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Indian Polity and Governance

Constitution – Historical Background, Making of the Constitution, Philosophy of the Constitution

Focus:

  • Historical background – various Acts passed from Regulation Act, 1773 to Indian Independence Act, 1947’.
  • Give more importance to Acts – post 1857, when British Crown assumed sovereignty over India from the East India Company.
  • Be aware of at least two-three major provisions of an Act, and how did it help in creating a basic framework for the governance or administration during the British rule.

Example:

  • Indian-Councils Act, 1909 – For the first time direct election was introduced; It provided for a separate electorate for the Muslims
  • Making of the Constitution – Context in which the Constituent Assembly was framed.
  • Role of Cripps Mission in the making of the Constitution
  • Composition and role of the Constituent Assembly and its criticism
  • Salient Features of the Constitution
  • Schedules and Sources from where it has been borrowed
  • Philosophy of the Constitution – The Preamble -its importance and utility; Understand the objective of the Preamble along with the key words like Sovereignty, Socialist, Secular, Justice etc.

Example (2012 Prelims Questions Paper):

The distribution of powers between the Centre and the States in the Indian Constitution is based on the scheme provided in the(a) Morley-Minto Reforms, 1909(b) Montagu-Chelmsford Act, 1919

(c) Government of India Act, 1935

(d) Indian Independence Act, 1947

Solution (c)

 Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper):

 

‘Economic Justice’ the objectives of Constitution has been as one of the Indian provided in:(a) the Preamble and Fundamental Rights

(b) the Preamble and the Directive Principles of State Policy

(c) the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy

(d) None of the above

Solution (b)

Example (2014 Prelims Questions Paper):

Consider the following statements : A Constitutional Government is one which1. Places effective restrictions on individual liberty in the interest of State Authority

2. Places effective restrictions on the Authority of the State in the interest of individual liberty

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

A.      1 only

B.      2 only.

C.      Both 1 and 2

D.     Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (b) 

Which one of the following Schedules of the Constitution of India contains provisions regarding anti-defection?A.      Second Schedule

B.      Fifth Schedule

C.      Eighth Schedule

D.     Tenth Schedule

 Solution (d)

Union and its Territory 

Focus:

  • Article 1, Article 2, Article 3 and Article 4 – how article 2 is different from Article 3?
  • Understand the expression ‘Union of India’, how its different from the ‘Territory of the India’
  • Parliament’s power to reorganize State.
  • Different Commissions set-up for Reorganization of States – DHAR commission and JVP commission, Fazal Ali commission

 

Note: You don’t have to remember formation of each State. Just remember the 1st State which was formed based on the Fazal Ali Commission and the recently formed State- Telangana

 

Citizenship

Focus:

  • Constitutional Rights and Privileges of Citizens of India
  • Acquisition and termination of citizenship
  • Difference between a PIO, NRI, OCI
  • Any recent policies and schemes related to PIO,NRI or OCI
  • For example, Visa on Arrival Scheme

Note: Make note on the recent changes made regarding Citizenship, voting rights. Pre- Independence provisions can be skipped

 

Fundamental Rights (FR) [ Part III ]and Fundamental Duties[ Part IV-A ]

Focus

Fundamental Rights-

  • Its significance implications and applications are important, than just remembering all the articles. Have a broader understanding of classification of Fundamental Rights and to which section of people are they targeted.
  • Example: Article 29, 30, 31 – protects the Cultural and Educational Rights of Minorities.
  • FR available to citizens of India only and both to citizens and foreigners
  • Difference between Fundamental rights and Rights secured by other provisions of the Constitution like Writs
  • Different types of Writs (Article 32) and its scope
  • Present position of Right to Property
  • Exceptional cases with regard to FR’s – Armed forces and when Martial Law is enforced

 

Fundamental Duties

  • Committee recommendations like Swaran Singh, Verma Committee
  • General awareness on list of FD’s
  • Enforcement of FD’s – is it justiciable or non-justiciable
  • Significance and Criticism of FD’s

 

Example (2011 Prelims Questions Paper):

In India, if a religious sect/community is given “the status of a national minority, what special advantages it is entitled to?1. It can establish and administer exclusive educational institutions.2. The President of India automatically nominates a representative of the community to LokSabha.

3. It can derive benefits from the Prime Minister’s 15-Point Programme.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only’

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (c)

Under the Constitution of India, which one of the following is not a fundamental duty?(a) To vote in public elections(b) To develop the scientific temper

(c) To safeguard public property

(d) To abide by me Constitution and respect its ideals

Solution (a)

Example (2012 Prelims Questions Paper

Which of the following is/are among the Fundamental Duties of citizens laid down in the Indian Constitution?1. To preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture2. To protect the weaker sections from social injustice

3. To develop the scientific temper and spirit of inquiry

4. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Solution (c)

 

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) [ Part IV ]

Focus:

  • Classification of DPSP- Socialistic, Gandhian, Liberal-Intellectual principles
  • Its significance & Principle- like socio-economic aspect
  • Justifiable or not- enforceable in court or not
  • Comparison between DPSP and Fundamental Rights,
  • Conflicts between them – Chronology of cases from Champalam Dorairajan case (1951) to Minerva Mills case (1980) and the present position of FR’s w.r.t DPSP
  • Significance of 42nd and 44th Amendment Act w.r.t DPSP

 

Note: Give special importance to Golaknath Case, Keshavananda Bharthi, Minerva Mills, Maneka Gandhi case, Berubari Union, 3 Judges case.

 

Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper):

According to the Constitution of India, which of the following are fundamental for the governance of the country?(a) Fundamental Rights(b) Fundamental Duties

(c) Directive Principles of State Policy

(d) Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties

Solution (c)

Example (2014 Prelims Questions Paper):

In the Constitution of India, promotion of international peace and security is included in theA.      Preamble to the ConstitutionB.      Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

C.      Fundamental Duties

D.     Ninth Schedule

Solution (b)

 

Amendment of the Constitution

 Focus

  • Procedure for amendment based on Simple and Special majority (Article 368); provisions of the Constitution which can be amended based on Simple and Special majority.
  • Amendability of Fundamenta Rights
  • What constitutes ‘Basic Structure’ like Supremacy of the Constitution, Judicial Review, Secular character etc.
  • Important Constitutional Amendments Acts – 42nd, 44th , 61st 72nd, 73rd   
  • Criticism

 

Note: Note down the recent amendments from 91st Amendment Act, 2003 till date.

Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper):

Consider the following statements1. An amendment to the Constitution of India can be initiated by an introduction of a bill in the LokSabha only.2. If such an amendment seeks to make changes in the federal character of the Constitution, the amendment also requires to be ratified by the legislature of all the States of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (d)

 

 Union Government

  • A general understanding on the difference between Prime Ministerial and Presidential form of Government, its merits and de-merits.

Union Executive

President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Central Council of Ministers

 

The executive institutions should be studied on with the following points in

Focus:

  • Election procedure/Mode of Appointment
  • Powers and Functions Example: Veto power, Ordinance making power, Pardoning power (article 72) of the president
  • Resignation/Removal/Impeachment
  • Relationship between President and Prime-Minister with regard to their roles and responsibilities

Note: Be aware of the recent issues w.r.t to Pardoning power (as was in the case of Ajmal Kasab, Afzal Guru), Impeachment, Ordinance-making Power of the President

Central Council of Ministers (COM)

  • Importance of 91st Amendment Act with regard to composition of COM
  • Difference between COM’s and Cabinet Ministers
  • Cabinet ministers, Cabinet Committees – their role and responsibilities
  • Understand the concept of collective responsibility, kitchen cabinet

Example (2012 Prelims Questions Paper):

 

The Prime Minister of India, at the time of his/her appointment: (2012)(a) need not necessarily be a member of one of the Houses of the Parliament but must become a member of one of the” Houses within six months(b) need not necessarily be a member of one of the Houses of the Parliament but must become a member of the LokSabha within six months

(c) must be a member of one of the Houses of the Parliament

(d) must be a member of the LokSabha

Solution (a)

 

Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper):

 

Consider the following statements:1. The Council of Ministers in the Centre shall be collectively responsible to the Parliament.2. The Union Ministers shall hold the office during the pleasure of the President of India.

3. The Prime Minister shall communicate to the President about the proposals for legislation.

Which of the Statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Solution (b)

 

Example (2014 Prelims Questions Paper):

 

Consider the following statements:1. The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.2.  All executive actions of the Government of India shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Prime Minister.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

A.      1 Only

B.      2 only

C.      Both 1 and 2

D.     Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (a)

 

 

 Union Legislature – Parliament

Atleast 25-30% (out of total questions in Polity) of the marks come from this chapter and is the most important topic from the exam’s perspective. The entire chapter is important!

Focus:

  • Working of the Parliament-
  • Role and functions of the Parliament
  • Sessions, Motions, Parliamentary procedure – Summoning, Prorogation, Joint sitting
  • Devices of Parliamentary proceedings like Question Hour, Zero Hour, Adjournment Motion etc.
  • Similarities and Differences between Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, their composition, election, powers and functions; Special powers of Rajya Sabha
  • Qualifications and Disqualification’s of members; Anti defection law
  • Parliamentary Privileges
  • Enactment/Procedure to make Law-
  • Different stages in passing of a Bill
  • Different types of bills – Ordinary Bill, Money Bill, Finance Bill –its importance
  • Budget-
  • Enactment of Budget
  • What does the budget contain? Its significance
  • What do you understand by Charged Expenditure?
  • Funds available like Consolidated Fund, Contingency Fund, Public Accounts Fund- who authorizes it, what does it contain?
  • Role of important institutions in the Parliament like Speaker and Chairman of RajyaSabha – their election, removal/resignation, functions
  • Role of Leader of opposition (LoP)
  • Importance of Parliamentary Committees –Estimates Committee, Business Advisory Committee, Committee on Government Assurance – their composition, functions, and a general idea about the less significant committees like Rules Committee etc.

 Example (2011 Prelims Questions Paper):

 

What is the difference between “vote-on-account” and “interim budget”?(2011)1. The provision of a “vote-on-account” is used by a regular Government, while an “interim budget” is a provision used by a caretaker Government.2. A “vote-on-account” only deals with the expenditure in Government’s budget, while an “interim budget” includes both expenditure and receipts.

Which of the statements; given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (b)

 

Example (2014 Prelims Questions Paper):

 

Which one of the following is the largest Committee of the Parliament?A.      The Committee on Public AccountsB.      The Committee on Estimates

C.      The Committee on Public Undertakings

D.     The Committee on Petitions

Solution (b)

 

Consider the following statements regarding a No-Confidence Motion in India:1.      There is no mention of a No-Confidence Motion in the Constitution of India.2.      A Motion of No-Confidence can be introduced in the Lok Sabha only.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

A.      1 only

B.      2 only

C.      Both 1 and 2

D.     Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c)

 

 

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