1. The provisions of federalism in the Indian Constitutions are inspired by the West. Yet the Indian federal structure is sui generis in nature. Do you agree? Substantiate by taking examples of at least two other constitutions.
Indian constitution has features of many other constitutions whose features were adapted and modified to suit Indian needs. Features were not copied identically rather the best features were chosen to best suit Indian diversity and socio-political needs.
The separation of powers between the Centre and the states is modelled on the cons of USA but unlike USA. The functional independence and autonomy are restricted to normal times only, the Centre can legislate upon the state subjects in times of national emergency (Art 352), failure of constitutional machinery in the state (Art 356) and the residuary power lies with the Centre (Art 148)
Unlike Dual Citizenship and separate Judiciary of USA India had single citizenship and single integrated judiciary. The separation of judiciary is one of the primary features of western constitutions with the Supreme Court only dealing with constitutional matters, but in India the SC decides not only constitutional matters but also Civil and Criminal matters as well.
The fundamental rights and the republic is modelled on the France constitution. But the FRs in India are far more extensive which includes rights of minorities both religious and linguistic.
The bicameral legislature is modeled on the lines of constitutions of USA and Britain, but the Indian upper house unlike the Senate of USA does not have equality in representation of from all the states, it is based on the population of the state.
Parliamentary sovereignty in Britain while Indian federalism is a balanced wheel of executive, legislative and judiciary. The notion of PRIMACY does not hold water here as all three wings are equally powerful.
-In Britain, hereditary monarch is the head of the State while Indian seeks for Republic form where the President will be an elected candidate.
Sui generis nature of Indian federalism:
Tribal Rights- 5th and 6th schedule: separate administrative setup and financial devolution.
Finance commission: Indian FC not just decides upon the financial division between the centre and the states but also on the principal on division between the local bodies.
The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment act: constitutional status to the PRIs and UBLs, with financial powers
122 constitutional amendment act (GST Reforms).
Write a brief conclusion.
Best Answer: Spectre
Indian constitution is the lengthiest written constitution in the world. Though most of the features are substantially borrowed from others, they are modified according to the existing needs of the country.
Federalism is a system of government in which sovereignty is divided between central governing authority and constituent political units (states).Unitary system is governed as one single unit, with one constitutionally created legislature.
Indian federal structure is sui generis in nature because it has a federal system with unitary bias, unlike USA, which is a federal state. The constitution provides for division of power between central and state government. Each state has its own constitution, elected legislature, governor and Supreme Court. But in India the constitution is uniform for all the states with one common Supreme Court and central government is vested with more powers.
Great Britain is a unitary state with all powers vested in a single supreme central government. The local governments are created only for administrative convenience and they derive authority from central government which can abolish them altogether at any time. In India there is division of powers between central and state governments and state governments cannot be abolished.
Though in India the system of govt is federal , the constitution enables federation to transform into unitary during emergencies. This is a unique feature of the Indian constitution.
Thus it can be said that though the features appear to be borrowed from other constitutions they are modified in a unique manner to suit the needs of the country
2. The recent stalemate in the Rajya Sabha over crucial bills has given impetus to a thought that important bills should be converted into money bills so that their legislation doesn’t require the approval of the Rajya Sabha. What are your views on this issue? Also discuss the constitutional provisions in this regard.
Try to understand the idea behind the question.
Money bills practically by pass Rajya Sabha and are passed anyway, whether they are supported by Rajya Sabha or not.
Rajya Sabha or the Upper house acts as a mechanism of checks and balance to the Central Government. If a government is there with absolute majority, it is very easy for it to get its bills passed in Lok Sabha. But Rajya Sabha has the participation from the states. Members are indirectly elected from States. This promotes debates and delebrations on different clauses before the passing of bill, so that loop holes in a bill are minimized.
Constitution has provided strict guidelines for money bills (Art 110) so that it cannot be misused.
Only the Speaker designates a bill as a money bill.
It has to get prior approval from the President.
Rajya Sabha cannot keep the bill for more than 14days. After that it is considered as passed.
Rajya Sabha can only provide recommendations for amendment, that can be accepted or denied by the Lok Sabha.
Bypassing Rajya Sabha will be against the democratic and federal structure of our parliament.
However it is seen from quite some time now that opposition to bills has become a political tool to hamper the smooth running of the legislative process. This has lead to stalemate in Rajya Sabha over some crucial bills, GST being one of them.
Law makers should understand that they are entrusted with a responsibility to run the country. They have a duty towards their country.
Representatives of the government supporting the bill should persuade the other members reasonably taking their concerns into the account and should come to consensus.
Even if that consensus is not reached, Constitutionally there is a method of joint sitting of the parliament to come to a conclusion. If the bill is still defeated, than it means it is through democratic channel and it is not the right time for the bill to be passed in its current form.
Changing the procedure of passing of bills, and giving them the same mechanism of money bill will result into a redundant Rajya Sabha. It will defeat the Constitutional ideals and will lead towards a dictatorial Lok Sabha.
(Since it is an opinion based question, you can present the answer your way. It is only a general idea for your understanding)
3. Why is it important to have an indirectly elected upper house in a democracy? Examine?
(Outline has been given. Points have been discussed in detail under Best answers.)
Your introduction should mention the importance of Rajya sabha in brief. Also mention why it was in news recently.
Mention the important of indirect election for upper house in democracy
Cost of election
Stop it to become a replica of lok sabha
Pluralistic character – intellectuals etc. those who lack public popularity might get an option to reach the decision making institutions
Check on haste decision
Federal structure – selection through states or state representation in centre
Your conclusion should reflect that the presence of upper house has maintained the healthy democracy. It might come under question in recent time but nobody can deny its constructive and positive role.
Best answer 1: Officer in Making
64 years after the creation of the Upper House which is an indirectly elected house continues to provoke the question of its existence and usefulness. Some eminent politician calls it as a clog in the wheel of progress. These statements have come out after the continual stalling in parliament and oppose of passing the GST bill in Rajya Sabha.
In a parliamentary democracy like India, the wisdom of functioning of democracy depends up on the smooth functioning of the two houses. However there the critics questions the credibility of the indirectly elected body over the directly elected body. Constituent Assembly decided to have a indirectly elected upper house because of following reasons –
direct election to the upper house would have cost the Indian economy further for the expanses in election.
population of the states in India is uneven and if the upper house would have directly elected then it would have the replica of lower house.
Rajya sabha reflects the country’s pluralistic character where the learned, intellectuals in various fields get represented. Those representatives may not be the leaders like the Loksabha who are directly in touch with the people in general.
directly elected Rajya sabha would have asked for more power and further aggravating the synchronization between the two houses. Thus it could have endangered the true spirit of federalism.
Hence from the above it is justifiable to have an indirectly elected Upper house. The house should function for upholding the spirit of federalism as well as parliamentary democracy unlike continues stalling of parliament and opposing to every other bill for political motive.
India parliamentary democracy provides for Bicameralism with loka sabha as house of people and Upper house Rajya Sabha as house of elders.
Reasons why such arrangement with an indirectly elected upper house is important are: –
Rajya Sabha act as a federal chamber: it gives representation to the states thus strengthening the federal character of constitution.
House of Professionals: President can nominate 12 members, who are experts in fields of science, art, literature etc. This brings expert knowledge in deliberation and legislation.
As a revisory body: it provides checks and balances to arbitrary legislation by lower house because of populist pressure.
Provides continuity to legislation process: Rajya Sabha is a permanent house and this provides continuity in legislation and discussions.
Despite great significance and regarded as “second house ” and not “secondary house” Rajya Sabha has come under criticism for losing its relevance for eg.
Residence clause for election to Rajya Sabha has been removed weakening its federal character.
Rise of Regional parties has undermined relevance of Rajya Sabha, as states through regional parties are well represented in Lok Sabha.
Professional and intellectual environments have been replaced by impasse over political issues as witnessed over passing of GST Bill, Land acquisition bill.
Raja Sabha is being used to accommodate disgruntled, election loosing politicians and big corporates.
However, instead of discussing relevance of Rajya Sabha, steps are required to eliminate the barriers as discussed above for it act as impartial second house of parliament.
4. The lack of a legal architecture for the intelligence and investigation agencies of India is repugnant to the ideas of democracy, rule of law and accountability. Do you agree? Is parliamentary oversight needed in the functioning of these agencies? Analyse.
Note: You have to describe the statement provided in the question and highlight your opinion. In spite of telling you in previous synopsis, many of you have failed to give your views/opinion.
The second part of the question needs to be written comprehensively with good analysis.
In India, various investigation and intelligence agencies such as the RAW, IB, NIA and CBI are creations of administrative orders, and are not subject to scrutiny by Parliament nor accountable to the Parliament. Exempting these Agencies without any parallel “Parliamentary Oversight” is against the provisions of rule of law.
It is imperative in a democracy that every organisation of the government draws its powers, privileges and authority from clearly defined legal statutes as laid down by the supreme legislative body in the country.
You should describe how lack of legal architecture and parliamentary oversight has created some concerns in regard to: (Discuss 3-4 points)
budgeting & accounting
protection of secrecy and privacy
conformity with human rights and
policy & administration
Cause for parliamentary oversight
While none can dispute the importance of national security yet there should be a balance and reconciliation between national security and civil liberties in India.
When civil liberties are neglected for the sake of some assumed national security, it is a constitutional failure. (3-4 points stressing the cause for parliamentary oversight)
Intelligence and investigation infrastructure of India has become synonymous for Non Accountability and Misuse.
Parliamentary Oversight is needed for improving coordination between intelligence agencies and ensuring better transparency, accountability and oversight.
Bring better financial probity in intelligence operations
Introduce concept of social welfare safeguards for assets who rendered valuable service for national security, but became casualties on the job.
The role and spheres of operation of intelligence agencies should be clearly defined by legislation. In a democracy, the responsibility for delineating these tasks lies with the parliament.
Threats to national security and the powers and mandates of officials entrusted to deal with organised crime, terrorism and espionage require careful definition and need to be specified.
“Parliamentary approval of the creation, mandate and powers of intelligence and investigation agencies is a necessary but not sufficient condition for upholding the rule of law. A legal foundation increases the legitimacy both of the existence of these agencies and the (often exceptional) powers that they possess.”
Best answer 1: Mani
Intelligence and investigation agencies play a crucial role in the security of a nation. It is important that they are based on sound legal and technical framework. In India there are many such agencies like CBI, IB, RAW etc. Currently, they do not have a specific law governing them. They work directly under the central govt. thus it becomes difficult to ensure their accountability in serious situations (like recent CBI chief mishandling of corruption case). Also, since citizens have to face intrusive investigations, lack of laws hinders protection of human rights and dignity. This defeats the principle of rule of law.
In such a situation, parliamentary oversight offers some positives:
Accountability in functioning and utilisation of public funds
Tackling mishandling of cases and corruption
Ensuring that elected representatives raise crucial issue of human right violations
Creating a sense of answerability]
However, such oversight has certain negatives too:
National security interests may imply that operations and working of agencies are not discussed openly
Populism may lead to misrepresentation of facts thwarting intelligence unit’s secrecy and integrity
There is a need for a balanced approach in ensuring national security and accountability of agencies. Bodies like CVC, DOPT can be augmented with special powers to check corruption or malfunctioning in these agencies. Annual report can then be discussed in parliament while protecting sensitive data from being leaked.
Best answer 2: Euphoria
National security of a country is dependent on a large extent on how strong its intelligence and information architecture is. Indian intelligence and investigative agencies like National Investigation Agency(NIA), Intelligence Bureau(IB), Research & Analysis Wing(RAW), Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) and Enforcement Directorate(ED) play a crucial role in ensuring safety against external and internal threats to the military, political and economic stability of our country and also against various forms of corruption in the public domain. However, their functioning is largely shielded from parliamentary and public scrutiny as
Annual reports of these agencies are not laid down and discussed in the Parliament
Various forms of restrictions are present in the Right to Information Act pertaining to these agencies in the name of security and interests of the country
Such provisions have resulted in allegations of political and ideological misuse of these agencies at times:
Political vendetta of ruling parties against the rivals by way of manipulative use of CBI.
Political protection to corrupt leaders in the absence of public or parliamentary scrutiny.
Lack of accountability in cases of intelligence failures (e.g. during Mumbai attack or Pathankot attack) and/or use of system for covert operations in other countries.
No protection against sporadic events of violation of human rights like custodial excesses directed against specific communities.
Presence of above factors do make it imperative for some form of accountability and responsibility in the working of these organisations to ensure tacitness of democracy and rule of law.
Parliamentary oversight may work in this case as discussion of reports pertaining to working of these organisations will ensure a greater sense of responsibility in the office bearers as well as shield them from executive manipulations and pressures. At the same time it will cause a better utilization of public funds in these organisations. However, such an accountable procedure has to also keep in mind protection of sensitive information crucial for national security and must provide a continuity of laws and operating procedure even with changing governments. Hence, what is needed is a balance between requirement of national security and accountability in the working of these organisations. Bringing only some domains of functioning of all these organisations under parliamentary oversight should work better to manage this balancing act
5. What importance does Germany hold for India in terms of India’s economic, strategic and security imperatives? Also discuss the role that Germany can play in the expansion of India’s renewable energy share in the total energy mix.
Your introduction should mention the recent development in Indo- German relationship. Or you can start with the historical relationship and then bring in the recent developments.
You should discuss the relationship under the three headings
Make in India, Smart city, climate financing
mobilizing international support against terrorism
cyber security support
cooperation in Science and technology
’Defence cooperation Agreement’
climate and Renewable Energy alliance
help in achieving INDC
Green Energy corridor
developing the Ganga region
focusing on wastewater treatment
(You can add more points)
Your conclusion should say that Germany is one of the most important partners of India in
international arena and both need to work together to tackle the challenges of
an increasingly globalized world.
The Republic of Germany and India have traditionally been holding strong bilateral relations
due to close commercial, cultural and technological cooperation.
Germany’s importance for India in terms of economic, strategic and security imperatives
can very well be summed up in the following points:
Germany is India’s second largest trading partner in Europe. According to Indian Ministry of Commerce MX data, total trade between India and Germany stood at 7.3 billion USD (exports) and 2.92 billion USD (imports) in 2013.Apart from this, Germany is also 2nd most important partner in terms of technological collaborations.
India and Germany both seek a permanent seat in UNSC, there by uniting with Japan and Brazil to form G4 collective to gain more bargaining powers. India and Germany both are members of G20 and work closely with each other in many international organizations.
India and Germany maintain a strong strategic partnership. In May 2000, both countries adopted ‘Agenda for the Indo-German partnership in 21st Century’, which includes regular meetings at HOG and foreign ministers level.
In the field of Defence and Security,’Defence cooperation Agreement ‘was signed in 2006, which provides a framework for annual consultations. For ex. High Defence Committee(HDC) meetings. Anti-piracy, Maritime Security and anti-terrorism cooperation agreements have also been signed between India and Germany.
India and Germany have formed ‘climate and Renewable Energy alliance’ for better cooperation, financial assistance and technological advancement in clean energy production.
Germany has committed to providing an assistance of over 1 billion Euros for India’s Green Energy Corridor and a new assistance package of over 1 billion Euros for solar projects in India.
Apart from these, Germany also intends to provide assistance of 3 million Euros for
developing the Ganga region, focusing on wastewater treatment, preparation of Detailed Project Report along with technical assistance by German international development firm GIZ.
Therefore, it can be concluded that Germany is one of the most important partners of India in
international arena and both need to work together to tackle the challenges of
an increasingly globalized world.
Best Answer 3: Yogesh bhatt
India and Germany built relation immediately after Second World War, and today in spite of certain challenges with EU, India and Germany able to maintain bilateral relations in important dimensions-
Economic relations– Germany is India’s largest trade partner in Europe and bilateral trade has cross 15 billion dollars. Major area of economic cooperation is promoting Make in India, IT sector, renewable energy, cleaning of rivers, automobile industry, urban development projects and so on. German is also 7th largest direct investor in India.
Strategic relation– German support is very crucial in UNSC membership for India. Also India need Germany support for developing defense sector, mobilizing international support against terrorism, cyber security support, cooperation in Science and technology, and get European Union support on various strategic forums as Germany is major power in EU.
Security relations– India as largest importers of defense equipment needs German sophisticated technology on this regard. Also on diplomatic forum to isolate Pakistan, German support will be important. To maintain peace in Middle East which is crucial for Indian security, German active role as in Iran negotiation, will serve Indian purpose.
In terms of renewable energy, Germany has most advanced technology so it can help India to achieve ambitious 175 GB target by following means-
Help to build IT smart renewable energy system as in Germany
Make technology easy accessible to Indian customers.
Support for Make in India and develop solar equipment in India.
Soft loan support for Indian government to development its capacity.
In coming day more people to people contact and business relation will help to boost the bilateral relation at next level.
Best Answer 4: Lokesh
Germany is an emerging power in Europe and can help India is meeting its economic, strategic and security imperatives in following manner: –
Economic cooperation: –
— India’s demographic dividend and population aeging in Germant provides a complimentarity and will serve interests of both nations.
— India’s integration with European Union especially breaking upon the impasse on Bilateral trade and investment treaty is to a large extent depends on Germany proactive support.
— Germany strength in technology esp. automobile sector can be leveraged, providing additional boost to Make in India programme.
Security imperatives: –
— Both Europe and India has faced the brunt of terrorism for eg. Brussels attack, Paris attack, Pathankot attack. strong counter-terrorism agreement with Germany along cooperation in intelligence sharing cen help India.
— Agreement on interchange in banking information’s, will check black money outflow and money laundering.
— Indian and Germany are part of G-4 group demanding reforms in UNSC.
India’s commitment of 40% installed renewable energy capacity by 2030 will require Germany support. Germany has successfully replaced fossil based power with solar power. India solar Mission can gain from the expertise and experience of Germany. Similarly, Germany can support initiative of International Solar Alliance through funds and technology support.
India must therefore proactively engage with Germany which will be a win-win engagement for both nations.