Chapter 4 Executive
A parliamentary executive means:
(а) Executive where there is a parliament
(б) Executive elected by the parliament
(c) Where the parliament functions as the Executive
(d) Executive that is dependent on support of the majority in the parliament
(d) Executive that is dependent on support of the majority in the parliament.
Read this dialogue. Which argument do you agree with? Why?
Amit: Looking at the constitutional provisions, it seems that the President is only a rubber stamp.
Shama: The President appoints the Prime Minister. So, he must have the powers to remove the Prime Minister as well.
Rajesh: We don’t need a President. After the election, the Parliament can meet and elect a leader to be the Prime Minister.
We agree with the dialogue of Shama because the office of the President of India is the office of respect and nominal supremacy. He is not only a rubber stamp but he can use his discretionary power at the appointment of the Prime Minister in case of no single party gets majority. The Council of Ministers is answerable to the people. As soon as the council loses the confidence of the lower house it falls automatically. Hence, no need to remove the Prime Minister by the President.
Match the following:
I. Works within the particular State in which recruited
a) Indian Foreign Service
II. Works in any central government office located either at the national capital or elsewhere in the country
b) State Civil Services
III. Works in a particular State to which allotted; can also be sent on deputation to the center
c) All India Services
IV. Works in Indian missions abroad
d) Central Services
Identify the ministry which may have released the following news items. Would this be a ministry of the central government or the State government? Why?
(a) An official release said that in 2004-05, the Tamil Nadu Textbooks Corporation would release new versions for standards VII, X and XI.
(b) A new railway loop line bypassing the crowded Tiruvallur-Chennai section to help iron-ore exporters. The new line, likely to be about 80 km long, will branch off at Puttur and then reach Athipattu near the port.
(c) The three-member sub-divisional committee formed to verify suicide by farmers in Ramayampet mandal has found that the two farmers who committed suicide this month have had economic problems due to the failure of crops.
(a) This news has been released from the Ministry of Education belonging to the State Government because Education subject is in the state list and a state can execute laws on it.
(6) This news has been released by the Ministry of Railway and the subject mentioned in Union List (Central Government).
(c) This news item belongs to Ministry of Agriculture, the subject mentioned in the state list (State Government).
While appointing the Prime Minister, the President selects
(a) Leader of the largest party in the Lok Sabha.
(b) Leader of the largest party in the alliance which secures a majority in the Lok Sabha.
(c) The leader of the largest party in the Rajya Sabha.
(d) Leader of the alliance or party that has the support of the majority in Lok Sabha.
(a) Leader of the alliance or party that has the support of the majority in Lok Sabha.
Read this discussion and say which of these statements applies most to India.
Alok: Prime Minister is like a king, he decides everything in our country.
Shekhar: Prime Minister is only the ‘first among equals’, he does not have any special powers. All ministers and the PM have similar powers.
Bobby: Prime Minister has to consider the expectations of the party members and other supporters of the government. But after all, the Prime Minister has a greater say in policy making and in choosing the ministers.
The statement of Bobby applies most to India.
Why do you think is the advice of the Council of Ministers binding on the President? Give your answer in not more than 100 words.
The advice of the Council of Ministers is binding on the President because:
- The President is the formal head of the government in a parliamentary system.
- Article 74(1) states that there will be a council of ministers as a head to aid and advise the President.
- President will act in accordance with such advice by the council.
- After reconsideration, the President will act in accordance with the advice.
The parliamentary system of executive vests many powers in the legislature for controlling the executive. Why, do you think, is it so necessary to control the executive?
- In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister is the head of the government alongwith the President as a nominal head of the government
- The executive is responsible to the parliament and holds powers till it enjoys the confidence of the parliament.
- It is necessary to ensure the sensitivity towards public expectations and accountability to the needs and aspirations of the people.
It is said that there is too much political interference in the working of the administrative machinery. It is suggested that there should be more and more autonomous agencies which do not have to answer to the ministers.
(a) Do you think this will make administration more people-friendly?
(b) Do you think this will make administration more efficient?
(c) Does democracy mean full control of elected representatives over the administration?
(a) This will not make administration more friendly to the people.
In a democracy, the elected representatives and the ministers are the in-charge of the government.
Hence, the administrative officers cannot act in violation of the policies adopted by the legislature.
The administrative machinery is supposed to be faithful and efficient in policy formation and implementation.
(b) Yes, if there would be autonomous agencies, it will make administration more efficient.
(c) The elected representatives enjoy the right to make the policies but the administrative officers implement those policies effectively and efficiently. Hence, democracy does not refer full control of elected representatives over administration.
Write an essay of two hundred words on the proposal to have an elected administration instead of an appointed administration.
An elected administration in place of an appointed administration would be harmful because an elected administration will have instability to implement the different policies whereas the appointed administration is selected on the basis of merit to handle the welfare policies of the government in an effective manner alongwith full knowledge and practical approach of their concerned departments. Hence, the appointed administration is more efficient and capable to implement and perform the developmental functions. An appointed administration will also be able to perform the functions of planning and social welfare.
Extra Questions Solved
Very Short Answer Type Questions
Mention two ceremonial executives.
- Constitutional Monarchy (England)
- Parliamentary Republic (India)
In which country, we find Semi-Presidential Executive?
In Sri-Lanka or France or Russia
Mention the tenure of the President of India.
The tenure of the President of India is five years, he can resign if he likes before the completion of his term of office.
The President can be removed from his office through an action of impeachment if he does not work according to the constitution.
How is the Vice-President elected in India?
The Vice-President is elected by the members of both the Houses of Parliament on the basis of proportional representation.
How can a Vice President be removed?
A Vice President may be removed from his office by a resolution of Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha. But no resolution will be moved for this purpose without a notice of 14 days.
Write down any two powers of the Vice President of India.
- He is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- He shall act as acting President in the event of occurrence of vacancy in the office of president on account of his death, removal or resignation, etc.
What do you mean by ‘Council of Ministers’?
Council of Ministers is a constitutional body.
- According to Article 74(1), there shall be a council of ministers to aid and advise the president,
- The President shall act on the advice of Prime Minister, the leader of ruling party.
- The number of members of Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15% of the total numbers of members of the Lok Sabha determined by 91st Amendment Act of 2003.
What is the tenure of Governor?
A Governor is appointed for five years, though he can resign earlier also and the President, too, if he likes, can remove him from his office, as well as he can extend his tenure also. But the state legislature cannot remove a Governor.
What do you mean by Executive?
Executive is an organ of the Government to enforce the will of the legislature and to maintain law and order in the society, and runs the administration of the country.
What is Plural Executive?
In a Plural Executive, the authority to direct is exercised not by a single authority but by a group of persons having co-equal status of authority, e.g. Swiss Federal Council.
Who is the real executive in India?
The Council of Ministers along with the Prime Minister as a head at the central level and the Chief Minister alongwith his council of ministers at state level are the real executives in India.
Mention the classification of Civil Services.
All India services:
- Indian Administrative Services
- Indian Police Service
- Indian Foreign Services
- Indian Revenue Services
- Sales Tax Officer
Mention the qualifications for a person to become the President of India.
- He should be a citizen of India.
- His age should not be less than 35 years.
- He should be qualified for the membership of the Lok Sabha.
- He should not hold the office of profit under the Government.
- He should not be a member of the Parliament or any state legislature and if he is, he must resign.
Mention the classification of the Council of Ministers.
- Cabinet Ministers are independent heads of their respective department.
- State Ministers assist the Cabinet Ministers and they are sometimes given independent charge of some portfolios.
- Deputy Ministers do not have any independent department but assist either to Cabinet or State Ministers.
What are the merits of a good executive?
- To maintain law and order in the country not to let fulfill the evil intentions of anybody.
- To protect and preserve the national boundaries to protect the country from external aggression.
- To avoid financial fluctuations in the country to maintain stability in economy.
What is the relation between the Council of Ministers and Legislative Assembly?
- Chief Minister along with his Council of Ministers is the leader of majority party in the Legislative Assembly.
- All these ministers participate in the meetings of the legislature, discuss the various topics and express their opinion on it.
- The sessions of legislature are called after the will of the Council of Ministers.
What is the relation between the Governor and the Legislative Assembly?
- The Governor calls the session of the Legislative Assembly as well as he only may suspend it or end the session.
- The Governor can send messages to the Legislative Assembly.
- He signs all the bills passed by the Legislative Assembly. No bill becomes law, till he does not sanction it.
- The Governor can dissolve the Legislative Assembly and call for fresh elections.
How is the Governor of a state appointed?
The Governor of state is appointed by the President of India on the basis of qualifications mentioned in our constitution. But, Governor is a nominee of the central cabinet because the Prime Minister and the other members of his cabinet like to have a man of confidence on this post.
Mention the qualifications for a Governor of a state.
- He must be a citizen of India.
- He must be at least 35 years of age.
- He must not be a member of the parliament or of any state legislature and if he is, he must resign.
- He must not be holding any office of profit at any level of Government.
- He must not be a lunatic or insolvent.
How can the President of India be removed?
The President of India is elected for a tenure of five years. He can be removed from his office by an impeachment only for violation of the constitution. This may be initiated by either house of parliament and if it is passed by 2/3 majority of the total membership of the house, then it is sent to the other house. And if the other house also passes it with the 2/3 majority, only then the President can be removed.
What are the Executive powers of the Governor?
- The Governor is the head of the state.
- All the laws are executed in his name and he maintains law and order in the state.
- All the important officers of the state are appointed by him.
- He appoints Chief Minister and other ministers also on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- He also has the power to dismiss the Council of Ministers.
In the absence of no single majority party, how is the Chief Minister appointed?
The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. If no single party commands majority in the Legislative Assembly, the Governor can use his discretion in appointing the Chief Minister to the person whom he thinks fit to get the support of the majority in the Legislative Assembly.
Example: Appointment of Bhajan Lai, Congress (I) leader, by Governor G.D. Tagore in 1982 in Haryana.
Short Answer Type Questions
What do you understand by the dominance of executive leadership?
In the parliamentary system, the legislature is formed mainly by the elected representatives because the political party who gets the majority, the leader of that party is called upon by the President to form the government. The parliament enjoys many powers even to pass no confidence motion against the Prime Minister and his Council as well as to remove them from their office. But in fact, the Prime Minister leads the parliament whenever he wants, can dissolve the Lok Sabha. Hence, it is considered as dominance of executive leadership.
Write a short note on the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister.
- According to the constitution, the appointment of the Prime Minister is made by the President who calls upon to the leader of majority party to form the government.
- The President is the constitutional head while the Prime Minister is the real head of the state.
- The Prime Minster serves as a link between the President and the Council of Ministers.
How is the President of India elected?
The President of India is elected by the electoral college which consists of:
- Elected members of both the houses of parliament.
- Elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the states.
- The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Pondicherry have been authorized to be the part of Electoral College by 70th Amendment of 1992.
- The President should fulfill all the qualifications also as assigned by the constitution of India.
Distinguish between the Political executive and the Permanent executive.
- Political executives are elected by the people through the process of elections where permanent executives are appointed by the Government of India on the basis of merits.
- The tenure of Political executives depends on the popular election in order to formulate policy and give direction to administration as long as they command the support of the electorates whereas the civil servants continue in service till they reach the age of superannuation.
- Political executives keep on changing after some duration but the permanent executives are there to cooperate with whichever leader comes in power by maintaining political neutrality in the discharge of their official duties.
Mention the situations to when a Governor can use his discretionary powers.
- If any party does not get the absolute majority or the winning is unable to choose its leader, the Governor can appoint chief minister of his own choice.
- If constitutional machinery fails in the state, the Governor immediately sends the report to the President and he is not bound to consult with the council of ministers under such circumstances, he can work independently.
- If the President declares emergency in the state, the Governor acts as an agent to the president in place to act in accordance with the advice of council of ministers.
- If the Governor feels some bills to be contradictory to the Central Government, he can reserve this bill for the approval of the President.
In what circumstances, the President’s rule is imposed in a state? What role does the Governor play during this?
Under the following circumstances. President’s rule is imposed in a state:
- If no political party gets the majority and formation of government in the state becomes quiet impossible then on the advice of the Governor, President’s rule is imposed.
- If the President gets information of failing of constitutional machinery in the state. Role of Governor: When a President’s rule is imposed, the legislative assembly is dissolved and all the powers of government come into the hands of the Governor who works as an agent to the President of India and the legislative powers of the state go into the hands of parliament.
What are the Emergency powers of the President of India?
The President of India can declare emergency mainly in the following cases:
- If the President feels the internal disturbances in the country, external aggression due to war, an emergency can be proclaimed by the President when parliament has the authority to form laws and fundamental rights of the citizens are also suspended.
- If a constitutional machinery fails in any of the state and the state legislative assembly is dissolved and all the legislative powers of state go into the hands of the parliament.
- The President can declare a financial emergency also and may decrease the pay and allowances of government employees.
Write a short note on single and plural executive.
Single Executive: Refers to a person who does not share powers with others as in USA. In the UK and other parliamentary form of governments, the executive authority is vested in the cabinet, a plural body but in fact constituting a singular executive. The British cabinet acts as a unit and goes out of the office together. It functions under the leadership of Prime Minister.
Plural Executive: Refers to directing authority by one single individual for a term but a group of persons have co-equal authority as the Swiss federal council consisting of seven Councillors and the chairman of the council is selected only for a term of one year and is merely the first among equals.
Do you think that the Presidential form of Government is the most suitable for India? Justify.
Sometimes, it is presumed to have presidential form of government to be the most suitable for India for it is considered to be strong and stable to meet emergencies effectively. In my opinion parliamentary form of government is the most suitable for India because the government is responsible to the legislature and the people. Relation between the legislature and the executive makes passing of good laws possible. Moreover, parliamentary form of government has been working in India for past long years, hence it is the most suitable for India.
Read the passage (NCERT Textbook, page 95) given below carefully and answer the questions that follows:
The Indian bureaucracy today is an enormously complex system. It consists of the All-India services, State services, employees of the local governments, and technical and managerial staff running public sector undertakings. Makers of our Constitution were aware of the importance of the non-partisan and professional bureaucracy. They also wanted the members of the civil services or bureaucracy to be impartially selected on the basis of merit. So, the Union Public Service Commission has been entrusted with the task of conducting the process of recruitment of the civil servants for the government of India. Similar public service commissions are provided for the States also. Members of the Public Service Commissions are appointed for a fixed term. Their removal or suspension is subject to a thorough enquiry made by a judge of the Supreme Court.
1. What do you mean by bureaucracy?
2. What does the Indian bureaucracy consist of?
3. How are the public servants appointed?
4. How can the public servants be removed?
1. Bureaucracy stands for the government officers and it includes all the government servants who hold office on permanent basis till they retire at a fixed age.
2. The Indian bureaucracy consists of the All-India services, state services, employees of the local governments and technical and managerial staff running public sector undertaking.
3. The public servants are appointed by the process conducted by Union Public Service Commission for their recruitment as well as similar public commissions have also been appointed at the state level also.
4. The public servants are appointed for a fixed term. Their removal or suspension is subject to a thorough enquiry made by a judge of the Supreme Courts.
Read the passage (NCERT Textbook, pages 86—87) given below carefully and answer the questions that follows:
The President also has veto power by which he can withhold or refuse to give assent to Bills (other than Money Bill) passed by the Parliament. Every bill passed by the Parliament goes to the President for his assent before it becomes a law. The President can send the bill back to the Parliament asking it to reconsider the bill. This “veto’ power is limited because, if the Parliament passes the same bill again and sends it back to the President, then, the President has to give assent to that bill. However, there is no mention in the Constitution about the time limit within which the President must send the bill back for reconsideration. This means that the President can just keep the bill pending with him without any time limit. This gives the President an informal power to use the veto in a very effective manner. This is sometimes referred to as ‘pocket veto’.
1. What is the ‘Veto’ power of the President?
2. How a bill can be passed in Parliament and become a law?
3. What do you mean by a ‘Pocket Veto’?
1. The ‘Veto’ Power of the President is a power to withhold or refuse to give his assent to bills (other than money bill) passed by the Parliament.
2. Every bill passed by the Parliament goes to the President for his assent before it becomes a law. Though the President can send the bill back to the Parliament asking it to reconsider the bill.
3. After reconsideration, if the parliament passes the bill again and sends it to the President, then, the President has to give assent to the bill. However, there is no mention in the constitution about the time limit within which the President must send the bill back for reconsideration means the President can just keep the bill pending with him without any time limit. This gives the President an informal power to use the veto in a very effective manner. This is sometimes referred to as ‘Pocket Veto’.
Long Answer Type Questions
Describe the powers and functions of the President of India.
The powers of the President can be summarised as follows:
- The President appoints the Prime Minister who is the leader of the majority party and the other members also on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- The President appoints the high officials in India, i.e. Governors of the state, Lt. Governors of Union Territories, Attorney General, Controller and Auditor General, the Chairman and the members of UPSC, the Ambassadors or High Commissioners in other countries.
- The President of India is the supreme commander of the Defense forces. The President can declare war and make peace.
2. Legislative Powers:
- The President nominates 12 persons to the Rajya Sabha who are distinguished in the fields of art, literature, science and social service, as well as he can nominate two Anglo-Indian members to the Lok Sabha also.
- The President can summon both the houses, if there are some differences on any bill issued by the parliament, the joint session might be summoned.
- The President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha before completion of its term and can order for fresh elections, but on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
- The President has the power to give his assent to the bill, because no bill passed by the Parliament can become an Act without the assent of the President. He has no power to reject the Money Bill passed by the Parliament.
- The President has the power to issue the ordinances during the intervals of the sessions of parliament which have the force of laws.
3. Financial Powers:
- The President has the duty to place the budget before the beginning of financial year by the finance minister on behalf of the President.
- Money bills can be introduced only in the Parliament on the recommendation of the President.
- The President has a full control over the contingency fund to spend it according to his will even prior to the consent of the Parliament.
- The President has the power to distribute the share of income-tax among the states.
4. Judicial Powers:
- The President has the power to appoint the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
- The President of India has the power to pardon, reprieve or commute the punishment of any criminal for whom he thinks to deserve pardon.
Describe the powers and functions of the Prime Minister of India.
- The Prime Minister forms the Council of Ministers according to the capability of the ministers, he assigns duty to them.
- The Prime Minister allocates the department to the ministers and if he does not find the working satisfactory, can change the departments of the ministers.
- The Prime Minister presides over the meetings of cabinet, he prepares an agenda for meetings and controls it.
- The Prime Minister makes the appointments of state Governors, Ambassadors, members of UPSC by giving the advice to the President to appoint the same.
- The Prime Minister works as a link between the President and the Council of Ministers. No minister can discuss the issues directly with the President without the permission of the Prime Minister.
- The Prime Minister leads the cabinet in the Parliament as he explains the policy and decisions of the cabinet to parliament and if the President requires any information regarding the functioning of Parliament, he would demand such information from the Prime Minister only.
1. Read the cartoon (Textbook, page 89) given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. What does the cartoon represent?
2. What message does the cartoon convey?
1. The cartoon represents the Council of Ministers led by the Prime Minister.
2. The cartoon conveys the message that the Prime Minister is the head of the council of ministers which is sometimes bound by the words of the Prime Minister.
2. Read the cartoon (NCERT Textbook, page 90) given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. Why do people want to be ministers?
2. This cartoon seems to suggest that it is only for perks and status! Then why is there competition for some portfolios?
1. The people want to be minister for gaining the advantages of the perks and status.
2. There is competition for some portfolios for better status, more power and for more extra earning and more importance among people and leaders.
3. Read the cartoon (NCERT Textbook, page 93) given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. What does the cartoon represent?
2. The Chief Minister is not happy after winning the confidence motion! Can you imagine why this is so?
1. The cartoon represents the need of a confidence vote by the members of the Legislative Assembly for the Chief Minister at the state level.
2. Because after the Chief Minister gets the confidence vote of the members, he is bound by the limitations set by members in place of the independent decision taken by himself or he has to make some compromises also to compensate the confidence vote of members.