India's Government



Picture of the government buildings in New Delhi.India was following the rules that were set by the British Parliament until its earning its independence on August 15, 1947. After which the new constitution of India was set up on November 26, 1949 and was implemented on January 26 two months later. The ideals of justice, socio-economic, political, secular and democracy were incorporated into the constitution. India has adopted the British model of parliamentary form of governance and itís federal in structure.

Located in New Delhi, The Indian parliament is bicameral, it is divided into a Lower House and an Upper house. The Lower House or Lok Sabha is the House of the People, while the Upper House is Council of States or the Rajya Sabha. As a federation, the powers are equally distributed between the Union and States.

The President is the supreme head of the state who represents the unity of the nation and does not belong to any political party. In fact the President is elected into power by an electoral consisting of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the members of the Legislative Assemblies of the states. The President is designated as the first citizen of India and no court of law can question his conduct.

India consists of 28 independent states and six union territories that are administered by the President. The Union or the central government has three main powers; legislature, executive and judiciary.

The general term of the Lok Sabha is five years with a required strength of 552 members of which 530 members are from the independent states and 20 are nominated from the union territories with the remaining two members coming from the Anglo-Indian community who are elected by the President. Elections are conducted once in five years and on the basis universal adult franchise. Voting is open to citizens age 18 years and up.

The President on the advice of the Prime Minister can dissolve the term of the Lok Sabha up to a year during emergency time.

Members of the Lower House must be 25-years-old and be a citizen of India. These members elect the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker who head the proceedings House.

The Rajya Sabha or the Upper House at present consists of 245 members who are voted by the Legislatures. The President also nominates 12 more members. The term for a Rajya Sabha electorate is six years and the term cannot be dissolved unlike the Lower House. Based on the merit of their service the 12 members are designated posts from different and diverse fields such as arts, commerce and science. Members who are 30 years of age are eligible to be in the Rajya Sabha. Once in two years members retire and then the vacancies have to be filled. The Vice-President who is the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha carries out the proceedings of the House.

The central government is comprised of the President, Vice-President and the Council of ministers along with the Prime minister. The states are headed by the by the Governor, Council of Ministers and their Chief Minister who are directly responsible for the Legislative Assembly of the state. Each House of the Parliament has to meet within six months after the previous sitting. The main functions of the Parliament are to oversee the administration, pass the budget, and discuss national policies, international relations, public grievances and developmental plans.

The Prime Minister, however, enjoys the most power and oversees the daily functions of the government. Appointed by the President, the Prime Minister can be from either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.