India has a federal parliamentary democratic governance system, often referred to as a “Republic.”
Here are some key aspects of the governance system in India:
- Federal Structure: India follows a federal system with a division of powers between the central government and the states. The Constitution of India delineates the powers and responsibilities of each level of government.
- Parliamentary Democracy: India’s governance is based on the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy. The President is the ceremonial head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government.
- Bicameral Legislature: India has a bicameral legislature at the central level, consisting of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People). State legislatures also have a similar structure with an upper house and a lower house.
- Separation of Powers: The Indian Constitution separates the powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches to ensure checks and balances.
- Universal Adult Suffrage: Indian citizens above the age of 18 have the right to vote, making it one of the world’s largest democracies.
- Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles: The Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to citizens, such as freedom of speech, equality, and the right to life. It also outlines directive principles for the government to guide policy-making in areas like social justice and economic development.
- Independent Judiciary: India’s judiciary, headed by the Supreme Court, is independent and has the power of judicial review to ensure that laws and government actions are consistent with the Constitution.
- Multi-Party System: India has a vibrant multi-party system with various political parties representing a wide range of ideologies and interests.
- Secular State: India is a secular state, which means it does not endorse any particular religion and maintains a neutral stance regarding religious matters.
- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes: The Constitution provides for special provisions and affirmative action for historically disadvantaged groups, including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- Local Governance: India has a three-tier system of government, comprising the central, state, and local levels. Local self-governance is ensured through Panchayats (rural local bodies) and Municipalities (urban local bodies).
- Election Commission: The Election Commission of India is responsible for conducting free and fair elections at all levels of government, ensuring the democratic process.
- Federalism: India’s federal structure ensures that both the central and state governments have their areas of jurisdiction and responsibilities.
In summary, India’s governance system is characterized by its federal structure, parliamentary democracy, independent judiciary, and a commitment to upholding the rule of law and individual rights. It has undergone several amendments and changes since its adoption in 1950, evolving to meet the needs of a diverse and dynamic nation.
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MCQs on Governance System
Q1. Which one is the most prominent element of a state?
(d) Head of State
Q2. “The State is everywhere : it leaves hardly a gap.” This statement explains the concept of
(a) Welfare State
(b) Communist State
(c) Democratic State
(d) Police State
Q3. The Constitution of India provides which type of governance system?
Q4. Which one of the following characteristics is not true for the unitary form of Government?
(a) Swift decision
(c) Ideal for large countries
(d) Uniformity of laws
Q5. Which of the following is not a feature of good governance?
(c) Rule of Law
(d) Red Tapism
Q6. Which one of the following is not the feature of the Indian Constitution?
(a) Parliamentary Government
(b) Presidential Government
(c) Independence of Judiciary
(d) Federal Government
Q7. There is parliamentary system of Government in India because the
(a) Lok Sabha is elected directly by the people
(b) Parliament can amend the Constitution (c) Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved
(d) Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha
Q8. The main advantage of the parliamentary form of government is that (a) the executive and legislature work independently
(b) it provides continuity of policy and is more efﬁcient
(c) the executive remains responsible to the legislature
(d) the head of the government cannot be changed without election
Q9. In a Parliamentary system of Government
(a) Judiciary controls Executive
(b) Executive controls Judiciary
(c) Executive controls Legislature
(d) Legislature controls Executive
Q10. A Parliamentary System of Government is one in which :
(a) all political parties in the Parliament are represented in the Government
(b) the Government is responsible to the Parliament and can be removed by it
(c) the Government is elected by the people and can be removed by them
(d) the Government is chosen by the Parliament but cannot be removed by it before completion of a ﬁ xed term
Q11. In a Presidential Government, all the executive powers are vested in
(d) Upper House
Q12. Consider the following statements:
1. India is a democratic polity
2. India is a sovereign state
3. India has a democratic society
4. India is a welfare state
Which of the above statements are true?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 2 and 3 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Q13. ‘Welfare State’ aims to
(a) Secure maximum welfare of maximum numbers
(b) Management of welfare of weaker sections
(c) Provide health facilities
(d) None of above
Q14. Which one of the following is not the Philosophy of the Constitution of India?
(a) Welfare State
(b) Socialist State
(c) Political Equality
(d) Communist State
Q15. What is the main source of Political Power in India?
(a) The People
(b) The Constitution
(c) The Parliament
(d) The President
Q16. Which of the following is correct?
The main feature of a Presidential form of Government is/are
(a) The Head of the Executive is the President
(b) The President appoints his Council of Ministers
(c) The President cannot dissolve the Legislature
(d) All of the above
Q17. Which one of the following determines that the Indian Constitution is Federal?
(a) Written and non-ﬂexible Constitution (b) Free Judiciary
(c) Residuary powers are vested in centre/union
(d) Distribution of powers between union and states
Q18. Indian Constitution is
(c) Neither rigid nor ﬂ exible
(d) Partly rigid and partly ﬂexible
Q19. The Parliamentary form of Government was first introduced in which country?
(a) Great Britain (UK)
Q20. Which of the following is not a federal feature of the Indian Constitution?
(a) Distribution of power between Centre and States
(b) Entirely written Constitution
(c) Single Citizenship
(d) Independent Judiciary
Q21. The Central and State governments get authority from?
(a) Indian Constitution
(b) President of India
(c) Prime Minister of India
(d) Indian Parliament
Q22. India is a Republic which implies that (a) The head of the State is elected
(b) The country is free
(c) The country possesses a democratic system of government
(d) The Final Authority in the country rests with the Parliament
Q23. What is the nature of the Indian Constitution ?
(d) Federal in nature but unitary in spirit
Q24. A constitutional government by definition is a :
(a) government by legislature
(b) popular government
(c) multi-party government
(d) limited government
Q25. On which day the design of the National flag of India was adopted?
(a) June 10, 1947
(b) July 22, 1947
(c) August 15, 1947
(d) January 26, 1947
What is the role of the President in India’s governance system?
The President of India is the ceremonial head of state and plays a largely symbolic role. They represent the unity and integrity of the country, sign bills into law, appoint the Prime Minister, and perform other constitutional duties. Real executive power rests with the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
How are laws made in India?
The legislative process in India involves both the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) at the central level. Proposed laws, or bills, must pass through both houses and receive the President’s assent to become law. State legislatures follow a similar process for state laws.
What is the role of the Supreme Court in India’s governance?
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial authority and has the power of judicial review. It interprets the Constitution, resolves disputes between the central and state governments, and safeguards fundamental rights. It plays a crucial role in upholding the rule of law.
How is local governance structured in India?
India has a three-tier system of local governance. Panchayats and Municipalities are responsible for rural and urban areas, respectively. These institutions have elected representatives and administrative powers to manage local affairs, such as sanitation, education, and public health
What are Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and why do they have special provisions in the Constitution?
Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are historically disadvantaged groups in India, often subject to social discrimination and exclusion. The Constitution provides special provisions, including reservations in education and public employment, to uplift these groups and address historical injustices.