Sunday, 28 July 2013

These questions helps you to test your knowledge about polity and also gives you an insight how questions are framed  in competitive exams. 

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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Public Service Commissions

According to Article 315:
  •          There shall be a Public Service Commission for the Union and Public Service Commissions for the States.
  •          A Joint State Public Service Commission (JSPSC) can be created for more than one State by an act of the Parliament on the request of the Legislature of the State concerned.
  •          The UPSC can also serve the needs of a State on the request of the State Governor and with the approval of the President of India.
The Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission shall only be removed from his office by an order of the President on the ground of

      ·   misbehavior (only if an inquiry of such misbehavior is made and upheld by Supreme Court) or
·   if he is adjudged insolvent, or
·   engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office, or
·   in the opinion of the President unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.

Union Public Service Commission

Union Public Service Commission is constituted for the recruitment of the civil services at the union level.

  •          It consists of a Chairman and other members appointed by the President. The number of members of the Union Public Service communion is determined by the President.
  •          Nearly half of the members of the commission should have administrative experience, while the other half should come from liberal professions like law, academics etc.

Terms of Service:
  • They hold office for a period of 6 years or by the age of 65 years.
  • The Chairman and the members of UPSC can relinquish their offices at any time by addressing their resignation to the President.
  • The Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission shall be ineligible for further employment either under the Government of India or under the Government-of any State.
  • A member other than the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission or as the Chairman of the State Public Service
  • The expenses of the Union Public Service Commission, including salaries, allowances and pensions shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India. 
  •          To conduct examinations for appointment to the services of the Union and conduct interviews for direct recruitment.
  •          It shall be the duty of the Union Public Service Commission if requested by any two or more states, to assist those States in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any service.
  •          To advise the Union Government on:

                     1.  all matters relating to methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts
        2. the principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and posts. And in making promotions and transfers from one service to another
                    3.    all disciplinary matters affecting a person serving under the Government of India, including memorials or petitions relating thereto
                    4.    on any matter which the President may refer to the Commission.

State Public Service Commission (SPSC) and Joint Public Service Commission (JPSC)
  The Chairman and the members of the SPSC and the JSPSC shall hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of
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Comparison between UPSC AND SPSC
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All-India Services
Art. 312 if the RajyaSabha declared by resolution supported by not less than two-third of the members present and voting,
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  • Planning Commission is an extra constitutional and non-statutory body. In simple terms it is neither mentioned in constitution (extra constitutional) nor came into being by an Act of Parliament (non statutory). It was formed on the recommendation of Planning Board headed by K. C Neogi in 1951 by the executive order.
  • Its function is to prepare a plan for most effective and balanced utilisation of the country's resources.

  • Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of Planning Commission.
  • Deputy Chairman is nominated by Prime Minister. He has given the rank of a full Cabinet Minister.
  • The Planning Commission have advisory role.

National Development Council (NDC)

Solved Objective Questions related to this topic
  • The N.D.C. was set up for the first time in 1951 with a view to bringing about a coordination of plans between the Central Ministers and the State Governments.
  • It is the apex body below Parliament for decision making and deliberations on development matters in India.
  •  The Council comprises the Prime Minister, the Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of all States, representatives of the union territories and the members of the Commissions.
  • The Secretary of the Planning Commission also acts as the Secretary to the NDC.
  •  It is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body.
  • Its status is advisory to planning commission but not binding.


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.

Lok Adalat

  • It was established in 1987 under the Legal Services Act (1987) of the Parliament. Hence, it is a statutory body.
  • LokAdalat is an alternativesystem of dispute resolution developed in India. It roughly means "People's court".
  •  The system of LokAdalats is an improvement and is based on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.
  •  They are held periodically.
  •  These are usually presided over by retired judges, social activists, or other members of the legal profession.
  •  The LokAdalats can deal with all Civil Cases, Matrimonial Disputes, Land Disputes, Partition/Property Disputes, Labour Disputes etc., and compoundable criminal Cases.
  • The focus in LokAdalats is on compromise. When no compromise is reached, the matter goes back to the court. However, if a compromise is reached, an award is made and is binding on the parties.
  •  An important aspect is that the award is final and cannot be appealed, not even under Article 226 because it is a judgment by consent.
  • All proceedings of a LokAdalat are deemed to be judicial proceedings and every LokAdalat is deemed to be a Civil Court.


  • There are various levels of judiciary in India —the Supreme Court of India at the top, followed by High Courts in states, District Courts at districts and Magistrates of Second Class and Civil Judge (Junior Division) at the bottom.
  • The Indian judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.

Supreme Court
  • The Supreme Court of India is the highest court of the land as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India.
  • Articles 124 to 147 of the Constitution of India lay down the composition and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The original Constitution of 1950 envisaged a Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and 7 Judges – leaving it to Parliament to increase this number.
  • Parliament increased the number of Judges from 8 in 1950 to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978 and 26 in 1986.
  • In 2008, The Parliament has increased the strength of Supreme Court to 31 (1 Chief Justice + 30 other judges).
  • The President can appoint adhoc Judges in the Supreme Court.
  • The senior most Judge of Supreme Court is appointed as the Chief Justice of India.
  • Supreme Court Judges retire upon attaining the age of 65 years. The Constitution does not prescribe time limit for a judge to occupy his office.
  • The proceedings of the Supreme Court are conducted in English only.


Qualification to be a judge of Supreme Court

1.  A person must be a citizen of India
2.  He/she must have been, for at least five years, a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession
3.  Or an Advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession for at least ten years
4.  Or the person must be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.

Selection or Method of Appointment of Judges:

There are various methods of selection of judges:
  1.  Election by the people- Such a system now prevails in certain Cantons of Switzerland. Although this method may sound highly democratic, such a method of selection of the judge is unsound. Ordinary voters are not qualified to consider the suitability of judges. Moreover, a popularly elected judge is likely to favor the party, which sponsored his election.
  2. Elections by legislature- This method is in vogue in Switzerland. Such a mode of appointment violates the theory of the separation of powers.Moreover, the judiciary cannot function as the guardian of the constitution. Judges elected by the legislature are not likely to declare acts of the same legislature unconstitutional. Thus, the independence and impartiality of the judges would be lost.
  3. By executive nomination- In India, the President of India nominates the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. This is a satisfactory mode of appointing the judges. Such appointments are generally made from and among the senior practicing lawyers.
  4. Through a competitive examination- In France, judges are selected on the basis of a competitive examination conducted by the Ministry of Justice. In India, too, judges of the lower courts such as Munsifs are selected on the basis of competitive examinations.
Of all these methods, the most popular is the last mentioned mode of choosing judges, for it ensures the independence of the judiciary.

Appointment of Judges of Supreme Court
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Independence of judiciary

The Constitution seeks to ensure the independence of Supreme Court Judges in various ways:
  1.        A Judge of the Supreme Court cannot be removed from office except by an order of the President passed after an address in each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of members present and voting, and presented to the President in the same Session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.
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  3.       The salary and other allowances of the Judges cannot be reduced during the term of their office except during financial emergency.
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  5.       A person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court is debarred from practicing in any court of law or before any other authority in India.
Jurisdictions of Supreme Court

1.       Original Jurisdiction (Article 131)

  1. This refers to the cases that directly originate in the Supreme Court.
  2. It has original jurisdiction in any dispute between:
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2.      Appellate Jurisdiction (Articles 132 to 136)
  • This refers to the power of reviewing and revising the orders of lower courts and tribunals.
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  • Normally, these appeals are in cases involving substantial question of law of general importance or interpretation of the Constitution or death penalty awarded by a High Court.
3.      Advisory Jurisdiction(Article 143)
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4.      Writ Jurisdiction
  • The Supreme Court is the guardian of the individual liberties and fundamental rights. It has the power to declare a law passed by any 
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Finance Commission

  • The Finance Commission of India came into existence in 1951 under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution.
  •  It was formed to define the financial relations between the Centre and the State.
  •  The Finance Commission Act of 1951 states the terms of qualification, appointment and disqualification, the term, eligibility and powers of the Finance Commission.
  •  The commission is appointed every five years.
  • It is a quasi-judicial body.

 It consists of a chairman and four other members.

The chairman must be a person having 'experience in public affairs, and the other four members must be appointed from amongst the following
 (a) A High Court judge or one qualified to be appointed as such;
 (b) A person having special knowledge of the finances and accounts of the government;
 (c) A person having wide experience in financial matters and administration;
 (d) A person having special knowledge of economics,
 (e) A person familiar with measures needed to augment the consolidated fund of a state to supplement the resources of the panchayats in the state.

Functions of the Finance Commission can be explicitly stated as:

 (a) Distribution of net proceeds of taxes between Centre and the States, to be divided as per        their respective contributions to the taxes.
 (b) The principles which should govern the grants-in-aid of revenues to the states out of the          consolidated fund of India;
 (c) Work with the State Finance Commissions and suggest measures to augment the                     Consolidated Fund of the States so as to provide additional resources to Panchayats and         Municipalities in the state.(added by 73rd and 74th Amendment Act)
 (d) Any other matter referred to the commission by the President in the interests of sound          finance.

The commission submits its report to the President and he lays down the report before the Parliament.

The recommendations of commission are only advisory and not binding on the Government.


  • The CentreState relation is described in constitution under Part XI
  • The Constitution provides a federal system of government in the country even though it describes India as ‘a Union of States’. The term implies that firstly, the Indian federation is not the result of an agreement between independent units, and secondly, the units of Indian federation cannot leave the federation. Therefore, Indian federal structure isoriented towards strong Centre.
  • In Indian federation there is clear division of legislative, executive and financial powers between the Center and the States. However, distribution of powers is more inclined towards Centre.

(a) Legislative Relations-
  • 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 66 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 46 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.However, 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 (Art. 248) rest with the Union government.
  • Parliament can also legislate on subjects in the State list if

  1. RajyaSabha passes a resolution by two-third majority that it is necessary to do so in the national interest. (Art. 249)
  2. During times of emergency, Parliament can make laws on subjects in the State List. Under Article 356 relating to the failure of constitutional machinery in the state, Parliament can take over the legislative authority of the state.
  3. For the implementation of international treaties or agreements, Parliament can legislate on state subjects. (Art. 253)
  4. If two or more states make a joint request to it to do so. (Art. 252)

Thus, the Centre enjoys more extensive powers than the states.

(b) Administrative relations-

The Indian Constitution made central administration strong in comparison to the state.

  • The executive power of every State must comply with the laws made by the Parliament (Art 256).
  • The Centre can direct the states in matters of national importance for example construction and maintenance of the means of communications declared to be of national or military importance, on the measures to be adopted for protection of the railways, for the welfare of the scheduled tribes and for providing facilities for instruction in mother tongue at primary stage to linguistic minorities
  • The Centre acquires control over states through All India Services.
  • Parliament can alone adjudicate in inter- state river disputes through River Water Tribunal (Art. 262).
  • During a proclamation of national emergency as well as emergency due to the failure of constitutional machinery in a state, the Union government assumes all the executive powers of the state.

(c) Financial Relations –
  • The financial relations between the Centre and State are derived from the Government of India Act of 1935.
  • In this sphere also the States are greatly dependent on the Centre for finances. The major source of finance for states is grants-in-aid given by Centre from the consolidated fund.
  • The Centre can exercise control over state finances through the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
  • During financial emergency the President has the power to suspend the provision regarding division of taxes between the Centre and the states.
  • The distribution of the tax-revenue between the Union and the States stands as follows.
(1) Taxes belonging to the Union exclusively:

Customs, Corporation Tax, Taxes on capital value of assets of individuals and companies, Surcharge on Income Tax, Fees in respects of matters in the Union List.

(2) Taxes belonging to the States Exclusively:

Land Revenue, Stamp duty except in documents included in the Union List, Succession duty, Estate duty, and Income tax on agricultural land, taxes on passengers and goods carried on inland waterways taxes on lands and buildings, mineral rights.
Taxes on animals and boats, on road vehicles, on advertisements, on consumption of electricity, on luxuries and amusements, etc. (This is being supplemented by a new system of Value Added Tax i.e. VAT).

(3) 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. (Article 268)

(4) Taxes Levied as Well as Collected by the Union, but Assigned to the States:

Duties on succession to property other than agricultural land, Estate duty in respect of property other than agricultural land terminal taxes on goods or passengers carried by railway, air or sea taxes on railway fares and freights and so on.

Co- operative Federalism

  • Co- operative Federalism is to promote cooperation between Centre and States. The Indian Constitution provides for a number of mechanisms to promote co-operative federalism.
  • Article 263 empowers the President to establish Inter-State Council to promote better co-ordination between the Centre and States.
  • Under Article 262, the Parliament has passed the Inter-States Water Disputes Act, 1956 to set up Inter-States Water Dispute Tribunal to adjudicate any dispute with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of inter-State rivers.
Inter -State Council

  • It was formed on the recommendations of Sarkaria Commission in 1990.
  • It is headed by the Prime Minister and includes six Cabinet ministers of the Union and Chief Ministers of all the states and union territories.
  • The Functions of the Council is to discuss subjects, in which some or all of the States or the Union and one or more of the States have a common interest; and for the better coordination of policy.
Zonal Councils

  • Zonal Councils were set up under the State Re-organization Act, 1956, to ensure greater cooperation amongst states in the field of planning and other matters of national importance and foster balanced socio economic development of the respective zones.
  • The act divided the country into six zones and provided a Zonal Council in each zone.
  • Each council consists of the Chief Minister and two other ministers of each of the states in the zone and the administrator in the case of the union territory.
  •  The Union Home Minister has been nominated to be the common chairman of all the zonal councils.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Election Commission

Election Commission
  • Article 324 of the Constitution of India has provided for an Election Commission.
  • It is a permanent body governed by rules specified in the constitution.
  •  The Election Commission was established on 25 January 1950. Originally the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. But, currently the commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners, appointed by the president of India. The concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since 1993, with decision making power by majority vote.
The President of India appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.

Service conditions of Chief Election Commissioner:

  1. Chief Election Commission shall be appointed for a term of 6 years or till he attain an age of 65 years.
  2. He is ineligible for reappointment after his retirement.
  3. He is ineligible to hold any office of profit under the State after his retirement.
  4. His salary, allowances and pensions are charged under Consolidated Fund of India (CFI).
  5. His salaries, allowances and pensions cannot be reduced except during a financial emergency.
  6. He draws salaries and allowances at par with those of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
Election Commissioners

The Election Commissioners are appointed by the President and the President need not have to consult Chief Election Commissioner in this regard. However, the Election Commissioners shall not be removed without the recommendation of Chief Election Commissioner.

 Election Commission service conditions:-

  1. An Election Commissioner is appointed for a term of 6 years or till he attains the age of 65 years.
  2. An Election Commissioner is eligible to be appointed as Chief Election Commissioner provided cumulatively his term as CEC and Election Commissioner shall not exceed 6 years.
  3. He is not eligible to hold any office of profit after his retirement.
  4. He draws salaries and allowances at par with those of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
Removal of Chief Election Commissioner

  • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from his office by Parliament with two-thirds majority in LokSabha and RajyaSabha on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
  •  Other Election Commissioners can be removed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
Functions of Election Commission:

The main functions of the Election Commission are as under:

1.  To conduct free, fair and peaceful elections.
2.  To prepare electoral rolls and get them revised before every election.
3.  To conduct the elections of:

               ·   President,
               ·   Vice-President,
               ·   members of both the Houses of Parliament,
               ·   Members of Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of various States.
4.  Delimitation of Constituencies.
5.  To give recognition to political parties as All India Parties or Regional Parties on the basis       of the votes received by them in the last elections.
6.  To allot symbols of various political parties and independent candidates. It hears and                settles all the disputes with regard to symbols.
7.  To cancel polls in case of large scale rigging, irregularities or violence.
8.  To give opinion to the President of India about the possibility of holding elections in a State under President's rule after the expiry of six months.
9.  To advise the President or a Governor on matters pertaining to disqualification of a legislator.
10. To conduct by-elections for filling up vacancies in Parliament or any State legislature.

The Advocate General

The Advocate General

  • The Advocate General is the first law officer of a State. 
  • His office and functions are comparable to that of the Attorney General of India.
  • Appointed by the Governor and holds the office during his pleasure. 
  • His remunerations are also determined by the Governor.
  • To be appointed to the office of the Advocate-General, he/she must be qualified to be a Judge of the High Court.
  • He has the right to attend and speak in the proceedings of either Houses of the State Legislature without any right to vote.
  • He has the right of audience in any Court in the State.

The Chief Minister

The Chief Minister
  • A Chief Minister is the elected head of government and the real executive of a state of India
  • Generally the leader of the majority party in the state assembly is appointed as Chief Minister, who holds position identical to that of the Prime Minister at the center.
  • He is appointed by the Governor of the state. 
  • Other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. 
  • The Governor shall administer the oath of office and secrecy to the Ministers.
  • He is the chief link between the Governor and the Council of Ministers and keeps the former informed of all decisions of the council. 
  • Article 164 -The salaries and allowances of the Ministers shall be determined by the State Legislature. 
Powers and Functions

In relation to the Council of Ministers

  • Recommends persons to be appointed as the Ministers by the Governor. 
  • Allocates and reshuffles the portfolios among the Ministers. 
  • Can ask a Minister to resign or advise the Governor to dismiss the Minister in case of difference of opinion. 
  • Presides over the meetings of the Council of Ministers and influences its decisions.
  • Guides, directs, controls and coordinates the activities of all the Ministers.
  • Can bring about the collapse of the Council of Ministers by resigning from the office. 

In relation to the Governor

  • He is the principal channel of communication between the Governor and the Council of Ministers. 
  • He communicates to the Governor of all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation.
  • He furnishes such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for.
  • If the Governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council.
  • He advises the Governor with regard to the appointment of important officials like Advocate General, the Chairman and the Members of the State Public Service Commission, the State Election Commissioner etc.
 In relation to the State Legislature

  • He advises the Governor with regard to the summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the State Legislature. 
  • He can recommend the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly to the Governor any time.
  • He announces the Government policies on the floor of the House. 
  • Chief Minister is the leader of the party in power, leader of the State and the political head of the services, under the State. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Central Administrative Tribunal

Central Administrative Tribunal
  • By 42nd amendment Act, 1976,Article 323A under part XIVA was inserted. According to which, Parliament may, by law provide for establishment of administrative tribunals.
  • It was established in 1985 under the Administrative Tribunals Act (1985) of the Parliament. Hence, it is a statutory body.
  • It deals with the disputes relating to the recruitment and all service matters.
  • Its objective is to provide speedy and inexpensive justice to the aggrieved Civil Servants.
  • Its jurisdiction extends to the members of public services in connection with the affairs of the Union or other local authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Government of India.

  • It is a multi-member body consisting of a Chairman, 16 Vice-Chairmen and 49 Members.
  • They are drawn from both the Judicial and the Administrative streams.

  • They are appointed by the President.
  • The term of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman is 5 years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The term of the members is 5 years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They are not eligible for re-appointment.

Administrative Control:
It works under the administrative control of the Department of Personnel and Training-one of the three departments of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions

Anti-Defection Law

Anti-Defection Law
Anti-DefectionLaw is described in Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. It is included in the Constitution by the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985. It sets the provisions for disqualification of elected members on the grounds of defection to another political party. It is enacted to prevent horse trading in case of hung Parliament.

Grounds for disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law's Articles 102 (2) and 191 (2)
a) If an elected member voluntarily gives up his membership of a political party;
b) If he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party.
Loopholes in 1985 Act
As per the 1985 Act, a ‘defection’ by one-third of the elected members of a political party was considered a ‘merger’. Such defections were not actionable against.
The Dinesh Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms, in its report recommended the deletion of the Tenth Schedule provision regarding exemption from disqualification in case of a split.
Finally the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003, changed this. So now ‘defection’ of at least two-thirds of the members of a party is considered as ‘merger’.
Deciding authority for disqualification on ground of defection
The Chairman or the Speaker of such House will decide on question of disqualification on ground of defection, and his decision is final.
All proceedings in this regard are deemed to be proceedings in Parliament or in the Legislature of a state. No court has any jurisdiction.