Brief Polity Notes For Upcoming Exam - Indian Polity
1. Historical Evolution
In order to know about the Indian political structure, it becomes very important to know about the Indian Constitution. There are various rules and Acts which were passed before independence which plays a vital role in shaping our Constitution. Some of the important historical events are listed down below:
- Regulating Act of 1773
- Amending Act, 1781
- Pitt’s India Act, 1784
- Charter Act, 1813
- Charter Act, 1833
- Charter Act, 1853
- Government of India Act, 1858
- Indian Councils Act, 1861
- Indian Councils Act, 1892
- Indian Councils Act, 1909 (Morley-Minto Reforms)
- Government of India Act, 1919 (Montague-Chelmsford Reforms)
- Government of India Act, 1935
- Indian Independence Act, 1947
2. Preamble: An Introduction to India Constitution
The preamble sets out the guiding purpose, principles, and philosophy of the Indian Constitution. Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru approached Shri Behari with the proposal of handwriting it in a flowing italic style. Nandalal Bose and his students designed the borders of every page and adorned it with beautiful art pieces.
By the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976, it was amended which determined to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic. It secures justice, liberty, equality to all citizens of India and promotes fraternity amongst the people.
Description of Indian State as Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic.
Provision to all the citizens of India i.e.,
- Justice – social, economic, and political.
- Liberty – of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship.
- Equality – of status and of opportunity.
- Fraternity – assuring the dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation.
3. Fundamental Rights
Features of Fundamental Rights
- Some of them are available only to the citizens while others are available to all persons whether citizens, foreigners, or legal persons like corporations or companies.
- The Constitution confers the following rights and privileges on the citizens of India (and denies the same to aliens):
- Right against discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth (Article 15).
- Right to equality of opportunity in the matter of public employment (Article 16).
- Right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence and profession (Article 19).
- Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29 and 30).
- They are not absolute but qualified.
- Some of them are negative in character.
- They are justiciable, allowing persons to move the courts for their enforcement, if and when they are violated.
- They are not sacrosanct or permanent.
- Most of them are directly enforceable (self-executory) while a few of them can be enforced on the basis of a law made for giving effect to them. Such a law can be made only by the Parliament and not by state legislatures so that uniformity throughout the country is maintained (Article 35).
- Articles 12 to 35 enumerated in Part III of the Indian Constitution covers the Fundamental Rights of the citizen of the country.
- Article 12
- Article 13
Right to Equality:
- Article 14
- Article 15
- Article 16
- Article 17
- Article 18
Right to Freedom:
- Article 19
- Article 20
- Article 21
- Article 22
Right Against Exploitation:
- Article 23
- Article 24
Right to Freedom of Religion:
- Article 25
- Article 26
- Article 27
- Article 28
Cultural and Educational Rights
- Article 29
- Article 30
- Article 31
Saving of Certain Laws
- Article 31
Right to Constitutional Remedies
- Article 32
- Article 33
- Article 34
- Article 35
4. System of Government – Centre
Facts about parliament
How many sessions of the Lok Sabha are held in a year?
Normally 3 sessions are held in a year, viz.,
- Budget Session: February – May
- Autumn or Monsoon Session: July – August
- Winter Session: November – December
- Article 85 only requires that there should not be a gap of more than 6 months between two sessions of parliament.
5. System of Government – States
Inter-state relation of India
While Ar. 131 provides for the judicial determination of disputes between States by vesting the Supreme Court with exclusive jurisdiction in the matter, Ar. 262 provides for the adjudication of one class of such dispute by an extra-judicial tribunal, while Ar. 263 provides for the prevention of inter-state disputes by investigation and recommendations by an administrative body.
Constitutional provisions related to Inter-state relations:
Adjudication of inter-state water disputes – Ar. 262
Coordination through inter-state council – Ar. 263
Mutual recognition of public acts, records, and judicial proceedings – Ar. 261
Freedom of inter-state trade, commerce, and intercourse – Ar. 301
- Bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to change existing law.
- When a bill is passed in the Parliament and later receives the President’s assent, it becomes an Act.
- The bills can be broadly categorized into 4 types based on their purpose.
- Bills are also categorized as Private Bill (introduced by a Private Member) and Public Bill (introduced by a Minister).
7. Centre-State Relations
The Constitution of India has provided provisions to regulate the relations between Centre and States. It can be classified under three broad heads:
I. Legislative Relations:
Article 245 to 255 in Part XI of the constitution deals with legislative relations.
- Territorial Extend
- Parliamentary Legislations in the State
- II. Administrative Relation
Article 256 to 263 in Part XI of Constitution deals with administrative relations.
- Obligations of State and the Centre
- Centre’s Direction to the state
- Mutual Deligations and Functions
- Cooperation Between the Centre and States
- All India Services
- Public Service Commission
- Other Provisions
- III. Financial Relations
Article 268 to 293 in Part XII of the Indian Constitution deals with Financial relations.
- Goods and Service Tax mechanism
- Taxing Powers
- Grants-in-Aid to the states
- Statutory Grants
- Discretionary Grants
- Finance Commission
- Borrowing by the Centre and the States
- Inter-Government Tax immunities
Committee on center-state relations:
- Rajamannar Committee
- Sarkaria Commission
- Punchhi Commission
Indian constitution has established an integrated judicial system adopted from the Government of India Act, 1935. The act enforces both Central and State Laws.
Independence of Judiciary in India
It is ensured through the following measures:
- Legislatures are not involved in the appointment of judges.
- Security of tenure provided to judges.
- Rigid process of removal of judges.
- Remuneration of judges and administrative expenses of Supreme Court and High Court judges are charged on Consolidated Fund of India and states respectively.
- The conduct of judges cannot be discussed in Parliament or state legislatures, expect when an impeachment motion under consideration.
- Ban on practice of Supreme court judges after retirement.
- Supreme Court can punish for its contempt.
- Structure of Indian Judiciary
9. Local Bodies
I. Panchayati Raj:
- Panchayati Raj is the pan-India system of local self-governance entrusted with the responsibility of rural development.
- Rajasthan was the first state to establish Panchayati Raj.
- Many committees such as Balwant Rai Mehta Committee (1957), Ashok Mehta Committee (1977), GVK Rao Committee (1985), L M Singhavi Committee (1986) etc. were constituted to te strengthen the system.
73rd Amendment Act of 1992:
- This act added new Part-IX and Articles 243 to 243 ‘O’ and 11th Schedule to the constitution.
- This act gives Constitutional Status to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI)
- The act has been inspired by Article 40 of the constitution.
Gram Sabha - Considered as a foundation of the PR system.
- Consists of all registered voters in the Panchayat at the village level.
- Three-Tier System.
3 levels of Panchayat – The Village, intermediate, and district level.
- Election of members and chairperson
- Direct election by the people at three levels.
- Chairman at Intermediate and District level shall be elected members indirectly.
- Chairman at village level shall be elected in a manner determined by the state legislature.