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Union Public Service Commission

The first Public Service Commission was set up on October 1st, 1926. However, its limited advisory functions failed to satisfy the people’s aspirations and the continued stress on this aspect by the leaders of our freedom movement resulted in the setting up of the Federal Public Service Commission under the Government of India Act 1935. Under this Act, for the first time, provision was also made for the formation of Public Service Commission at the provincial level.

The Representation of People Act, 1951

Article 324 to 329 of Part XV of the Constitution deals with the electoral system in our country. Constitution allows Parliament to make provisions in all matters relating to elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures. In exercise of this power, the Parliament has enacted laws like Representation of the People Act 1950 (RPA Act 1950), Representation of the People Act 1951 (RPA Act 1951).

Subordinate Courts in India

The District Courts of India are the district courts of the State governments in India for every district or for one or more districts together taking into account the number of cases, population distribution in the district. They administer justice in India at a district level. These courts are under administrative control of the High Court of the State to which the district concerned belongs. The decisions of District court are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the High court.

State Public Service Commission

The Government of India Act, 1935 provided for the establishment of the Public Service Commission at the Provincial level known as the State Public Service Commission and the constitution of India gave it a constitutional status as autonomous bodies. The State Public Service Commissions were constituted under the provisions of the Constitution of India.

State Information Commission

The State Information Commission will be constituted by the State Government through a Gazette notification. It will have one State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) and not more than 10 State Information Commissioners (SIC) to be appointed by the Governor.

State Human Rights Commission

The Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993 provides for the creation of State Human Rights Commission at the state level. A State Human Rights Commission can inquire into violation of human rights related to subjects covered under state list and concurrent list in the seventh schedule of the Indian constitution.

State Finance Commission

Article 243-I of the Indian Constitution prescribes that the Governor of a State shall, as soon as may be within one year from the commencement of the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992, and thereafter at the expiration of every fifth year, constitute a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the Panchayats and to make recommendations to the Governor.

Special Status to the Other Indian States

Some of the states owing to their non-uniformism, uneven developments, tribal areas, backwardness and aspirations of people need some special status in order to have uniform growth, equality and promote inclusive development. However all these special arrangements have been established by gradual amendments in the constitution.

Special Status of the Jammu and Kashmir

Article 370 of the Constitution of India provides a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The state owes its origin in the rapid accession of the province of Jammu and Kashmir to India amidst invasive fear from Pakistan. Special provisions are provided to this state in part XXI of our constitution.

Special Provisions relating to certain Classes

Articles 330 and 332 deals with the reservation of seats in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies respectively. Article 330 provides for the reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The number of seats reserved in any State or Union territory for such castes and tribes will be made on the population basis.

Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities

It shall be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under this Constitution and report to the President upon those matters at such intervals as the President may direct, and the President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament, and sent to the Governments of the States concerned.

Schedules in the Constitution of India

Schedules are lists in the Constitution that categorizes and tabulates bureaucratic activity and policy of the Government. Our constitution had 8 Schedules originally. The First Amendment Act added the 9th schedule in the constitution. 35th Amendment Act added the 10th schedule in the constitution in 1974 regarding the “associate Status” of the Sikkim. Later 36th amendment act admitted Sikkim as state of India. A New 10th schedule was added by 52th amendment act 1985 in context with the “Anti-Defection” Law.

Scheduled and Tribal Areas in India

Article 244 deals with the administration of Scheduled areas and Tribal areas. The provisions of the Fifth Schedule of the constitution apply to the administration and control of the scheduled areas and scheduled tribes in any state other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Rights and liabilities of the Government

Part XII from Article 294 to 300 deals with the property, contracts, rights, liabilities, obligations and suits of the centre and the states. Article 294 states that all the property and assets which immediately before the commencement of the constitution were vested with the Dominion of India.

Prime Minister’s Office of India

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) consists of the immediate staff of the Prime Minister of India, as well as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the Prime Minister. The PMO is headed by the Principal Secretary, currently Nripendra Misra. The PMO was originally called the Prime Minister's Secretariat until 1977, when it was renamed during the Morarji Desai administration.

Prime Minister of India

Article 74(1) of the Constitution states that there shall be a council of ministers with Prime Minister as its head to aid and advice the President who shall exercise his function in accordance with advice tendered. Thus the real power is vested in council of ministers with Prime Minister as its head.

Power and Functions of Indian Parliament

All the legislative powers of the federal Government are vested in the Parliament. The laws framed by the Indian Parliament are enforced in the whole of the country. The Parliament of India is a bi-cameral legislature. It consists of two houses- Rajyasabha & Lok Sabha and President of India. Rajyasabha is the upper chamber of the Parliament while Lok Sabha is the lower chamber of the Parliament.

PMO and Cabinet Secretary

The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, facilitating smooth transaction of business in Ministries/ Departments of the Government by ensuring adherence to these rules. The PMO provides secretarial assistance to the Prime Minister. It is headed by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. The PMO includes the anti-corruption unit and the public wing dealing with grievances.

Parliamentary Forums

The Parliamentary Forums have been constituted with the objective of equipping members with information and knowledge on specific issues of national concern and in assisting them to adopt a result-oriented approach towards related issues. These Forums provide a platform to members to have interaction with the Ministers concerned, experts and key officials from the nodal Ministries.

Parliamentary Committees

The Parliament has to perform complex and varied kind of functions. A committee can be called a Parliamentary committee if it is appointed or elected by the house or nominated by the Speaker or the Chairman; it has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha secretariat.

Parliament of India

The supreme legislative organ of the union of India is called the Parliament. Indian Constitution provides us a Parliamentary Democracy. Parliament of India is made from Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and President.  Articles 79-122 of the Indian Constitution deal with the composition, powers and procedures of the Parliament of India.

Panchayati Raj System in India

The passage of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 (or simply the Panchayati Raj Act) marks a new era in the federal democratic set up of the country. It was based on the recommendation of Balwant Rai Mehta committee. It came into force with effect from April 24, 1993. It has a 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj for all States having population of over 20 lakh.

Official Language in Indian Constitution

Article 346 of the Indian Constitution recognizes Hindi in Devanāgarī script as the official language of central government India. The Constitution also allows for the continuation of use of the English language for official purposes. Article 345 provides constitutional recognition as "Official languages" of the union to any language adopted by a state legislature as the official language of that state.

National Development Council

National Development Council (NDC) is an executive body established by the Government of India in August 1952, which is neither a constitutional nor a statutory body. It is the apex body to take decisions on matters related to approval of five year plans of the country. Prime minister is the ex-officio chairman of the NDC.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Article 338 A states that there shall be a Commission for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) known as the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes. It is the duty of the commission to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution. However, there are various functions and powers of the commission mentioned in the Constitution.

National Commission for Scheduled Castes

Article 338 of the Constitution provides for the setting up of a National Commission for Scheduled Castes to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under the Constitution. National Commission for Scheduled Castes is committed to the full implementation of the various Acts like the PCR Act, 1955 and SC and ST (POA) Act, 1989.

Lokpal and Lokayukta in Indian Constitution

As mentioned in the draft bill appended to the interim reports of the commission, the Lokpal is to be appointed by the President, on the advice of the Prime Minister in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha.

List of Important Articles of the Indian Constitution

Indian Constitution when adopted by Constituent Assembly in 1949 had 395 articles and 22 parts. Many other articles and three other parts were added to it by subsequent constitutional amendments. As of now Indian constitution contains more than 444 articles in 25 parts.

Union-State Relations / Centre-State Relations

The Constitution provides a federal system of government in the country even though it describes India as ‘a Union of States’. The term implies that firstly, the Indian federation is not the result of an agreement between independent units and secondly, the units of Indian federation cannot leave the federation.

Judicial Review and Judicial Activism

Judicial Review refers to the power of judiciary to review and determine the validity of a law or an order. On the other hand, Judicial Activism refers to the use of judicial power to articulate and enforce what is beneficial for the society in general and people at large or judicial activism means the power of the Supreme Court and the high court but not the sub-ordinate courts to declare the laws as unconstitutional and void.

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