UPSC Indian Polity and Civics Miscellaneous Notes - Miscellaneous Topics

Notes - Miscellaneous Topics

Category : UPSC

 

Miscellaneous Topics

 

Introduction

 

Miscelleneous chapter consists many different kinds of topics that are not connected and do not easily from a group and are of different nature. In Likewise, different topics for examples planning commission/NITI Aayog, Finance Commission, Election Commision, National Commission, UPSC, and many more given in the chart below are covered in this chapter.

 

 

Planning Commision

 

  • Constituted in March 1950 by a resolution of the Government of India on the recommendation of the Advisory Planning Board in 1946 under the chairmanship of K.C. Neogi.
  • Planning Commission is neither a constitutional body nor a statutory body. It is a non-constitutional or extra- constitutional or a non-statutory body.
  • Objective is to formulate 5 year plans for economic and social development and to advice Central government in this regard.

 

 

NITI Aayog

 

The Government of India has replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India).

The institution will serve as 'Think Tank' of the Government - a directional and policy dynamo.

NITI Aayog will provide Governments at the Central and State Levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy, which includes matters of national and international importance on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.

Composition

NITI Aayog will have Prime Minister as its chairman, one Vice-Chairman cum chief-executive officer, 3 full time members and 2 part time members, apart from 4 Central

Government ministers.

 

NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)

 

Present members of NITI Aayog

 

 

Chairperson

Vice ChairPerson

Full-Time Members

Ex-officio Members

Special Invites

Chief Executive Officer

Shri Narendra Modi, Hon?nle Prime Minister

Shri Arvind Panagariya

Shri Bibek Debroy. Shri V.K. Saraswati. Prof. Ramesh Chand

Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Home Affairs. Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs; and Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways. Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture.

Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister   of   Road Transport        and Highways; and Minister of Shipping.

Shri Thawar Chand

Gehlot, Minister    of Social Justice   and Empowerment.

 

Shri Amitabh Kant

 

 

 

Difference between Planning Commission and NITI Aayog

 

S. No

Points of Difference

NITI Aayog

Planning Commission

1.

Financial clout

To be an advisory body, or a think-tank. The powers to allocate fund vested in the finance ministry.

Enjoyed the powers to allocate funds to ministries and state governments

2.

Full ? time members

Three full-time members.

Had eight full-time members

3.

States? role

Includes the Chief Ministers of all States and the Lieutenant Governors of all Union territories in its Governing Council, devolving more power to the States of the Union.

States' role was limited to the National Development Council and annual interaction during plan meetings

4.

Member secretary

To be known as the CEO and to be appointed by the Prime Minister

Secretaries or member secretaries were appointed through the usual process

 

5.

Part - time members

To have a number of part time member, depending on the need from time to time

Full Planning Commission had no provision for part time members

6.

Constitution

Governing Council has state Chief Ministers and lieutenant governors.

The   Commission reported to National Development Council that had State Chief Ministers and lieutenant governors.

7.

Organization

New posts of CEO, of secretary rank, and vice Chairperson. Will also have two full-time members and part-time members as per need. Four cabinet ministers will serve as ex-officio members.

Had deputy chairperson, a member secretary and 8 full time members.

8.

Participation

Consulting states while making policy and deciding on funds allocation. Final policy would be a result of that.                 

Policy was formed by the commission and states were then consulted about allocation of funds.

9.

Allocation

No power to allocate funds

Had power to decide allocation of government funds for various programs at national and state levels.

10.

Nature

NITI is a think-tank and does not have the power to impose policies.

Imposed policies on states and tied allocation of funds with projects it approved.

 

 

 

National Development Council (NDC)

  • It was established in August 1952 by an executive resolution of the Government of India on the recommendation of the First Year Plan.
  • It is neither a constitutional body nor a statutory body.
  • Sarkaria Commission recommended for its constitutional status under article 263 of the Constitution and should be renamed as 'National Economic and Development Council'.

 

Composition

  • The NDC is composed of the following members.
  • Prime Minister of India as its chairman /head.
  • All Union cabinet ministers (since 1967).
  • Chief ministers of all states.
  • Administrators of all Union territories.
  • Members of the Planning Commission.
  • Secretary of the Planning Commission acts as the secretary to the NDC.

 

Objectives

  • Chief objective -To secure cooperation of states in the execution of the plan.
  • To strengthen and mobilize the efforts and resources of the nation in support of the plan.
  • To promote common economic policies.
  • To ensure balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.

 

Functions

  • Prescribe guidelines for preparation of the national plan.
  • Consider the national plan as prepared by Planning Commission.
  • Make an assessment of the resources required for implementing the plan.
  • Consider important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development.
  • Review the working of the national plan from time to time.
  • Recommend measures for achievement of the aims and targets set out in plan.
  • NDC is the highest body, below the Parliament. However it (the NDC) is listed as an advisory body to the Planning Commission and its recommendations are not binding.
  • It should meet at least twice every year.

STAGES IN MAKING OF A PLAN

Drafting of Five-Year Plan

 

Prepared by the Planning Commission

\[\downarrow \]

Submitted to Union Cabinet for approval

\[\downarrow \]

Placed before the NDC for its acceptance

\[\downarrow \]

Presented to the Parliament

\[\downarrow \]

Emerges as the official plan

\[\downarrow \]

Published in the official gazette

 

Finance Commission

  • Article 280 provides Finance Commission as a quasi- judicial body constituted by the President every fifth year or at such earlier time as he considers necessary.
  • Recommendations made by the Finance Commission are only of advisory nature and not binding upon the government.

Composition

  • A chairman and four other members appointed by the President.
  • They hold office for such period as specified by the President in his order. Eligible for reappointment.
  • The Constitution authorises Parliament to determine the qualifications of the members and the manner in which they should be selected. Accordingly, the Parliament enacted Finance Commission Act of 1951, specifying the qualifications of the chairman and its members.
  • Chairman should be a person having experience in public affairs.
  • The four other members should be selected from the following:
  • Judge of high court or one to be qualified to be appointed as one.
  • A person having specialized knowledge of finance and accounts of the government.
  • Wide experience in financial matters and in administration.
  • Special knowledge of economics.

 

Functions

  • The Finance Commission is required to make recommendations to the President of India on the following matters:
  • Distribution of the net proceeds of taxes to be shared between the Centre and the States.
  • Principles that should govern the grants-in-aid to the states by the Centre (i.e. out of the Consolidated Fund of India).
  • The measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and the Municipalities in the state on the basis of the recommendations made by the State Finance Commission. This function is added by the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment 1992.
  • Any other matter referred to it by the President in the interests of sound finance.
  • Commission also suggests the amounts to be paid to Assam, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal in lieu of assignment of any share of the net proceeds in each year of export duty on jute and jute products (Article 273).
  • Commission submits its report to the President. He lays it before both the Houses of Parliament along with an explanatory memorandum as to the action taken on its recommendations (Article 281).

 

Finance Commission

Chairman

Operational Duration

First

K. C. Neogy

1952-57

Second

K. Santhanam

1957-62

Third

A. K. Chanda

1962-66

Fourth

P. V. Rajamannar

1966-69

Fifth

Mahaveer Tyagi

1969-74

Sixth

K. Brahmananda Reddy

1974-79

Seventh

J. M. Shelat

1979-84

Eighth

Y. B. Chavan

1984-89

Ninth

N. K. P. Salve

1989-95

Tenth

K. C. Pant

1995-2000

Eleventh

A. M. Khusro

2000-2005

Twelfth

C. Rangarajan

2005-2010

Thirteenth

Dr. Vijay L. Kelkar

2010-2015

Fourteenth

Dr. Y. V Reddy

2015-2020

 

Financial Stability and Development Council

  • With a view to strengthening and institutionalizing the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development, the FSDC was set up by the Government as the apere level forum in December 2010.
  • The chairman of the Council is the Union Finance Minister.
  • It monitors macro prudential supervision of the economy. It also focuses on financial literacy and financial inclusion.

 

Election Commission

  • It is a permanent and an independent body established by the Constitution of India directly to ensure free and fair - elections in the country (Art. 324).
  • Elections to Parliament, State legislatures. President and Vice-President are vested in it.

 

Composition (Article 324)

  • Election Commission shall consist of Chief Election
  • Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, as the President may from time to time fix.
  • Appointment made by the President.
  • When any other Election Commissioner is appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission.
  • President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission, regional commissioners to assist the Election Commission.
  • Conditions of service and tenure of office shall be determined by the President.
  • Till 1989, single member body. In 1989, two more members were added to cope with the increased work on account of lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 years by the 61st Amendment 1989.
  • Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners have equal powers and receive equal salary, allowances and other prerequisites.
  • All entitled to the same salary and other facilities as a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Term is six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

 

Independence

  • Article 324 of the Constitution safeguard -

(i) Security of tenure i.e. Chief Election Commissioner is removed in same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court. Parliament with special majority, either on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity. Thus, he does not hold his office till the pleasure of the President, though appointed by the President.

(ii) Service conditions cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

(iii) Other election commissioner or a regional commissioner removed only on the recommendation of the chief Election Commissioner.

  • Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative or judicial), term and has not debarred the retiring Election Commissioners from any further appointment by the government.

 

Powers and Functions

  • The powers and function of the Election Commission with regard to elections to the Parliament, State Legislatures and offices of President and Vice-President can be classified into three categories,
  • Administrative
  • Advisory
  • Quasi-Judicial

In details, these powers and functions are:

  • To determine the territorial areas of the electoral constituencies throughout the country on the basis of the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
  • Decide delimitation of constituencies, allocation of seats in Parliament and state legislatures.
  • To constitute administrative machinery for conducting elections, election disputes, by-elections, etc.
  • Not concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states. For this, the Constitution of India (Art 243K and 243 AZ) provides for a separate state election commission.
  • To prepare and periodically revise electoral rolls and to register all eligible voters.
  • To notify the dates and schedules of elections and to scrutinise nomination papers.
  • To grant recognition to political parties and allot election symbols to them.
  • To act as a court for settling disputes related to granting of recognition to political parlies and allotment of election symbols to them.
  • To appoint officers for inquiring into disputes relating to electoral arrangements.
  • To determine the code of conduct to be observed by the parties and the candidates at the time of elections.
  • To advise the president on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of Parliament.
  • To advise the governor on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of State Legislature.
  • To cancel polls in the event of rigging, booth capturing, violence and other irregularities.
  • To request the President for requisitioning the staff necessary for conducting elections.
  • To supervise the machinery of elections throughout the country to ensure free and fair elections.
  • To advise the President whether elections can be held in a state under President's rule in order to extend the period of emergency after one year.
  • To register political parties for the purpose of elections and grant them the status of national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance.

 

List of Chief Election Commissioners

 

Name

Took Office

Left Office

1.

Sukumar Sen

21 March 1950

19 December 1958

2.

Kalyan Sundaram

20 December 1958

30 September 1967

3.

S. P. Sen Verma

1 October 1967

30 September 1972

4.

Nagendra Singh

1 October 1972

6 February 1973

5.

T. Swaminathan

7 February 1973

17 June 1977

6.

S.L. Shakdhar

18 June 1977    

17 June 1982

7.

R.K. Trivedi

18 June 1982

31 December 1985

8.

R.V.S. Peri Sastri

1 January 1986

25 November 1990

9.

V.S. Ramadevi

26 November 1990

11 December 1990

10.

T.N. Seshan

12 December 1990

11 December 1996

11.

M.S. Gill

12 December 1996

13 June 2001

12.

J.M. Lyngdoh

14 June 2001

7 February 2004

13.

T.S. Krishnamurthy 

8 February 2004

15 May 2005

14.

B.B. Tandon

16 May 2005

29 June 2006

15.

N. Gopalaswami

30 June 2006 

20 April 2009

16.

Navin Chawla

21 April 2009   

29 July 2010

17.

S.Y. Quraishi

30 July 2010  

10 June 2012

18.

V.S. Sampath

11 June 2012

15 January 2015

19.

H.S. Brahma

16 January 2015

18 April 2015

20.

Nasim Zaidi

19 April 2015

Incumbent

 

16th LOK SABHA ELECTION, 2014

Major Facts-

  • The elections were conducted in 9 phases from 7th April, 2014 to 12th may 2014.
  • The BJP (of the NDA) achieved an absolute majority with 282 seats out of 543.
  • Its PM condidate, Narendra Modi, took office on the 26th of May, 2014 as the 15th prime minister of independent India.
  • The India National Congress (of the UPA) could only manage 44 seats.
  • The All India Anna Dravide Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party from Tamil Nadu Came a close 3rd with 37 seats.
  • Name of states and No. of seats acquired:

 

 

States

NDA

UPA

Other

1.

Bihar

31

7

2

2.

NCT of Delhi

7

0

0

3.

Haryana

7

1

2

4.

Himachal Pradesh

4

0

0

5.

Jammu and Kashmir

3

0

3

6.

Madhya Pradesh

27

2

0

7.

Punjab

6

3

4

8.

Utter Pradesh

73

2

5

9.

Uttarakhand

5

0

0

10.

Arunachal Pradesh

1

0

0

11.

Assam

7

3

4

12.

Chattisgarh

10

1

0

13.

Jharkhand

13

1

0

14.

Manipur

0

2

0

15.

Meghalaya

1

1

0

16.

Mizoram

0

1

0

17.

Nagaland

1

0

0

18.

Odisha

1

0

20

19.

Sikkim

0

0

1

20.

Tripura

0

0

2

21.

West Bengal

2

4

36

22.

Andhra Pradesh

19

2

21

23.

Karnataka

17

9

2

24.

Kerala

0

10

10

25.

Tamil Nadu

02

00

37

26.

Goa

02

00

00

27.

Gujarat

26

00

00

28.

Maharashtra

42

06

00

29.

Rajasthan

25

00

00

 

New Happenging in this Election

(1) NOTA - NOTA (None of the above) was a category introduced this time for voters who could raise their voice not to choose any representative if they dislike any of the above.

(2) Spread Out - This was the longest tenured election that lasted in India.

(3) Aam Aadmi Party - A new born party become a major challenge to BJP and Congress reaching a National Support base for the first time.

(4) BJP won majority (282 seats) of the total seats declaring a clear single party majority win with a lowest vote share of 31 % of total valid vote casted. But this win marked as a least percentage win as compared to the Previous years.

The previous lowest vote share for a single party major was in 1967, when congress won 283 out of 520 seats with 40.8% of total valid votes polled.

  • There was an approximate turn out at 66.4% among the Indians.
  • spent 131 % more on organising elections more than what was spent in the 2009 election.
  • The total expenditure in this election was Rs. 3426 crore.
  • Cash and 2.25 crore litres of illicit liquor was seized by the pool panel.

 

Voters Turn out

  • India recorded the highest number of voters this time during Election 2014.
  • The voting percentage was recorded at 66.38% with 551 million people casting their ballot.
  • Voter turnout in Varanasi was 55.56%, which is a massive improvement from 44% in 2009.
  • Turn out Numbers voters:

East India-75%

South India - 72%

North India - 60%

West India-62%

 

List of member of the 16th Lok Sabha.

  • Speaker - Sumitra Mahajan.
  • Deputy Speaker - Thambinduri
  • Leader of the House - Narendra Modi
  • Leader of the Opposition - Mallikarjun Kharge

 

Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha - Arun Jaitley

·                     Secretary General - P. Sreedharan.

 

(Assembly Election 2017)

Uttar Pradesh

Party

Seats Won

Total Seats

BJP

312

403

SP

47

INC

07

BSP

19

RLD

1

Others

17

Punjab

Party

Seats Won

Total Seats

INC

77

117

AAP

20

SAD

15

BJP

03

Others

02

Goa

Party

Seats Won

Total Seats

INC

17

40

BJP

13

MGP

03

Others

07

Uttarakhand

Party

Seats Won

Total Seats

BJP

57

70

INC

11

Others

2

Manipur

Party

Seats Won

Total Seats

INC

28

60

BJP

21

AITC

01

Others

10

 

About NOTA

The Elevtion Commission of India asked the Supreme Court that to offer the vote na ‘NOTA’ option at the ballot as its would give voters the freedom of not selecting any undeserving candidate. The Government was not in favour of such an idea. ‘The people’s Union for civil Liberties’ which is an NGO, filed a PIL to favour NOTA. Finally on 27th September 2013, the right to register a ‘NOTA. Finally on 27th September 2013, the right to register a ‘NOTA’ vote in elections was applied by the supreme court of India, which then ordered the election commission that then ordered the election Commission that all voting machines should be provided with a NOTA button so as to give voters the option to choose ‘None of the above’. The Symbol for NOTA, a ballot paper with a black cross, is designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. In the Indian general election, 2014, NOTA polled 1.1% of the votes, counting to over 6 million.


 

 

Political Parties

Political Party is a group of persons who agree on some ideology and seek to capture the power and form the government on the basis of collective leadership.

Type of Party System in India - Multi Party System

Functions-

(i) Recruitment of leaders.

(ii) To congest election

(iii) Formation of government

(iv) Formulation of laws when in power.

(v) Role of oppositions

(vi) Shaping public opinion.

(vii) Provide politely stability.

Category of Political Party in India:

 

 

Swaraj India,s Common Symbols & Delhi MCD Election 2017

 

Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India’s plea for a common symbol in the upcoming MCD polls was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on 29th March 2017.

The high court dismissed the party’s plea, saying since the electronic voting machines would now carry photographs of the candidates, it would not be put to any disadvantages if there was no common symbol.

As the plea was field after several steps in the electoral process had started, it was “very late in the day for the court to interfere,” Justice Hima Kohli noted.

Earlier, on 23 March, the high court had asked the Delhi poll panel whether it intends to give a common symbol to political parties like yogendra yadav-led Swaraj India, which are registered but unrecognized.

The court had posed the query to the Commission after senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for Swaraj India, submitted that a letter was sent to the Delhi government to consider amending the rules for allotment the common the symbols to registered but un recognized political parties.

Bhushan had made the submissions during arguments on a plea challenging the Commision’s decision not to allot a common symbols to Swaraj India to contest the upcoming MCD polls.

Swaraj India claimed the Non-allotment of a common symbol to a registered party amounted to discrimination as the Aam Aadmi party was granted such a Relief when it have contested for the first time.

Swaraj India has sought quashing of the panel’s 14 March, 2017 notification and an April 2016 order which said the nominees of such parties would be treated as independent candidates for allotment of symbols.

Swaraj India was floated in October last year by yadav and advocate Prashant Bhusan, who were expelled from the AAP after the questioned Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership. The party, registered by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in February 2017, has contended that the Delhi symbols order was “wholly illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and selective, destroying the very fairness of the proposed electoral process itself”.

It has said that providing it a common symbol will create a level playing field among all the party’s request for a common symbol.

The party has contended that the panel rejected it request for a symbol despite a provision in the ECI rules to provide a common symbol to a registered but unrecognised political party like Swaraj India, which is set to make its election debute in the 23 April MCD polls.

The party said the ECI’s Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order allows newly registered parties to have a common symbol for all their candidates for contesting their first election.

The party has claimed that states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Kerala, Sikkim and Tripura follow the rule.

 

Pressure Groups

  • Represents socio-economic and political interests of a particular section in political system. For examples. farmers, industrial workers, etc.
  • Organised on the basis of common goals and share similar values.
  • Seek support of party leaders, legislators and bureaucracy in vigorous pursuit of their goals.
  • Exert pressure on government in order to obtain laws and administrative measures in favour of their specific interests.
  • Termed as a "Anonymous Empire".

Types of Pressure Group in India

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distinction between Political Parties and Presure Groups

Political Parties

Pressure Groups

They are political as they are part of political system.

They   are   non-political as they are part of social system.

They contest elections & form either the government or the opposition.

They do not contest elections, nor do they participate in the working of the government

They seek political power and as such their object is general.

They seek specific objects

 

They are outward oriented, too formal, and too open.

They are inward-oriented, too secretive.

 

Attorney-General of India (Article 76)

  • The President shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court to be Attorney- General of India. He is the highest law officer in the Country.
  • In other words, he must be a citizen of India and he must have been a judge of some high court for five years or an advocate of some high court for ten years or an eminent Jurist, in the opinion of the President.
  • The term of office of the AG is not fixed by the Constitution. Further, the Constitution does not contain the procedure and grounds for his removal. He holds office during the pleasure of the President. This means that he may be removed by the President at any time. He may also quit his office by submitting his resignation to the President. Conventionally, he resigns when the Government (Council of Ministers) resigns or is replaced, as he is appointed on its advice.
  • It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the President and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any law for the time being in force.
    • The President has assigned the following duties to the AG:
  • To appear on behalf of the Government of India in all cases in the Supreme Court in which the Government of India is concerned.
  • To represent the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
  • To appear (when required by the Government of India) in any high court in any case in which the Government of India is concerned.)
  • In the performance of his duties the Attorney General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India.
  • He has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament of their joint sitting and any committee of the Parliament of which he may be named a member, but without a right to vote. He enjoys all the privileges and immunities that are available to a member of parliaments
  • The Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, and shall receive such remuneration as the President may determine.
  • He does not fall in the category of government servants.
  • Further, he is not debarred from private legal practice.

 

Official Language of the Union (Article 343)

The; official language of the IJnion shall be Hindi in Devenagiri script. The form of numerals to be used for the purposes of the Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals.

Not with standing anything in clause(l), for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union for which it was being used imediately before such commencement:

Provided that the president may, during the said period, by order authorize the use of the Hindi language in addition to the English language and of the Devanagiri international form of Indian numerals for any of the official purpose of the union.

Not with standing anything in this Article, Parliament may by, law provide for the use, after the said period of fifteen years, of:

(a) the English language or,

(b) the Devanagri form of numerals for such purposes as may be specified in law.

 

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). He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department. He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both the levels, the Centre and the state.
  • The CAG is appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand and seal. He holds office for a period of six years or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. He can resign any time from his office by addressing the resignation letter to the President. He can also be removed by the President on same grounds and in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The Constitution has made the following provisions to safeguard and ensure the independence of CAG:
  • He is provided with the security of tenure. He can be removed by the President only in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Constitution. Thus. he does not hold his office till the pleasure of the President, though he is appointed by him.
  • 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 are determined by the Parliament. His salary is equal to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Neither his salary nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement can be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • The conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the CAG are prescribed by the President after consultation with the CAG.
  • The administrative expenses of the office of the CAG, including all salaries, allowances and pensions of persons serving in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, they are not subject to the vote of Parliament.
  • The duties and functions of the CAG as laid down by the Parliament and the Constitution are:
  • He audits the accounts related to all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, consolidated fund of each state and consolidated fund of each union territory having a Legislative Assembly.
  • He audits all expenditure from the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India as well as the contingency fund of each state and the public account 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.
  • He audits the receipts and expenditure of the Centre and each state to satisfy himself that the rules all procedures in that behalf are designed to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of revenue.
  • He audits the receipts and expenditure of the following:

(a) All bodies and authorities substantially financed from the Central or state revenues       

(b) Government companies; and

(c) Other corporations and bodies, when so required by related laws.

  • He audits all transactions of the Central and governments related to debt, sinking funds, deposits, advances, suspense accounts and remittance business He also audits receipts, stock accounts and others, with approval of the President, or when required by the President.
  • He audits the accounts of any other authority when requested by the President or Governor. For example, the audit of local bodies.
  • He advises the President with regard to prescription of the form in which the accounts of the Centre and the states shall be kept (Article 150).
  • He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of the Centre to President, who shall in turn, place them before both the Houses of Parliament (Article 151).
  • He submits his audit reports relating to the. Accounts of a state to governor, who shall, in turn, place them before the state legislature (Article 151).
  • He ascertains and certifies the net proceeds any tax or duty (Article 279). His certificate is final. The 'net proceeds' means the proceeds of a tax or a duty minus the cost of collection.
  • He acts as a guide, friend and philosopher of Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.
  • He compiles and maintains the accounts of the state governments. In 1976, he was relieved of his responsibilities with regard to the compilation and maintenance of accounts of the Central Government due to the separation of accounts from audit, that is, departmentalisation accounts.

The CAG submits three audit reports to the president-audit report on appropriation accounts, audit report on finance accounts, and audit report before on public undertakings.

The President lays these reports before both the Houses of Parliament. After this, the Public Accounts Committee examines them and reports its findings to the Parliament.

 

National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled

(I) The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (SCs)

It is a constitutional body in the sense that it is directly established by Article 338 of the Constitution. On the other hand, the other national commissions like the National Commission for Women (1992), the National Commission for Minorities (1993), the national Commission for Backward Classes (1993), the National Human Rights Commission (1993) and the National Commission for protection of Child Rights (2007) are statutory bodies in the sense that they are established by acts of the Parliament.

  • Originally, Article 338 of the Constitution provided for the appointment of a Special Officer for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) to investigate all matters relating to the constitutional safeguards for the SCs and STs and to report to the President on their working. He was designated as the Commissioner for SCs and STs and assigned the said duty.
  • Later the 65th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1990 provided for the establishment of a high level multi- member National Commission for SCs and STs in the place of a single Special Officer for SCs and STs. This constitutional body replaced the Commissioner for SCs and STs as well as the Commission set up under the Resolution of 1987.
  • Again, the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 20036
  • bifurcated the combined National Commission for SCs and STs into two separate bodies, namely. National Commission for Scheduled Castes (under Article 338) and
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (under Article
  • 338-A).
  • The separate National Commission for SCs came into existence in 2004. It consists of a chai-person, a vice- chairperson and three other members. They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the President.
  • The functions of the Commission are:
  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the SCs and to evaluate their working;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the SCs;
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the SCs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union or a state;
  • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as it may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • To make recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or a state for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the SCs; and
  • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the SCs as the president may specify.
  • The commission presents an annual report to the President. The president places all such reports before the Parliament. The President also forwards any report of the Commission pertaining to a state government to the state governor. The governor places it before the state legislature.

(II) National Commission for Scheduled Tribes like the National Commission for Schedules Castes (SCs), the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (STs) is also a constitutional body in the sense that it is directly established by Article 338-A of the Constitution.

  • Geographically and culturally, the STs are different from the SCs and their problems are also different from those of
  • In 1999, a new Ministry of Tribal Affairs was created to provide a sharp focus to the welfare and development of the STs. It was felt necessary that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs should coordinate all activities relating to the STs as it would not be administratively feasible for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to perform this role. Hence, in order to safeguard the interests of the STs more effectively, it was proposed to set up a separate National Commission for STs by bifurcating the existing combined National Commission for SCs and STs. This was done by passing the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003.
  • This Act further amended Article 338 and inserted a new Article 338-A in the Constitution.
  • The separate National Commission for STs came into existence in 2004. It consists of a chairperson, a vice- chairperson and three other members. They are appointed by the President by warrant under his, hand and seal. Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the President.
  • The Functions of the Commission are:
  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the STs and to evaluate their working;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safe guards of the STs.
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the STs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the. Union or a state;
  • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as it may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • To make recommendations as to-the measures that should be taken by the Union or a state for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the STs; and
  • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the STs as the President may specify.
  • The Commission presents an annual report to the President. The President places all such reports before the Parliament. The President also forwards any report of the Commission pertaining to a state government to the state governor. The governor places it before the state legislature.

(II) National Commission for Scheduled Tribes like the National Commission for Schedules Castes (SCs), the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (STs) is also a constitutional body in the sense that it is directly established by Article 338-A of the Constitution.

  • Geographically and culturally, the STs are different from the SCs and their problems are also different from those of
  • In 1999, a new Ministry of Tribal Affairs was created to provide a sharp focus to the welfare and development of the STs. It was felt necessary that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs should coordinate all activities relating to the STs as it would not be administratively feasible for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to perform this role.
  • Hence, in order to safeguard the interests of the STs more effectively, it was proposed to set up a separate National Commission for STs by bifurcating the existing combined
  • National Commission for SCs and STs. This was done by passing the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003.
  • This Act further amended Article 338 and inserted a new Article 338-A in the Constitution.
  • The separate National Commission for STs came into existence in 2004. It consists of a chairperson, a vice- chairperson and three other members. They are appointed by the President by warrant under his, hand and seal. Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the President.
  • The Functions of the Commission are:
  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the STs and to evaluate their working;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safe guards of the STs.
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the STs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union or a state;
  • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as it may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • To make recommendations as to-the measures that should be taken by the Union or a state for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio- economic development of the STs; and
  • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the STs as the President may specify.
  • The Commission presents an annual report to the President.

The President places all such reports before the Parliament. The President also forwards any report of the Commission pertaining to a state government to the state governor. The governor places it before the state legislature.

 

National Commission for Backward Classes

A Statutory Body under the Ministry of Social Justice& Empowerment

The Supreme Court of India in its Judgment dated 16.11.1992 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 930 of 1990 - Indra Sawhney & Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors., reported in (1992) Supp. 3 SCC 217 directed the Govt. of India, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations to constitute a permanent body in the nature of a Commission or Tribunal for entertaining, examining and recommending upon requests for inclusion and complaints of over-inclusion and under-inclusion in the list of OBCs.

The Act came into effect on the 2nd April, 1993. Section 3 of the Act provides that the Commission shall consist of five Members, comprising of a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India.

Recently, the NCBC has demanded that the government introduce quotas for OBCs in private sector.

 

National Commission for Minorities

The Union Government set up the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Five religious communities, viz; Muslims,   Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) have been notified as minority communities by the Union Government. Further vide notification detail 27th Jan 2014, Jains have also been notified as minority community.

The Commission has one Chairperson and five Members represented five minority communities.

Andhra Pradesh, Assam , Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi , Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have also set up State Minorities Commissions in their respective States. Their offices are located in the State capitals. The functions of these Commissions, inter-alia, are to safeguard and protect the interests of minorities provided in the Constitution and laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures.

 

National Commission for Women (NCW)

NCW is a statutory body for women established in 1992 by Government of India as per provisions made in National Commission for Women Act, 1990.

Composition of Commission

The commission consists of

  • A Chairperson, to be nominated by the Central Government.
  • 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 or organization committed towards increasing the employment potential of women, women's voluntary organisations (including women activists), administration, economic development. health, education or social welfare provided that atleast one member each shall be from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively.
  • 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 CM Service of the Union or of All India Service or holds a Civil Post under the Union with appropriate experience.

 

Functions of the Commission

  • National Commission for Women Act, 1990 has below mentioned provisions regarding the functions of National Commission for Women. The Commission performs all or any of the following functions, namely
  • Investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguard provided for women under the Constitution and other laws.
  • Present to the Central Government, annually and at such' other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards.
  • Make in such reports recommendations for Ac effective implementation of those safeguards for improving the conditions of women by the Union or any State.
  • Review, from time to time, the existing provisions of the Constitution and other laws affecting women and recommend amendments there to so as to suggest remedial legislative measures to meet any lacuna, inadequacies or shortcomings in such legislations.
  • Take up the cases of violation of the provisions of the Constitution and of other laws relating to women with the appropriate authorities.
  • Look into complaints and take suo motu notice of matters relating to

(a) deprivation of women's rights.

(b) non-implementation of laws enacted to provide protection to women and also to achieve the objective of equality and development.

(c) non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships and ensuring welfare and providing relief to women and take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities;

  • Call for special studies or investigations into specific problems or situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women and identify the constraints so as to recommend strategies for their removal.
  • 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, such as, lack of access to housing and basic services, inadequate support services and technologies for reducing drudgery and occupational health hazards and for increasing their productivity.
  • Participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of women.
  • Evaluate the progress of the development of women under the union and any state.
  • Inspect or cause to be 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, of found necessary.
  • Fund litigation involving issues affecting a large body of women.
  • Make periodical reports to the government on any matter pertaining to women on various difficulties under which women toil.
  • Any other matter which may be referred to it by Central Government.

 

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

The National Human Rights Commission is an expression of India's concern for the protection and promotion of human rights. It came into being in, October 1993. In terms of Section 2 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (hereafter referred to as 'the Act'), "human rights" means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed under the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.

"International Covenants" means the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 16th December, 1966.

The Commission performs all or any of the following functions, namely

(a) Inquire, on its own initiative or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf, into complaint of-

(i)   Violation of human rights or abetment or

  1. ii) Negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant.

(b) Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court.

(c) Visit, under intimation to the State Government, any jailor any other institution under the control of the State Government. Where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to study the living condition of the inmates and make recommendations thereon.

(d) Review the safeguards by or under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.

(e) Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures.

(f) Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation.

(g) Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.

(h) Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means.

(i) Encourage the efforts of non-Government organisations and institutions working in the field of human rights.

(j) Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights

While inquiring into complaints under the Act, the Commission shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular the following.

(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;

(b) discovery and production of any document;

(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;

(d) requisitioning any public record or copy there of from any court of office;

(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;

(f) any other matter which may be prescribed.

The autonomy of the Commission derives, inter-alia, from the method of appointing its Chairperson and Members, their fixity of tenure, and statutory guarantees thereto, the status they have been accorded and the manner in which the staff responsible to the Commission - including its investigative agency – are appointed and conduct themselves. The financial autonomy of the Commission is spelt out in Section 32 if the Act.

The Chairperson and Members of the Commission are appointed by the President on the basis of recommendations of a Committee comprising the Prime Minister as the Chairperson, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Home Minister, the leaders of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha as Members.

Inquiring into complaints is one of the major activities of the Commission. In several instances individual complaints have led the Commission to the generic issues involved in violation of rights, and enabled it to move the concerned authorities for systemic improvements. However, the Commission also actively seeks out issues in human rights which are of significance, either suo motu, or when brought to its notice by the civil society, the media, concerned citizens, or expert advisers. Its focus is the strengthen the extension of human rights to all sections of society, in particular, the vulnerable groups.

The commission's purview covers the entire range of civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Areas facing terrorism and insurgency, custodial death, rape and torture, reform of the police, prisons, and other institutions such as juvenile homes, mental hospitals and shelters for women have been given special attention. The Commission has urged the provision of primary health facilities to ensure maternal and child welfare essential to a life with dignity, basic needs such as potable drinking water, food and nutrition, and highlighted fundamental questions of equity and justice to the less privileged, namely the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the prevention of atrocities perpet. Acted against them. Rights of the disabled, access to public services, displacement of populations and especially of tribals by mega projects, food scarcity and allegation of death by starvation, rights of the child, rights of women subjected to violence, sexual harassment and discrimination, and rights of minorities, have been the focus of the commission's action on numerous occasions.

 

Union Public Service Commission (Part XIV, Article 315-323)

  • UPSC is a central recruiting agency. It is independent constitutional body. Apart from UPSC, Constitution provides provisions for State Public Service Commission and Joint State Public Service Commission.
  • JSPSC can be created for two or more states by an Act of Parliament on the request of the legislatures of the States 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.

 

Article 315 - Public Service Commissions for Union and states.

Article 316 - Recruitment and conditions of service of persons serving the Union or a state

Article 317 - Removal and suspension of a member of Public Service Commission

Article 319 - Prohibition as to the holding of offices by members of the Commission on ceasing to be such members.

Article 320 - Functions of Public Service Commission

Article 321 - To extend functions of public service commission     

Article 323 - Reports of Public Service Commissions

 

Composition

  • Constitution does not specify the strength of the Commission but has left the matter to the discretion of the President. Usually, the Commission consists of 9 to 11 members including the Chairman.
  • Chairman and members have tenure of six years or until age of 65 years, in the case of SPSC or JSPSC age limit is 62 years.

Removal

  • Removed on the grounds of insolvent bankrupt, paid employment, infirmity of mind.
  • President can also remove him on the grounds for his misbehaviour. However, in this case. President has 10 refer the matter to the Supreme Court for an enquiry- If the Supreme Court, upholds the cause President can remove him. The advice tendered by the Supreme Court in this regard is binding on the President. During the course of enquiry by the Supreme Court, the President can suspend the chairman or the member of UPSC.

 

Independence

  • Security of tenure.
  • Conditions of service determined by the President, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • Entire expenses are charged on the consolidated fund of India.
  • Chairman is not eligible for further employment in the Government of India or any state.
  • Members eligible for appointment as the chairman of UPSC or a SPSC.
  • Chairman or members are not eligible for reappointment for second term.

 

Functions

  • The UPSC performs the following functions:
  • Assists the states (if requested by two or more states so to do) in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment.
  • Serves all or any of the needs of a state on the request of the state Governor and with the approval of the President of India.
  • It advises the President of India -
  • All matters relating to methods of recruitment civil services and for civil posts.
  • Suitability of candidates for appointments for promotions.
  • On all disciplinary matters regarding person serving under the Government of India.
  • The UPSC presents a report, annually, to the President on its performance. The President places this report before both the houses of parliament.
  • The President can exclude posts, services and matters from the purview of the UPSC.

 

Role

  • UPSC is only a central recurring agency while the department of personnel and training is the central personnel agency in India.
  • Role of UPSC is not only limited, but also recommendations made by it are only of advisory nature and hence, not binding on the government.

 

Staff Selection Commission

  • SSC, established in 1975 by executive resolution.

Responsible for:

  • All Group 'B' posts having the maximum pay scale of less than Rs. 10,500.
  • All non-technical Group 'C' post for recruiting personnel to middle and lower services of Central Government.

Law Commission

Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time. The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is reconstituted every 3 years. The Reports of the low commission are considered by Ministry of low in consultation with the concerned administrative Ministries and are submitted to parliament form time to time.

 

First  

1955-1958

MC Setalvad

Second

1958-1961

Justice  TV  Venkatarama

Aiyar

 

 

 

Third

1961-1964

Justice JL Kapur

Fourth

1964-1968

Justice JL Kapur

Fifth

1968-1971

KVK Sundaram, ICS

Sixth

1971 -1974

Justice Dr PB Gajendragadkar

Seventh

1974-1977

Justice Dr PB Gajendragadkar

Eighth

1977-1979

Justice HR Khanna

Ninth 

1979-1980

Justice PV Dixit

Tenth

1981-1985

Justice KK Mathew

Eleventh

1985-1988

Justice DA Desai

Twelfth 

1988-1991

Justice MP Thakkar

Thirteenth

1991-1994

Justice KN Singh

Fourteenth

1995-1997

Justice K Jayachandra Reddy

Fifteenth

1997-2000

Justice BP Jeevan Reddy

Sixteenth 

2000-2001

Justice BP Jeevan Reddy

Seventeenth

   2003-2006

Justice M Jagannadha Rao

Eighteenth

    2006-2009

Justice AR Lakshmanan

Nineteenth

2009-2012

Justice PV Reddy

Twentieth

2012-2015

DK Jain

 

21th Law commission

  • It was constituted through a Government Order with effect from 31st September, 2015. It has a three – year term, ending on 31st August, 2018.
  • The terms of reference are as follows:

(a) Review/Repeal of obsolete laws.

(b) Law and Poverty:-

Examine the laws which affect the poor and carry out post -audit for socio-economic

(c) Simplification of procedure to reduce and eliminate technicalities and devices for delay so that it operates not as an end in itself but as a means of achieving justice.

(d) Examine existing laws in the light of DPSP & to suggest ways of improvement and reform.

(e) Examine existing laws with a view for promoting gender equality and suggesting amendments thereto.

(f) Revise the central Acts to remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities,

(g) Consider and convey to the Government its views on low and judicial administration related subjects, specifically referred to it through Ministry of Law and Justice:

(h) Consider the requests for providing research to any foreign countries.

(i) Examine the input of globalization on food security, unemployment and recommend measures for the protection of interests of the marginalized.

(j) Keep under review the system of judicial administration to ensure that it is responsive to the reasonable demands of the times.

 

Evolution of the Civil Services in India

The beginning of a more organised form of the Civil Services started when Lord Cornwallis in 1793, started covenanted services. Indians were virtually disallowed to join these services and only lower posts were kept open for the Indians. Another serious effort was made by Lord Wellesley, who established a college at Fort William to train civil servants in India for a period of 3 years before assigning them any administrative duties.

In 1854 lord Macaulay Committee recommended for conducting exams for recruitment into the Civil Service. Consequently, first ever competitive exam was held in 1855 in London. Indians could not find their way into Indian Civil Services due to several hurdles like the entry age was kept very low, exams were not conducted in India, cost of living in London was relatively expensive.

In 1864, Satyendranath Tagore became the first Indian to qualify for the covenanted Civil Services. The British Parliament passed an Act in 1870, authorising the appointment of any Indian (of proved merit and ability) to any office or the Civil Services without reference to the Act of 1861, which reserved specific appointments to the covenanted service.

Later on various committees (Aitchison Committee, Islington Committee, Lee Committee, etc.) recommended for increasing the representation of Indians in Civil Services. As provided in Government of India Act, 1919 (later recommended by the Lee Commission also) the Federal Public Service Commission was set-up in 1926. This Commission went on to become the Union Public Service Commission after Independence.

Three types of services viz. All India Services Central Services and State Services were created. The original Constitution of India had recognised only two All India Services namely Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service. The Indian Administrative Service replaced the former Indian Civil Service and similarly in 1951, Indian Police Service was constituted in place of the Indian Police. In 1966, another All India Service i.e. the Indian Forest Service was created.

Presently, there are three all India Civil Services namely

  1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  2. Indian Police Service (IPS) and
  3. Indian Forest Service (IFS)
  • While IAS and IPS existed at the time of independence, IFS came into existence in 1966.
  • Administrative control of different services is as under:
  • IAS - Ministry of Personnel
  • IPS - Ministry of Home
  • IFS - Ministry of Environment and Forest

An All India Service can be created by parliament under Article 312 on the basis of a resolution passed by Rajya Sabha. Thus an All India Service can be created only by an act of parliament and not by the resolution of Rajya Sabha, though such a resolution is must before enacting such an Act.

Constitutional Safeguards to Civil Servants

  • Doctrine of Pleasure (English Common Law Doctrine) -
  • A civil servant holds office during pleasure of crown and his services can be terminated at any time without giving reasons. Not bound by any contract of employment.
  • Same doctrine has been embodied in Article 310 (not absolute) subject to the expressed provisions of Constitution (Article 311).
  • Article 310: All persons (members of defense/civil service/ all india service) hold office during the pleasure of President.
  • Restrictions on doctrine of pleasure:
  • Certain constitutional offices have been excluded from application of the doctrine like that of SC/ HC Judges, CAG, Chief Election Commissioner, Chairman and members of UPSC.
  • The doctrine cannot be exercised in derogation of fundamental rights
  • Article 311 provides safeguards to civil servants.
  • Safeguards under Art 311:

(1) There shall be no removal by subordinate authority. Removing authority can be of coordinate rank/higher than the appointing authority.

(2) Reasonable opportunity to defend himself.

  • After 42nd Amendment, not heard during punishment stage.
  • Principle of Natural Justice:
  • No bias,
  • Can't be Judge in his own case,
  • Both parties are heard,
  • Notice given.
  • Exceptions to natural justice:
  • Person dismissed/removed/reduced in rank on account of misconduct which has led to conviction/ criminal charges.
  • Where it is impracticable to give civil servant such an opportunity. But in such a case, the authority taking such action has to record reasons.
  • If President/ Governor satisfied that in the interest of security of State, it is expedient to hold such an inquiry.

 

Administrative Reforms

The nodal agency of the Government for administrative reforms as well as redressel of public grievances relating to the states and Central Government agencies is the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). The Department comes under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The mission of the department is to foster excellence in governance and pursuit of administrative reforms through improvements in Government structures, promoting citizen centric governance with emphasis on grievance redressel, innovations in e-governance and documentation and dissemination of best practices.

 

ARC at a Glance

Appointed by

Government of India.

Objectives

Recommendations for reforming Indian public administration system.

Two commission

First ARC

Second ARC

 

·   Set up in Jan. 1966. Initially chaired by Morarji R Desai.

·   Later chaired by K. Hanumanthaiya.

·   Submitted 20 reports contained 537 major recommandations.  

·   Set up in Aug 2005.

·   Initially chaired by Mr. Veerappal Moily.

·   Later chaired by Ramachandran.

·   Submitted 15 reports.

 

 

Citizens’ Charter

  • First articulated and implemented in the UK by Conservative Government of John Major in 1991.
  • Represents the commitment of the organization towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redressal mechanism, transparency and accountability.
  • It is basically a set of commitments made by an organization regarding the standards of service which it delivers.
  • In India it was first introduced simultaneously in Central departments and in all state governments in May 1997.
  • 2nd ARC has recommended adoption of the "Seven Step Model for Citizen Centricity—Sevottam”, for making citizen's Charters effective.
  • The Right to Public Service Delivery Act, based on Sevottam model, guaranteeing the delivery of certain time bound services to the citizens have been enacted by many state governments. Madhya Pradesh has led the way and now this act has been enacted by Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

 

Governance

Governance generally means the act or process of governing, specifically authoritative direction and control. The World Bank document, "Governance and Development defines governance as 'the manner in which power is exercised in management of a country's economic and social resources for development'.

Good Governance is about making sure that the exercise of power by the government helps improve quality of life enjoyed by all citizens. Good governance is not only for a type of government and its related political values but also for certain kinds of additional components, it implies government that is democratically organized within a democratic political culture and with efficient administrative organizations, plus the right policies. At the constitutional level, good governance requires change that will strengthen the rule of law and decentralise political authority. At the political and organizational level, good governance requires three at tributes-political pluralism, opportunities for extensive participation and incorruptibility in the use of public powers and offices by servants of the state.

The UNDP defined good governance as - "the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority to manage a nation's affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanism, process and institutions, through which citizen and group articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, met their obligations and mediate their differences."


 

Table 1: INDICATORS OF QUALITY OF GOVERNANCE

Governance Performance                                             Index

Dimensions

Infrastructure service delivery

Social service Delivery

 

Fiscal Performance

Law & Order

Judicial Service Delivery

Quality of Legislature

Water  supply & sanitation

Health

Development Expenditure as percentage of total expenditure

Rate of violent crimes

Trials completed in 1-3 years as % of total trails in all courts.

Proportion of MLA?s with serious criminal charges pending (%)

Indicators

Per captia power consumption

Education

Own Revenve GSDP Ratio

Complaints registered against police per person

Proportion of women MLA?s (%)

Road length per square Kilometer

 

 

Police strength per lakh population

 

Digital E-Governance

In the context of globalization, the recent conceptualization of ‘e-governance or digital’ governance’s of significance in administrative reforms. Drawn on the latest ICT, the aim of e-governance is to open up government processes and enable greater public access to information. Both digital and e-governance are of recent origin and there is hardly any universally acceptable definition. Digital/e-governance refers to the use of the emerging ICT like the internet, web page, and mobile phones to deliver information and services to citizens. It can include Publication of information about government services on web sites and citizens can download the application forms for these services. It can also deliver services, such as filling of a tax form, renewal of licence, and processing on-line payments as well. The purpose of digital government is to create 'super counters in [the government departments] and eliminate the endless maze citizens have to negotiate in going from door to door, floor to floor, to obtain service'. Appropriate use of various techniques of ICT will usher in a new era in public administration by seeking to make to make the governmental functioning and processes more transparent and accessible.

So e-governance through a technological innovation 'has changed the basic character of governance - its operational methodology, functional style, ideological orientation, even the spirit, heart and soul'. In the developed countries, e-governance is a well-established mode in which governmental services are made available to the citizens through online portals. In India, digital governance has been legalized by the Information Technology Act of 2000. This Act provides:

  • Legal recognition for transaction carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as 'electronic commerce' which involve use of alternatives to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information,
  • To facilitate electronic filling of documents with the government agencies.
  • Denning 'electronic form' as 'any information generated, sent, received or stored in media, magnetic, optical, computer memory, microfilm, computer-generated microfiche or similar device', the act accords legal sanction to following devices which are:

(a) the filling of any form, application or any other document with any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by appropriate government in a particular manner;

(b) the issue or grant of any license, permit, sanction or approval by whatever name called in a particular manner; and

(c) the receipt or payment of money in a particular manner.

  • Legally endorsed, this Act is a watershed in conceptualizing administrative reform in India.
  • More importantly, e-governance is is certainly an attack on bureaucratic red tapism causing unnecessary delay and corruption.
  • Further more, it also creates a space for regular involvement of citizens who, as customers of public services, have now direct access to governmental activities through the ICT.
  • So, the citizens can not only view online the governmental acts, they can also provide significant inputs to the government through e-mails and electronic devices. Technology is, thus, an important tool integrating citizens' input and transparency into one model.
  • The ICT-based e-governance has ushered in a new era in government innovations with improved capacities to

(a) reduce the cost of government

(b) increase citizens input into government,

(c) improve public decision-making, and

(d) increase the transparency of government transactions.

  • In view of these well-defined functional characteristics, e-governance is also a very meaningful step in combating corruption. Not only does it take any discretion, thereby curbing opportunities for arbitrary action, e-government also empowers the citizens by making their intervention in the transactions of governmental business regular through ICT.

Drawn on the ICT, e-governance articulates public administration in a refreshingly new way. However, its application is considerably limited in the public sector simply because e-govemance threatens mass retrenchment of workers involved in government. So, the public sector cannot opt for e-governance to replace people for two reasons. First, access to internet is still limited even in the developed countries. Thus, while transactions through ICT cost less than they are conventional devices, the government has to maintain both the old and new systems to sustain its 'public' character; otherwise. a large portion of me 'people' will remain outside government transactions. Second, downsizing and reducing public sector employment in many countries result in economic hardship of those losing jobs, which, for obvious reasons, has seven political repercussions. Thus, for the leadership, this is not a desirable option unless there is no option available.

In other words, given the obvious adverse consequences of e-governance both in developed and developing countries, its applicability is both uncertain and limited.

 

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas

The Scandinavian institution of Ombudsman created in Sweden in 1809 is the earliest democratic institution in the world for the redressal of citizens' grievances. The Ombudsman in India s called as Lokpal/Lokayukta.                          

The idea of creating an anti-corruption ombudsman, in the form of a Lokpal, was first conceptualised in 1968 in the fourth LokSabha. Thereafter in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998 and 2001 efforts were made to enact legislation to create the institution of Lokpal, but these efforts remained unsuccessful.

This has been one of the few pieces of legislation in recent years which has been extensively debated publicly and received in depth parliamentary scrutiny. Before the bill was introduced in Parliament, a joint committee made up of government and civil society representatives had made an attempt to draft the Bill.

The historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 passed by Parliament (17th December, 2013 in Rajya Sabha and 18th December, 2013 in Lok Sabha) paves the way for setting up of the institution of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states by law enacted by the respective State Legislatures within year of coming into force of the Act.                   

Lokpal and Lokayuktas to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The new law provides for a mechanism for dealing with complaints of corruption against public functionaries, including those in high places.

Salient Features of the Act

  • Establishment of the institution of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas at the level of the States, thus providing a uniform vigilance and anti-corruption road-map for the nation, both at the Centre and the States.
  • The Lokpal to consist of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50% shall be judicial Members.
  • 50% of members of Lokpal shall be from amongst SC, ST, OBCs, Minorities and Women.
  • The selection of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal shall be through a Selection Committee consisting of
  • Prime Minister;
  • Speaker of Lok Sabha;
  • Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha;
  • Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court Judge nominated by CJI;
  • An eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India.
  • A Search Committee will assist the Selection Committee in the process of selection. 50% of members of the Search Committee shall also be from amongst SC, ST. OBCs. Minorities and Women.
  • Prime Minister was brought under the purview of the Lokpal with subject matter exclusions and specific process for handling complaints against the Prime Minister.
  • Lokpal's jurisdiction will cover all categories of public servants including Group 'A', 'B', 'C' & D officers and employees of government. On complaints referred to CVC by Lokpal, CVC will send its report of preliminary enquiry in respect of Group A' and 'B' officers back to Lokpal for further decision. With respect to Group 'C' and 'D' employees, CVC will proceed further in exercise of its own powers under the CVC Act subject to reporting and review by Lokpal.
  • All entities receiving donations from foreign source in the context of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs per year are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
  • Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBl for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
  • A high powered committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director, CBI.
  • Attachment and confiscation of property of public servants acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.
  • Clear time lines for
  • Preliminary enquiry - three months extendable by three months.
  • Investigation - six months which may be extended by six months at a time.
  • Trial - one year extendable by one year and, to achieve this, special courts to be set up.
  • Enhancement of maximum punishment under the Prevention of Corruption Act from 7 years to 10 years. The minimum punishment under sections 7, 8, 9 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act will now be 3 years and the minimum punishment under section 15 (punishment for attempt) will now be 2 years.

 

 

Special Lokpal Courts

  • The Central Government shall constitute a number of special courts as recommended by the Lokpal, to hear and decide the cases arising out of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 or under this Act. These special courts are supposed to ensure completion of each trial within a year of the filing of the case.
  • The Lokpal is not meant to inquire into any complaint made against the Chairperson or any member and any complaint against the Chairperson or a member shall be made by an application by the party aggrieved, to the president. If on trial a public servant is seen to have been involved in some corrupt practice, then he or she will be liable of making up for the loss to the exchequer if any.
  • Whoever makes a false or frivolous complaint under this Act shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for at least two. The term of imprisonment can extend to 5 years and with a fine not less than 25 thousand which can be raised to 2 lakhs.

 

ANTI-DEFECTION LAW

The 52nd Amendment Act of 1985 provided for the disqualification of the members of Parliament and the state legislatures on the ground of defection from one political party to another. For this purpose, it made changes in four articles of the Constitution and added a new schedule (the Tenth Schedule) to the Constitution. This Act is often referred to as the 'Anti-defection Law'.

Later, the 91st amendment act of 2003 made one change in the provisions of the Tenth Schedule. It omitted an exception provision, i.e. disqualification on ground of defection not to apply in case of split.

Provisions of the Act

The Tenth Schedule contains the following provisions with respect to the disqualification of members of parliament and the State Legislatures on the ground of defection:

  1. Disqualification

Members of Political Parties

A member of a house belonging to any political party becomes disqualified for being a member of the house, (a) if he voluntarily gives up his membership of such political party; or (b) if he votes or abstains from voting in such house contrary to any direction issued by his political party without obtaining prior permission of such party and such act has not been condoned by the party-within 15 days.

From the above provisions it is clear that a member elected on a party ticket should continue in the party and obey the party directions.

 

Independent Members

An independent member of a house (elected without being set up as a candidate by any political party) becomes disqualified to remain a member of the house if he joins any political party after such election.

 

Nominated Members

A nominated member of a house becomes disqualified for being a member of the house if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat in the house. This means that he may join any political party within six months of taking his seat in the house without inviting this disqualification.

 

  1. Exceptions

The above disqualification on the ground of defection does not apply in the following two cases:

(a) If a member goes out of his party as a result of a merger of the party with another party. A merger takes place when two-thirds of the members of the party have agreed to such merger.

(b) If a member, after being elected as the presiding officer of the house, voluntarily gives up the membership of his party or rejoins it after he ceases to hold that office. This exemption has been provided in view of the dignity and impartiality of this office.

 

  1. Deciding Authority

Any question regarding disqualification arising out of defection is to be decided by the presiding officer of the house. Originally, the act provided that the decision of the presiding officer is final and cannot be questioned in any court. The Supreme Court declared this provision as unconstitutional on the ground that it seeks to take away the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the high courts.

It held that the presiding officer, while deciding a question under the Tenth Schedule, function as a tribunal. Hence, his decision like that of any other tribunal, is subject to judicial review on the grounds of mala fides, perversity. etc. But, the court rejected the contention that the vesting of adjudicatory powers in the presiding officer is by itself invalid on the ground of political bias.

 

  1. Rule-Making Power

The presiding officer of a house is empowered to make rules to give effect to the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.

All such rules must be placed before the house for 30 days.

The house may approve or modify or disapprove them. Further, he may direct that any willful contravention by any member of such rules may be dealt with in the same manner as a breach of privilege of the house.

According to the rules made so, the presiding officer can take up a defection case only when he receives a complaint from a member of the house. Before taking the final decision, he must give the member (against whom the complaint has been made) a chance to submit his explanation. He may also refer the matter to the committee of privileges for inquiry. Hence, defection has no immediate and automatic effect.

 

Evaluation of the Act

The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (which embodies the Anti-defection Law) is designed to prevent the evil or mischief of political defections motivated by the lure of office or material benefits or other similar considerations. It is intended to strengthen the fabric of Indian parliamentary democracy by curbing unprincipled and unethical political defections.

 

Advantages

The following can be cited as the advantages of the Anti- defection Law:

(a) It provides for greater stability in the body politic by checking the propensity of legislators to change parties.

(b) It facilitates democratic realignment of parties in the legislature by way of merger of parties.

(c) It reduces corruption at the political level as well as non-developmental expenditure incurred on .irregular elections.

(d) It gives, for the first time, a clear-cut constitutional recognition to the existence of political parties.

 

Criticism

Though the Anti-defection Law been hailed as a bold step towards cleansing our political life and started as new epoch in the political life of the country, it has revealed many lacunae in its operation and failed to prevent defections in toto. It came to be criticised on the following grounds:

  1. It does not make a differentiation between dissent and defection. It curbs the legislator's right to dissent and freedom of conscience. Thus, 'it clearly puts party bossism on a pedestral and sanctions tyranny of the party in the name of the party discipline'.
  2. Its distinction between individual defection and group defection is irrational. In other words, 'it banned only retail defections and legalised wholesale defections’ 5.
  3. It does not provide for the expulsion of a legislator from his party for his activities outside the legislature.
  4. Its discrimination between an independent member and a nominated member is illogical. If the former joins a party, he is disqualified while the latter is allowed to do the same.
  5. Its vesting of decision-making authority in the presiding officer is criticised on two grounds. Firstly, he may not exercise this authority in an impartial and objective manner due to political exigencies. Secondly, he lacks the legal knowledge and experience to adjudicate upon the cases.

The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18th October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environment protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

It is a specialised body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi- disciplinary issues. The tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.

The tribunal's dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts. The tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. Initially, the NGT is proposed to be set-up at five places of sittings and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible.

New Delhi is the Principal place of sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other four places of sittings of the tribunal.

 

Members

The sanctioned strength of the tribunal is currently 10 expert members and 10 judicial members, although the act allows for upto 20 of each. The Chairman of the tribunal, who is the administrative head of the tribunal, also serves as a judicial member. Every bench of the tribunal must consist of atleast one expert member and one judicial member. The Chairman of the tribunal is required to be a serving or retired Chief justice of a High Court or a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

On 18th October, 2010, Justice Lokeshwar ingh Panta became its first Chairman. Currently, it is chaired by Justice Swatanter Kumar since, 20th December, 2012.

Other Topics

Notes - Miscellaneous Topics
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