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To prepare for Indian Polity for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about the basics of the Parliamentary System. It gives an idea of all the topics important for IAS Exam and the polity syllabus (GS-II). Parliamentary System and related topics are extremely important for the UPSC Exam. This is an essential portion of the polity. As IAS aspirants, you should be thorough with the Parliamentary System. This article will provide you with relevant details about the Indian Situation regarding form of Goverment.

 

 

REASONS FOR ADOPTION OF PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM
  • More democratic and representative – to sections, regions, interests.
  • As we were incipient democracy, we chose accountability over stability.
  • Historical legacy and constitutional tradition– GoI act 1919, GoI act 1935 etc.
  • Preference for avoidance of Legislative–Executive Conflicts
  • Nehru report and Tej Bahadur Sapru committee recommendations.

 

CHALLENGES TO INDIAN PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM

India’s parliamentary system is indiscipline and full of inefficiencies. Shashi Tharoor says, only the British could have devised.

  • Unqualified Legislators:It has created a system where a legislator is largely unqualified to legislate and becomes a legislator only to be able to become executive one day.
  • No genuine separation of powers:the legislature cannot truly hold the executive accountable since the government wields the majority in the House and there are anti-defection laws so an MP of a party doesn’t vote against his party high command’s wish.
  • Political defections and horse trading have defeated purpose of elections and betrays the popular mandate.
  • Coalition Dharma:Our system has also produced unstable coalition governments which have to focus more on politics than on policy or performance. It has forced governments to concentrate more on staying in office instead of governance, and has made them to cater to the lowest common denominator of their coalitions, since withdrawal of support can bring governments down.
  • Distortion of Voter Preferences: Voters, who want to see, say, Narendra Modi as Prime Minister or Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister, have to vote for an MP or MLA they may not care for, merely because he/she belongs to Mr. Modi’s or Ms Banerjee’s party.
  • Criminalization of Politics:It is argued that the politicians today are mostly incompetent, dishonest and have criminal background. They hardly think about the progress of our nation and its people. They take their parliamentary tenure as a period to gain as much as they want.

 

SCOPE FOR STRENGTHENING PARLIAMENTARY SETUP IN INDIA
  • Decriminalisation of politics
  • Amendments to relevant sections of Representation Of Peoples act 1951.
  • Resecting separation of power with respect to other organs – judiciary and legislature.
  • Appointment and governor should be made on clear and objective criteria.
  • Implementing recommendation of Sarkaria commission and second ARC w.r.t to centre – state relation.
  • Executive should focus more on policy or performance than on politics.
  • Amendment should be made to Anti defection law, 1985 to align it with contemporary realities – Karnataka issue.
  • Strengthening intra-party democracy and improving representation to women in parliament.
  • British convention of independent (non-party) speaker should be implemented to ensure transparency and objectivity in decision of speaker.

 

COALITION GOVERNMENT
  • The process of fragmentation of the national party system and emergence of coalition governments started in India from 1967.
  • 1960s marked the emergence of coalitions system and rise of new regional parties and mergers. This began the era of Multi party rule in India.
  • The adoption of multiparty system and regionalism changed the CENTRE- STATE RELATIONS to a certain extent in legislative, administrative matters.
  • Coalition government indicates the significant shift from centralized governance structure towards shared rule, federal governance and cooperative federalism.

 

Merits Demerits
•   Strengthening and deepening federalism •   Divergence of interests- instability
•   Coalition govt. are more representative •   Incrementalism and procrastination in decision making
•   Parties often dilutes their rigid and extreme stand and ideologies. •   Strengthens positions of president and governors.
•   Greater continuity in policies and programmes •   Undermines positions of PM and CM
•   More weightage to consensus rather than unilateral decisions – balanced policy initiatives. •   Looming instability persist all the time.

 

 

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN INDIAN AND WESTMINSTER MODEL

Indian model Westminster (British) model
•   Constitution envisage Republican system -Elected Head of the State i.e., President •   Monarchical system – Head of the State by a hereditary position. (Not elected)
•   Written Constitution, judicial review, constitutional rights limits sovereignty of Parliament. •   British system characterized by Sovereignty of parliament.
•   PM may be a member of any of the two houses (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) •   PM should be compulsorily member of House of Commons (Lower house)
•   No system of legal responsibility of the minister in India. •   System of legal responsibility of the minister- Ministers needs to countersign the official acts of the Head of the State i.e. monarch
•   Institution of “Shadow cabinet” does not exist in India. •   Institution of “Shadow cabinet” by members of opposition party of the British cabinet system.
•   Person who is not a member of Parliament can also be appointed as minister for a maximum period of six months. •   Usually, Members of Parliament alone are appointed as ministers.

 

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