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Political System

Political System Of India

Politics in India (Hindi:भारतीय राजनीति) takes place within the framework of a constitution. India is a Federal Parliamentary Democratic Republic in which the President of India is head of state and the Prime Minister of India is the head of government. India follows the dual polity, i.e. double government which consists of the union at the center and states at the periphery. The constitution defines the organisation, powers and limitations of both central and state governments, it is written, rigid and supreme, i.e. laws of the nation must conform to it. There is provision for a bicameral legislature consisting of an Upper House, i.e. Rajya Sabha, which represent the states of the Indian federation and a lower house i.e. Lok Sabha, that represents the people of India as a whole. Indian constitution provides for an independent Judiciary headed by the Supreme Court to adhere and protect the constitution and to settle disputes between the center and the states or between the states, it can also nullify any central or state laws if they are against the constitution. 


The governments, union or state, are formed through Elections held every five years (unless otherwise specified), by having the majority of members in their respective lower houses (Lok Sabha in center & Vidhan Sabha in states). The Judiciary is independent of the Executive and Legislature, the highest national court being the Supreme Court Of India. India is the world's largest democracy in terms of citizenry. 


Federal Structure Of The Republic Of India

India is as a nation has been labelled as a "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic" which is "egalitarian secular". Like the United States, India has had a federal form of government since it adopted its constitution. However, the central government in India has greater power in relation to its states, and its central government is patterned after the British parliamentary system. The central government has the power to dismiss state governments under specific constitutional clauses or in case no majority party or coalition is able to form a government. The central government can also impose direct federal rule known as president's rule (or central rule). 



Lok Sabha:
The lower house in the Indian political system is the Lok Sabha or House of the People. As set out in the Constitution, the maximum size of the Lok Sabha is 552 members, made up of up to 530 members representing people from the states of India, up to 20 members representing people from the Union Territories, and two members to represent the Anglo-Indian community if it does not have adequate representation in the house according to the President.

Currently the size of the house is 545 - made up of 530 elected from the states, 13 elected from the territories, and two nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. By far the largest state representation is that of Uttar Pradesh with 80 members. At the other end of the scale, three states have only one representative each. There are certain constituencies where only candidates from scheduled casts and scheduled tribes are allowed to stand.

Each member - except the two nominated ones - represents a geographical single-member constituency as in the British model for the House of Commons. Each Lok Sabha is formed for a five year term, after which it is automatically dissolved, unless extended by a Proclamation of Emergency which may extend the term in one year increments. This has happened on three occasions: 1962-1968, 1971 and 1975-1977.


Rajya Sabha:
The upper house in the Indian political system is the Rajya Sabha or Council of States. As set out in the Constitution, the Rajya Sabhahas has up to 250 members. 12 of these members are chosen by the President for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services. These members are known as nominated members.

The remainder of the house – currently comprising 238 members - is elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in proportion to the unit's population. Again, of course, the largest state representation is that of Uttar Pradesh with 31 members. The method of election in the local legislatures is the single transferable vote.

Terms of office are for six years, with one third of the members facing re-election every two years. The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous session and, unlike the Lok Sabha, it is not subject to dissolution.


Local Governance:

Locally, the Panchayati Raj system has several administrative functions and authorities. On April 24, 1993, the Constitutional (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 came into force to provide constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions. This Act was extended to Panchayats in the tribal areas of eight States, namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan from 24 December 1996.


The Act aims to provide 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj for all States having population of over 2 million, to hold Panchayat elections regularly every 5 years, to provide reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women, to appoint State Finance Commission to make recommendations as regards the financial powers of the Panchayats and to constitute District Planning Committee to prepare draft development plan for the district.




Indian Politics, the best thing if you understand it and probably the worst if you do not but in any case you have no right to criticize it !


-Neel Preet