GIST of India Year Book 2024

Chapter-3  : Polity

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

The Indian Republic: A Sovereign Democracy

Nature of the Republic

  • Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system.
  • Constitution adopted in 1949 and enforced in 1950.

Executive Structure

  • Federal:President as head, real power with Council of Ministers (Prime Minister and cabinet).
  • States:Similar structure with Governor and Chief Minister.

Territorial Organization

  • 28 states and 8 union territories (as of Oct 31, 2019, J&K reorganized).


  • Single citizenship for all of India.
  • Citizenship Act, 1955 governs acquisition, determination, and termination.
  • Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 grants citizenship to specific religious minorities from neighboring countries.

Fundamental Rights and Duties

  • Rights (Part III):Individual and collective freedoms, including equality, speech, and religion (justiciable).
  • Duties (42nd Amendment):Responsibilities like upholding the Constitution, defending the nation, promoting harmony (not justiciable).

Directive Principles of State Policy

  • Non-justiciable but fundamental principles guiding governance.
  • Aim for welfare, social order, economic equality, and environmental protection.

Government Structure

  • Union Executive:President, Vice-President, Council of Ministers (headed by Prime Minister).
  • Legislature (Parliament):President, Rajya Sabha (upper house), Lok Sabha (lower house).
  • Lok Sabha:Members directly elected by the people.
  • Rajya Sabha:Members indirectly elected.
  • Functions:Lawmaking, oversight, budget approval, grievance redressal.

Membership Qualifications

  • Indian citizen with specific age requirements.
  • Additional qualifications may be set by Parliament.

Parliamentary Powers

  • Impeachment of President.
  • Removal of judges, Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General.

The Functioning of the Indian Parliament

Lawmaking and Oversight

  • Bills require approval from both houses (Lok Sabha has more power in money bills).
  • Parliament reviews delegated legislation.
  • Parliament initiates constitutional amendments.


  • Standing Committees:(Permanent)
    • Financial Committees (scrutinize government spending).
    • Department-related Committees (examine budgets, bills, reports).
    • Other Committees (petitions, privileges, rules, etc.).
  • Ad Hoc Committees:(Temporary)
    • Formed for specific inquiries or bills.

Leaders of the Opposition

  • Officially recognized in both houses (since 1977).

Government Business

  • Coordinated by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
  • Maintains communication with presiding officers and party leaders.

Promoting Parliamentary Democracy

  • Youth Parliament Competition:Instills democratic values in youth (introduced in 1966).
  • All India Whips’ Conference:Strengthens cooperation among parties (established in 1952).

Raising Issues in Parliament

  • Rule 377 (Lok Sabha) & Special Mentions (Rajya Sabha):MPs raise concerns with the government.
  • OAMS (Online Assurance Monitoring System):Tracks follow-up on ministerial assurances.

Consultation and Transparency

  • Consultative Committees:Informal discussions between MPs, Ministers, and officials.
  • National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA):Promotes paperless functioning and easy access to documents.

International Relations

  • Goodwill Delegations:MPs visit other countries to foster understanding.


Women’s Representation

  • 73rd Amendment mandates 1/3rd reservation for women in Parliament, state assemblies, and Delhi’s legislative assembly.
  • Seats rotate after delimitation to ensure diverse representation.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)

  • Ensures accountability of the executive to the legislature.
  • Audits finances of Union, state governments, and autonomous bodies.
  • Current CAG: Shri Girish Chandra Murmu.

Legal Advisors

  • Attorney General:Advises the Government of India, appointed by the President.
  • Solicitor General:Assists the Attorney General and represents the government in court.

Administrative Structure

  • Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961:Allocates government business among ministries.
  • Cabinet Secretariat:Assists in decision-making, coordinates ministries, and ensures adherence to rules.

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

  • Launched in 2013 for cash transfers under government schemes to beneficiaries.
  • Universalized for central government schemes.
  • States set up DBT Cells for coordination and customization.

Ministries and Departments

  • Government functions through various ministries and departments.
  • Numbers and focus areas vary based on needs and priorities.
    • Examples: Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Culture, etc.

Chemical Weapons Convention

  • CWC prohibits the development, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.
  • Overseen by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).


  • India’s National Authority for CWC liaises with OPCW and fulfills treaty obligations.




Disaster Management and Grievance Redressal

  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA):
    • Established after the 1999 Gujarat earthquake.
    • Lays down policies and plans for disaster management.
    • Headed by the Prime Minister, with state-level SDMAs.
  • Directorate of Public Grievances (DPG):
    • Established in 1988 under the Cabinet Secretariat.
    • Handles grievances after failed redressal attempts at ministries.
    • Uses the Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (PGRAMS).

Government Recruitment and Personnel Management

  • Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT):
    • Formulates policies for government recruitment and personnel management.
    • Cadre controlling authority for IAS and central secretariat services.
    • Operates Central Staffing Scheme and coordinates training policies.
  • Recruitment Agencies:
    • UPSC:Conducts exams for higher civil services.
    • SSC:Recruits subordinate staff and uses computer-based exams.
  • National Recruitment Agency (NRA):
    • Conducts Common Eligibility Test (CET) for various government posts.
    • Aims for equity and inclusiveness in recruitment, especially in rural areas.
    • Uses online Tier-I exams.
  • Rozgar Mela:
    • An initiative to fill central government vacancies and provide employment.
    • Coordinated by DoPT with a target of 10 lakh youth recruited.

Transparency and Accountability

  • Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005:
    • Empowers citizens to request information from government bodies.
  • Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG):
    • Nodal agency for administrative reforms and public grievances.
    • Oversees collaboration with states for better public service delivery.
    • Utilizes AI/Machine Learning for grievance management.
  • Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS):
    • Enables online filing and monitoring of grievances.

Language and Inter-governmental Cooperation

  • Official Language Policy:
    • Promotes Hindi and English for official purposes.
    • Department of Official Language oversees compliance and Hindi promotion.
  • Inter-State Council and Zonal Councils:
    • Facilitate coordination between states and the center on common interests.

State Level Governance

  • Structure mirrors the central government with:
    • Executive headed by Governor and Chief Minister.
    • Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council (where applicable).

Election and Local Governance

  • Election Commission of India (ECI):
    • Conducts national and state elections, supervises for fairness.
  • Local Government:
    • Panchayats (rural) and Municipalities (urban) empowered by constitutional amendments (73rd & 74th).

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