Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Disclaimer:- All the Information provided in this post are prepared & compiled by A. Praveen Kumar, SPM, Papannapet SO-502303, Telangana State  for in good faith of Postal Assistant Exam Aspirants. Author of blog does not accepts any responsibility in relation to the accuracy, completeness, usefulness or otherwise, of contents.


The Parliament consists of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States), the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the office of the President. Any Bill can become an Act only after being passed by both Houses of Parliament. The Parliament House was designed by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker in 1912-1913. It was opened in 1927 to house the Council of States, the Central Legislative Assembly and the Chamber of Princes. The minimum age for membership to the Rajya Sabha is 30 years, while for the Lok Sabha it is 25 years.

It shares legislative powers with the Lok Sabha, except in the case of supply Bills (like Money Bills) where the Lok Sabha has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a joint sitting of the two Houses is held. However, since the Lok Sabha has more than twice as many members as the Rajya Sabha, it holds de facto veto power in such legislations. The Parliament has its own TV broadcasting stations launched in 2004: Doordarshan Rajya Sabha and Doordarshan Lok Sabha (now known as Lok Sabha TV).When the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 Jan 1950, the Constituent Assembly became the Provisional Parliament of India. It remained so until the first elections in 1951.The business of Parliament is transacted in either Hindi or English. However, the Presiding Officers of the two Houses may permit any member to address the House in his mother tongue.


About the Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha is the Upper House of Parliament. The Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is elected from among members. He officiates in the absence of the Chairman. The first sitting of the Rajya Sabha was held in May 1952

Membership to the Rajya Sabha
The maximum permissible strength of the Rajya Sabha is 250. Of these 238 members are elected indirectly from the states and Union Territories, and 12 are nominated by the President for their expertise in art, literature, science and social services.Currently, the strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245. Of these 233 are members elected from states and UTs and 12 are nominated members. Members from state assemblies are elected using the Single Transferable Vote system.The provision for nominated members is found in Article 80 of the Constitution

Tenure of the Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha is a continuous body and is not subject to dissolution.Members enjoy a tenure of six years. One-third of the members retire every two years

Functions of the Rajya Sabha

Acts as a non-partisan forum for full and free debates. Can originate any Bill, including constitutional amendment Bills, except Money Bills.Re-evaluates Bills originating in the Lok Sabha in a non-political manner.Relieves the work of the Lok Sabha in considering Private Bills (Bills that apply to specific individuals or organizations).Along with the Lok Sabha, votes on the election of President and Vice-President.Along with the Lok Sabha, votes on the removal of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.Along with the Lok Sabha, votes for the continued proclamation of Emergency beyond a period of two months.Acts as the sole de facto and de jure Parliament if the Lok Sabha is dissolved during an Emergency.


About the Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha is the lower House of Parliament
The current Lok Sabha is the 16th Lok Sabha to be constituted
The first hour of every sitting of the Lok Sabha is called Question Hour, during which questions posed by members may be assigned to specific ministries
Three sessions of the Lok Sabha are held every year:
Budget session: February to May
Monsoon session: July to September
Winter session: November to December

Membership to the Lok Sabha

The maximum permissible strength of the Lok Sabha is 552. Of these, 530 are to be chosen by direct election, 20 are to be representatives of Union Territories, and 2 to be nominated Anglo-Indians.Currently, the strength of the Lok Sabha is 545. Of these, 530 are chosen by direct election, 13 are from Union Territories, and 2 are nominated Anglo-Indians

Tenure of the Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha has a tenure of five years, unless dissolved earlier.The tenure may be extended by a proclamation of Emergency. The Emergency may extend the term of the Lok Sabha in one year increments.

Functions of the Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha controls the functioning of the Executive, by making the Council of Ministers answerable to it.The sanctioning of expenditure is the exclusive priviledge of the Lok Sabha

Can originate any Bill, including Money Bills

Along with the Rajya Sabha, votes on the election of President and Vice-President

Along with the Rajya Sabha, votes on the removal of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts

Along with the Rajya Sabha, votes for the continued proclamation of Emergency beyond a period of two months


Terms of service

As soon as a new Lok Sabha is constituted, the President appoints a Speaker Pro-Term, who is generally the senior-most member of the House. This office is dissolved when the Speaker is elected.

The Speaker is elected on the first meeting of the Lok Sabha after a General Election

He is elected for a term of 5 years

The Speaker does not vacate office on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. Instead, he continues in office until the next House meets

The Speaker vacates his office and ceases to be a member of the House when he resigns or is removed

He may be removed by a majority resolution in the Lok Sabha

The Constitution also provides for a Deputy Speaker, to be elected from among the Lok Sabha. He officiates in the absence of the Speaker

Functions of the Speaker

The Speaker is the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha. He is expected to be impartial

He maintains decorum and conducts the business of the House

He decides whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not

He permits the moving of various motions and resolutions such as motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment etc

He decides the agenda for discussion during the meeting of the House

The Speaker can cast a vote only in the case of a tie

Important Speakers of the Lok Sabha

GV Mavlankar was the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha (1952 – 1956)

MA Ayyangar was the first Deputy Speaker (1952 – 1956)

Dr. Balram Jhakar was the longest serving Speaker (1980 – 1989)


The Parliament legislates on subjects in the Union and Concurrent Lists. It can also legislate on subjects in the State List if

The Rajya Sabha passes a resolution saying it is in the national interest to do so and/or

The legislatures of two or more states recommend to Parliament to so legislate

The power to legislate on residuary subjects also vests with the Parliament

The Parliament (via the Lok Sabha) exercises control over Union finances

The Parliament (via the Lok Sabha) exercises control over the functioning of the Executive

The Parliament is responsible for legislating on amendments to the Constitution

The Parliament elects the Vice-President and can initiate impeachment proceedings against the President

It recommends the creation of All India Services, the removal of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts

Parliamentary approval is essential for the continuance of a proclamation of Emergency made by the President


Ordinary BillsOrdinary Bills can originate in either House of Parliament and have to pass through the following stages before being sent for assent by the President

First Readinga brief description of the Bill is read, and its aims and objectives announced. Opponents can also make a brief speech. After a vote, the Bill is published in the Gazette

Second Readingthe general principles of the Bill are discussed, and the Bill is sent to the appropriate committee for its reference. No amendments are possible at this stage

Committee Stage: the appropriate committee reviews the Bill and suggests amendments

Report Stagethe committee submits its report to the House, where it is thoroughly discussed. Amendments may be proposed. Voting is held on a clause-by-clause basis

Third Reading: general discussion of the Bill followed by formal voting for its acceptance or rejection. No amendments possible at this stage. After the Bill has been accepted, it is sent to the other House for a repeat procedure, and thereupon to the President for assent.

Money BillsMoney Bills can originate only in the Lok Sabha on the recommendation of the President.

Since they deal with public finances, their passage is crucial to the functioning of government

After a Money Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha, it is sent to the Rajya Sabha for deliberations

The Rajya Sabha is given 14 days to make recommendations

If the Rajya Sabha fails to make recommendations within this period, the Bill is considered to have passed both Houses and is sent to the President for assent

If the Rajya Sabha does make its recommendations, the Lok Sabha may or may not decide to accept those recommendations

Regardless, the Bill is considered to have passed both Houses and is sent to the President


Annual Financial Statement:

At the beginning of every financial year, the President causes to be laid before both Houses, a statement of estimated receipt and expenditure for the ensuing year. Expenditure is of two types:

Expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India, which is not subject to vote of Parliament, although it can be discussed by both Houses

Expenditure charged outside the Consolidated Fund, which are submitted to the Lok Sabha in the form of grants, which may or may not approve them

Appropriation Bill:

after the grants are approved by the Lok Sabha, an Appropriation Bill is introduced. 

Appropriations out of the Consolidated Fund of India can be made only after passage of the Appropriation Bill.

This Bill is never opposed in the Lok Sabha.

Since the grants have already been approved, the discussion is limited to administrative policy etc

No amendments are possible at this stage


Point of Order

A member may raise a Point of Order if proceedings do not follow normal rules.The Presiding Officer decides whether the Order may be allowed or not

Vote on Account

This procedure covers government expenditure between the presentation and the passage of the Budget. The Vote on Account allows the Lok Sabha to make a grant in advance for a part of the financial year.It is usually passed by the Lok Sabha without discussion.It is passed after the general discussion on the Budget is over and before the demand for grants in taken up


Certain demands for grants of various Ministries are taken up by the Lok Sabha without discussion. This is called guillotine

Usually done due to lack of time

To avoid this, Parliament in 1993 established 17 Parliamentary Committees to study these demand for grants

The Committees scrutinize the demand for grants and report to the House

The reports are not binding on the House


It is the minimum number of members required to transact the business of the House.Article 100 of the Constitution specifies that the Quorum of either House shall be 10% of the strength of the House

Question Hour

The first hour of every sitting of Parliament is called Question Hour.Questions usually need a 10 day notice before being answered by the concerned Minister. Questions addressed to the Ministers are of three types:

Starred questions: to be answered orally on the floor of the House

Unstarred questions: are answered in writing. No supplementary questions may be asked

Short notice questions: questions on urgent public importance, do not need 10 day notice

Zero Hour

Does not formally exist in the Parliamentary procedure

The hour after Question Hour is popularly known as Zero Hour

Members raise matters which they feel is urgent

However, since the questions are raised without prior notice, it results in loss of time


Adjournment Motion:

Motion to adjourn the proceedings of the House, so as to take up a matter of urgent public importance. Can be moved by any member.Requires support from at least 50 members.Notice for the motion must be given before the commencement of the sitting for the day

Calling Attention Motion

A member may call the attention of a Minister to an urgent matter and the Minister may make a statement regarding it

Priviledge Motion

Motion moved by a member if he feels a Minister has committed a breach of priviledge. Also moved against members for withholding or distorting facts

Censure Motion

A motion that censures the government for a specific charge. Can be moved against a Minister or against the Council of Ministers. Censure Motion is different from No Confidence Motion in that the former requires to cite a specific charge against the government whereas the latter does not. If the Motion is passed in the Lok Sabha, the government is expected to resign.

No Confidence Motion

A No Confidence Motion indicates lack of confidence of the Lok Sabha in the Council of Ministers.Can be introduced in the Lok Sabha only. If the Motion is passed, the government must resign.

Cut Motion

A device through which members draw the attention of Government to a specific grievance. It is used to seek reduction in the amount of a demand for grants presented by Government. Approved by the Speaker at his discretion
There are three types of Cut Motions

Policy Cutimplies the mover disapproves of the policy underlying the demand. Asks for a reduction of Re. 1

Economy Cutseeks a specific amount of reduction

Token Cutused to ventilate a particular grievance against the government. The reduction amount is Rs 100


The sessions of Parliament are convened at the discretion of the President. However, there should not be a gap of more than 6 months between sessions.


Done by President on the advice of the Council of Ministers. Brings the session of the House to an end. Unlike England, Pending Bills and other business do not lapse, they are taken up when the House meets in the next session


Short recess within a session of Parliament. Called by the Presiding Officer of the House. Duration may be from a few minutes to a few days.

Adjournment Sine Die

House is adjourned by the Presiding Officer without fixing a date for the next meeting


Dissolution ends the life of a House and a new House needs to be reconstituted. Only the Lok Sabha can be dissolved, the Rajya Sabha is permanent. Dissolution enacted by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. Any Bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses

Any Bill pending passed by the Lok Sabha and pending the Rajya Sabha also lapses, unless the President calls a Joint Sitting of the two Houses. However, Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha but not passed by the Lok Sabha do not lapse


The Supreme Court of India is decreed by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution

It was established on 28 Jan 1950

According to the Constitution, the role of the Supreme Court is that of a federal court, guardian of the Constitution and the highest court of appeal

The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction

About the Supreme Court building

The first home of the Supreme Court was the Chamber of Princes of the Parliament building, which had been the seat of the Federal Court of India

The Court moved to the present premises in 1958

The present premises was designed by Ganesh Bhikaji Deolalikar


Judges of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court consists of 31 judges – one Chief Justice and 30 other Justices

The Constitution originally provided for 7 judges in the Court. However, due to increased workloads, this number has been gradually increased, reaching 31 in 2008

Judges in the Supreme Court sit together in Benches to hear cases

A small Bench, with two to three Justices, is called a Division Bench

A large Bench, with five or more Justices, is called a Constitutional Bench

A Division Bench may refer a case up to a Constitutional Bench if desired

The first woman judge of the Supreme Court was Justice Fatima Beevi in 1987. However, there has been no female Chief Justice

Terms of service

Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President

Judges of the Supreme Court retire at the age of 65

Must be a citizen of India

Must have been one of the following

A judge of a High Court for at least 5 years

An advocate of a High Court for at least 10 years

A distinguished jurist, in the opinion of the President

Ad hoc Judges

Ad hoc Judges are non-Supreme Court judges who sit in the Supreme Court when there is insufficient quorum to perform the judicial duties

Ad hoc Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice after obtaining consent from the President

Serving and retired judges of the Supreme Court (and High Courts) can sit and act as ad hoc Judges of the Supreme Court

Only such persons can be appointed as ad hoc Judges who are qualified to be appointed as a regular Judge of the Supreme Court

The office of the Chief Justice

The senior most judge of the Supreme Court is appointed as the Chief Justice
The Chief Justice remains in office for 5 years or until retirement, whichever is earlier

The Chief Justice is responsible for allocation of work to other judges

Other judges may refer cases to him if a bench of higher strength is required
The Chief Justice administers the oath of office to the President

In the absence of the President and the Vice-President, the Chief Justice sits as the Acting President of India

The Chief Justice is the ex-officio Chancellor to most autonomous law schools in India

The first Chief Justice of India was H J Kania (1950 – 1951). Before appointment to the Supreme Court, he served as the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of India (1947 – 1950). He was from Bombay

The shortest tenure was for K N Singh (Nov 1991 – Dec 1991, UP)

The longest tenure was for Y V Chandrachud (1978 – 1985, Bombay)


The salaries and allowances of Judges are charged to the Consolidated Fund of India and are not subject to a vote of Parliament

The salaries and other service conditions of Judges cannot be changed to their disadvantage during their tenure

Judges can be removed only by a resolution of both Houses of Parliament passed with a two-third majority

Judges can be removed only on grounds of proven misbehaviour or incapacity

Judges are barred from practicing in any court after retirement

The decisions and actions of Judges cannot be criticized. Disrespect to Court authority can invite Contempt of Court proceedings

The conduct of Judges cannot be discussed in Parliament or state legislatures
The appointment of Judges does not depend on the discretion of the President. Judges are appointed by the President in consultation with other Judges of the Supreme Court, while the Chief Justice is appointed based on seniority

The Court enjoys complete freedom with respect to appointment of officers of the Court


Original Jurisdiction

Original Jurisdiction means that certain types of cases can originate with the Supreme Court only

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in

Disputes between the Centre and one or more states

Disputes between the Centre and any state(s) on one side and one or more states on the other side

Disputes between two or more states

Disputes regarding the enforcement of Fundamental Rights

Appellate Jurisdiction

Appellate Jurisdiction means that appeals against judgements of lower courts can be referred to it

The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal in the country

Three types of cases fall with appellate jurisdiction:

Constitutional cases: an appeal against a High Court judgement can be made to the Supreme Court if the High Court determines that the case involves questions on the interpretation of the Constitution

Civil cases: an appeal can be made in civil cases if the High Court certifies
that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance, and

that the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court

Criminal cases: an appeal can be made in criminal cases if the High Court
has reversed an acquittal and sentenced a person to death, or

has taken up a case from a subordinate court and sentenced an accused to death

Interestingly, if the High Court reverses a conviction and orders acquittal, no appeal to the Supreme Court can be made

Advisory Jurisdiction

Advisory Jurisdiction refers to the process where the President seeks the Court’s advice on legal matters

If the President asks for advice from the Supreme Court, the Court is duty-bound to give it. However, it not binding on the President to accept the advice


Court of Record

The Supreme Court is a court of record

What this means is that its records are admitted to be of evidentiary value and cannot be questioned in any court

As a court of record, it also enjoys the power to punish for contempt of court

Judicial Review

Judicial Review means that the Court can ensure that laws passed by the legislature and orders issued by the executive do not contravene the Constitution

If these laws or orders go against the Constitution, the Court can declare them unconstitutional and hence invalid
The Court also protects the Fundamental Rights of citizens through various types of writs

Other powers

The Supreme Court appoints its officers and servants in consultation with the UPSC and determines their conditions of service, in consultation with the President

It can make rules regarding the practice and procedure of the court with the approval of the President

It can appoint arbitrators to decide cases relating to costs incurred by state governments in carrying out directions of the Union government

It adjudicates disputes relating to the election of the President and Vice-President

It can recommend the removal of the Chairman and members of the UPSC to the President


There are 21 High Courts in India

The Calcutta High Court, established in 1862, is the oldest High Court in India. The Bombay and Madras High Courts were also established in the same year

The newest High Courts are the Chattisgarh (Bilaspur), Uttaranchal (Nainital) and Jharkhand (Ranchi) High Courts, all established in the year 2000

The Bombay, Madras and Calcutta High Courts are the three Chartered High Courts in India

The Madras Law Journal, published from the Madras High Court, was the first journal in India dedicated to reporting judgements of a Court (1891)

Jurisdiction of High Courts

Each High Court has jurisdiction over a particular state(s) and/or Union Territory(ies)

High Courts have original and appellate jurisdiction. High Courts also have jurisdiction over writs

States are divided into judicial districts, presided over by a District Judge or a Sessions Judge, who is the highest judicial authority below the High Court

The presiding judge is called District Judge when he presides over a civil case, and called a Sessions Judge when presiding over a criminal case

The High Court is a court of record

Cases relating to admiralty, marriage and contempt of court are referred directly to the High Court

Judges and Benches

The Judges of a High Court are appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the state

The number of Judges in a High Court is decided based on the number of cases instituted and disposed

High Courts that handle a large number of cases from a particular region, may establish a permanent Bench there. Benches are present in states that come under the jurisdiction of Courts outside its territory

Circuit Benches are temporary courts that hold proceedings for a few months every year

Important High Courts and their Jurisdictions
High Court
Allahabad High Court
Uttar Pradesh
Bombay High Court
Nagpur, Panaji, Aurangabad
Maharashtra, Goa, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Calcutta High Court
Port Blair (Circuit Bench)
West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar
Delhi High Court
New Delhi
NCT Delhi
Guwahati High Court
Kohina, Aizwal, Imphal
Circuit Benches at Agartala and Shillong
Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram
Jammu & Kashmir High Court
Srinagar (summer)
Jammu (winter)
Jammu & Kashmir
Karnataka High Court
Circuit Benches at Hubli-Dharwad and Gulbarga
Kerala High Court
Kerala, Lakshadweep
Madhya Pradesh High Court
Gwalior, Indore
Madhya Pradesh
Madras High Court
Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry
Punjab and Haryana High Court
Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh
Rajasthan High Court
Sikkim High Court



Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of states and Union Territories have powers at the state level similar to that of the President at the Union level
Governors preside over states while Lieutenant-Governors preside over Union Territories and NCT Delhi

The office of the Lieutenant-Governor exists only in the Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry and NCT Delhi. Other Union Territories have an Administrator, who is usually an IAS officer.

Conditions of service

Governors and Lieutenant-Governors are appointed by the President for a period of 5 years

The Governor or Lieutenant-Governor can be dismissed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister

Unlike the President, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors can not be impeached


Executive powers

All executive powers of the state government are vested in the Governor

The Governor appoints the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers

He allocates portfolios to the Ministers based on the advice of the Chief Minister

The Governor appoints the judges of the District Courts

The President consults the Governor in the appointment of the judges of the High Court

The Governor appoints the Advocate General and members of the state Public Service Commission

Legislative powers

The Governor summons sessions of both Houses of the state legislature and prorogues them

The Governor can dissolve the state Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) on the advice of the Chief Minister

Bills passed by the legislature can become law only on the assent of the Governor

The Governor can return non-Money Bills to the legislature for reconsideration. However, if the legislature sends it back without modification, the Governor must give his assent

The Governor can reserve certain Bills for consideration by the President

The Governor can promulgate Ordinances. These ordinances must be approved by the legislature at its next session. Ordinances remain valid for no more than 6 weeks from the date of convening of the legislature

Financial powers

The Governor causes to be laid before the legislature the annual state Budget
Money Bills can be introduced in the legislature only on the prior recommendation of the Governor

The Governor can make advanced from the Contingency Fund of the State to meet unforeseen expenditure

The Governor constitutes the state Finance Commission

Discretionary powers

When no political party gets a majority in the Legislative Assembly, the Governor can appoint the leader of the largest party or the largest coalition as the Chief Minister

The Governor can recommend to the President imposition of President’s rule in the state


Since Parliament needs to perform substantial functions in limited time, it cannot go into the details of every legislative and other matter that comes before it

For this reason, Parliamentary Committees are constituted to study in detail the legislative and other matters that come before Parliament

Committees can be appointed in both Houses of Parliament, and their roles and functions are more or less similar

Functions of the Committees

To consider the Demand for Grants of various Departments/Ministries and make reports to the Houses

To examine Bills that are referred to the Committee by the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha

To study annual reports of various Ministries and Departments

To consider policy documents presented to the Houses if/when referred to the Committee by the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha


Ad hoc Committees

They are appointed for a specific purpose and cease to exist when the task is finished

They can either belong to one particular Parliament House or be a joint committee

There are two types of Ad hoc committees

Committees appointed either by a motion in Parliament or by the Speaker/Chairman to enquire into a specific subject

Select or Joint Committees on Bills. These Committees are constituted to study and report on specific Bills

Examples of Ad hoc Committees: Committees on Draft Five Year Plans, Railway Convention Committee, Fertilizer Pricing Committee etc

Standing Committees

Standing Committees are Committees appointed every year or periodically, and their work goes on in a continuous basis

The three most important Standing Committees (which deal with finance) are worth special mention

Committee on Estimates
Committee on Public Accounts
Committee on Public Undertakings

Additionally, there are 24 Departmentally Related Standing Committees that deal with affairs of a specific Department/Ministry


Departmentally Related Standing Committees

There are a total of 24 Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSC)
The DRSCs were first introduced in 1993 in a batch of 17, and a further 7 were added in 2004

Each of these Committees consists of no more than 45 members.

30 are to be nominated from the Lok Sabha and 15 from the Rajya Sabha
Ministers are not eligible to be nominated to these Committees

The term of the Committee is one year

Committee on Estimates

Consists of 30 members elected from the Lok Sabha
Ministers are not eligible for election to this Committee
The term of the Committee is one year

Primary functions include
report what improvements in organisation, efficiency or administration can be made

suggest policies to bring about improvements in efficiency and economy
the Committee can select and study estimates pertaining to any Ministry or government body as it may see fit

Committee can also examine matters of special interest that come up or are referred to it by the Speaker

Committee on Public Accounts

Consists of 22 members: 15 elected from the Lok Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha

Ministers are not eligible for election to this Committee

Term of office is one year

Primary function is to determine if money granted by the Parliament has been spent by the Government within the scope of the Demand

The Committee bases its examinations on the Appropriation Accounts of the Government and the Audit Reports presented by the Comptroller and Auditor General

The Committee is not concerned with policy, but only with execution of the policy and its results

Committee on Public Undertakings

Consists of 22 members: 15 elected from the Lok Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha

Ministers are not eligible for election to this Committee

Term of office is one year

Functions of the Committee include

Examine reports and accounts of Public Undertakings

Examine reports of the CAG on Public Undertakings

Examine whether Public Undertakings are being managed with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices

The Committee does not examine government policy or day-to-day administration of the Undertakings

Other important committees
S. No.
House of Parliament/
Business Advisory Committee
Lok Sabha
15 (including Speaker)
Recommends the amount of time to be allotted
for business in Parliament
The Speaker is the ex-officio Chairman
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Committee generally meets at the beginning of each Session
Committee on Private Members’
Bills and Resolutions
Lok Sabha
15 (including Dy Speaker)
Allot time to Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions
Examine Private Members’ Bills seeking to amend
the Constitution before introducing them in Lok Sabha
Examine all Private Members’ Bills after they are introduced
but before they are taken up for consideration
Classify the Bills based on their matter, urgency into
Category A or Category B
The Deputy Speaker is the ex-officio Chairman
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Rules Committee
Lok Sabha
(15 including Speaker)
Considers matters of procedure and conduct of business in the House
Recommends amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct
of Business in Lok Sabha
The Speaker is the ex-officio Chairman
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Committee of Privileges
Lok Sabha
Examines every question regarding breach of privilege of the House
or of members of any Committee
Determines whether breach of privilege was involved and makes
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Committee on Papers Laid
on the Table
Lok Sabha
Examine all papers laid on the table of the House by Ministers
Report to the House whether there has been compliance of the
Report whether there has been unreasonable delay in laying the paper
Report whether both Hindi and English version have been laid
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Committee on Petitions
Lok Sabha
Consider and report on petitions presented to the House
Considers representation from individuals and associations
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Ministers not eligible
Committee on Subordinate Legislations
Lok Sabha
Scrutinizes and reports whether powers to make rules,
regulations etc are being properly exercised by the Executive
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Ministers not eligible
Committee on Govt. Assurances
Lok Sabha
Scrutinize the assurances promises etc given by Ministers and
report on their implementation
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Ministers not eligible
Committee on Absence of Ministers
from Sittings of the House
Lok Sabha
Considers requests from Members for leave of absence from
sittings of the House
Examines every case where the member has been absent for
60 days or more without permission
Members are nominated by the Speaker
Makes recommendations whether leave
should be granted, absence granted or
seat declared vacant
Joint Committee on Offices of Profit
Both Houses
15 – 10 from LS, 5 from RS
Examine the composition and character of Committees
appointed by Government (Central and State)
Recommend what offices should/should not disqualify a person
as a member of either House of Parliament
Committee is constituted for the duration of the
Lok Sabha
Committee on Welfare of SC/ST
Both Houses
30 – 20 from LS, 10 from RS
Considers all matters regarding the welfare of SC/STs
falling within purview of Union Government and
Union Territories
Consider reports submitted by National Commission for SC/ST
Examine measures taken by Union govt. to secure due
representation of SC/ST in govt. services and posts
Ministers not eligible
Term of the Committee is one year
Railway Convention Committee
Both Houses
18 – 12 from LS, 6 from RS
Review dividend payable by Railways to General Revenues
Review other matters relating to Railways finance
This was the first Committee to be constituted after
Independence (1949)
Minister of Finance and Minister of Railways are members
Ministers of State for Finance and Railways are also
This is an ad hocCommittee
Committee on Empowerment of Women
Both Houses
30 – 20 from LS, 10 from RS
Reviews and monitors measures taken by Union Govt.
to secure equality, status, dignity for women in all matters
Suggest measures for improving status of women
Review measures taken for education and representation of
women in legislative bodies and other fields
Considers reports of National Commission for Women


State legislatures in India can be unicameral or bicameral

The lower House is called the Legislative Assembly, and the upper House (if it exists) is called the Legislative Council

Currently, only six states in India have Legislative Councils: Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

The provision for instituting and removing Legislative Councils is enshrined in Article 169 of the Constitution

The Legislative Assembly

Legislative Assemblies consist of 60 to 500 members

Members of the Legislative Assembly are directly elected

The Governor can appoint a certain number of Anglo-Indians to the Assembly as he deems fit

The Legislative Council

The Legislative Council consists of not more than 1/3rd the strength of the Legislative Assembly and not less than 40

Members of the Council are indirectly elected as well as nominated (by the Governor)

The composition of the Council is as follows

Members elected by electorates consisting of members of local bodies

Members elected by MLAs from among people who are not MLAs

Members elected by electorates consisting of persons who are graduates of 3 years standing and who are residents of the state

Members elected by electorates consisting of persons engaged for 3 years in teaching (not lower than secondary school)

Members nominated by the Governor from among persons having expertise in science, arts, social service etc

Conditions of service

The minimum age for membership to the state legislature is 25 for the Legislative Assembly and 30 for the Legislative Council

To become a member from a particular constituency, a person must be a voter from that constituency

The term of the Legislative Assembly is five years.

It may be extended by the Governor during an Emergency, but not for more than six months at a time

The Legislative Council, like the Rajya Sabha, is a permanent House and cannot be dissolved

The term of members of the Council is 6 years, with 1/3rd retiring every two year

Presiding officers

The Legislative Assembly has a Speaker and a deputy Speaker

They are elected from among the membership of the Assembly

The Legislative Council has a Chairman and a deputy Chairman (who are also elected from among members)

Presiding Officers of both Houses have the right to cast their vote in case of a tie

Functions of the state Legislature

The Legislature has the power to legislate on all subjects in the State List and the Concurrent List

Money Bills can originate in the Legislative Assembly only

The Council has 14 days to recommend changes to the Money Bill

Elected members of the Legislative Assembly are involved in the process of election of the President of India

Each state legislature has one electoral power in electing the President

Amendments to the Constitution of India can be executed with approval of half the state legislatures in the country


Local government in India falls mainly under two categories: rural self government and urban self government

There are about 3 million elected representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), about one third of them women

There are more than 640,000 village panchayats, about 6000 intermediate bodies and 500 district level bodies. Panchayats cover about 99.6% of India’s rural population

The powers and functions of PRIs vary from state to state

Evolution of local government

The earliest references to self government are found in the Rig Veda, which mentions ’sabhas’ at the village level

Over time, these bodies evolved into Panchayats (council of five persons)
Under British rule, local governance was authorised by the Mayo Resolution of 1870 (under Lord Mayo)

However, it was the Ripon Resolution of 1882 (under Lord Ripon) that prioritised local government and recognised the twin objectives of administrative efficiency and political education

The Montague-Chelmsford Reforms (1919) led to the establishment of village panchayats in the provinces and even princely states

Panchayat system in post-independence India developed slowly. Multiple committees were constituted to study panchayat system

Panchayat system was institutionalised with the passage of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1992


Local government in rural areas is enabled by the Panchayat system of governance involving Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)

The Panchayat is a three-tier system involving governance bodies at three levels:

Gram Panchayat at the village level
Panchayat Samiti at the Block level
Zilla Parishad at the District level

The Panchayat system exists in all states except Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram. It also exists in all Union Territories except Delhi

Panchayat system is provided for all states having a population more than 2 million

Function of the panchayat include

Planning and implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice relating to the 29 subjects in the Indicative List

To levy and collect taxes, duties, tolls and fees

Committees to study Panchayat system
Balwantrai Mehta
Community development projects
Establish local bodies
Devolve power and authority
Basic unit of decentralised government to be Block/samiti
Body to be constituted for 5 years by indirect elections from village panchayats
Functions to include agriculture, local industry
K Santhanam
Panchayat finance
Panchayats to have powers to levy tax on land revenue etc
Panchayati Raj Finance Corporation to be set up
Ashok Mehta
Effective development of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI)
District to be viable administrative unit for planning
PRIs as two-tier system with Mandal Panchayat and Zilla Parishad
4 year term, participation of political parties
Development of PRIs
PRIs to be activated and supported
Block Development Office (BDO) to be center of rural development
LM Singhvi
– same-
Local self government to be constitutionally recognised
Non-involvement of political parties

73rd Constitutional Amendment Act 1992

The Constitution of India did not have originally have provisions for panchayat system of government

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act (1992) formally established Panchayat Raj Institutions in the country

The Act was meant to provide democracy at the grassroots level

The mean features of the Act include

Establishment of Panchayats as elected bodies

A three tier structure of panchayat institutions: village level, Block level and District level

Not less than one third of panchayat seats to be reserved for women. Additionally, reservations also for SC/STs

Panchayat elections to be supervised by State Election Commissions

District Planning Committees provided Constitutional status

Indicative List of 29 subjects introduced in the 11th Schedule of the Constitution. Panchayats to plan and implement works related to this


The Zilla Parishad is the local government body at the district level. It is also known as the District Council

The Parishad is responsible for administration of the rural areas of the district

It is located in the district headquarters

Constitution of the Zilla Parishad

The members of the Zilla Parishad are Chairmen of the Panchayat Samitis falling under the area

They serve for a period of 5 years

Zilla Parishads have min 50 and max 75 members

Seats are reserved for SC/STs, backward classes and women

The Zilla Parishad is headed by a CEO (who is an IAS officer)

Sources of income
Taxes on water, pilgrimage, markets etc

Money from the state government for works and schemes assigned to the Parishad

Fixed grant from the state government in proportion to the land revenue

Functions of the Zilla Parishad

Planning and execution of development projects for the district

Provide essential services and facilities to the rural population

Agriculture projects such as supply of seeds, irrigation, new techniques of farming etc

Education projects such as setting up and running of schools, adult literacy, running libraries

Establish primary health centres, hospitals, mobile health centres

Carry out vaccination drives and family welfare campaigns

Construct/repair bridges and roads

Development plans for SC/STs, hostels for SC students, ashramashalas for adivasis

Encourage entrepreneurship in small scale industries such as handicrafts, dairy farms etc


There are more than 3000 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India

Based on the 74th Constitution Amendment Act, there are three types of ULBs

Municipal Corporation (nagar nigam)

Municipality (nagar palika)

City Council (nagar panchayat)

According to the Act, there needs to be a City Council for areas in transition from rural to urban, a Municipality for small urban areas and a Municipal Corporation for large urban areas

The functions and powers of ULBs vary from state to state

Municipal governance in India was first introduced in Madras in 1688. The Madras Municipal Corporation was the first municipal body in the Commonwealth outside the UK. The Bombay and Calcutta Corporations were established in 1726


Municipal Corporations are established in cities with population greater than 1 million

Municipal Corporations function under the provisions of the Corporation Act 1835

The Corporations are elected directly by the people. Elected members serve a term of 5 years

Municipal Corporations provide necessary community services such as health care, educational centres etc

Municipal Corporations interact directly with the state governments

The head of the Corporation is the Mayor. The principal executive officer is the Municipal Commissioner (an IAS officer)


A municipality administers an urban area of population 200,000 or less

Municipalities interact with the state government through the Directorate of Municipalities or the District Collector

Members of Municipalities are elected for a period of five years

The head of the Municipality is the President, elected by and from the members

The state government also appoints a Chief Officer and other officers such as Health Inspector, Sanitation Inspector etc to assist the President

Their sources of income and functions are pretty much the same as that of Municipal Corporations


India is the largest democracy in the world (in terms of electorate)

The 2009 General Elections had an electorate of 714 million. This is larger than the electorates of the EU and the US combined

The first General Elections were held in 1951

The control and conduct of all elections to the Parliament, to the state legislatures and to the offices of the President and Vice-President fall under the purview of the Election Commission of India

Panchayat elections are conducted by respective State Election Commissions

Constitutional provisions for elections

Article 324 stipulates that the superintendence, direction and control of elections shall be vested in the Election Commission

Article 325 provides a single electoral roll for every constituency. Also stipulates that no person shall be eligible or ineligible for inclusion in electoral rolls on the basis of race, religion, caste or sex

Article 326 stipulates that elections shall be held on the basis of adult suffrage. Every person who is a citizen of India and is not less than 18 years of age shall be eligible for inclusion

Election process

The Election Commission announces the schedule of elections, but the election process only starts with the notification by the President (or Governors)

Model Code of Conduct comes into force the day election dates are announced. 

No party is allowed to use government resources for campaigning. Campaigning to be stopped 48 hours prior to polling day

The Collector of each district is in charge of polling

The indelible ink used to mark fingers is produced by the Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd.

Currently, India does not have an absentee ballot system. To enrol as a voter, a person needs to be an ‘ordinary resident’ i.e. reside in a particular constituency for at least 6 months

A period of eight days is allowed for filing nominations. Two days are allowed for withdrawal of candidature

Candidates to a particular constituency can be from anywhere in the country. However, voters in the constituency must be residents of that constituency

A candidate may contest from two constituencies at most

Political parties

Registration of the People Act 1951 provides for registration of political parties with the Election Commission
   it secures at least six percent(6%) of the valid votes polled in any four or more states, at a general   election to the House of the People or, to the State Legislative Assembly; and
(ii)    in addition, it wins at least four seats in the House of the People from any State or States.
it wins at least two percent (2%) seats in the House o the People (i.e., 11 seats in the existing House having 543 members), and these members are elected from at least three different States

Likewise, a political party shall be entitled to be recognised as a State party, if :-
(i)    it secures at least six percent (6%) of the valid votes polled in the State at a general election, either to the House of the People or to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned; and
(ii)    in addition, it wins at least two seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned.
it wins at least three percent (3%) of the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State, or at least three seats in the Assembly, whichever is more.

Judicial Review of election disputes

Technically, the decisions of the Election Commission can be challenged in High Courts of the Supreme Courts

However, by tradition, the Judiciary does not intervene in the conduct of elections once the process of elections has begun

After declaration of election results, the Election Commission cannot reverse the results on its own

The results of the elections to Parliament and state legislatures can only be reviewed by filing election petitions at the High Courts

For elections of President and Vice-President, election petitions can only be filed with the Supreme Court


About the Election Commission

The Election Commission is autonomous, quasi-judiciary constitutional body
Its mission is to conduct free and fair elections in India

The Election Commission was established on 25 Jan 1950 under Article 324 of the Constitutionee

Powers of the Election Commission

The EC enjoys complete autonomy and is insulated from any interference from the Executive

It also functions as a quasi-judiciary body regarding matters related to elections and electoral disputes

Its recommendations are binding on the President of India

However, its decisions are subject to judicial review by High Courts and the Supreme Court acting on electoral petitions

During the election process, the entire Central and state government machinery (including paramilitary and police forces) is deemed to be on deputation to the Commission

The Commission takes effective control of government personnel, movable and immovable property for successful conduct of elections

Functions of the Election Commission

Demarcation of constituencies

Preparation of electoral rolls

Supervision, direction and control of elections to Parliament, Legislatures, President/Vice-President

Scrutiny of nomination papers

Scrutiny of election expenses of candidates

Establish rules for elections

Issue notification of election dates and schedules

Determine code of conduct

Postpone or countermand elections for specific reasons

Resolve election disputes

Allot schedules for broadcast and telecast of party campaigns

Grant exemptions to persons from disqualifications imposed by judicial decisions

Composition of the Election Commission

The Election Commission is a multimember Commission, the Chief Election Commissioner acts as the Chairperson

All members of the Election Commission enjoy equal vote, while the CEC additionally also enjoys casting vote. Decisions of the EC are to be based on unanimity or majority

The CEC is appointed by the President

Other members of the Commission are appointed by the President in consultation with the CEC

The CEC can be removed from office only in the manner of a Judge of the Supreme Court. Other members can be removed by the President in consultation with the CEC

The President may appoint Regional Election Commissioners in consultation with the CEC before elections to the Parliament or Assemblies. Upon conclusion of elections, the REC steps downree

Terms of service

The tenure of Election Commissioners is six years or up to age of 65 years, whichever is earlier

The CEC cannot hold any office of profit after retirement. Other ECs cannot hold any office of profit after retirement, except as CEC

The CEC cannot be reappointed to the post

The allowances and salaries of the CEC are drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India


Established under the Delimitation Commission Act to redraw the boundaries of assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on recent census

representation of each state to the Lok Sabha is not changed. However, the number of SC and ST states may change

The orders of the Commission are laid down before the Lok Sabha and respective state Legislatures

The Commission is a powerful body – its orders cannot be changed by Parliament or Legislature, nor can they be challenged in a court of law

The Delimitation Commission is expected to be constituted every ten years (following every census), however in practise it has only been constituted four times since Independence: 1952, 1963, 1973, 2002

The Delimitation Commission 2002 was headed by Justice Kuldip Singh as chairperson. The Karnataka Assembly elections 2008 were the first elections to be conducted under newly delimited constituencies. The General Elections 2009 also used these new constituencies.

Breakdown of constituencies
Largest (population): Outer Delhi (3 million)
Smallest (population): Lakshadweep (37,000)
Largest (area): Ladakh (173,000 sq km)
Smallest (area): Chandni Chowk, Delhi (10 sq km)


The Attorney General is the Union Government’s chief legal advisor and is its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court

The Attorney General is the highest law officer in the country

The first Attorney General of independent India was M C Setalvad 1950-1963

The current Attorney General is G E Vahanvati (2009 – present)

 Terms of service

The Attorney General is appointed by the President under Article 76 of the Constitution

To be appointed Attorney General, a candidate must be qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court

 Powers and functions of the Attorney General

The Attorney General gives legal advice to the Government of India

He has the right of audience in all courts in India

The Attorney General can participate in proceedings of the Parliament without the right to vote

The Attorney General appears on behalf of the Government of India in all cases in the Supreme Court

The Attorney General is to be consulted only in legal matters of greatest importance and only after the Ministry of Law has been consulted

All references to the AG are made by the Ministry of Law

The Attorney General cannot appear against the Government of India

The AG cannot defend an accused in criminal proceedings

The AG cannot accept directorship of a company without permission of the government

The AG does not have any executive authority

The Attorney General is assisted by the Solicitor General and four Additional Solicitor Generals

Solicitor General for India

The Solicitor General assists the Attorney General

He is the second highest law officer of the country

The Solicitor General is assisted by four Additional Solicitors General for India

Unlike the Attorney General, the Solicitor General does not give legal advice to the government

The primary responsibility of the Solicitor General is to appear in courts on behalf of the Government of India

The first Solicitor General of independent India was C K Daphtary (1950-1963)

The Advocate General

Each state has an Advocate General, whose position is similar to that of the Attorney General of the Centre

The Advocate General is appointed by the Governor

A person must be qualified to be a Judge of the High Court to be appointed as Advocate General

The Advocate General can participate in proceedings of the state legislature without the right to vote


The Comptroller and Auditor General of India audits all receipts and expenditures of the Union and state governments

The CAG is empowered to audit all revenues and expenditures of the Union and state governments, whether incurred within India or outside

The CAG also acts as the external auditor for government owned companies
The CAG submits his reports to the President (in case of accounts relating to the Union Government) or to the state Governors (for state government accounts)

The reports of the CAG are taken into account by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and state legislatures

The CAG is also the head of the Indian Audits and Accounts Service (IA&AS)

The office of the CAG was established in 1860

The first CAG of India was V Narahari Rao (1948-1954)

The current CAG is Vinod Rai (2008 – present)

 Terms of service

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is appointed by the President
The CAG can only be removed from office in manner similar to a Judge of the Supreme Court

The salary and benefits of the CAG cannot be changed to his disadvantage during his tenure

The CAG is not eligible for further office under the Union of state governments

The expenses of the office of the CAG (including all salaries, allowances, pensions etc) is charged to the Consolidated Fund of India


The UPSC is a constitutional body authorised to conduct exams for appointment to the civil services. It was established under Part XIV of the Constitution

The Constitution provides for a Public Service Commission for the Union and a Public Service Commission for every state

The first Public Service Commission was set up in 1926, with the aim of indigenising the civil services

The Government of India Act 1935 provided for the establishment of a Federal Public Service Commission and Provincial Public Service Commissions

Membership to the Commission

The Chairman and other members of the UPSC are appointed by the President of India

At least half the members are civil servants with at least 10 years experience in Central or state services

The tenure of each member is six years or age 65, whichever is earlier

Members of the UPSC can be removed by the President on charges of misbehaviour, if these charges are upheld by the Supreme Court

Functions of the UPSC

Recruitment to services and posts under the Union Government through conduct of competitive exams

Recruitment to services and posts under the Union Government by direct selection. This type of recruitment is done to fill immediate/irregular job vacancies.

Advice on the suitability of officers for appointment, promotion and transfer

Advice the government on all matters relating to recruitment to various posts and services

Handle disciplinary cases related to different civil services

Friends, I hope this article will help you in your preparation and last but not the least, the main aim is to provide information and complete quality study materials of competitive exams for free. So, feel free to review my materials/ postings. So please feel free to share your views on the topics which are not clear in this blog, the areas which I should concentrate more and any other improvement you want to see in "" so that I can make them available soon. All the Best.

Happy Reading

  Akula. Praveen Kumar, Sub Postmaster, 

   Papannapet SO-502303, Telangana State

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