cut Motions

 

The members of the Lok Sabha have a veto power to oppose a demand in the financial bill discussed by the government. This is an effective tool to test the strength of the government. If a cut motion is

 

adopted by the House and the government does not have the numbers, it is obliged to resign. They are moved in the Lok Sabha only. They are part of the budgetary process which seeks to reduce the

 

amounts for grants.

 

Cut Motions can be divided into three categories:

 

• Policy Cut: That the amount of the demand be reduced to Re.1/-‘ representing disapproval of the policy underlying the demand. A member giving notice of such a motion shall indicate in precise terms

 

the particulars of the policy which he proposes to discuss. The discussion should be confined to the specific point or points mentioned in the notice and it shall be open to members to advocate an

 

alternative policy.

 

• Economy Cut: The objective of the motion is to reduce the amount of die expenditure and the form of the motion is “The amount of the demand be reduced by Rupee… (a specified amount)”. Such

 

specified amount may be either a lump sum reduction in the demand or omission or reduction of an item in the demand.

 

• Token Cut: The objective of the motion is to ventilate a specific grievance within the sphere of responsibility of the Government of India and its form is “The amount of the demand be reduced by

 

Rupee 100

 

 

 

ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA

 

Article 52 states that there shall be a President of India. The executive powers of the Union shall be vested in the President. The US Presidency represents this form. In Britain, the monarch is the

 

symbolic head, representing the British nation. The powers of the Government are vested in the political office of the Prime Minister.

 

The President of India is the first citizen and represents the Indian nation and does not, therefore, belong to any particular Political Party.

 

The President of India is elected according to secret ballot by the system of proportional representation through single transferable vote. The process of election of the President of India is original and no

 

other Constitution contains a similar procedure.

 

The President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of –

 

The elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States (including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of

 

Pondicherry vide the Constitution 70th amendment Act, 1992).

 

An attempt has been made to secure the uniformity of representation of the different states, according to population and the total number of elected members of legislative Assembly of each state so that

 

parity may be maintained between the state as a whole and the union. This has been done to ensure that the votes of the states shall be equal to that of population of the country.

 

In the election of the President the weightage system is used to bring about parity between the votes of the Members of Parliament and the Members of the Assemblies.

 

Since the strength of legislative assemblies differ owing to differences in population the exact weight of votes of the members of the Assemblies are determined by a definite formula by dividing the

 

population of the concerned state by the total number of elected members of the Assembly which is further divided by one thousand. If the remainder is less than to 500 is should not be taken into

 

account. If it is more than 500 the member should be increased by one.

 

To put it in simpler words, each member of the electoral college who is a member of a State Legislative Assembly will have a number of votes calculated as follows:

 

Value of Vote of an MLA = State Population / (1000′ Total no. of elected MLA’s). Fractions exceeding one half is being counted as one.

 

The following illustrations explain the method of calculation:

 

Let the population of Andhra Pradesh is 43,502,708. Let us take the total number of elected members in the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh to be 294. To obtain the number of votes which each

 

such elected member will be entitled to cast at the election of the President we have first to divide 43,502,708 (which is the population) by 294 (which is the total number of elected members), and then

 

to divide the quotient by 1,000. In this case the quotient is 147,968.3945. The number of votes which each such member will be entitled to cast would be 147,968.3945/1000 i.e. 148.

 

On the basis of the above formula, the value of the vote of an MLA from UP has the highest value and that from Sikkim the lowest.

 

The formula adopted to secure uniformity between all the States on one hand and the Parliament on the other is as follows:

 

Value of Vote of an MP = Total value of votes of MLA’s of all States / Total no. of elected MP’s (LS + RS). Fractions exceeding one-half is being counted as one.

 

Further the Article 55(3) of Indian Constitution requires that the President should be elected in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

 

The underlying principle of proportional representation is to prevent the exclusion of minorities from the benefits of the State, and to give each minority group an effective share in the political life. The

 

aim of proportional representation is to give every division of opinion among electors corresponding representation in national or local assemblies.

 

In the ordinary mode of election known as “straight voting system”, a candidate getting the support of the numerically largest group is elected, although the combined strength of all other candidates

 

representing different other parties may far out-number his supporters. The result is that the elected candidate cannot be said to represent the opinion of the majority of the electorate as a whole.

 

In the case of the election of the President the method is as follows:

 

Let the total number of valid votes is 15,000 and there are four candidates, A,B,C,D. Suppose, they have polled votes as follows:

 

A……………… 5,250

B….. ….. ….. ….. 4,800

C….. ….. ….. ….. 2,700

D….. ….. ….. ….. 2,250

 

In the ordinary system of election by simple majority vote, A would be elected forthwith since a voter in this system marks only one preference and as such no question of counting any further

 

preferences, say the second or the third, arises. In the case of the “alternative vote system” it is, however, not so, as it may be that the second best candidate may be declared elected, as against the

 

candidate who might have secured the majority of first preference votes.

 

Total number of valid votes cast

Quota = ———————————————————– +1

Total number of seats to be filled +1

 

In the illustration mentioned above the quota will be –

(15,000 / 1+1) +1 = 7501

 

No candidate who secures less than 7,501 votes can, in this case of election through the system of proportional representation, be elected. It thus follows that if a candidate is able to secure 7,501 or more

 

first preference votes in his favour, he is immediately declared elected and there does not remain any need to take a second or subsequent count. But if at the end of any count, no candidate can be

 

declared elected –

 

(a) Exclude the candidate who upto that stage has been credited with the lowest number of votes;

(b) Examine all the ballot papers in his parcel and sub-parcels, arrange the unexhausted papers in sub-parcels according to the next available preferences recorded thereon for the continuing candidates;

(c) See whether any of the continuing candidates has, after such transfer and credit, secured the quota. This process continues until a candidate with the requisite quota emerges.

 

It would, therefore, be seen that in case where no member has obtained the quota votes fixed for election, the prescribed method of transfer of votes follows a process of elimination of the candidate who

 

is at the lowest rung in the order of polling according to the first preference and so on, till at last such a candidate is found who has obtained the quota of votes or if there is no such candidate, all

 

candidates except one are, one after the other, eliminated from the field. The candidate who survives the process of elimination is in such a case returned as the President.

 

The present system of election for the President has been adopted under the Constitution of India, in order to maintain the neutrality of the head of State, which both the ceremonial functions in any

 

federation and the specific powers under a parliamentary system demand and also to render it acceptable to as wide a body of opinion as possible.

 

Whenever the presidential office falls vacant on account of his death, resignation or impeachment the Vice-President succeeds him for a period of six months. The election of the President must be

 

conducted within six months from the date of vacancy. In case of resignation, the President hands over the letter to the Vice-President of India

 

 

 

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT LOCAL AREA DEVELOPMENT SCHEME (MPLADS)

 

It was introduced by the Narasimha Rao government to help MPs execute small works of a local nature to meet the urgent needs of their constituencies. It began with an initial annual grant of Rs 50

 

lakh per MP. The amount was increased to Rs 1 crore in 1994-95 and to Rs 2 crore in 1998-99. The allocation has increased to Rs 5 crore per MP in view of cost escalation.

 

Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for, works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.

 

The Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.

 

The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.

 

The Scheme is governed by a set of Guidelines, which have been comprehensively revised from time to time. The present Guidelines were issued in November, 2005.

 

Some of the salient features of the scheme are enumerated below:-

• The MPLADS is a Plan Scheme fully funded by the Government of India, under which funds are released in the form of Grants-in-Aid, as special Central Assistance to States.

• The funds released under the scheme are non-lapsable i.e. the funds not released in a particular year will be carried forward for making releases in the subsequent years subject to eligibility.

• Works which are developmental in nature, based on locally felt needs and available for public use at large, are eligible under the scheme.

• Examining the eligibility, sanctioning, funding, selection of implementing agencies, prioritization and overall execution, monitoring of the scheme at the ground level, is done by the District Authorities.

• The Lok Sabha Members can recommend works in their respective constituencies.

• The elected members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the State from which they are elected. Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha can recommend works for

 

implementation anywhere in the country.

• Right from the inception of the Scheme, works for creation of durable assets of national priorities viz., drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation and roads, etc have been given

 

priority.

• Special attention is given for infrastructural development of areas inhabited by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population by earmarking 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively of MPLADS

 

funds for those areas.

• MPs can also recommend community infrastructure and public utility building works for registered Societies/Trusts subject up to a ceiling of 25 lakh. The ownership of the land may remain with the

 

Society/ Trust, but the structure constructed with MPLADS funds shall be the property of State/UT Government.

• In order to undertake rehabilitation works in the areas affected by calamities in a State, Lok Sabha MPs from the non-affected areas of that State can recommend permissible works to the tune of up to

 

10 lakh per annum in those areas. In the event of calamity of severe nature in any part of the country, an MP can recommend works up to a maximum of 50 lakh for the affected district.

• MPs can promote education and culture of a State/UT wherefrom they are elected at a place outside that State/UT by selecting works relating to education and cultural development not prohibited

 

under the Guidelines on MPLADS up to a maximum of 10 lakh in a financial year.

 

Recently the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has approved the convergence of Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLADS) with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural

 

Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).  After the convergence, the funds from Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) can be used with MGNREGA for creating more

 

durable assets.

 

MPs may allot fund for MGNREGA projects approved by the Zilla Panchayat for the year out of MPLADS funds but it should be sanctioned by the District Programme Coordinator who approves the

 

Annual Work Plan under MGNREGA of the district.  As far as possible, the MPLADS Funds shall be used in respect of material component only.

 

Once a work is recommended for MGNREGA, MPs will not be authorized to withdraw the same.  In case of request of withdrawal of MPLADS Funds, NOC from MGNREGA would be required.

 

The guidelines of MGNREGA such as, no contractors, no use of machinery, social audit, etc. shall be strictly followed.  The Gram Panchayat shall be nominated as the Implementing Agency by the

 

District Planning Committee (DPC) for the convergence works under MPLADS.  The DPC shall provide adequate technical support to the Gram Panchayat to implement the works.

 

The accounts of Expenditure will be strictly maintained separately for both MPLADS and MGNREGA.

 

Impact of the Scheme

Since its inception, the Scheme has immediately benefited the local community by meeting their various developmental needs such as drinking water facility, education, electricity, health and family

 

welfare, irrigation, non-conventional energy, community centres, public libraries, bus stands/stops, roads, pathways and bridges etc

 

 

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN

 

The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 on the recommendation of the Committee on the Status of Women in India (CSWI ) to fulfill the surveillance

 

functions to facilitate redressal of grievances and to accelerate the socio-economic development of women.

 

The Commission consists of:-

 

a) A Chairperson, committed to the cause of women, to be nominated by the Central Government;

b) Five Members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of ability, integrity and standing who have had experience in law or legislation, trade unionism, management of an

 

industry potential of women, women’s voluntary organisations ( including women activist ), administration, economic development, health, education or social welfare; Provided that at least one

 

Member each shall be from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively;

c) a Member-Secretary to be nominated by the Central Government who shall be :- an expert in the field of management, organisational structure or sociological movement, or an officer who is a

 

member of a civil service of the Union or of an all-India service or holds a civil post under the Union with appropriate experience.

 

Its mandate includes:

 

• to review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women ;

• to recommend remedial legislative measures ;

• to facilitate redressal of grievances;

• to advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

 

In keeping with its mandate, the Commission initiated various steps to improve the status of women and worked for their economic empowerment during the year under report.  The Commission

 

completed its visits to all the States/UTs except Lakshadweep and prepared Gender Profiles to assess the status of women and their empowerment.  It received a large number of complaints and acted

 

suo-moto in several cases to provide speedy justice.

 

It took up the issue of child marriage, sponsored legal awareness programmes, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats and reviewed laws such as Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, PNDT Act 1994, Indian Penal Code

 

1860 and the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 to make them more stringent and effective.  It organized workshops/consultations, constituted expert committees on economic empowerment

 

of women, conducted workshops/seminars for gender awareness and took up publicity campaign against female foeticide, violence against women, etc. in order to generate awareness in the society

 

against these social evils.

 

NCW has adopted a Multi-Pronged strategy to tackle the problem related to women:

 

• Generation of legal awareness among women, thus equipping them with the knowledge of their legal rights and with a capacity to use these rights.

• Assisting women in redressal of their grievances through Pre-litigation services.

• Facilitating speedy delivery of justice to women by organizing Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats in different parts of the country.

• Review of the existing provisions of the Constitution and other laws affecting women and recommending amendments thereto, any lacunae, inadequacies or short comings in such legislation’s.

• look into complaints and take suo moto notice of matters;

• special studies or investigations into specific problems or situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women;

• undertake promotional and educational research so as to suggest ways of ensuring due representation of women in all spheres and identify factors responsible for impeding their advancement;

• advice on the planning process of socio-economic development of women;

• inspect or cause to inspected a jail, remand home, women’s institution or other place of custody where women are kept as prisoners or otherwise and take up with the concerned authorities for

 

remedial action, if found necessary etc.

 

Further NCW has launched Women’s Rights campaign along with NGOs for the upliftment of dalit women. Dalit women are positioned at the bottom of India’s caste, class and gender hierarchies. As a

 

result, many Dalit women face exploitation both in and out of the home, often resulting in sexual assault and other forms of violence. Thus Women’s Rights Campaign has been launched to create

 

awareness among the women rights.

 

The objectives of the Women’s Rights campaign include:

 

a) To empower women by generating awareness of their rights so they can seek justice and dignity within their families and communities.

b) To train and build strong women who will become leaders in the movement.

c) To formulate and develop tools and programs for serving the specific needs of women for their growth and development.

d) To create space for women through strategic intervention wherever and whenever needed.

e) To foster gender sensitivity within Navsarjan through concrete policies.

f) To dilute discriminatory patriarchal culture, making non-negotiable the belief and practice of equality.

 

National Commission for Women regularly brings out a monthly newsletter Rashtra Mahila in Hindi and English to create awareness about the women rights in the society

 

 

COALITION POLITICS

 

Political parties are political organizations of individuals that seek to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. India being a

 

multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religion nation, has given rise to different political ideologies. Thus given rise to multi party system. Usually when no single party gets electoral majority during

 

elections leads to emergence of coalition politics.

 

The term coalition means temporary combination of groups or individuals formed to pursue specific objectives through joint action. The resulting government usually distributes political posts to

 

representatives of all coalition members.

 

A Coalition Government might also be created in a time of national difficulty or crisis, for example during wartime, to give a Government the high degree of perceived political legitimacy.

 

There are three models of power sharing in coalition politics:

 

• coalition of more or less equal partners, e.g. the National Front and the United Front,

• Coalition of relatively smaller parties led by a major party, e.g. National Democratic Alliance; and

• Coalition of relatively   smaller   parties   facilitated   but   not necessarily led by a Prime Minister from the major party, e.g. the coalition of parties formed in 2004 around the Indian National

 

Congress, avowing secular Indian Nationalism.

 

The concept of coalition government originated in India because of regional disparity and the failure of national parties to meet the aspirations and needs of all the states.

Thus the merits of coalition government are:

 

1. The coalition government addresses the regional disparity more than the single party rule. It may not perform at its best but it is always good for inclusive growth of all the regions, of all the people of

 

a country than the high growth of only selected people and region.

 

2. Coalition government is more democratic, and hence fairer, because it represents a much broader spectrum of public opinion than government by one party alone.

 

3. Coalition government creates a more honest and dynamic political system, allowing voters a clearer choice at election time.

 

4. Coalitions provide good government because their decisions are made in the interests of a majority of the people. Because a wide consensus of opinion is involved, any policy will be debated thoroughly

 

within the government before it is implemented. Single-party government is much more likely to impose badly thought-out policies upon parliament and people, perhaps for narrowly ideological reasons

 

(for example, the emergency rule under Mrs. Indira Gandhi).

 

5. Coalition government provides more continuity in administration. In countries without a tradition of coalition governments, parties can remain in government or opposition for long periods, and an

 

adversarial political culture develops. When a change does occur, the members of the new administration seldom have any experience of government to draw upon, and often embark upon a wholesale

 

reversal of the previous regime’s policies; neither of these things is in the public interest. In states with coalition politics, however, there are usually at least some ministers with considerable experience

 

under the previous government. A more consensual style of politics also allows for a more gradual and   constructive   shift   of   policy   between administrations.

 

Whereas some adverse effects of coalition politics are:

 

1. Effect on Lok Sabha

 

The single greatest problem generated by coalition government in Lok sabha is political instability. In coalition politics a government always suffers from a survival instinct. It is just pursing one point

 

agenda; to somehow remain in power. In such a situation good governance inevitably becomes impossible. Regional parties supporting government are more interested in their regional agenda than the

 

national issues. These unstable governments’ results in inefficient governance which in turn harms the development need of the country.

 

2. Effect on party

 

Coalition government results in decrement of the power of the party as the balance of power is inevitably held by the small parties who can barter their support for concessions from the main groups

 

within the coalition. This means that a party with little popular support is able to impose its policies upon the majority by a process of political blackmail. The party has to be depended on other parties for

 

any decision. The implementation of policies get delayed thus effect the nation as a whole.

 

3. Effect on working of government

 

Coalition governments are definitely far less effective, non durable, and non-dependable as compared to the governments formed by any one party with a definite ideology and principles. In coalition

 

governments, MLAs and MPs from all the parties are given portfolios / ministries and appointed as Ministers. These ministers are appointed on the recommendations of the parent party, without taking

 

the qualification, character and criminal clean record of the MLAs and MPs. Thus affects the proper functioning of the government.

 

4. Effect on political system of the nation

 

Coalition politics leads to the criminalization of politics. The nexus is present between ministers and criminals. The parties in coalition recommends name of ministers for the important posts hence more

 

and more people with money and muscle power are getting tickets from the political parties.

 

5. Effect on economy

 

Coalitions provide bad government because they are unable to take a long term view. Coalitions generally lead to formation of popular policies just to attract common man and thus affect the economy

 

in the long run.

 

Frequent elections acts as burden on the government exchequer thus decreases the government spending which can lead to slow growth

 

 

National Policy on Education

 

The Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had announced the first National Policy on Education in 1968 on the recommendations of the Education Commission (1964–1966), which called for a “radical

 

restructuring” and equalize educational opportunities in order to achieve national integration and greater cultural and economic development.

 

The policy called for fulfilling compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, as stipulated by the Constitution of India, and the better training and qualification of teachers. The policy called

 

for focus on learning of regional languages, outlining the “three language formula” to be implemented in secondary education – the instruction of the English language, the official language of the state

 

where the school was based, and Hindi, the national language. The policy also encouraged the teaching of the ancient Sanskrit language, which was considered an essential part of India’s culture and

 

heritage.

 

The second National policy on education was announced in 1986 by the government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The policy called for “special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalize

 

educational opportunity,” especially for Indian women, Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Scheduled Caste (SC) communities.

 

To achieve these, the policy called for expanding scholarships, adult education, recruiting more teachers from the SCs, incentives for poor families to send their children to school regularly, development

 

of new institutions and providing housing and services.

 

The NPE 1986 called for a “child-centred approach” in primary education, and launched “Operation Blackboard” to improve primary schools nationwide. The policy expanded the Open University

 

system with the Indira Gandhi National Open University, which had been created in 1985. The policy also called for the creation of the “rural university” model, based on the philosophy of Mahatma

 

Gandhi, to promote economic and social development at the grassroots level in rural India.

 

The 1986 policy led to encouragement of emerging sectors like Information Technology, which witnessed an upsurge following the opening up of the technical education sector, particularly in capacity

 

expansion in the private sector. Although the 1986 policy spoke against commercialization of education, the mushroom growth in the number of private engineering and medical institutions, according

 

to educationists, has only given a further impetus to the menace of capitation fee. The rapid expansion of private institutions has also, according to the Yashpal Committee, resulted in deterioration in

 

quality.

 

Thus the Prime Minister of India recently has announced setting up of a Commission to make suggestions for improvement of education at all levels. Vocational education and skill development have

 

acquired new importance in the present competitive scenario; hence government has decided to appoint the Commission. The Commission will also look at possibilities of universalizing secondary

 

education i.e. education will be free and compulsory till class X. Government has already universalized elementary education through the Right to Education Act. The commission will be headed by an

 

eminent educationist, assisted by experts from the fields of higher, technical, medical, secondary, elementary, vocational and other sectors of education.

 

New education policy might make young Indians prepared to face the increasing competitive environment in education sector

 

 

UIDAI and its benefits

 

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was established in 2009, attached to the Planning Commission, is engaged in providing residents of India a Unique Identification number (called

 

Aadhaar) linked to the resident’s demographic and biometric information. The project aims to create a platform that serves as an ‘identification infrastructure’ for delivery of public and private services to

 

the residents of India. The Aadhaar project is set to become the largest biometric capture and identification project in the world.

 

Aadhaar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India. This number will serve as a proof of identity and

 

address, anywhere in India. Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident in India and satisfies the verification process laid down by the UIDAI can enroll for Aadhaar. Each Aadhaar

 

number will be unique to an individual and will remain valid for life. Aadhaar number will help the person to provide access to services like banking, mobile phone connections and other Government

 

and Non-Government services in due course.

 

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Aadhaar has huge potential for improving operations and delivery of services. Its potential applications in various significant public service

 

delivery and social sector programs are as follows:

 

i. PDS: India’s PDS with a network of 4.78 lakh fair price shops (FPS) is perhaps the largest retail system of its type in the world. The PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the central and the

 

state Governments. By using Aadhaar it is possible to have the subsidy go directly to the target households who can then purchase their food from any PDS store or maybe even non-PDS shops.

 

The PDS system stands to benefit from Aadhaar in several ways:

 

a) Better Identification and Beneficiary Mobility – Integration with the UID programme will lead to better identification of individuals and families making possible better targeting and increased

 

transparency. Further, an individual who migrates to some other part of the country can easily continue to avail of his designated benefits.

b) Offtake Authentication – The UID database will maintain details of the beneficiary that can be updated from multiple sources. The PDS system can use this database for authentication of

 

beneficiaries.

c) Duplicate and Ghost Detection – The UIDAI will provide a detection infrastructure to the PDS programme to weed out duplicate and ghost cards.

d) Support for PDS reform – The UID will become an important identifier in banking services. This can support PDS reform by, for example, providing the banking account number for a family to effect

 

direct cash transfer.

 

ii. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS): Incorporation of the UID into the MGNREGS programme will assist in addressing some of the major challenges

 

that impede progress:

 

a) Payment of Wages – The UID can replace the need to provide supporting documentation for the standard Know Your Customer (KYC) fields, making opening a bank account significantly simpler.

b) Ghost Beneficiaries – Once each citizen in a job card needs to provide his UID before claiming employment, the potential for ghost or fictitious beneficiaries is eliminated.

c) Beneficiary Management – The UID system will provide a platform for managing citizens who relocate or migrate from one place to another and want to seamlessly enjoy benefits of the programme.

d) Social Audit – The village-level social audit committee can be selected after authentication with the UID database. The social audit reports filed by the village-level committees can be authenticated by

 

the biometrics of the committee members and social audit coordinator.

 

iii. Education: Currently the primary education system in our country faces a serious problem of inflated enrolment at school level. This results in significant leakages and serious implementation

 

problems. Leakages occur in various areas, including mid-day meals, books, scholarships, provision of uniforms and bicycles. If UIDs are given to children, it will do away with the problems of multiple

 

enrolments and ghosts. Provision of UIDs will ensure that there are no problems due to migration of students anywhere within the country as one would have no difficulty in establishing one’s identity

 

at the new location. It will effectively address the issue of education of children of migrant labourers as their children can be admitted at new places, without cumbersome verification.

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

 

The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory

 

opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

 

The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.  It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help

 

them in their dealings with the authorities of any State whatever.

 

The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. Its official languages are English and French.

 

The Court may entertain two types of cases: legal disputes between States submitted to it by them (contentious cases) and requests for advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by United

 

Nations organs and specialized agencies (advisory proceedings).

 

Contentious cases

 

Only States Members of the United Nations and other States which have become parties to the Statute of the Court or which have accepted its jurisdiction under certain conditions may be parties to

 

contentious cases.

 

Contentious proceedings include a written phase, in which the parties file and exchange pleadings containing a detailed statement of the points of fact and of law on which each party relies, and an oral

 

phase consisting of public hearings at which agents and counsel address the Court. As the Court has two official languages (English and French), everything written or said in one language is translated

 

into the other. The written pleadings are not made available to the press and public until the opening of the oral proceedings, and then only if the parties have no objection.

After the oral proceedings the Court deliberates in camera and then delivers its judgment at a public sitting. The judgment is final, binding on the parties to a case and without appeal. Any judge wishing

 

to do so may append an opinion to the judgment.

 

The Court discharges its duties as a full court but, at the request of the parties, it may also establish ad hoc chambers to examine specific cases.

 

The sources of law that the Court must apply are: international treaties and conventions in force; international custom; the general principles of law; and judicial decisions and the teachings of the most

 

highly qualified publicists. Moreover, if the parties agree, the Court can decide a case ex aequo et bono, i.e., without limiting itself to existing rules of international law.

 

A case may be brought to a conclusion at any stage of the proceedings by a settlement between the parties or by discontinuance. In the latter case, an applicant State may at any time inform the Court

 

that it is not going on with the proceedings, or the two parties may declare that they have agreed to withdraw the case. The Court then removes the case from its List.

 

Advisory proceedings

 

Advisory proceedings before the Court are open solely to five organs of the United Nations and to 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations family.

 

The United Nations General Assembly and Security Council may request advisory opinions on “any legal question”. Other United Nations organs and specialized agencies which have been authorized to

 

seek advisory opinions can only do so with respect to “legal questions arising within the scope of their activities”.

 

The Court’s advisory opinions are consultative in character therefore not binding as such on the requesting bodies

 

 

 

VETO POWER OF THE PRESIDENT ON BILLS

 

A Bill is a proposal for legislation and it becomes an Act after being duly passed by both the houses of Parliament and given an assent by the President. The Bills in India are classified as: Ordinary Bill,

 

Money Bill, Financial Bill and Constitutional Amendment Bill.

 

After being passed by the Parliament when a Bill is presented to the President, he has three alternatives under Article 111 of the Constitution. He may give his assent to the Bill; or he may withhold his

 

assent; or he may return the Bill (if it is not a Money Bill) for its reconsideration to the Parliament, although only once.

 

Thus the President has the veto powers over the Bills passed by the Parliament.

 

The veto powers are classified as:

 

• Absolute Veto

 

It refers to withholding the assent to a Bill passed by the Parliament. The Bill then ends and does not become an act. Usually, it is exercised only in the case of private member’s Bill or in case of

 

government Bills when the cabinet resigns and the new cabinet advises the President to use his veto power against the Bill.

 

• Suspensive Veto

 

It is exercised when instead of refusing his assent outrightly to a Bill, the President returns the Bill or part of it for the reconsideration. However, if the Bill is passed again by the Parliament, with or

 

without amendments and again presented to the President for his assent then it is obligatory for the President to give his assent to the Bill.

The President does not possess this veto power against the Money Bill. President can either withhold his assent or can give his assent but cannot return the Bill for reconsideration. Usually President gives

 

assent for the Money Bill before the introduction of the Bill in the Parliament.

 

• Pocket Veto

 

Since the Constitution does not provide any time limit within which the President is to declare his assent or refusal, the President could exercise this veto by not taking any action for an indefinite time;

 

but if the Ministry has a strong backing in Parliament, it would not be possible for him to do so. Pocket Veto was used in 1986 by the then President Giani Zail Singh in the Postal Bill.

 

Note:

 

The President has no veto power in respect of the Constitutional Amendment Bill because by the 24th Amendment Act of 1971, it has been made obligatory for the President to give assent to the

 

Constitutional Amendment Bill.

 

 

NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER

 

The Indian Census is the most credible source of information on Demography (Population characteristics), Economic Activity, Literacy & Education, Housing & Household Amenities, Urbanization,

 

Fertility and Mortality, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Language, Religion, Migration, Disability and many other socio-cultural and demographic data since 1872. It provides valuable

 

information for planning and formulation of polices for Central & State Governments and is widely used by National & International agencies, scholars, business people, industrialists, and many more.

 

The delimitation/reservation of Constituencies – Parliamentary/Assembly/Panchayats and other Local Bodies is also done on the basis of the demographic data shown up by the Census. Census is the

 

basis for reviewing the country’s progress in the past decade, monitoring the on-going schemes of the Government and most importantly, plan for the future. The slogan of Census 2011 was “Our

 

Census, Our Future”.

 

Thus to fulfil the true objective of the CENSUS the Government of India has initiated the creation of National Population Register (NPR) by collecting specific information of all usual residents in the

 

country during the Houselisting and Housing Census phase of Census 2011 from April 2010 to September 2010.

 

The NPR is a comprehensive identity database to be maintained by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India (RG&CCI), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The objective

 

of creation of the NPR is to help in better targeting of the benefits and services under the government schemes, improve planning, improve security and prevent identity fraud.

 

There are several databases in India like electors list, driving licenses, passports, PAN cards (Income Tax), list of persons  below the poverty line, ration cards, farmers cards to name a few. All these have

 

a limited reach and are stand alone databases. In order to avoid duplication, save costs and allow interoperability, a standard database covering the entire population is an urgent necessity. The

 

fundamental purpose of the NPR is to provide a credible database for identification of the individual and avoid all the shortcomings in the existing databases. This would, apart from the implications on

 

improving the internal security of the country, would greatly enhance the targeting of various beneficiary oriented schemes of the Government and non Governmental agencies.

 

NPR Process:

 

In the NPR process, following details are being gathered by designated enumerators by visiting each and every household: Details such as Name, Date of Birth, Sex, Present Address, Permanent Address,

 

Names of Father, Mother and Spouse etc.

All usual residents will be eligible to be included irrespective of their Nationality. Each and every household will be given an Acknowledgement Slip at the time of enumeration. The data will then be

 

entered into computers in the local language of the State as well as in English. Once this database has been created, biometrics such as photograph, 10 fingerprints and Iris information will be added for

 

all persons aged 15 years and above. This will be done by arranging camps at every village and at the ward level in every town. Each household will be required to bring the Acknowledgement Slip to

 

such camps. Those who miss these camps will be given the opportunity to present themselves at permanent NPR Centres to be set up at the Tehsil/Town level.

 

In the next step, data will be printed out and displayed at prominent places within the village and ward for the public to see. Objections will be sought and registered at this stage. Each of these objections

 

will then be enquired into by the local Revenue Department Officer and a proper disposal given in writing. Persons aggrieved by such order have a right of appeal to the Tehsildar and then to the District

 

Collector. Once this process is over, the lists will be placed in the Gram Sabha in villages and the Ward Committee in towns. Claims and Objections will be received at this stage also and dealt with in the

 

same manner as above.

 

The Gram Sabha/Ward Committee has to give its clearance or objection within a fixed period of time after which it will be deemed that the lists have been cleared. The lists thus authenticated will then

 

be sent to the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) for de-duplication and issue of UID Numbers. All duplicates will be eliminated at this stage based on comparison of biometrics. Unique ID

 

numbers will also be generated for every person. The cleaned database along with the UID Number will then be sent back to the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India

 

(ORG&CCI) and would form the National Population Register. As the UID system works on the basis of biometric de-duplication, in the case of persons of age 15 years and above (for whom biometrics

 

is available), the UID Number will be available for each individual. For those below the age of 15 years (for whom biometrics is not available), the UID Number will be linked to the parent or guardian.

 

Challenges

 

The challenges lie in developing a system which would update the database dynamically and keep it live at all points of time. This would mean capturing every event of birth, death and migration on a

 

real time basis across the length and breadth of the country. Further the challenge would be to communicate this information on an anytime anywhere basis. This would require the establishment and

 

maintenance of a massive ICT infrastructure throughout the country. Creating such a vast database is a costly exercise.

 

 

DIFFERENT ELECTORAL SYSTEMS AROUND THE WORLD

 

Elections are crucial to many political systems around the world. In liberal democracies, Elections enable every adult citizen of the country to participate in the process of government formation.

 

The different Electoral systems around the world are discussed below:

 

• First past the post system

 

It is the single-winner voting system in which each voter votes for one choice and the choice that receives most vote wins even if it receives less than a majority of votes. More formally, this is the single

 

member constituency with simple majority system.

In essence, it means that to become a Member of Parliament or a Member of Legislative Assembly, all a candidate has to do is to gain more votes than any rival in that constituency. There is no

 

requirement for a candidate to win a majority of the votes cast.

 

FPTP is used in the UK, Canada, India, etc.

 

• Proportional Representation system by Single Transferable vote

 

This method is used for the election of President and Vice-President in India, Australia, Malta, for local government elections in Scotland and New Zealand.

In this system there are number of candidates and voters rank some or all candidates in order of their choice. A successful candidate must achieve a quota, which is “calculated by dividing the Total

 

Valid Poll by one more than the number of seats to be filled, ignoring any remainder and then adding 1 vote. If one candidate achieves this majority quota then the election process gets completed

 

otherwise second count occurs. The least popular candidate is eliminated and those votes are redistributed according to the second preference shown on them. If more than one candidate cannot get

 

enough votes after the transfer of votes of the least popular candidate, that candidate is also eliminated.

 

The process repeats until all seats are filled either when the required number of candidates achieve the quota or until the number of remaining candidates matches the number of remaining seats.

 

• Party List Method of Voting

 

This involves multi-member constituencies, where the elector votes not for individual candidates but for a list or slate of a particular party.  Seats in the constituency are allocated between the parties

 

according to their proportion of the vote in that constituency.  Seats are allocated to individual candidates according to their position on the party list.  Mid-term vacancies are filled by the next candidate

 

on that party’s list.

In these systems, parties make lists of candidates to be elected, and seats get allocated to each party in proportion to the number of votes the party receives and their members at the top of the list are

 

elected. There is no vote for an individual.

 

Party lists are the most common method of election in Israel and The Netherlands.

 

• Mixed Member Proportional System

 

In some countries, the majoritarian (first past the Post system) and proportional systems are combined for selecting the government. In a mixed member proportional electoral system, voters usually

 

vote for both a local candidate and for a political party, and the members are elected from single member electoral districts and from party lists. It is mainly used in Germany.

 

In Germany half the seats are elected by FPTP in single member constituencies and half through a regional list system of nominated party candidates.  Voters have two votes, one for the constituency

 

candidate and another for a political party.  The percentage of the votes gained by the parties in the latter ballot determines the final allocation of seats, by ‘topping up’ the individual constituency results

 

 

MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE POLITICAL PARTIES AND CANDIDATES

 

The Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political parties and candidates is a set of norms  which has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles

 

embodied in the said code and also binds them to respect and observe it in its letter and spirit.

 

Extent of Model Code of Conduct:

 

• During general elections to House of People (Lok  Sabha), the code is applicable throughout the country.

• During general elections to the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha), the code is applicable in the entire State.

• During bye-elections, the code is applicable in the entire district or districts in which the constituency falls.

 

Model code of Conduct in brief:

 

a) It bars the parties from indulging in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.

b) It allows the criticism of other political parties only confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and Candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life of

 

persons.

c) All parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are “corrupt practices” and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of

 

voters, canvassing within100 metres of polling stations, holding public meetings during the period  of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the  poll, and the transport and conveyance of

 

voters to and from polling station.

d) It bars that no Political Party or candidate shall permit its or his/her followers to make use of any individual’s land, building, compound wall, etc., without his permission , for erecting flag-staffs,

 

suspending banners, pasting notices, writing slogans, etc.

e) The Party or candidate shall inform the local police authorities of the venue and time  any proposed meeting  well in time so as to enable the police  to make necessary  arrangements  for controlling

 

traffic and maintaining peace and order.

f) Permission or licence is to be obtained for the use of loudspeakers or any other facility in connection with any proposed meeting from the authority concerned well in advance.

g) No advertisements should be issued in electronic and print media highlighting the achievements of the government at the cost of the public exchequer.

h) Government transport, including official aircraft, vehicles, machinery and personnel should not be used for furtherance of the interest of the party in power.

i) Rest houses, dark bungalows or other Government accommodation shall not be monopolized by the party in power or its candidates and such accommodation shall be allowed to be used by other

 

parties and candidates in a fair manner but no party or candidate shall use or be allowed to use such accommodation (including premises appertaining thereto) as a campaign office or for holding any

 

public meeting for the purposes of election propaganda.

j) On the polling day All Political parties and candidates shall supply to their authorized workers suitable badges or identity cards.

k) All Political parties and candidates shall refrain from serving or distributing liquor on polling day and during the fourty eight hours preceding the polls.

 

With the announcement of poll schedule for five states Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Manipur the Election Commission has directed the authorities to enforce the model code of conduct

 

strictly.

 

 

ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE

 

Introduction

 

It is a simple electronic device used to record votes in place of ballot papers and boxes which were used earlier in the conventional voting system.

 

The EVMs were devised and designed by Election Commission of India in collaboration with two Public Sector undertakings viz., Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore and Electronics Corporation of

 

India Limited, Hyderabad. The EVMs are now manufactured by the above two undertakings.

 

EVMs were first used in 1982 in the by-election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency of Kerala for a limited number of polling stations (50 polling stations). EVMs manufactured in 1989-90 were

 

used on experimental basis for the first time in 16 Assembly Constituencies in the States of Madhya Pradesh (5), Rajasthan (5) and NCT of Delhi (6) at the General Elections to the respective Legislative

 

Assemblies held in November, 1998. Finally it has been used in toto since 2002 elections.

 

How it functions

 

An Electronic Voting Machine consists of two Units – a Control Unit and a Balloting Unit – joined by a five-meter cable.

 

The Control Unit is with the Presiding Officer or a Polling Officer and the Balloting Unit is placed inside the voting compartment. Instead of issuing a ballot paper, the Polling Officer in-charge of the

 

Control Unit will press the Ballot Button. This will enable the voter to cast his vote by pressing the blue button on the Balloting Unit against the candidate and symbol of his choice.

 

• The Ballot Unit: An electronic ballot box

 

A simple voting device, it displays the list of candidates. A facility to incorporate party names and symbols is in-built. All the voters have to press the desired switch located next to the name of each

 

candidate. The main advantage is the speed, apart from the simplicity of operation, which requires no training at all. A single ballot unit takes in the names of 16 candidates. And thus, by connecting four

 

ballot units the EVM can accommodate a total of 64 candidates in a single election.

 

• The control Unit: In Total control of the polling

 

Conduction of polling, display of total votes polled, sealing at the end of the poll, and finally, declaration of results – these are the various accomplishments of just one gadget: the control unit. The

 

Control Unit is the main unit which stores all data and controls the functioning of EVM.

 

The programme which controls the functioning of the control unit is burnt into a micro chip on a “one time programmable basis”. Once burnt it cannot be read, copied out or altered. The EVMs use

 

dynamic coding to enhance security of data transmitted from ballot unit to control unit. The new EVMs have also got real time clock and date-time stamping facility which enables them to record the

 

exact time and date whenever a key is pressed. After the voting is completed and the close button is pressed, the machine does not accept any data or record any vote. Through the press of “total” button,

 

the control unit can display the number of votes recorded till that time which can be  cross checked with the register of voters in the form. The display system of the control unit shows the total number

 

of votes polled in a polling station and the candidate-wise votes polled in the machine when the ‘result’ button is pressed by the counting staff in the presence of counting agents at the counting centre.

 

The control unit can also detect any physical tampering made with the connecting cable and indicate the same in the display unit.

 

Advantages of EVMs?

 

a) The most important advantage is that the printing of lakhs of ballot papers can be dispensed with, as only one ballot paper is required for fixing on the Balloting Unit at each polling station instead of

 

one ballot paper for each individual elector. This results in huge savings by way of cost of paper, printing, transportation, storage and distribution.

b) Secondly, counting is very quick and the result can be declared within 2 to 3 hours as compared to 30-40 hours, on an average, under the conventional system.

c) Bogus voting can be greatly reduced by the use of EVMs. In case of ballot paper system, a bogus voter can stuff thousands of bogus ballot papers inside the ballot box. But, an EVM is programmed to

 

record only five votes in a minute. This will frustrate the bogus voters. Further, the maximum number of votes that can be cast in a single EVM is 3840.

d) The EVM is compact and comes in its reusable carry pack. Further, the EVM works/operates on a battery power source thus making it independent and totally reliable.

e) The Control Unit can store the result in its memory for 10 years and even more. The battery is required only to activate the EVMs at the time of polling and counting. As soon as the polling is over, the

 

battery can be switched off and this will be required to be switched on only at the time of counting. The battery can be removed as soon as the result is taken and can be kept separately. Therefore, there

 

is no question of battery leaking or otherwise damaging EVMs. Even when the battery is removed the memory in the microchip remains intact. If the Court orders a recount, the Control Unit can be

 

reactivated by fixing the battery and it will display the result stored in the memory.

 

Controversies

 

The Election Commission of India has spoken of India’s EVMs as “infallible” and “perfect”, yet similar electronic voting machines used around the world have been shown to suffer from serious security

 

problems.

 

There is worldwide acceptance of the need for a paper trail in conjunction with EVMs. Serious doubts were soon raised about the security, accuracy, reliability and verifiability of electronic elections. In

 

October 2006, the Netherlands banned the use of EVMs. In 2009, the Republic of Ireland declared a moratorium on their use. Italy has followed suit. In March 2009, the Supreme Court of Germany

 

ruled that voting through EVMs was unconstitutional, holding that transparency is a constitutional right but efficiency is not a constitutionally protected value.

 

 

 

CENTRE STATE RELATIONS

 

The Constitution of India provides a dual polity with a clear division of powers between the Union and the States, each being supreme within the sphere allotted to it. The Indian federation is not the

 

result of an agreement between independent units, and the units of Indian federation cannot leave the federation.

 

Thus the constitution contains elaborate provisions to regulate the various dimensions of the relations between the centre and the states.

 

The relations between centre and state are divides as:

 

• Legislative relations

• Administrative relations

• Financial relations

 

a) LEGISLATIVE RELATIONS

 

Articles 245 to 255 in Part XI of the Constitution deal with the legislative relations between the Centre and the State.

 

• Extent of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States

 

The Parliament can make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India. Territory of India includes the states, UTs and any other area for the time being included in the territory of India.

 

Whereas, the state legislature can make laws for whole or any part of state.

 

The Parliament can alone make ‘extra territorial legislation’ thus the laws of the Parliament are applicable to the Indian citizens and their property in any part of the world.

 

• Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislation of States

 

The Constitution divides legislative authority between the Union and the States in three lists- the Union List, the State List and the Concurrent List. The Union list consists of 99 items. The Union

 

Parliament has exclusive authority to frame laws on subjects enumerated in the list. These include foreign affairs, defence, armed forces, communications, posts and telegraph, foreign trade etc.

 

The State list consists of 61 subjects on which ordinarily the States alone can make laws. These include public order, police, administration of justice, prison, local governments, agriculture etc.

 

The Concurrent list comprises of 52 items including criminal and civil procedure, marriage and divorce, economic and special planning trade unions, electricity, newspapers, books, education, population

 

control and family planning etc. Both the Parliament and the State legislatures can make laws on subjects given in the Concurrent list, but the Centre has a prior and supreme claim to legislate on

 

current subjects. In case of conflict between the law of the State and Union law on a subject in the Concurrent list, the law of the Parliament prevails.

 

• Residuary powers of legislation

 

The constitution also vests the residuary powers (subjects not enumerated in any of the three Lists) with the Union Parliament. The residuary powers have been granted to the Union contrary to the

 

convention in other federations of the world, where the residuary powers are given to the States. However, in case of any conflict, whether a particular matter falls under the residuary power or not is to

 

be decided by the court.

 

• Parliament’s Power to Legislate on State List

 

Though under ordinary circumstances the Central Government does not possess power to legislate on subjects enumerated in the State List, but under certain special conditions the Union Parliament

 

can make laws even on these subjects.

 

a) In the National Interest (Art.249)

 

If the Rajya Sabha declares by a resolution supported by not less than 2/3 of its members present and voting, that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest that the Parliament should make

 

laws with respect to any matter enumerated in the State List (Art.249). After such a resolution is passed, Parliament can make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India. Such a resolution

 

remains in force for a period of 1 year and can be further extended by one year by means of a subsequent resolution.

 

b) Under Proclamation of National Emergency (Art.250)

 

Parliament can legislate on the subjects mentioned in the State List when the Proclamation of National Emergency is in operation. However, the laws made by the Parliament under this provision shall

 

cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of six months after the Proclamation has ceased to operate, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before the expiry of the said period.

 

c) By Agreement between States (Art. 252)

 

The Parliament can also legislate on a State subject if the legislatures of two or more states resolve that it is lawful of Parliament to make laws with respect to any matter enumerated in the State List

 

relating to those State.  Thereafter, any act passed by the Parliament shall apply to such states and to any other state which passes such a resolution. The Parliament also reserves the right to amend or

 

repeal any such act.

 

d) To Implement Treaties (Art. 253)

 

The Parliament can make law for the whole or any part of the territory of India for implementing any treaty, international agreement or convention with any other country or countries or any decision

 

made at any international conference, association or other body. Any law passed by the Parliament for this purpose cannot be invalidated on the ground that it relates to the subject mentioned in the

 

State list.

 

e) Under Proclamation of President’s Rule (Art.356)

 

The President can also authorize the Parliament to exercise the powers of the State legislature during the Proclamation of President’s Rule due to breakdown of constitutional machinery in a state. But

 

all such laws passed by the Parliament cease to operate six months after the Proclamation of President’s Rule comes to an end.

 

• Centre’s control over State Legislation

 

The Constitution empowers the centre to exercise control over the state’s legislature in following ways:

 

a) The governor can reserve certain types of bills passed by the state legislature for the consideration of the President. The President enjoys absolute veto over them.

b) Bills on certain matters enumerated in the State List can be introduced in the state legislature only with the previous sanction of the President as imposing restrictions on freedom of trade and

 

commerce.

c) The President can direct the states to reserve money bills and other financial bills passed by the state legislature for his consideration during a financial emergency

 

 

Centre- State Relations (continued)

 

Administrative Relations

 

The administrative jurisdiction of the Union and the State Governments extends to the subjects in the Union list and State list respectively. The Constitution thus defines the clauses that deal with the

 

administrative relations between Centre and States.

 

•             DURING NORMAL TIMES

 

1. Executive Powers of State be exercised in compliance with Union Laws: Article 256 lays down that the executive power of every State shall be so exercised as to ensure compliance with the laws made

 

by Parliament and any existing laws which apply in that State, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to a state as may appear to the Government of India to

 

be necessary for that purpose.

 

2. Executive Powers of State not to interfere with Executive Power of Union: Article 257 of the Constitution provides that the executive power of every state shall be so exercised as not to impede or

 

prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the Union, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to giving of such directions to a state as may appear to the Government of India to be

 

necessary for that purpose.  In short, the Union Government can issue directions to the state Government even with regard to the subjects enumerated in the state list.

 

3. Maintain means of communication of National or Military importance: The Union Government can give directions to the state with regard to construction and maintenance of the means of

 

communication declared to be of national or military importance.

 

4. Protection of the Railways: Union can issue State Governments necessary directions regarding the measures to be taken for the protection of the railways within the jurisdiction of the State.  It may

 

be noted that the expenses incurred by the State Governments for the discharge of these functions have to be reimbursed by the Union Government.

 

5. To ensure welfare of Scheduled Tribes in the States: Union can direct the State Governments to ensure execution of schemes essential for the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes in the States.

 

6. To secure instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education: Union can direct the State Governments to secure the provision of adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-

 

tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups.

 

7. To ensure development of the Hindi language: Union can direct the State Governments to ensure the development of the Hindi language.

 

8. To ensure government of a State is carried on in accordance with the provision of the Constitution: Union can direct the State Governments to ensure that the government of a State is carried on in

 

accordance with the provision of the Constitution. If any State failed to comply with any directions given by the Union in exercise of its executive power, then President may hold that, a situation has

 

arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Thus he may proclaim President’s Rule in that State.

 

9. Delegation of Union’s function to State: The President of India can entrust to the officers of the State certain functions of the Union Government.  However, before doing so the President has to take

 

the consent of the state Government.  But the Parliament can enact law authorizing the Central Government to delegate its function to the State Governments or its officers irrespective of the consent of

 

such State Government. On the other hand, a State may confer administrative functions upon the Union, with the consent of the Union only.

 

10. Appointment of High Dignitaries: Union has major say in appointment and removal of Governor and appointment of Judges of High Court and Members of State Public Service Commission.

 

11. All India Services: The presence of the All India Services – the Indian Administrative Services, Indian police Services – further accords a predominant position to the Union Government.  The

 

members of these services are recruited and appointment by the Union Public Service Commission.  The members of these services are posted on key posts in the states, but remain loyal to the Union

 

Government.

 

12. Union to adjudicate Inter-State River Water Dispute: The Parliament has been vested with power to adjudicate any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters

 

of, or in any inter-state river or river-valley. In this regard, the Parliament also reserves the right to exclude such disputes from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or other Courts.

 

DURING EMERGENCIES

 

1. Under President’s Rule: The State Governments cannot ignore the directions of the Union Government, otherwise the President can take the action against the Government of the State stating that

 

the administration cannot be carried on the accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and thus can impose President’s rule on the State.  In such an eventuality the President shall assume to

 

himself all or any of the functions of the state Government.

 

2. Under Proclamation of National Emergency: During a Proclamation of National Emergency, the power of the Union to give directions extends to the giving of directions as to the manner in with the

 

executive power of the State is to be exercised relating to any matter.

 

3. Under Proclamation of Financial Emergency: During a Proclamation of Financial Emergency, Union can direct the State Governments to observe certain canons of financial propriety and to reduce

 

the salaries and allowances of all or any class of person serving in connection with the affairs of the Union including the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. Union also requires all Money

 

Bills or Financial Bills to be reserved for the consideration of the President after they are passed by the Legislature of the State.

 

It is thus, evident that in the administrative sphere the States cannot act in complete isolation and have to work under the directions and in cooperation with the Center

 

 

Centre-State Relations (continued)

 

FINANCIAL RELATIONS

 

Indian Constitution has made elaborate provisions, relating to the distribution of the taxes as well as non-tax revenues and the power of borrowing, supplemented by provisions for grants-in-aid by the

 

Union to the States.

 

Article 268 to 293 deals with the provisions of financial relations between Centre and States.

 

• The Constitution divides the taxing powers between the Centre and the states as follows:

 

The Parliament has exclusive power to levy taxes on subjects enumerated in the Union List, the state legislature has exclusive power to levy taxes on subjects enumerated in the State List, both can levy

 

taxes on the subjects enumerated in Concurrent List whereas residuary power of taxation lies with Parliament only.

 

• The distribution of the tax-revenue between the Union and the States stands as follows:

 

a) Duties Levied by the Union but Collected and Appropriated by the States: Stamp duties on bills of Exchange, etc., and Excise duties on medical and toilet preparations containing alcohol. These taxes

 

don’t form the part of the Consolidated Fund of India, but are assigned to that state only.

b) Service Tax are Levied by the Centre but Collected and Appropriated by the Centre and the States.

c) Taxes Levied as Well as Collected by the Union, but Assigned to the States: These include taxes on the sale and purchase of goods in the course of inter-state trade or commerce or the taxes on the

 

consignment of goods in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.

d) Taxes Levied and Collected by the Union and Distributed between Union and the States: Certain taxes shall be levied as well as collected by the Union, but their proceeds shall be divided between the

 

Union and the States in a certain proportion, in order to effect on equitable division of the financial resources. This category includes all taxes referred in Union List except the duties and taxes referred to

 

in Article 268, 268-A and 269; surcharge on taxes and duties mentioned in Article 271 or any Cess levied for specific purposes.

e) Surcharge on certain duties and taxes for purposes of the Union: Parliament may at any time increase any of the duties or taxes referred in those articles by a surcharge for purposes of the Union and

 

the whole proceeds of any such surcharge shall form part the Consolidated Fund of India.

 

• Grants-in-Aid

 

Besides sharing of taxes between the Center and the States, the Constitution provides for Grants-in-aid to the States from the Central resources. There are two types of grants:-

 

1. Statutory Grants

2. Discretionary Grants

 

1. Statutory Grants: These grants are given by the Parliament out of the Consolidated Fund of India to such States which are in need of assistance. Different States may be granted different sums.

 

Specific grants are also given to promote the welfare of scheduled tribes in a state or to raise the level of administration of the Scheduled areas therein (Art.275).

 

2. Discretionary Grants: Center provides certain grants to the states on the recommendations of the Planning Commission which are at the discretion of the Union Government. These are given to help

 

the state financially to fulfill plan targets (Art.282).

 

• Effects of Emergency on Center-State Financial Relations:-

 

1. During National Emergency: The President by order can direct that all provisions regarding division of taxes between Union and States and grants-in-aids remain suspended. However, such

 

suspension shall not go beyond the expiration of the financial year in which the Proclamation ceases to operate.

2. During Financial Emergency: Union can give directions to the States:-

 

a) To observe such canons of financial propriety as specified in the direction.

b) To reduce the salaries and allowances of all people serving in connection with the affairs of the State, including High Courts judges.

c) To reserve for the consideration of the President all money and financial Bills, after they are passed by the Legislature of the State.

 

• Finance Commission

 

Although the Constitution has made an effort to allocate every possible source of revenue either to the Union or the States, but this allocation is quite broad based.  For the purpose of allocation of certain

 

sources of revenue, between the Union and the State Governments, the Constitution provides for the establishment of a Finance Commission under Article 280.  According to the Constitution, the

 

President of India is authorized to set up a Finance Commission every five years to make recommendation regarding distribution of financial resources between the Union and the States.

 

Constitution

 

Finance Commission is to be constituted by the President every 5 years. The Chairman must be a person having ‘experience in public affairs’. Other four members must be appointed from amongst the

 

following:-

 

1. A High Court Judge or one qualified to be appointed as High Court Judge;

2. A person having knowledge of the finances and accounts of the Government;

3. A person having work experience in financial matters and administration;

4. A person having special knowledge of economics.

 

Functions

 

The Finance Commission recommends to the President as to:-

 

1. the distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes to be divided between them and the allocation between the States of  respective shares of such proceeds;

2. the principles which should govern the grants-in-aid of the revenue of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India;

3. the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities in the State;

4. Any other matter referred to the Commission by the President in the interest of sound finance

 

 

Writs in Indian Constitution

 

The Indian Constitution empowers the Supreme Court and High Courts to issue writs for enforcement of any of the fundamental rights conferred by Part III of Indian Constitution.

 

The writ issued by Supreme Court and High Court differs mainly in three aspects:

 

a) The Supreme Court can issue writs only for the enforcement of fundamental rights whereas a High Court can issue writs for enforcement of fundamental rights along with “ for any other purpose”

 

(refers to the enforcement of any legal right).

 

b) SC can issue writ against a person or government throughout the territory whereas High Court can issue writs against a person residing or against a government located within its territorial

 

jurisdiction or outside its jurisdiction only if the cause of action arises within the territorial jurisdiction.

 

c) SC writs are under Article 32 which in itself is a fundamental right thus SC cannot refuse to exercise its writ jurisdiction. Whereas article 226 is discretionary thus HC can refuse to exercise its writ

 

jurisdiction.

 

Types of writs:

 

• Habeas Corpus

 

Habeas corpus is a Latin term which literally means “You may have the body”.  The concept of writ of habeas corpus has originated from England. This is a writ or legal action which can be used by a

 

person to seek relief from illegal detention. The writ is a direction of the Court to a person who is detaining another, commanding him to bring the body of the person in his custody at a specified time to

 

a specified place for a specified purpose.

 

A writ of habeas corpus has only one purpose: to set at liberty a person who is confined without legal justification; to secure release from confinement of a person unlawfully detained.  The writ does not

 

punish the wrong-doer.  If the detention is proved unlawful, the person who secures liberty through the writ may proceed against the wrong – doer in any appropriate manner.  The writ is issued not

 

only against authorities of the State but also to private individuals or organizations if necessary.

 

• Mandamus

 

The Latin word ‘mandamus’ means ‘we command’.  The writ of ‘mandamus’ is an order of the High Court or the Supreme Court commanding a person or a body to do its duty. Usually, it is an order

 

directing the performance of ministerial acts.  A ministerial act is one which a person or body is obliged by law to perform under given circumstances.  For instance, a licensing officer is obliged to issue a

 

license to an applicant if the latter fulfills all the conditions laid down for the issue of such license.  Similarly, an appointing authority should issue a letter of appointment to a candidate if all the

 

formalities of selection are over and if the candidate is declared fit for the appointment. But despite the fulfillment of such conditions, if the officer or the authority concerned refuses or fails to issue the

 

appointment letter, the aggrieved person has a right to seek the remedy through a writ of ‘mandamus’.

 

3. Certiorari

 

Literally, Certiorari means to be certified. It is issued by the higher court to the lower court either to transfer the case pending with the latter to itself or to squash the order already passed by an inferior

 

court, tribunal or quasi judicial authority. The conditions necessary for the issue of writ of certiorari.

 

a. There should be court, tribunal or an officer having legal authority to determine the question with a duty to act judicially.

b. Such a court, tribunal or officer must have passed order acting without jurisdiction or in excess of the judicial authority vested by law in such court, tribunal or officer.

c. The order could also be against the principles of natural justice or the order could contain an error of judgment in appreciating the facts of the case.

 

4. Prohibition

 

The Writ of prohibition means to forbid or to stop and it is popularly known as ‘Stay Order’. This writ is issued when a lower court or a body tries to transgress the limits or powers vested in it. The writ of

 

prohibition is issued by any High Court or the Supreme Court to any inferior court, or quasi judicial body prohibiting the latter from continuing the proceedings in a particular case, where it has no

 

jurisdiction to try. After the issue of this writ, proceedings in the lower court etc. come to a stop.

 

Difference between Prohibition and Certiorari:

 

1. While the writ of prohibition is available during the pendency of proceedings, the writ of certiorari can be resorted to only after the order or decision has been announced.

2. Prohibition can be issued only against judicial and quasi judicial authorities whereas Certiorari can be issued even against administrative authorities affecting rights of individuals.

 

• Quo Warranto

 

The word Quo-Warranto literally means “by what warrants?” or “what is your authority”? It is a writ issued with a view to restrain a person from holding a public office to which he is not entitled. The

 

writ requires the concerned person to explain to the Court by what authority he holds the office. If a person has usurped a public office, the Court may direct him not to carry out any activities in the

 

office or may announce the office to be vacant. Thus High Court may issue a writ of quo-warranto if a person holds an office beyond his retirement age.

 

 

73RD AMENDMENT ACT OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION

 

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament in April 1993. The Amendment provided a Constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj Institutions in India. Article 40 of the

 

Constitution provided for the organization of village Panchayats to enable them to function as the units of self-government. The practice of Panchayati Raj as per the Directive Principles of the State

 

Policy was not to the satisfaction of the policy makers because there was no uniform pattern of Panchayati Raj. While few States followed a two-tier system, the others followed a system of three tiers.

 

Further, many States were not holding regular elections to the PRIs. Since the elections to the PRIs were being held by the State governments themselves, their fairness and independence was seriously

 

doubtful. Moreover, there were no standard guidelines with regard to delegation of powers to such institutions.

 

Salient Features of 73rd Amendment Act

 

1. Gram Sabha: It is a body consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls of a village comprised within the area of Panchayat at the village level.

2. Three-Tier System: The act provides for a three-tier system of panchayati raj in every state, that is, panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels. However, a state having a population not

 

exceeding 20 lakh may not constitute panchayats at the intermediate level.

3. Election of Members and Chairpersons: All the members of panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels shall be elected directly by the people. The chairperson of panchayats at the

 

intermediate and district levels shall be elected indirectly—by and from amongst the elected members thereof. The chairperson of a panchayat at the village level shall be elected in such manner as the

 

state legislature determines.

4. Reservation of Seats: It provides for the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in every panchayat and reservation of offices of chairperson in the panchayat at the village or any other level in proportion

 

of their population to the total population in the panchayat area. The act provides for the reservation of not less than one-third of the total number of seats for women (including the number of seats

 

reserved for women belonging the SCs and STs). The act also authorizes the legislature of a state to make any provision for reservation of seats in any panchayat or offices of chairperson in the

 

panchayat at any level in favour of backward classes.

5. Duration of Panchayats: It provides for a five-year term of office to the panchayat at every level. However, it can be dissolved before the completion of its term. Further, fresh elections to constitute a

 

panchayat shall be completed: Before the expiry of its duration of five years; or In case of dissolution, within six months from the date of its dissolution.

6. Disqualifications: A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as or for being a member of panchayat if he is so disqualified:

• Under any law for the time being in force for the purpose of elections to the legislature of the state concerned, or

• Under any law made by the state legislature.

However, no person shall be disqualified on the ground that he is less than 25 years of age if he has attained the age of 21 years. Further, all questions of disqualifications shall be referred to such

 

authority as the state legislature determines.

7. State Election Commission: The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of all elections to the panchayats shall be vested in the state election

 

commission. The state election commissioner will be appointed by the governor. The state legislature may make provision with respect to all matters relating to elections to the panchayats.

8. Powers and Functions: The state legislature may devolve powers and responsibilities upon Panchayats at the appropriate level with respect to:-

(a) The preparation of plans for economic development and social justice;

(b) The implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them, including those in relation to the 29 matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule.

9. Finances: The state legislature may:-

• Authorize a panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and fees;

• Assign to a panchayat taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by the state government;

• Provide for making grants-in-aid to the panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of the State;

• Provide for constitution of funds for crediting all moneys of the panchayats.

10. Finance Commission:  The governor of a state shall, after every five years, constitute a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the panchayats. The state legislature may provide for

 

the composition of the commission and the required qualifications of its members and the manner of their selection. The governor shall place the recommendations of the commission along with the

 

action taken report before the state legislature. The Central Finance Commission shall also suggest the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the

 

panchayats in the states (on the basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the State).

11. Audit of Accounts: The state legislature may make provisions with respect to the maintenance of accounts by the panchayats and the auditing of such accounts.

12. Application to Union Territories: The provisions of this Part shall apply to the Union territories as directed by the President of India.

13. Exempted States and Areas: The act does not apply to the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram and certain other areas.

14. Continuance of Existing Laws and Panchayats: All the state laws relating to panchayats shall continue to be in force until the expiry of one year from the commencement of this act. In other words,

 

the states have to adopt the new panchayati raj system based on this act within the maximum period of one year from 24 April, 1993, which was the date of the commencement of this act. However, all

 

the panchayats existing immediately before the commencement of act shall continue till the expiry of their term, unless dissolved by the state legislature sooner.

15. Bar on Interference by Courts: The act bars the interference by courts in the electoral matters of panchayats. It declares that the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the

 

allotment of seats to such constituencies cannot be questioned in any court. It further lays down that no election to any panchayat is to be questioned except by an election petition presented to such

 

authority and in such manner as provided by the state legislature

 

 

GRAM NYAYALAYAS

 

Equality and justice are indisputably two key facets of the idea of a modern, democratic, and constitution-adhering India. The principles of equality and justice are realized by the State apparatus

 

through the business of administration of justice. India’s judicial system is characterized by systemic problems, including corruption, delays, pendency, increasing costs, limited legal aid, and a lack of

 

appropriately trained lawyers and judges.

 

To overcome these problems the Law Ministry had set up Gram Nyayalays in 2009 with an aim to provide a cost-effective forum at the grass-root level for the poor living in villages to settle legal

 

matters. It was established by the Gram Nyayalayas Act 2008.

 

This Act perpetuates the phenomenon of two Indias – that of the better-resourced urban citizen who can afford and has access to the courts, and the other India of the impoverished – the more

 

disconnected rural citizen, who gets primary access to forums that focus primarily on disposing of their claims, minus the application of essential safeguards of the legal process – lawyers, appeals,

 

procedural protections, and evidentiary requirements.

 

The Gram Nyayalaya was proposed by the 114th Law Commission in 1986. The report recommended the concept of the Gram Nyayalaya with two objectives. While addressing the pendency in the

 

subordinate courts was the major objective, the other objective was the introduction of a participatory forum of justice. To make it participatory the Law Commission recommended that the Magistrate

 

be accompanied by two lay persons who shall act as Judges, that the legal training of the Magistrate will be complemented by the knowledge of the lay persons who would bring in the much required

 

socio-economic dimension to adjudication. It was proposed that such a model of adjudication will be best suited for rural litigation. The Law Commission also observed that such a court would be ideally

 

suited for the villages as the nature of disputes coming before such a court would be ‘simple, uncomplicated and easy of solution’ and that such disputes should not be enmeshed in procedural claptrap.

 

Salient features of Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 which came into effect from Oct 2, 2009 are:

 

• Gram Nyayalayas are aimed at providing inexpensive justice to people in rural areas at their doorsteps;

• The Gram Nyayalaya shall be court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class and its Presiding Officer (Nyayadhikari) shall be appointed by the State Government in consultation with the High Court;

• The Gram Nyayalaya shall be established for every Panchayat at intermediate level or a group of contiguous Panchayats at intermediate level in a district or where there is no Panchayat at

 

intermediate level in any State;

• The Nyayadhikaris who will preside over these Gram Nyayalayas are strictly judicial officers and will be drawing the same salary, deriving  the same powers as First Class Magistrates working under

 

High Courts;

• The Gram Nyayalaya shall be a mobile court and shall exercise the powers of both Criminal and Civil Courts;

• The seat of the Gram Nyayalaya will be located at the headquarters of the intermediate Panchayat, they will go to villages, work there and dispose of the cases;

• The Gram Nyayalaya shall try criminal cases, civil suits, claims or disputes which are specified in the First Schedule and the Second Schedule to the Act;

• The Gram Nyayalaya shall follow summary procedure in criminal trial;

• The Gram Nyayalaya shall try to settle the disputes as far as possible by bringing about conciliation between the parties and for this purpose, it shall make use of the conciliators to be appointed for this

 

purpose;

• The judgment and order passed by the Gram Nyayalaya shall be deemed to be a decree;

• The Gram Nyayalaya shall not be bound by the rules of evidence provided in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to any rule made by the

 

High Court;

• An appeal in criminal cases shall lie to the Court of Session, which shall be heard and disposed of within a period of six months from the date of filing of such appeal;

• An appeal in civil cases shall lie to the District Court, which shall be heard and disposed of within a period of six months from the date of filing of the appeal;

• A person accused of an offence may file an application for plea bargaining.

 

 

WELFARE OF MINORITIES

 

The National Commission of Minorities Act, 1992 has notified five religious communities Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as minorities. These five minority communities

 

constitute about 18.47 per cent of the population of the country.

 

The Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme was launched in 2006 aimed at ensuring the well being, protection and development of minorities.

 

The features of the 5-Point Programme are:

 

(A) Enhancing opportunities for Education.

 

(1) Equitable availability of ICDS Services

The integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme aimed at holistic development of children and pregnant/lactating mothers from disadvantaged section, by providing services through

 

Anganwadi Centres such as supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-up, and referral services, pre-school and non-formal education. The benefits of the scheme are equitably available to

 

all communities.

 

(2) Improving access to School Education

Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme, and other similar Government schemes, it will be ensured that a certain percentage of such schools are located in

 

villages/localities having a substantial population of minority communities.

 

(3) Greater resources for teaching Urdu

Central assistance will be provided for recruitment and posting of Urdu language teachers in primary and upper primary schools that serve a population in which at least one-fourth belong to that

 

language group.

 

(4) Modernizing Madarsa Education

The Central Plan Scheme of Area Intensive and Madarsa Modernization Programmes provides basis educational infrastructure in areas of concentration of educationally backward minorities and

 

resources for the modernization of Madarsa education.

 

(5) Scholarships for meritorious students from minority communities

Schemes for pre-matric and post-matric scholarships for students from minority communities will be formulated and implemented.

 

(6) Improving educational infrastructure through the Maulana Azad Education Foundation.

The Government shall provide all possible assistance to Maulana Azad Educaion Foundation (MAEF) to strengthen and enable it to expand its activities more effectively.

 

(B) Equitable Share in Economic Activities and Employment

 

(7) Self-Employment and Wage Employment for the poor

• The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY), the primary self-employment programme for rural areas, has the objective of bringing assisted poor rural families above the poverty line by

 

providing them income generating assets through a mix of bank credit and Governmental subsidy. 

• The Swarnjayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana (SSRY) consists of two major components namely, the Urban Self-Employment Programme (USEP) and the Urban Wage Employment Programme

 

(UWEP). 

• The Sampurna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) is aimed at providing additional wage employment in rural areas alongside the creation of durable community, social and economic infrastructure.

 

(8) Upgradation of skill through technical training

A very large proportion of the population of minority communities is engaged in low-level technical work or earns its living as handicraftsmen. Provision of technical training to such people would

 

upgrade their skills and earning capability. Therefore, a certain proportion of all new ITIs will be located in areas predominantly inhabited by minority communities and a proportion of existing ITIs to

 

be upgraded to ‘Centres of Excellence’ will be selected on the same basis.

 

(9) Enhanced credit support for economic activities

The National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) was set up in 1994 with the objective of promoting economic development activities among the minority communities. The

 

Government is committed to strengthen the NMDFC by providing it greater equity support to enable it to fully achieve its objective. It will be ensured that an appropriate percentage of the priority sector

 

lending in all categories is targeted for the minority communities.

 

(10) Recruitment to State and Central Services

In the recruitment of police personnel, State Governments will be advised to give special consideration to minorities. For this purpose, the composition of selection committees should be

 

representative.The Central Government will take similar action in the recruitment of personnel to the Central police forces. Large scale employment opportunities are provided by the Railways,

 

nationalized banks and public sector enterprises. An exclusive scheme will be launched for candidates belonging to minority communities to provide coaching in Government institutions as well as

 

private coaching institutes with credibility.

 

(C) Improving the conditions of living of minorities.

 

(11) Equitable share in rural housing scheme

The Indira Awaas Yojna(IAY) provides financial assistance for shelter to the rural poor living below the poverty line. A certain percentage of the physical and financial targets under IAY will be

 

earmarked for poor beneficiaries from minority communities living in rural areas.

 

(12) Improvement in condition of slums inhabited by minority communities.

Under the schemes of Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme(IHSDP) and Jawaharlal Nahru Urban Renewal Mission(JNURM), the Central Government provides assistance to

 

States/UTs for development of urban slums through provision of physical amenities and basic services. It would be ensured that the benefits of these programmes flow equitable to members of the

 

minority communities and to cities/slums, predominantly inhabited by minority communities.

 

(D) Prevention & Control of Communal Riots

 

(13) Prevention of communal incidents

In areas, which have been identified as communally sensitive and riot prone districts, police officials of the highest known efficiency, impartiality and secular record must be posted. In such areas and

 

even elsewhere, the prevention of communal tension should be one of the primary duties of the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.

 

(14) Prosecution for communal offences

Severe action should be taken against all those who incite communal tension or take part in violence. Special court or courts specifically earmarked to try communal offences should be set up so that

 

offenders are brought to book speedily.

 

(15) Rehabilitation of victims of communal riots

Victims of communal riots should be given immediate relief and provided prompt and adequate financial assistance for their rehabilitation.

 

The Union Cabinet on October 22, 2009 decided to include three more schemes in the Prime Minister’s New 15- Point Programme for the welfare of minorities. The additional schemes are:

 

• National Rural Drinking Water Programme

• The Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns

• The Urban Infrastructure and Governance Scheme

 

 

 

at it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or

 

language.

 

(The definition of minority is not defined in constitution; it is interpreted by Supreme Court under different cases)

 

Minority educational institutions are of three types:

 

a) Institutions that seek recognition as well as aid from the state.

b) Institutions that seek only recognition from the state and not the aid

c) Institutions that neither seek recognition nor aid from the state

 

 

NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY OF INDIA

 

National Disaster Management Authority of India aims to build a safer and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, pro-active, multi-disaster and technology-driven strategy for disaster management through collective efforts of all Government Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations.

 

NDMA as the apex body is mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters. Towards this, it has the following responsibilities:-

 

a) Lay down policies on disaster management;

b) Approve the National Plan;

c) Approve plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan;

d) Lay down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan;

e) Lay down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India for the Purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects;

f) Coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plan for disaster management;

g) Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation;

h) Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government;

i) Take such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with the threatening disaster situation or disaster as it may consider necessary;

j) Lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National Institute of Disaster Management.

 

National Disaster Response Force

 

The Concept. The Disaster Management Act has mandated the constitution of a Specialist Response Force to a threatening disaster situation or a disaster. This Force will function under the National Disaster Management Authority which has been vested with its control, direction and general superintendence. This will be a multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled, high-tech force for all types of disasters capable of insertion by air, sea and land. All the eight battalions are to be equipped and trained for all natural disasters including four battalions in combating nuclear, biological and chemical disasters.

 

Present Organization. Presently this Force is constituted of eight battalions, two each from the BSF, CRPF, CISF and ITBP.

 

Deployment. These NDRF battalions are located at nine different locations in the country based on the vulnerability profile to cut down the response time for their deployment. During the preparedness period/in a threatening disaster situation, proactive deployment of these forces will be carried out by the NDMA in consultation with state authorities

 

 

 

 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

The Major tribes

Abors-Arunachal Pradesh, Assa, Adi, Apatami-Arunachal Pradesh; Angami, Ao-Nagaland; Badagas-Tamil
Nadu; Baiga-MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat; Bhils-MP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bhotias-UP (Garhwal and Kumaon);
Bhutias-Sikkim; Birhor-Bihar; Bodos-Assam; Chenchus-AP, Orissa; Chutia-Assam; Dangs-Gujarat; Gaddis-HP; Garos-Meghalaya; Gonds-MP, Bihar, Orissa, AP; Great Andamanese-Andaman Is.; Irulas-Tamil Nadu;
Jaintias-Meghalaya; Jarawas-Little Andamans; Kanis-Kerala; Kacharis, Karbi-Assam; Khampti-Arunachal
Pradesh, Khasis-Meghalaya, Assam; Khons-Orissa; Kol-MP; Kotas-Tamil Nadu; Kuki-Manipur; Lepchas or
Rongpa-Sikkim; Lushais-Tripura; Meiteis-Manipur, Nagaland; Mina-Rajasthan; Miri-Arunachal Pradesh;
Mishing-Assam; Murias-MP; Mikirs-Assam; Mundas-Bihar; Oarons-Bihar, Orissa; Onges-Little Andamans;
Rabhas-Assam; Rengma-Nagaland; Santhals-W. Bengal, Bihar; Sema-Nagaland; Sentinelesse-Andaman &
Nicobar Is.; Shompens-Great Nicobar Is., Tagin-Arunachal Pradesh; Todas-Tamil Nadu; Uralis-Kerala;
Zealing-Nagaland.

Scheduled Castes and TribesThere are 13.82 crores people belonging to the Scheduled Castes in the
country. This constitutes 16.48% of the country’s total population. The States of UP, West Bengal, Bihar,
Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh account for more than 50% of the SC population, with UP and West Bengal
having move that 20% of its population from the SCs. Members of the SC earn their livelihood through their
own labour, either on land belonging toothers or in occupations like scavenging, flaying and tanning of
leather. More than 3 quarters of the SC workers are engaged in primary occupation and the proportion of
those engaged in the tertiary sector is nearly half the national average. In the field of literacy, as against the
national average of 52%, the literacy rate of SCs is around 37%. Among the SC women, more than three
quarters are illiterate. Moreover, the drop out rate in formal education is very high. Such factors put the
community at disadvantage.

The population of Scheduled Tribes were 6.78 crore (’91 Census) constituting 8.08% of the country is total
population. Their literacy is just 29.60%. Literacy among the women is 18.19% compared to the national
average of 39.29%.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

 1
st
amendment (1951):Added Ninth Schedule. The amendment provided several new
grounds of restrictions to the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to
practise any profession or to carry onany trade or business as contained in Article 19 of the
Constitution.

 7
th
Amendment (1956):Re-organisation of States (14 States, 6 U.Ts)

 9
th
Amendment (1961):Gave effect to the transfer of certain territories to Pakistan in
pursuance of the agreement between Governments of India and Pakistan.

 10
th
Amendment (1961): Incorporated Dadra and Nagar Haveli as a U.T.

 12
th
Amendment (1962):Incorporated Goa, Daman & Diu as a U.T.

 13
th
Amendment (1962):Created Nagaland as a State.

 14
th
Amendment (1962):Inclusion of Pondicherry in the First Schedule.

 18
th
Amendment (1966):Reorganized Punjab into Punjab, Haryana and the UT of
Chandigarh.

 21
st
Amendment (1967):Included Sindhi as the 15
th
Regional Language.

 22
nd
Amendment (1969):Created Meghalaya as a Sub-State within Assam.

 24
th
Amendment (1971): This amendment was passed in the context of a situation that
emerged with the verdict in Golaknath’s case by Supreme Court. Accordingly, this Act
amended Article 13 and Article 36B to remove all doubts regarding the powe r of Parliament
to amend to Constitution including the Fundamental Rights.

 25
th
Amendment (1971):This amendment further amended Article 31 in the wake of the
Banks Nationalization case.

 27
th
Amendment (1971):Established Manipur and Tripura as States and Mizoram and
Arunachal Pradesh as UTs.

 31
st
Amendment (1973):The total strength of Lok Sabha was increased from 525 to 545(on
the basis of Census 1971)

 36
th
Amendment (1975):Established Sikkim as a State.

 38
th
Amendment (1975):It seeks to make a declaration of Emergency non-judiciable and
places beyond the jurisdiction of Courts, the Ordinances and Proclamation of Emergency
issued by the President, Governors and it Governors.

 39
th
Amendment (1975):Placed beyond judicial scrutiny, the election of President, Prime
Minister and Chairman to either House of Parliament.

 42
nd
Amendment (1976):The working of the Preamble is changed from “Sovereign
Democratic Republic” to read as: Sovereign Secular Democratic Republic”. The life of the
Lok Sabha and all State Assemblies is extended from 5 to 6 years. It lays down 10
Fundamentals Duties for all Citizens, existing 12 principles of state policy have been
expanded and given precedence over Fundamental Rights.

 44
th
Amendment (1978): Deletion of Right to Property from the Fundamental Rights. Limiting
the declaration of Emergency only to cases of Armed Rebellion. The restoration of life of Lok
Sabha and State Assemblies to 5 years.

 52
nd
Amendment (1985):Added Tenth Schedule which contains provisions as to
disqualification on ground of declaration.

 53
rd
Amendment (1986):Granted statehood to the UT of Mizoram.

 55
th
Amendment (1986): Granted statehood to the UT of Arunachal Pradesh.

 56
th
Amendment (1987): Goa was made a state.

 61
st
Amendment (1989): Reduced the voting age from 21 to 18 years.

 71
st
Amendment (1992):Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in the Eights Schedule.

 72
nd
Amendment (1992):Panchayati Raj Bill passed. Constitution of Panchayats at Village
and other levels. Direct elections at Village and other levels. Direct elections to all seats in
Panchayats and reservation of seats for the SCs and STs and fixing of tenure of 5 years for
Panchayats.
 73
rd
Amendment (1992):Nagarpalika bill passed. Constitution of three type of municipalities.
Reservation of seats for SC, ST and women.
 74
th
Amendment (1993): A new Part IX-A relating to the Municipalities has incorporate in the
Constitution of three types of Municipalities, i.e., Nagar Panchayats for areas in transition
from a rural area to urban area, Municipal C orporations for larger urban areas.
 80
th
Amendment (2000):Deals with an alternative scheme for sharing taxes between the
Union and the States.
 81
st
Amendment (2000): Provides that the unfilled vacancies of a year reserved for SC/ST
kept for being filled up in a year as per Article 16, shall be considered separately for filling
vacancies in the succeeding year and the pervious list will not be considered for filling the
50% quota of the respective year.

 82
nd
Amendment (2000):Provides that nothing in the article 355 shall prevent the state from
making any provisions in favour of the members of the SC/ST in Arunachal Pradesh where
the whole population in tribal.

 84
th
Amendment (2001):The Act amendment Article 82 and 170(3) to read just the territorial
constituencies in the States, without altering the number of seats allotted to each State in
House of People and Assemblies, including the SC and St constituencies 1991.

 85
th
Amendment (2001):Amended Article 16(4A) to provide for consequential seniority in
promotion by virtue of rule of reservation for the Government servants belonging to the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
 86
th
Amendment (2002):Provides for (i) insertion of a new article 21A that the State shall
provide free and compulsory educationto all children of the age of six to fourteen years in
such manner as the State may, by law, determine.

 87
th
Amendment (2003): This Article provides that in Article 81 of the Constitution, in clause
(3), in the provision, in clause (ii), for the figures “ 1991”, the figures “2001” shall be
substituted.

 88
th
Amendment (2003):This Article provides for the insertion of a new Article 268A which
states that taxes on services shall be levied by the Government of India and such tax shall
be collected and appropriated by the Govt. of India and the Sates in the manner provided in
clause (2).
 89
th
Amendment (2003):This Article provides for the amendment of Article 338 and insertion
of a new article 338A which provides that thee shall be a National commission for ST.
 90
th
Amendment (2003):This Amendment provided that for elections to the Legislative
Assembly of the State of Assam, the representation of the Scheduled Tribes and non-Scheduled Tribes in the constituencies including in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District, so
notified, and existing prior to the constitution of the Bodoland Territorial Areas District, shall
be maintained.

 91
st
Amendment (2003):This Article provides that the total number of Ministers, including the
Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed fifteen per cent of the total
number of members of the House of the people.
 92
nd
Amendment (2003):This Article provides for the inclusion of four new languages, viz.
Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali in the Eights Schedule of the Constitution.
 93
rd
Amendment (2005):In this Amendment, a provision has been inserted that the State
(i.e. parliament or other legislatures) can make laws for the advancement of the SC, ST or
the OBCs of citizens in matters of admission to educational insti tutions, including private
unaided institution.

 94
th
Amendment (2006):This Article provides that in article 164 of the Constitution in clause
(1), in the provision, for the word “Bihar”, the words “Chhattisgarh” and “Jharkhand” shall be
substituted.

 

 

indian polity ias100

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MGNREGA

 

The Standing Committee on Rural Development Chaired by  Sumitra Mahajan submitted its report on the  implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural  Employment Guarantee Act, 2005.

 

The MGNREGA was enacted in 2005 to guarantee 100 days of employment per year to rural households.

 

The Committee highlighted several achievements of the MGNREGA in the seven years of its implementation; especially (a) ensuring livelihoods for people in rural areas, (b) large scale participation of women, SCs/STs and other traditionally marginalised sections of society, (c) increasing the wage rate in rural areas, (d) strengthening the rural economy through the creation of assets, (e) facilitating sustainable development and (f) strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) like the gram sabha by involving them in planning and monitoring of the scheme.

 

However, the Committee found several issues with the implementation of the scheme including (a) fabrication of job cards, (b) delay in payment of wages, (c) non payment of unemployment allowances, (d) a large number of incomplete works, (e) poor quality of assets created, (f) several instances of malpractices and corruption, and (g) insufficient involvement of PRIs.

 

The Committee made the following recommendations, based on its findings:

 

• Offences such as missing entries in the job cards and unlawful possession of job cards with elected PRI representatives and MGNREGA functionaries should be made a punishable offence under the Act.

 

• Since studies have shown that the income of female workers raises the standard of living of their households to a greater extent than their male counterparts, the participation of women must be increased through raising awareness and forming self help groups.

 

• Special works must be identified, meeting the specific needs of disabled people. Special job cards must be issued and personnel must be employed to ensure the participation of persons with disabilities.

 

• The Department of Rural Development must analyse poor utilisation of funds and take steps to improve utilisation of funds. In addition, it should initiate action against officers found guilty of misappropriating funds under MGNREGA.

 

• Since states are at various stages of socio-economic development, they may have varied requirements for development and therefore, state governments should be allowed to undertake works that are pertinent to their context. There should be more emphasis on skilled and semi-skilled work under MGNREGA, possibly through greater coordination with the National Rural Livelihoods Mission. The Committee recommends convergence with other schemes such as the National Literacy Mission and Mid Day Meal Scheme.

 

• Dated receipts for demanded work should be issued so that workers can claim unemployment allowance. Funds for unemployment allowance should be met by the central government.

 

• Frequency of monitoring by National Level Monitors should increase and appropriate measures should be taken based on their recommendations. Additionally, social audits must mandatorily be held every 6 months. A nodal officer should be designated to ensure this. Vigilance cells must be established at the state and district level and vigilance and monitoring committees must be established at the local level.

 

• Training and capacity building of elected representatives and other functionaries of PRIs must be done regularly

 

 

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1950

 

The Representation of the People Act specifies the provisions for the allocation of seats in, and the delimitation of constituencies for the purpose of election to, the House of the People and the Legislatures of States, the qualifications of voters at such elections, the preparation of electoral rolls, the manner of filling seats in the Council of States to be filled by representatives of Union territories and matters connected therewith.

 

Definitions of the key terms used in Act:

 

a) “article” means an article of the Constitution;

b) “Assembly constituency” means a constituency provided [by law] for the purpose of elections to the Legislative Assembly of a State;

c) “Council constituency” means a constituency provided [by law] for the purpose of elections to the Legislative Council of a State;

d) “Parliamentary constituency” means a constituency provided [by law] for the purpose of elections to the House of the People;

e) “State” includes a Union territory;

f) “State Government”, in relation to a Union territory, means the administrator thereof.

 

Some salient points of the Act are:

 

HOUSE OF PEOPLE:

 

• The allocation of seats to the States in the House of the People and the number of seats, if any, to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and for the Scheduled Tribes of each State is in accordance with the First Schedule of the Constitution.

• All the seats in the House of the People allotted to the States shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from parliamentary constituencies in the States.

• Every parliamentary constituency shall be a single-member constituency.

• The extent of all parliamentary constituencies except the parliamentary constituencies in the Union territory of Arunachal Pradesh shall be as determined by the orders of the Delimitation Commission made under the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 1972 and the extent of the parliamentary constituencies in the Union territory of Arunachal Pradesh shall be as determined by the order of the Election Commission under the provisions of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.

OFFICERS

 

1. Chief electoral officers:

There shall be for each State a chief electoral officer who shall be such officer of Government as the Election Commission may, in consultation with that Government, designate or nominate in this behalf.

 

Subject to the superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission, the chief electoral officer shall supervise the preparation, revision and correction of all electoral rolls in the State under this Act

 

2. District election officer:

For each district in a State, the Election Commission shall, in consultation with the Government of the State, designate or nominate a district election officer who shall be an officer of Government:

 

Provided that the Election Commission may designate or nominate more than one such officer for a district if the Election Commission is satisfied that the functions of the office cannot be performed satisfactorily by one officer. The district election officer shall also perform such other functions as may be entrusted to him by the Election Commission and the chief electoral officer.

 

3. Electoral registration officers

The electoral roll [for each parliamentary constituency in the State of Jammu and Kashmir or in a Union territory not having a Legislative Assembly], each assembly constituency and each Council constituency] shall be prepared and revised by an electoral registration officer who shall be such officer of Government or of a local authority as the Election Commission may, in consultation with the Government of the State in which the constituency is situated, designate or nominate in this behalf.

 

An electoral registration officer may, subject to any prescribed restrictions, employ such persons as he thinks fit for the preparation and revision of the electoral roll for the constituency.

ELECTORAL ROLL

For every constituency there shall be an electoral roll which shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of this Act under the superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission.

 

A person shall be disqualified for registration in an electoral roll if he—

(a) is not a citizen of India; or

(b) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court; or

(c) is for the time being disqualified from voting under the provisions of any law relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with elections.

 

No person shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for more than one constituency.

 

No person shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for any constituency more than once.

 

Every person who —

(a) is not less than [eighteen years] of age on the qualifying date, and

(b) is ordinarily resident in a constituency, shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for that constituency.

 

A person shall not be deemed to be ordinarily resident in a constituency on the ground only that he owns, or is in possession of, a dwelling house therein.

 

A person absenting himself temporarily from his place of ordinary residence shall not by reason thereof cease to be ordinarily resident therein.

 

A member of Parliament or of the Legislature of a State shall not during the term of his office cease to be ordinarily resident in the constituency in the electoral roll of which he is registered as an elector at the time of his election as such member, by reason of his absence from that constituency in connection with his duties as such member.

 

A person who is a patient in any establishment maintained wholly or mainly for the reception and treatment of persons suffering from mental illness or mental defectiveness, or who is detained in prison or other legal custody at any place, shall not by reason thereof be deemed to be ordinarily resident therein.

Any person having a service qualification shall be deemed to be ordinarily resident on any date in the constituency in which, but for his having such service qualification, he would have been ordinarily resident on that date.

 

“service qualification” means—

(a) being a member of the armed forces of the Union; or

(b) being a member of a force to which the provisions of the Army Act, 1950 (46 of 1950), have been made applicable whether with or without modifications; or

(c) being a member of an armed police force of a State, who is serving outside that State; or

(d) being a person who is employed under the Government of India, in a post outside India.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

• Every local authority in a State shall, when so requested by the chief electoral officer of the State, make available to any electoral registration officer such staff as may be necessary for the performance of any duties in connection with the preparation and revision of electoral rolls.

• No civil court shall have jurisdiction— (a) to entertain or adjudicate upon any question whether any person is or is not entitled to be registered in an electoral roll for a constituency.

• If any person makes in connection with— (a) the preparation, revision or correction of an electoral roll, or (b) the inclusion or exclusion of any entry in or from an electoral roll, a statement or declaration in writing which is false and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

 

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS

 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, an Act of Parliament (December 2005). The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.

 

The proposed Commission have a Chairperson and six other Members, including two women members, a Member Secretary and other supporting staff. The Chairperson is a person of eminence in the field of child development. The members are the experts in the field of child health, education, child care and development, juvenile justice, children with disabilities, elimination of child labour, child psychology or sociology and laws relating to children.

 

The Functions of the Commissions are:

 

• Examine and review the safeguards provided by Constitution or any law for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation

• Present to the Central Government, annually reports upon the working of those safeguards.

• Examine all factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of most vulnerable children and  children in need of special care and protection

• Study treaties and other international instruments and undertake periodical review of existing policies, programmes and other activities on child rights and make recommendation for their effective implementation in the best interest of children.

• Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights

• Spread child rights literacy among various sections of the society and promote awareness

• inspect any juvenile custodial home, or any other place of residence or institution meant for children for the purpose of treatment, reformation or protection and take up with these authorities for remedial action

• inquire into complaints and take suo motu notice of matters relating to,

a) deprivation of child’s rights;

b) non-implementation of laws for protection and  development of children;

c) non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or and to provide relief to such children, take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities;

• Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of child rights.

 

PARIVARIK MAHILA LOK ADALAT

 

The concept of Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat (PMLA) has been evolved by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to supplement the efforts of the District Legal Service Authority for redressal and speedy disposal of matters pending in various courts related to marriage and family affairs.

 

Objectives of Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat:

 

• To provide speedy and cost free dispensation of justice to women.

• To generate awareness among the public regarding conciliatory mode of dispute settlement.

•  To gear up the process of organizing the Lok Adalats and to encourage the public to settle their disputes outside the formal set-up.

• To empower public especially women to participate in justice delivery mechanism.

 

Methodology

 

The Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat functions on the model of the Lok Adalat. The Commission provides financial assistance to NGOs or State Women Commissions or State Legal Service Authority to organize the Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat.

 

• The NGOs approach the DLSA or District Judge and collect information about pending cases of family disputes within the district. Then the DLSA selects women related cases which are admissible in the Lok Adalat, and makes relevant files/case papers available to the NGOs. NGOs through their counsellors approach the parties and start counselling prior to the date of the PMLA to bring them to a compromise or settlement. If settlement occurs then the settlement will be noted down on paper in each case and the signatures of both the parties must be obtained on the document which will be presented before PMLA for its legal authentication.

 

Later the NGOs will organise PMLA on the specified date on which the cases will be brought up for settlement. At least 40% of the cases received from DLSA must be disposed of on the date of PMLA.

 

The District Judge will appoint a Presiding Officer, for the PMLA, who should be a Judge and two or more members who can be judges, advocates or social activists.

 

The Venue of the PMLA will be a suitable central place convenient to the panelists as well as the parties and preferably premises other than a Court Room. The panel will authenticate the settlement on the date of PMLA  Court decree will be issued as per the settlement and will be legally binding on both the parties. After that the settled cases will be withdrawn from the dealing courts.

 

NGOs shall not charge any fee from the parties.

 

Advantages

 

Advantages of the PMLA are that it is cheaper, it helps encourage the public to settle their disputes outside the formal set-up, it empowers the public (especially women) to participate in the justice delivery mechanism, and ideally, cases are amicably settled by the parties in a harmonious atmosphere. Interestingly, an award of the Lok Adalat has the same force as a decree by a Court of Law.

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Corporate Governance could be defined as ways of bringing the interests of investors and managers into line and ensuring that firms are run for the benefit of investors. It is concerned with the relationship between the internal governance mechanisms of corporations and society’s conception of the scope of corporate accountability.

 

Corporate governance is the acceptance by management of the inalienable rights of shareholders as the true owners of the corporation and of their own role as trustees on behalf of the shareholders.

 

Voluntary Guidelines issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs with respect to Corporate Governance

 

• Companies should issue formal letters of appointment to Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) and Independent Directors as is done by them while appointing employees and Executive Directors. Such a formal letter should form a part of the disclosure to shareholders at the time of the ratification of his/her appointment or re-appointment to the Board.

• The offices of chairman of the board and chief executive officer should be separate.

• The companies may have a Nomination Committee comprising of majority of Independent Directors, including its Chairman. This Committee should consider:

a) Proposals for searching, evaluating, and recommending appropriate Independent Directors and Non-Executive Directors [NEDs], based on an objective and transparent set of guidelines which should be disclosed and should, inter-alia, include the criteria for determining qualifications, positive attributes, independence of a director and availability of time with him or her to devote to the job;

b) Determining processes for evaluating the skill, knowledge, experience and effectiveness of individual directors as well as the Board as a whole.

c) With a view to enable Board to take proper and reasoned decisions, Nomination Committee should ensure that the Board comprises of a balanced combination of Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors.

d) The Nomination Committee should also evaluate and recommend the appointment of Executive Directors.

e) A separate section in the Annual Report should outline the guidelines being followed by the Nomination Committee and the role and work done by it during the year under consideration

• Independent Directors and NEDs should hold no more than seven directorships.

• The Board should put in place a policy for specifying positive attributes of Independent Directors such as integrity, experience and expertise, foresight, managerial qualities and ability to read and understand financial statements.

Disclosure about such policy should be made by the Board in its report to the shareholders. Such a policy may be subject to approval by shareholders.

• All Independent Directors should provide a detailed Certificate of Independence at the time of their appointment, and thereafter annually. Independent Directors should be restricted to six-year terms. They must leave for three years before serving another term, and they may not serve more than three tenures for a company.

• Independent Directors should have the ability to meet with managers and should have access to information.

• NEDs should be paid either a fixed fee or a percentage of profits. Whichever payment method is elected should apply to all NEDs. NEDs paid with stock-options should hold onto those options for three years after leaving the board.

• Independent Directors should not be paid with stock options or profit-based commission.

• The Remuneration Committee should have at least three members with the majority of NEDs, and at least one Independent Director. Their decisions should be made available in the Annual Report.

• The Board should provide training for the directors.

• The Board should enable quality decision-making by giving the members timely access to information.

• The Board should put in systems of risk management and review them every six months.

• The Board should review its own performance annually and state its methods in its Annual Report.

• The Board should put in a system to ensure compliance with the law, which should be reviewed annually. All agenda items should be assessed for its impact on minority shareholders.

• The Audit Committee should be composed of at least three members, with Independent Directors in the majority and an Independent Director as the chairperson.

• The Audit Committee is responsible for reviewing the integrity of financial statements, the company’s internal financial controls, internal audit function and risk management systems. The Audit Committee should also monitor and approve all Transactions.

• The Audit Committee should be consulted on the selection of auditors. The committee must be supplied with relevant information about the auditing firm.

• Every auditor should provide a certificate stating his/her/its arm’s length relationship with the client company.

• The audit partner should be rotated every three years; the firm should be rotated every five years. Audit partners should have a cooling off period of three years before they work with the client company again; the firm should have a cooling off period of five years.

• The Committee may appoint an internal auditor.

• The companies should ensure the institution of a mechanism for employees to report concerns about unethical behavior, actual or suspected fraud, or violation of the company’s code of conduct or ethical policy.

• The companies should also provide for adequate safeguards against victimization of employees who avail of the mechanism, and also allow direct access to the Audit Committee Chairperson in exceptional cases.

 

PANI PANCHAYAT

 

Pani Panchayat is a voluntary activity of a group of farmers engaged in the collective management (harvesting and distribution) of surface water and groundwater (wells and percolation tanks).

 

It aims at enabling equable distribution of water to all of its people in the village through Sustainable development of the watershed to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and participating communities through education, training and active participation in sustainable production activities. Further it also aims at developing holistic farming system through the use of organic farming based on scientific techniques are very successful remedy to the economic and ecological crises edangered by Green revolution.

 

The Principles of Pani Panchayat are:

 

a) Only group schemes are undertaken and not schemes of individuals. This fosters community spirit.

b) Sharing of water on the basis of number of persons in a family and not on the proportion of land holding. Water will be given on the basis of 0.5 acre per person in the family. Each family will be assumed of maximum five members and irrigate only one hect of land per family. If any family has land in excess of one hect it will remain as rainfed.

c) Rights of water do not go to the land but to the individual beneficiaries. This avoids inflation of land prices.

d) Beneficiaries should share 20 % of cost of the scheme proposed by any group. The balance to be obtained as a loan from the bank or partly through government subsidy if any available. A community lift irrigation scheme is beyond the means of a dry land farmer. He does not have the means to raise his share of 20% of the capital cost. Most of them, therefore, take a share of water much less than they are entitled to. Many of the beneficiaries have raised their 20% contribution with great sacrifice.

e) The beneficiaries should administer and operate the scheme. Technical guidance, if any required, will be made available by Pani Panchayat.

f) Perennial crops like sugarcane requiring water throughout the year and in more quantity and more number of waterings should not be grown. This will enable to bring more area of seasonal crops under protective irrigation, by saving water.

g) The landless can also share water so that they gain full employment in the village itself by becoming share croppers to farmers having more land. Thus migration of land less persons can be prevented.

 

The Pani Panchayat model shows that irrespective of the rainfall pattern, a village can be self-sufficient with its own natural resources only. Pani Panchayat limits role of government up to water harvesting structures and allows community to use water at their wish, for equitable and effective development of water resources. Principles of Pani Panchayat ensure equity in opportunity and benefits for larger social spectrum.

 

The structure of Pani Panchayat comprised of –

 

a) Water user group for each lift irrigation scheme which in turn had a representation in the village level Pani Panchayat;

b) Election of the representatives of the village level Committee;

c) Decentralized decision making with public participation;

d) Monthly meeting of the committee to review, plan work and resolve conflicts;

e) Ensuring equitable water distribution;

f) Collection of Pani Patti;

g) Maintenance of the scheme.

 

CYBER CRIME

 

Cyber Crime is the use of computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy. Cybercrime, especially through the Internet, has grown in importance as the computer has become central to commerce, entertainment, and government.

 

Most cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, corporations, or governments. Although the attacks do not take place on a physical body, they do take place on the personal or corporate virtual body, which is the set of informational attributes that define people and institutions on the Internet.

 

Types of Cyber Crimes

 

There are many types of cyber crimes and the most common ones are explained below:

 

Hacking: This is a type of crime wherein a person’s computer is broken into so that his personal or sensitive information can be accessed. In hacking, the criminal uses a variety of software to enter a person’s computer and the person may not be aware that his computer is being accessed from a remote location.

 

Theft: This crime occurs when a person violates copyrights and downloads music, movies, games and software. There are even peer sharing websites which encourage software piracy.

 

Cyber Stalking: This crime involves use of internet to harass someone. The behavior includes false accusations, threats, etc.

 

Phishing: It is a criminally fraudulent process of acquiring sensitive information such as username, passwords and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

 

Malicious Software: These are Internet-based software or programs that are used to disrupt a network. The software is used to gain access to a system to steal sensitive information or data or causing damage to software present in the system.

 

Spamming: It is sending of unsolicited bulk and commercial messages over the internet. Although irritating to most email users, it is not illegal unless it causes damage such as overloading network and disrupting service to subscribers or creates .negative impact on consumer attitudes towards Internet Service Provider.

 

Web Jacking: The term refers to forceful taking of control of a web site by cracking the password.

 

Cyber terrorism: The use of computer resources to intimidate or coerce government, the civilian population or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives is called cyber terrorism. Individuals and groups quite often try to exploit anonymous character of the internet to threaten governments and terrorize the citizens of the country.

 

Email Spoofing: E-mail spoofing is e-mail activity in which the sender addresses and other parts of the e-mail header are altered to appear as though the e-mail originated from a different source.

 

GRAM SABHA

 

According to the 73rd Amendment Act, the administrative set up of Panchayat in the State consists of Village Panchayats, Intermediate Panchayats, District Panchayats, Gram Sabhas and Ward Sabhas.

 

Gram Sabha consists of all persons whose names are included in the electoral rolls relating to a Village Panchayat

 

Powers, Duties and Functions of Gram Sabha –

 

•  The Gram Sabha shall, in such manner and subject to such procedure as may be prescribed, perform such functions as enumerated in the Fifth Schedule.

•  The Gram Sabha shall make periodical reports to the Village Panchayat in respect of the matters specified in the Fifth Schedule.

•  The Village Panchayat shall carry out the recommendations, if any, made by the Gram Sabha in regard to the matters before it under this section.

•  When beneficiaries are to be selected for any scheme, project or plan, the criteria for eligibility and order of priority shall be fixed by the Panchayat subject to the terms and conditions prescribed in the scheme, project or plan and such criteria shall be published in the manner prescribed and intimated to the Gram Sabha.

•  The priority list prepared by the Village Panchayat after inviting applications for the selection of beneficiaries and conducting enquiries on the application received, shall be scrutinised at the meeting of the Gram Sabha in which the applicants will also be invited and a final list of the deserving beneficiaries, in the order of priority, shall be prepared and sent for the approval of the Village Panchayat.

•  The Gram Sabha may appoint, elect or constitute general or special sub- committees for detailed discussions on any issues or programmes and for the effective implementation of the schemes and the decisions and in furtherance of its rights and responsibilities. The recommendations of such committees shall be placed before the Gram Sabha and if approved, shall be considered as decisions of the Gram Sabha and action taken accordingly: Provided that such committees shall consist of not less than ten members of whom not less than half shall be women.

 

Meetings of Gram Sabha –

 

•  Gram Sabha shall meet at least once in two months at the place fixed by the Village Panchayat and to such meetings, the Convenor of the Village Panchayat shall, compulsorily invite the member of the Intermediate Panchayat, the District Panchayat and the Legislative Assembly representing the area of the Gram Sabha.

•  The Village Panchayat shall place before the Gram Sabha a report regarding the developmental programmes undertaken during the previous year and those that are proposed to by undertaken during the current year, and the expenditure therefor, and the annual statement of accounts and the administration report of the preceding year. If in any circumstances, any decision of the Gram Sabha could not be implemented, the Chairperson shall report the reason therefor, to the Gram Sabha.

•  The Gram Sabha shall, in its ordinary meeting or in the special meeting convened for the purpose discuss the report shall have the right to know about the budgetary provisions, the details of plan outlay, item wise allocation of funds and details of the estimates and cost of works executed or proposed to be executed within the area of the Gram Sabha.

•  The Audit Report or the Performance Audit Report placed for the consideration of the Gram Sabha shall be discussed in the meeting and its views, recommendations and suggestions shall be communicated to the concerned Village Panchayat.

•  The proceedings of every meeting shall be recorded in the Minutes Book immediately. Any member of the Gram Sabha is entitled to get a true copy of the minutes of one or more meetings by paying the requisite fee which shall be made available by the Secretary within a day of the receipt of the application with fee. The Minutes Book shall not be taken outside the office under any circumstances.

•  The Annual Meeting of the Gram Sabha shall be held not less than 3 months prior to the commencement of the next financial year, and the Village Panchayat shall place before such meeting:-

 

a) The annual statement of accounts;

b) The report of administration of the preceding financial year;

c) The development and other programmes of the works proposed for the next financial year;

d) The last audit note and replies, if any, thereto; and

e) The Medium Term Fiscal Plan, Annual Budget and Annual Plan for the next financial year of the Village Panchayat.

 

 

ECO-MARK SCHEME

 

Eco-Mark is an eco-labelling scheme which was constituted by the Government of India in 1991 for easy identification of environment-friendly products. The Scheme was initially designed to operate on a national basis and provide accreditation and labelling for household and other consumer products that would meet certain environmental criteria along with the quality requirements of Indian standards for that product

 

The specific objectives of the scheme are as follow:

 

1. To provide an incentive for manufacturers and importers to reduce adverse environmental impact of products.

2. To reward genuine initiatives by companies to reduce adverse environmental impact of their products.

3. To assist consumers to become environmentally responsible in their daily lives by providing information to take account of environmental factors in their purchase decisions.

4. To encourage citizens to purchase products which have less harmful environmental impacts

5. Ultimately to improve the quality of the environment and to encourage the sustainable management of resources.

 

A three-tiered system was set up for the implementation of the Ecomark programme. These are:

 

1. An Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee, which was constituted in the MoEF. The functions include:

 

• It selects the logo for the ‘Ecomark’.

• It creates mass awareness for promotion and acceptance of the Scheme.

• It determines the product categories to be taken up under the Scheme.

• It coordinates ways of ensuring active involvement of industry in the Scheme.

• It secures involvement of other Ministries, Government Departments, Industry

Associations and NGOs.

• It formulates strategies for future development of the Scheme.

• It identifies institutions in India and outside which are engaged in standardisation of any product/process or improvement of the quality of any product/service.

• It promotes comparative testing programmes of products.

• It supports research programmes for the formulation of the Ecomark products in the interest of consumers

 

2. A Technical Committee, which was constituted in the CPCB. The functions include:

 

• It identifies specific products for classification as ‘environment friendly’.

• It reviews the existing state of knowledge and the environmental criteria followed in other countries.

• It recommends the most appropriate criteria and parameters to designate various products as environment friendly including the most important criteria or the individual products that have been specified for the purpose.

• It reviews the various technologies available for determining the criteria.

• It recommends various laboratories and analysts for product assessment to the MoEF.

• It evaluates environmental impact of the product and criteria from time to time.

• It reviews from time to time, the implementation of the Schemes by the BIS.

• It forms sub committees for each product category, if so required, including formulation of test programmes for comparative testing.

• It set up expert panels to advise it on specific products.

 

3. The BIS, which was designated for the assessment and the certification of the products for the Ecomark against a licence fee. Moreover, the BIS was notified as the implementing authority of the Ecomark Scheme in 1991. The functions include:

 

• It assesses the product for the Ecomark, and certifies the product for award of the Ecomark.

• It reviews, suspend or cancel a licence, for the use of the Ecomark.

• It inspects whether the product, which uses an Ecomark conforms to the contract or is improperly used in relation to any article or process with or without licence.

 

DISCRETIONARY POWERS OF THE GOVERNOR IN INDIA

 

The entire administration of the State is carried out in the name of the Governor but practically the real authority is exercised by the Council of Ministers. During the normal circumstances, Governor acts according to the advice of his Council of Ministers. However, Constitution has also vested the Governor with certain discretionary powers, which he can use without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers or in other words, in the discharge of these functions the Governor concerned is not bound to seek or accept the advice of his Council of Ministers.

 

Discretionary powers of the Governor are:

 

a) Article 239:

 

Article 239 provides that a Union Territory shall be administered by the President through an Administrator or a Governor of a State, adjoining Union Territory, may be appointed as the Administrator of that Union Territory. Where the Governor of a State is appointed as the Administrator of an adjoining Union Territory, he shall exercise his functions as the Administrator without the aid and advice of his Council of Ministers.

 

b) Sixth Schedule:

 

Para nine of 6th schedule is related to the licences or leases for the purpose of prospecting for or extraction of minerals. It  provides that “such share of the royalties accruing each year from licences or leases for the purpose of prospecting for or extraction of minerals guaranteed by the government of the State in respect of any area within an autonomous District as may be agreed upon between the government of the State and the District Council of such District shall be made over to that District Council. It further provides that if any dispute arises as to the share of such royalties to be made over to a District Council, it shall be referred to the Governor for determination and the amount determined by the Governor in his discretion shall be deemed to  be final.

c) Article 371:

 

Article 371 of the Constitution provides that the President may confer special responsibilities upon the Governor with respect to the State of Maharashtra and Gujarat for the establishment of separate Development Boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada, Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of Gujarat with the provision that a report on the working of each of these Boards will be placed each year before the State Legislative Assembly.

 

Article 371 A of the Constitution has conferred special responsibilities on the Governor of Nagaland for certain purposes. The Governor after consulting his Council of Ministers, shall exercise his individual judgement as to the action to be taken. These responsibilities are: with respect to law and order so long as internal disturbances occur in some areas of that State; to establish a Regional Council for Tuensang District; to arrange for equitable allocation of money between Tuensang District and the rest of Nagaland.

 

Article 371 C of the Constitution confers special responsibilities upon the Governor of Manipur to secure the proper functioning of a Committee of the Members of the Legislative Assembly consisting of the members representing the Hill Area.

 

Article 371 F (g) of the Constitution confers special responsibilities upon the Governor of Sikkim for peace and for an equitable arrangement for ensuring the social and economic advancement of different sections of the population of Sikkim.

 

Article 371H (a) of the Constitution confers special responsibilities upon the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh with respect to law and order in the State of Arunachal Pradesh.

However, the Sarkaria Commission recommended that “before taking a final decision in the exercise of his discretion, it is advisable that the Governor should, if feasible consult his Ministers even in such matters, which relate essentially to the administration of a State”. Such a practice will be conducive to the maintenance of healthy relations between the Governor and his Council of Ministers.

 

d) Appointment the Chief Minister

 

Governor uses his discretion in the appointment of the Chief Minister, where after the General Assembly elections, no single party or group commands absolute majority.  He may call such person to form the government to whom he thinks fit to form the government. Similarly, if after the death or resignation of the Chief Minister on any political ground or after the defeat of the Chief Minister in the House, any party or group is not in majority, the Governor may appoint such person as the Chief Minister to whom he thinks fit.

 

e) Article 200

 

When a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly of a State or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, has been passed by both Houses of the Legislature of the State, it shall be presented to the Governor and the Governor shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President.

When a Bill is reserved by a Governor for the consideration of the President, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom: Provided that, where the Bill is not a Money Bill, the President may direct the Governor to return the Bill to the House or, as the case may be, the Houses of the Legislature of the State together with such a message as it mentioned in the first proviso to Article 200 and, when a Bill is so returned, the House or Houses shall reconsider it accordingly within a period of six months from the date of receipt of such message and, if it is again passed by the House or Houses with or without amendment, it shall be presented again to the President for his consideration Procedure in Financial Matters

 

f) Dissolution of State Assembly:

 

The Governor has the power to dissolve the Legislative Assembly.

 

 

NATIONAL POLICY FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

 

As a follow up action to the commitments made by India during the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing during Sep. 1995, the Department has drafted a National Policy for the Empowerment of Women after nation-wide consultations to enhance the status of women in all walks of life on par with men and actualize the constitutional guarantee of equality without discrimination on grounds of sex.

 

The goal of this Policy is to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women. Specifically, the objectives of this Policy include:

 

a) Creating an environment through positive economic and social policies for full development of women to enable them to realize their full potential;

 

b) The de-jure and de-facto enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedom by women on equal basis with men in all spheres – political, economic, social, cultural and civil;

 

c) Equal access to participation and decision making of women in social, political and economic life of the nation;

 

d) Equal access to women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational guidance, employment, equal remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public office etc.;

 

e) Strengthening legal systems aimed at elimination of all forms of discrimination against women;

 

f) Changing societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women;

 

g) Mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development process;

 

h) Elimination of discrimination and all forms of violence against women and the girl child; and

 

i) Building and strengthening partnerships with civil society, particularly women’s organizations.

 

Achievements during the XI Five Year Plan

 

The Eleventh Five Year Plan was aimed at inclusive development. Its vision was that every woman in the country should be able to develop to her full potential and share the benefits of economic growth and prosperity. Towards this end the approach adopted was to empower women and recognize their Agency thereby seeking to make them partners in their own development. This it sought to do by mainstreaming gender in all sectors as well as by undertaking targeted interventions.

 

The Plan period saw the introduction of many new schemes and programmes targeted at particular groups or aimed at addressing specific issues. These included SABLA, for empowering adolescent girls, IGMSY for supporting poor women during the final stages of their maternity, Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Yojana for women farmers, a scheme for leadership training of Minority women, Ujjawala for combating trafficking and Dhanalakshmi to tackle the issue of declining sex ratio. Existing schemes were also modified to make them more effective and to plug identified gaps. Implementation of Legislations enacted just prior to the XI Plan like the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 was followed up with the States and a new legislation aimed at providing women a safe working environment, Protection Against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill was introduced in Parliament.

 

Several other policy decisions were made in the sector of women and children. Major amongst these was the launch of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) on March 8, 2010. The Mission will work for strengthening inter-sectoral convergence at the Central, State, District and lower levels of governance making it possible for women to know about and access all Government schemes and programmes. The National Mission Authority, supporting Committees and the National Resource Centre for Women have been established and have started functioning. The first pilot convergence project was launched in Pali district of Rajasthan in September, 2011 and similar pilots are planned in other States/UTs. The State Governments are also establishing parallel structures at the State level. 16 States/UTs have already established State Mission Authorities and 11 States are in the process of setting up of State Resource Centres for Women. The Mission stands testimony to the commitment of Government to the empowerment of women in the country.

 

Another, landmark decision on which work has been initiated is the restructuring of the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh into a systemically important Non- Banking Finance Company with an enhanced corpus of Rs 500 crores. The restructured RMK will have a pan-India office network and in its new and expanded form it will be facilitating the financial inclusion of more than 2 lakh women from the disadvantaged sections of society on an annual basis towards the fifth year of its working.

 

The Eleventh Five Year Plan mentioned Gender Budgeting and Gender Outcome assessment and underlined the importance of Gender Audits of public expenditure, programmes and policies at national, state and district levels. The Plan envisaged the strengthening of the Gender Budget Cells set up in the various Ministries and Departments. Towards this, in March 2007, the Ministry of Finance issued a charter on Gender Budget Cells (GBCs) outlining the composition and functions of the GBCs. While, the charter was an important step towards institutionalising Gender Budgeting within Government, the implementation of the charter remains a challenge.

 

A scheme on Gender Budgeting was introduced in 2007 with a view to building capacity so that a gender perspective was retained at all levels of the planning, budget formulation and implementation processes. Both Central and State level officers have been trained under this scheme and as a direct consequence of these training efforts, a number of Ministries as well as State Governments have taken GB initiatives.

 

Inclusion and mainstreaming of women also received special attention under programmes such as the MNREGA, the Right to Free & Compulsory Education, National Rural Health Mission, National Rural Livelihood Mission and National Skill Development Mission. Gender Budgeting initiatives also led to development of new schemes in supposedly gender neutral sectors like Department of Telecommunications and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

 

 

THE MAINTENANCE AND WELFARE OF PARENTS AND SENIOR CITIZENS ACT 2007

 

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007 aims “to provide for more effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens guaranteed and recognized under the Constitution and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

 

The salient provisions of the act are:

 

a) The act defines senior citizen as any citizen of India aged 60+, whether living in India or not.

 

b) Every Senior Citizen (parent or grand-parent) who is unable to maintain himself from his own income can claim maintenance from his children by writing an application to the tribunal.

 

c) A childless Senior Citizen can claim maintenance from his relative who is in possession of, or would inherit his property.

 

d) The maintenance in the act includes provision for food, clothing, residence, medical attendance and treatment.

 

e) Maximum amount which may be ordered for maintenance of a senior citizen by the Tribunal shall be such as prescribed by the State Government which shall not exceed Rs. 10,000/- per month.

 

f) Constitution of Maintenance Tribunals and Appellate Tribunals by the State Governments in all Sub Divisions and States within 6 months of commencement of this Act

 

g) Lawyers excluded from the proceedings

 

h) Elderly can choose to seek maintenance either under this Act or under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 if applicable but not under both the provisions

 

i) No Civil Court to have jurisdiction in respect of any matter to which any provision of this Act applies.

 

Procedure for application

 

Application for maintenance may be made by the senior citizen or parent to the Tribunal under Section 4 in layperson’s language giving names, full details and addresses of the persons from whom they are demanding maintenance. If there is more than one child or relative, they may claim maintenance from one or all of them depending on their means of income.

Maintenance proceedings may be initiated against any child/children or relative in any district where the parent or senior citizen lives or last lived or where the child/children or relative live.

 

If such applicants are incapable of making an application themselves, any other person or registered voluntary organization authorized by him/her can make the application; or the Tribunal can take suo motu cognizance and proceed. Upon receipt of the application, the Tribunal would issue notices to the children, conduct hearings, take evidence and order maintenance. Tribunal may also refer the case for reconciliation or pass interim orders for maintenance.

 

If the children or relatives fail to pay the ordered maintenance without sufficient reason for 3 months after its due date, the senior citizen can approach the Tribunal again who may impose a fine or order imprisonment of the child/relative upto a month or until payment is made whichever is earlier.

 

The act further specifies that if the elderly themselves and their children and specified relatives do not have sufficient means to maintain them then State Governments may establish, in a phased manner, sufficient senior citizen homes and maintain the same for indigent or abandoned and neglected (by their kith and kin) beginning with at least one Old Age Home in each district sufficient to accommodate a minimum of 150 elderly. State Government need to establish specific medical facilities, allocate doctors/hospital beds, expand treatment for chronic, terminal and degenerative diseases; and conduct research on ailments of the elderly and ageing. It should take all measures to sensitize and orient the police and judiciary regarding protection of life and property of the elderly and provisions of this act.

 

An important provision has been made for the elderly to claim their property back from children, if given conditionally after commencement of the Act on promise of looking after their needs and amenities if such promise is not fulfilled. Under Section 23, if after commencement of the act any Parents or senior citizens have transferred their property to their children or relatives on the condition that they would provide certain maintenance and amenities to the senior citizen but subsequently neglect or refuse to do so the parents or senior citizens can get such transfers voided (cancelled) at their option by having such transfer treated as a fraudulent or coercive acquisition and seek return of their property so transferred.

 

ARMED FORCES SPECIAL POWERS ACT 1958

 

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is an act empowering armed forces to deal effectively in disturbed areas. Any area which is declared “disturbed” under disturbed areas act enables armed forces to resort to the provisions of AFSPA. The choice of declaring any area as ‘disturbed’ vests both with state and central government. After an area comes under the ambit of AFSPA, any commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or another person of equivalent rank can use force for a variety of reasons while still being immune to the prosecution. The act was passed on 11 September 1958 by the parliament of India to provide special legal security to the armed forces carrying out operations in the troubled areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura.(seven sisters).However, in 1990 the act was extended to the state of Jammu and Kashmir to confront the rising insurgency in the area. In Manipur, despite opposition from the Central government, state government withdrew the Act in some parts in Aug, 2004.

 

Any state govt. can declare the state of emergency and introduce AFSPA in the following conditions:-

 

a) When the local administration fails to deal with local issues and the police proves inefficient to cope with them.

 

b) When the scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for the police to handle.

 

Section 4 of the act sets out the powers granted to the military stationed in a disturbed area. These powers are granted to the commissioned officer, warrant officer, or non-commissioned officer, only a jawan (private) does not have these powers. The Section allows the armed forces personnel to use force for a variety of reasons.

 

The army can shoot to kill, under the powers of section 4(a), for the commission or suspicion of the commission of the following offenses: acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being in force in the disturbed area prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons, carrying weapons, or carrying anything which is capable of being used as a fire-arm or ammunition. To justify the invocation of this provision, the officer need only be “of the opinion that it is necessary to do so for the maintenance of public order” and only give “such due warning as he may consider necessary”.

 

The army can destroy property under section 4(b) if it is an arms dump, a fortified position or shelter from where armed attacks are made or are suspected of being made, if the structure is used as a training camp, or as a hide-out by armed gangs or absconders.

 

The army can arrest anyone without a warrant under section 4(c) who has committed, is suspected of having committed or of being about to commit, a cognisable offense and use any amount of force “necessary to effect the arrest”.

 

Under section 4(d), the army can enter and search without a warrant to make an arrest or to recover any property, arms, ammunition or explosives which are believed to be unlawfully kept on the premises. This section also allows the use of force necessary for the search.

 

 

 

Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958

 

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is an act empowering armed forces to deal effectively in disturbed areas. Any area which is declared “disturbed” under disturbed areas act enables armed forces to resort to the provisions of AFSPA. The choice of declaring any area as ‘disturbed’ vests both with state and central government. After an area comes under the ambit of AFSPA, any commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or another person of equivalent rank can use force for a variety of reasons while still being immune to the prosecution. The act was passed on 11 September 1958 by the parliament of India to provide special legal security to the armed forces carrying out operations in the troubled areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura.(seven sisters).However, in 1990 the act was extended to the state of Jammu and Kashmir to confront the rising insurgency in the area. In Manipur, despite opposition from the Central government, state government withdrew the Act in some parts in Aug, 2004.

 

Any state govt. can declare the state of emergency and introduce AFSPA in the following conditions:-

 

a) When the local administration fails to deal with local issues and the police proves inefficient to cope with them.

 

b) When the scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for the police to handle.

 

Section 4 of the act sets out the powers granted to the military stationed in a disturbed area. These powers are granted to the commissioned officer, warrant officer, or non-commissioned officer, only a jawan (private) does not have these powers. The Section allows the armed forces personnel to use force for a variety of reasons.

 

The army can shoot to kill, under the powers of section 4(a), for the commission or suspicion of the commission of the following offenses: acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being in force in the disturbed area prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons, carrying weapons, or carrying anything which is capable of being used as a fire-arm or ammunition. To justify the invocation of this provision, the officer need only be “of the opinion that it is necessary to do so for the maintenance of public order” and only give “such due warning as he may consider necessary”.

 

The army can destroy property under section 4(b) if it is an arms dump, a fortified position or shelter from where armed attacks are made or are suspected of being made, if the structure is used as a training camp, or as a hide-out by armed gangs or absconders.

 

The army can arrest anyone without a warrant under section 4(c) who has committed, is suspected of having committed or of being about to commit, a cognisable offense and use any amount of force “necessary to effect the arrest”.

 

Under section 4(d), the army can enter and search without a warrant to make an arrest or to recover any property, arms, ammunition or explosives which are believed to be unlawfully kept on the premises. This section also allows the use of force necessary for the search.

 

Section 5 states that after the military have arrested someone under the AFSPA, they must hand that person over to the nearest police station with the “least possible delay”. There is no definition in the act of what constitutes the least possible delay.

 

Some case-law has established that 4 to 5 days is too long. But since this provision has been interpreted as depending on the specifics circumstances of each case, there is no precise amount of time after which the section is violated. The holding of the arrested person, without review by a magistrate, constitutes arbitrary detention.

 

Section 6 establishes that no legal proceeding can be brought against any member of the armed forces acting under the AFSPA, without the permission of the Central Government. This section leaves the victims of the armed forces abuses without a remedy.

 

Drawbacks:

 

The large scale violations of fundamental rights in the north eastern states is a direct consequence of the provisions of the AFSPA, of areas declared as Disturbed Areas under Section No. 3 and the simultaneous acquiring of wide powers by army personnel under Section 4 of the Act.

 

The AFSPA, which grants armed forces personnel the power to shoot to arrest, search, seize and even shoot to kill, violates the Right to Life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India which guarantees the right to life to all people.

 

The AFSPA also violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). India signed the ICCPR in 1978, taking on the responsibility of securing the rights guaranteed by the Covenant to all its citizens. In particular, the Act is in contravention of Article 6 of the ICCPR guaranteeing the right to life.

 

AFSPA makes no distinction between a peaceful gathering of five or more people and a berserk mob. So, even innocents – who have no role in creating a situation that results in that region being called ‘disturbed’, also come under the purview of the law. The decision of the government to declare a particular area ‘disturbed’ cannot be challenged in a court of law.

 

At the same time, the AFSPA is an emergency legislation that constitutionally requires to be reviewed every 6 months. Yet it has been imposed in Manipur and other states of the north east for years on end, which contributes to the misuse of unbridled and arbitrary powers by the armed forces.

 

On November 19, 2004, the Central government appointed a five member committee headed by Justice B.P Jeevan Reddy to review the provisions of the act in the north eastern states.

 

The committee submitted its report in 2005, which included the following recommendations:

 

(a) AFSPA should be repealed and appropriate provisions should be inserted in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967;

 

(b) The Unlawful Activities Act should be modified to clearly specify the powers of the armed forces and paramilitary forces and

 

(c) Grievance cells should be set up in each district where the armed forces are deployed.

 

The 5th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on public order has also recommended the repeal of the AFSPA. These recommendations have not been implemented.

 

 

 

 

COMMUNAL VOILENCE BILL

 

The National Advisory Council recently released a draft ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011’.  The Bill intends to create a framework for prevention and control of communal and sectarian violence.  It also aims to provide relief to victims of such violence. The proposed communal violence bill intends to prevent and control targeted violence against the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and religious and linguistic minorities.

 

The key provisions are:

 

a) The state government can declare an area as communally disturbed under certain conditions. 

 

b) Measures to prevent and control violence shall be enforced by the District Magistrate, and other officers of the state government appointed as “competent authorities”.  The competent authority can direct persons in the area to deposit their arms, ammunition, explosives and corrosive substances (even if they hold a license). When such directions are issued, the local police officer can search any house or premises for such items. The competent authority can regulate assembly and movement of persons, and prohibit acts which could disturb peace, such as carrying of arms, knives etc., usage of loudspeakers and burning of effigies.

 

c) Review committee constituted by the state government will investigate cases where a charge sheet has not been filed within three months of registering an FIR and may review cases where the trial ends in acquittal. The state government can constitute special investigation teams to investigate offences if these offences were not investigated in a fair and impartial manner.

 

d) The state government shall establish Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences. The Bill also provides for the establishment of Additional Special Courts outside the state if the state government feels that the trial within the state is not likely to be fair and impartial, it is in the interest of justice, or it is required for the safety of the accused, witnesses, public prosecutor or the Judge. Judges will be appointed by the state government in concurrence with the Chief Justice of the High Court.

 

e) The Special Court can conduct proceedings at a protected place, avoid mentioning the identity of the witness in its orders and judgments and issue directions to protect the identity of the witness if it considers it necessary or on the basis of an application by the witness or public prosecutor.

 

f) According to the Bill Communal Disturbance Relief and Rehabilitation Councils will be formed at the national, state and district levels. These national and state level councils will make recommendations and issue guidelines on relief, rehabilitation and compensation to victims. The district council will assess compensation to victims, set up relief camps and prepare plans for prevention of communal violence.

 

g) A Communal Disturbance Relief and Rehabilitation Fund will be constituted in every state and a Victims Assistance Fund will be established in each district.

 

h) The district council shall pay at least 20 percent of total compensation as immediate compensation to victims.

 

NATIONAL COURT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

 

Huge backlog and pendency has been a matter of concern as it delays the disposal of cases in the courts.  Of the 3 crore cases pending, 74% are less than 5 years old.

 

The Chief Justice of India has expressed the need of making the judicial system 5+ free, ‘five plus free’ (i.e., free of cases more than five years old) by addressing 26% of the old cases which are of more than 5 years. There is an equally urgent need to shorten the average life cycle of all cases – not only time spent within each court, but also total time in the judicial system as a whole, to bring the average to no more than about one year in each court.  There is also need to systematically maintain and continuously seek to enhance quality and responsiveness of justice.

 

The Government has been constantly endeavouring and working towards improvement in judicial system in the country jointly with the judiciary. In this direction the Government has been undertaking computerization of courts since 2007 and has been investing on improving infrastructure in the judiciary since 1993-94.  Of late, establishment of National Court Management System has been notified by the Chief Justice of India.  This would be addressing issues of case management, court management, setting standards for measuring performance of the courts and a national system of judicial statistics in the country.

 

NCMS will include the following six main elements:

 

a) A National Framework of Court Excellence (NFCE) that will set measurable performance standards for Indian courts, addressing issues of quality, responsiveness and timeliness;

 

b) A system for monitoring and enhancing the performance parameters established in the NFCE on quality, responsiveness and timeliness;

 

c) A system of Case Management to enhance user friendliness of the Judicial System;

 

d) A National System of Judicial Statistics (NSJS) to provide a common national platform for recording and maintaining judicial statistics from across the country.

 

NSJS should provide real time statistics on cases and courts that will enable systematic analysis of key factors such as quality, timeliness and efficiency of the judicial system across courts, districts/states, types of cases, stages of cases, costs of adjudication, time lines of cases, productivity and efficiency of courts, use of budgets and financial resources. It would enhance transparency and accountability;

 

e) A Court Development Planning System that will provide a framework for systematic five year plans for the future development of the Indian judiciary. The planning system will include individual court development plans for all the courts; and

 

f) A Human Resource Development Strategy setting standards on selection and training of judges of subordinate courts.

 

The administrative and technological “backbone” of these systems will be maintained at the Supreme Court and overseen by a Committee consisting of the representatives.

 

PARDONING POWER UNDER INDIAN CONSTITUTION

 

The Indian Constitution grants clemency powers to the President and the Governors of States, respectively through Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution of India, respectively. The purpose was to add a humane approach by means of a reprieve or mercy.  Government of India has apparently reserved article 72 for grant of mercy to terrorists and hardened criminals whose cases are pleaded by foreign powers.

 

Power of the President

 

Under Article 72(1) of the Constitution, the President is empowered to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment, or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any individual who has been convicted of offences that are covered within the ambit of clauses (a) to (c) of Article 72(1).

 

The instances enumerated under Article 72(1) are: first, cases where the punishment or sentence has been given by a Court Martial; second, cases where the punishment or sentence relates to an offence against any law concerning matters that the power of the Union extends to; and third, all cases where the sentence in question is a sentence of death

 

Article 72(1)(a) is qualified by Article 72(2), which states that the power conferred by law on any officer of the Armed Forces for the purpose of suspending, remitting or commuting a sentence passed by a Court Martial would not be affected by the power of the President contained in Article 72(1)(a).

 

Further, Article 72(3)expressly provides that the power of the President to suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death under Article 72(1)(c) would not affect the power of the Governor of a State to suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death under any applicable law in force.

 

Basic terminologies used:

 

1. Pardon: Completely absolves the guilt of the offender

 

2. Reprieve: Temporary suspension of the sentence

 

3. Respite: Awarding a lesser sentence on special ground

 

4. Remission: Reducing the amount of sentence without changing its character

 

5. Commutation: Substitution of one form a punishment for another form which is of a lighter character

Power of the Governor

 

In addition to vesting the power of pardon in the President of India, the Constitution also provides the Governor of a State the power to grant pardons; however, this power of the Governor, dealt with under Article 161 of the Constitution, is narrower in scope than the power of the President to grant pardons under Article 72.

 

Article 161 of the Constitution empowers the Governor to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment, or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person who has been convicted of an offence against any law that relates to a matter covered by the executive power of the State.

 

Procedure of dealing with Mercy petitions

 

Mercy petitions to the executive are often based on background personal and social factors that explain the conduct of the convicted person, their psychological and cultural background and other special features, including material that could not be placed before the courts.

 

Any mercy petition submitted to the President is first received in his Secretariat. Thereafter it is forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs for its comments and recommendations. The separate section in the Ministry deals with such petitions in detail. An officer of the rank of Deputy Secretary or Joint Secretary examines the judgment of the Supreme Court and puts up a note of approval of the Home Minister.

 

Such petitions together with the recommendations are submitted to the President for final disposal. In the exercise of his power, the President can examine and evaluate the evidence afresh. If the President agrees with the recommendations placed before him, he acts accordingly. In case of disagreement with the recommendations, he may send his note of disagreement to the Home Ministry. In such an eventuality it is assumed that the Home Ministry will not differ from the views of the President.

 

 

INTEGRATED CHILD PROTECTION SCHEME

 

India is home to almost 19% of the world’s children. More than one third of the country’s population, around 440 million, is below 18 years. The future and strength of the nation lies in a healthy, protected, educated and well-developed child population that will grow up to be productive citizens of the country. It is alarming that, in 2011, the Crimes against children reported a 24% increase from the previous year with a total of 33,098 cases of crimes against Children reported in the country during 2011 as compared to 26,694 cases during 2010. The State of Uttar Pradesh accounted for 16.6% of total crimes against children at national level in 2011, followed by Madhya Pradesh (13.2%), Delhi (12.8%), Maharashtra (10.2%), Bihar (6.7%) and Andhra Pradesh (6.7%).

 

Thus there is an urgent case for increasing expenditure on child protection. so that the rights of the children of India are protected. The neglect of child protection issues not only violates the rights of the children but also increases their vulnerability to abuse, neglect and exploitation.

 

GOI has launched the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) aimed at building a protective environment for children in difficult circumstances, as well as other vulnerable children, through Government-Civil Society Partnership.

 

Objectives of the scheme are:

 

a) To create a safety net for children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law by building a protective environment for them, keeping their best interests in mind;

 

b)  To promote preventive measures to protect children from falling in the situations of vulnerability, risk and abuse;

 

c) To promote preventive measure to address the vulnerabilities of families and build their ability and capacity protect their children;

 

d) To supplement and strengthen the infrastructure established under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2000;

 

e) To build capacities of families, communities, and NGOs to strengthen care, protection and response to children;

 

f) To create State and District Child Protection Units as well as State Adoption Cells;

 

g) To promote in-country adoption and regulate inter-country adoption as well as ensure minimum standards;

 

h) To provide services to the more vulnerable categories of children through specialized programmes;

 

i) To establish linkages for restoration of children to their biological families and placement with adoptive families or foster families, where necessary;

 

j) To provide specialized institutional care to infants and children up to 6 years of age who are either abandoned or orphaned/destitute;

 

k) To check and end female foeticide and infanticide in the country;

 

l) To provide services to street and destitute children, including child beggars;

 

m) To provide for care and support services for children affected by HIV/AIDS;

n) To establish CHILDLINE in every district, for creating access in emergencies by providing counseling, restoration and rehabilitative services to children along with linkages to other available services under various schemes of the Government of India/State Governments;

 

o) To train and sensitize local bodies, police, judiciary and other concerned departments of State Governments to undertake related responsibilities;

 

p) To strengthen the knowledge base by undertaking research and documentation, resource mapping of services, the creation of a Management Information System (MIS) for tracking vulnerable children, and database management;

 

q) To carry out advocacy and spread awareness about child and family-related issues for supporting the family;

 

r) To network with the Allied Systems i.e. Government departments and Non-Government agencies;

 

s) To initiate any other need-based specialized innovative services through families, community and panchayats/local bodies, including child guidance and counseling especially to combat drug abuse, sexual abuse, child marriage, and discrimination against the girl child.

 

 

NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

 

The National Advisory Council (NAC) of India is an advisory body set up to monitor the implementation of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). It is a brainchild of Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi and informally called as UPA’s Planning Commission for social agenda. NAC is also called as Shadow Cabinet.

 

NAC was set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during UPA-1 on 4 june 2004 with Smt. Sonia Gandhi as its Chairperson. She holds the rank and status of Union Cabinet Minister.

 

The task of the National Advisory Council (NAC) is to provide inputs in the formulation of policy by the Government and to provide support to the Government in its legislative business. In the discharge of its functions, thus the NAC place a special focus on social policy and the rights of the disadvantaged groups.

 

The NAC comprises distinguished professionals drawn from diverse fields of development activity like Agriculture, social sector, education etc who serve in their individual capacities.

 

NAC Chairperson and Members term and salary

 

The salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of the Chairperson and members shall be such as the Government may by order specify from time to time.The Chairperson of the National Advisory Council shall be entitled to the same salary, pay, allowances and other facilities to which a member of the Union Council of Minister is entitled.

 

The term of the members of the National Advisory Council shall be for a period of one year with effect from the date of their appointment which may be extended. Members shall draw such salary and allowances and the Central Government may by order determine from time to time.

 

NAC Focus areas

 

There are so many focus areas of NAC but some important are below:

 

• Natural resource management, including revitalization of agriculture;

• Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes;

• Welfare of minorities;

• Poverty elimination and employment generation;

• Land rights and land reforms;

• Right to education to disadvantaged children;

• Health security and medical insurance;

• Social security and safety net for the disadvantaged groups;

• Urban poverty;

• Development of the northeast;

• Special Component plan for Scheduled Castes and the tribal sub-plan for Scheduled Tribes.

Criticisms

 

The NAC has been criticized by opposition parties and scholars as not in keeping with India’s constitution, and that it would emerge as an alternative, cabinet. However there’s an alternative view which states that the NAC could deepen democracy by facilitating greater pre-legislative/pre-policy consultation.

 

The NAC has been sending off letters to the prime minister, signed by Sonia Gandhi. Given the power equations, he would have to treat the suggestions seriously even if many of them are not implementable. She and the council have access to all the cabinet papers and files. This is a departure from the conventions governing a cabinet system.

 

It is like a form of parallel power centre which is governing the country without transparency and accountability and even today it diminishing the role of Planning Commission.

 

 

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

 

The National Development Council (NDC) or the Rashtriya Vikas Parishad is the apex body for decision making and deliberations on development matters in India, presided over by the Prime Minister.

 

The Council comprises the Prime Minister, the Union Cabinet Ministers, and Chief Ministers of all States or their substitutes, representatives of the union territories and the members of the Commissions. It is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body. Its status is advisory to Planning Commission but not binding.

 

HISTORY

 

The N.D.C. was set up for the first time on august 6, 1952 by Government of India with a view to bring about a coordination of plans between the Central Ministers and the State Governments and to strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation , to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres, and to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.

 

The first meeting chaired by Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru on November 8, 1952 and he described it as a forum for ‘intimate cooperation’ between the central and state governments in the task of national development. Thus, apart from reviewing the working of the National Plan, the NDC is charged with considering important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development and recommending measures to achieve the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

It has been set up with following objectives

 

1.To strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan.

 

2.To promote common economic policies in all vital spheres.

 

3.To ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country and

 

4.To secure cooperation of States in the execution of the plan.

 

FUNCTIONS

 

The functions of the Council are:

 

1.To prescribe guidelines for the formulation of the National Plan, including the assessment of resources for the Plan;

 

2.To consider the National Plan as formulated by the Planning Commission;

 

3.To consider important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development; and

 

4.To review the working of the Plan from time to time and to recommend such measures as are necessary for achieving the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.

 

The NDC  strengthen and mobilise the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan, to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres, and to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country. It is a true all-India body that reflects the federal character of our Union. But that is on paper. In practice, the NDC’s role has steadily eroded.

 

Today, it is reduced to a pale shadow of what was envisaged back in 1952. Part of the reason lies in the declining importance of the Five-Year Plans in the postreform era. But an equally-important reason has to do with the rise of extra-constitutional bodies like the National Advisory Council whose views and debates on developmental issues have dominated the government’s agenda, unlike the views of the NDC or of the Inter-State Council.

 

This is not to dispute the wisdom of the policy initiatives that have emerged from the NAC — whether it is the Right to Education Act or the proposed Food Security Act. But the success of any policy is assured only when people, and their elected representatives, own it. The Centre would do well to bear that in mind and restore the NDC to its past position of eminence.

 

 

COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL OF INDIA

 

The Constitution of India (Article 148) provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). CAG is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the guardian of public purse. He controls the entire financial system of the country at the Centre and the State.

 

APPOINTMENT AND TERM

 

CAG is appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand and seal. He holds the office for a period of 6 year or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

CAG can resign any time from his office by addressing the resignation letter to the President and can also be removed by the President on same ground and in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court of India. In other words, he can be removed by the President on the basis of a resolution passed to that effect by both the Houses of Parliament with special majority, either on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.

 

SAFEGUARD AND INDEPENDENCE OF CAG

 

Constitution has made some provisions to safeguard and ensure the Independence of CAG.

 

• He is provided with the security of tenure. He can be removed only by the President in accordance with the procedure as written in Constitution.

• He is not eligible for further office, either under the Government of India or of any state, after he ceases to hold his office.

• His salary and other service conditions shall be determined by the Parliament. Neither his salary nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension, or age of retirement shall be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.

• CAG’s administrative expenses of offices, salaries, allowances and pension are charged on the consolidated fund of India and they are not subject to vote in Parliament.

• No Minister represents the CAG in Parliament and no Minister can be called upon to take any responsibility for any action done by him.

 

DUTIES AND POWERS

 

Article 149 of the Indian Constitution authorizes the Parliament to prescribe the duties and powers of CAG in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body.

 

The duties and functions of CAG are as follows:

 

• He audits the accounts related to all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India as well as Consolidated Fund of each State and the Union Territory having a legislative assembly.

• He audits all expenditure from the Contingency fund of India and the Public Accounts of India as well as Contingency fund of each State and the Public accounts of each State.

• He audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and State Governments.

• CAG audits the receipts and expenditure of all bodies and authorities substantially financed from the government whether central or state as well as Government Companies and other corporations.

• He can audit the accounts of any other authority when requested by the President or the Governor. Example – audit of Local Bodies.

• According to Article 150 of the Constitution CAG advices the president with regard to prescription of the form in which the accounts of the centre and the states shall be kept.

• He ascertains and certifies the net proceeds of any tax or duty as per Article 279; his certificate is final.

• CAG submits his audit report relating to the accounts of centre to the President and of states to the Governor. President place the reports before both houses of Parliament and in States, Governor place the reports before the state legislature.

 

CAG submits 3 audit reports to the President –

 

1. Audit report on appropriation accounts.

2. Audit report on finance accounts.

3. Audit report on public undertakings.

 

The President lays these reports before both houses of Parliament. After this, the Public Accounts Committee examines them and reports its findings to the Parliament.

CAG is an agent of the Parliament and conducts audit of expenditure on behalf of the Parliament. Therefore, he is responsible only to the Parliament.

 

CURRENT ACHIEVEMENTS OF CAG OF INDIA

 

The CAG is ranked 9th in the order of precedence and enjoys the same status as a judge of Supreme Court of India. The current CAG of India is Vinod Rai. He is the 11th CAG of India.

 

The CAG under Vinod Rai has constantly been in the limelight for its reports exposing mega corruption, particularly in 2G spectrum scam, CWG scam and Coal mining scam.

 

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has been appointed as external auditor of three major UN organisations namely:

 

• The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),

• The Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and

•  World Food Organisation (WFO).

 

Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai, has also been elected the Chairman of the United Nations’ panel of external auditors.

 

 

WHAT IS EXTRADITION?

 

Extradition may be briefly described as the surrender of an alleged or convicted criminal by one State to another. More precisely, extradition may be defined as the process by which one State, upon the request of another, surrenders to the latter a person found within its jurisdiction for trial and punishment or, if he has been already convicted, only for punishment, on account of a crime punishable by the laws of the requesting State and committed outside the territory of the requested State.

 

A country’s criminal justice system is generally limited to the area within its borders. Officials from one country cannot travel to another and arrest people that they want to charge with crimes. Even if the person has already been charged and convicted, he cannot be arrested by foreign authorities.

 

If extradition did not exist, this means that people could escape justice by moving from one country to another. To prevent this from happening, there is a legal process which allows one country to request that another country arrests and transfers individuals who need to face justice.

 

Internationally accepted conditions for extradition includes that the crime should fulfill the criterion of dual criminality, i.e. it is a punishable offence in both the countries. For instance homosexuality might be a crime in country A while it is accepted in B. The country A cannot request B to extradite a person who is charged with a homosexuality related offence.

 

In India the Extradition Act, 1962 regulates the surrender of a person to another country or the request for arrest of a person in a foreign land. The act specifies that any conduct of a person in India or in a foreign state that is mentioned in the list of extradition offence and is punishable with minimum one year of imprisonment qualifies for extradition request. The process has to be initiated by the central government.  Under section 3 of this Act, a notification could be issued by the Government of India extending the provisions of the Act to the country/countries notified.

 

Information regarding the fugitive criminals wanted in foreign countries is received directly from the concerned country or through the General Secretariat of the ICPO-Interpol in the form of red notices. The Interpol Wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation immediately passes it on to the concerned police organizations. The red notices received from the General Secretariat are circulated to all the State Police authorities and immigration authorities.

 

The action which can be taken by the Police on receipt of information regarding a fugitive criminal wanted in a foreign country:

 

a) Action can be taken under Article No. 34 (b) of the Indian Extradition Act, 1962. This act provides procedure for the arrest and extradition of fugitive criminals under certain conditions which include receipt of the request through diplomatic channels ‘only’ and under the warrant issued by a Magistrate having a competent jurisdiction.

b) Action can also be taken under the provisions of Section 41 (1) (g) of the Cr.P.C., 1973 which authorizes the police to arrest a fugitive criminal without a warrant, however, they must immediately refer the matter to Interpol Wing for onward transmission to the Government of India for taking a decision on extradition or otherwise.

c) In case the fugitive criminal is an Indian national, action can also be taken under Section 188 Cr.P.C., 1973 as if the offence has been committed at any place in India at which he may be found. The trial of such a fugitive criminal can only take place with the previous sanction of the Central Government.                                       

 

The Extradition Act, 1962 of India includes –

 

Order for magisterial inquiry: Where such requisition is made, the Central Government may, if it thinks fit, issue an order to any magistrate, who would have had jurisdiction to inquire into the offence if it had been an offence committed within the local limits of his jurisdiction, directing him to inquire into the case.

 

Issue of warrant for arrest: On receipt of an order of the Central Government, the magistrate shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the fugitive criminal. When the fugitive criminal appears or is brought before the magistrate, the magistrate shall inquire into the case in the same manner and shall have the same jurisdiction and powers, as nearly as may be, as if the case were one triable by a court of session or High Court.

 

Recently, aiming to strengthen cooperation on terrorism, India has provided Pakistan with the draft of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and extradition pact. MLAT will help the investigating agencies in both the countries to “collect and transfer evidence” to be used for prosecution in criminal court.

 

The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two nations in criminal matters. India has been demanding Pakistan to hand over terrorists, allegedly involved in various cases, including the Mumbai blasts.

 

 

 

WHAT IS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING?

 

Memorandum of Understanding is a formal business document used to outline an agreement made between two separate entities, groups or individuals.

 

The purpose of MoU is to have a written understanding of the agreement between the parties. MoU is far more formal than a handshake and is given weight in a court of law when one party fails to meet the obligations of the memorandum.

 

MoUs are not legally binding but they carry a degree of seriousness and mutual respect, stronger than a gentlemen’s agreement. Often, MOUs are the first steps towards a legal contract.

 

The Memorandum of Understading (MoU), as applicable to public sector enterprises, is a negotiated document between the government and the management of the enterprise specifying clearly the objectives of the agreement and the obligations of both the parties. The main purpose of the MoU system is to ensure a level playing field to the public sector enterprises vis-à-vis the private corporate sector.

 

MoU system in India was first introduced in 1986 as result of the recommendations of the Arjun Sengupta Committee Report (1984). The Committee laid emphasis on medium term contract between the Government and the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and recommended a five-year agreement that may be reviewed annually. Since the CPSEs have been set up as part of the national/central plan, the Committee favored MoU especially in CPSEs operating in the core sectors of steel, power, petroleum, fertilizer and petro-chemicals.

 

Under this agreement, the CPSE undertakes to achieve the targets set in the agreement at the beginning of the year.  MoU is a major policy initiative of the Government of India in facilitating the empowerment and enhancing the performance levels of the CPSEs.  It is aimed at providing greater autonomy to public sector enterprises and a level playing field vis-à-vis the private sector.  The ‘Management’ of the enterprise is made accountable to the government through the promise of a ‘performance contract’.  The government continues to exercise control as the principal shareholder over these CPSEs in setting MoU targets, and through performance evaluation during and at the end of the year.

 

Every strategic partnership is unique and the contents of each Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) should clearly reflect what has been agreed to between the parties.

 

To be legally operative, a memorandum of understanding must

 

a) Identify the contracting parties,

b) spell out the subject matter of the agreement and its objectives,

c) summarize the essential terms of the agreement, 

d) Must be signed by the contracting parties.

 

RIGHT TO EDUCATION

 

Right to education guarantees free and compulsory education to all children between the age of 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. It states that ‘compulsory education’ means obligation of the appropriate government to provide free elementary education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education of every child in the six to fourteen age group.

‘Free’ means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.

 

Indian parliament passed this act in 2009 and it came into force in 2010. The passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 marks a historic moment for the children of India.

 

This Act serves as a building block to ensure that every child gets a quality elementary education and states have the responsibility to fulfill this obligation, with the help of families and communities.

 

The salient features of RTE Act are:

 

(i) All children aged 6-14 shall have the right to free and compulsory education at a neighborhood school.

(ii) No direct school fee or indirect cost on uniforms, textbooks, mid-day meals, transportation etc. needs to be borne by the child or their parents to obtain elementary education.

(iii) The Government will provide schooling free of cost until the child’s elementary education is completed.

(iv) All schools must comply with certain infrastructure and teacher norms. Two trained teachers will be provided for every 60 students at the primary level.

(v) Schools shall constitute School Management Committees comprising local officials, parents, guardians and teachers. The SMCs will monitor utilization of Government grants and the school environment.RTE mandates inclusion of 50% women and parents of children from disadvantaged groups in SMCs.

(vi) It prohibits

 

(a) Physical punishment and mental harassment;

(b) Screening procedures for admission of children;

(c) Capitation fee;

(d) Private tuition by teachers and

(e) Running of schools without recognition etc.

 

The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrollment, attendance and completion on the Government. And it is the parents’ responsibility to send the children to schools.

 

This act not only includes government schools but even private schools come under its purview with some conditions. According to Supreme Court directions, all private schools shall be required to enroll children from weaker sections and disadvantaged communities in their incoming classes to the extent of 25% of their enrollment, by simple random selection. No seat in this quota can be left vacant. These children will be treated on par with all the other children in the school and subsidized by the state at the rate of average per  learner costs in the government schools (unless the per learner costs in the private school are lower).

 

The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights shall review the safeguards for rights provided under this Act, investigate complaints and will have the powers of a civil court in trying cases.

 

India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.

 

But there are several key issues regarding Right to education act.

 

• Awareness about the act is very low, especially at the levels below the state capitals.

• Needs a well defined grievance redressal mechanism to address complaints.

• Question of quality education.

• Question of what a child does after 14 year of schooling; there is no provision for further education after completing elementary education.