Question: Is it easy for the central government alone to wake changes in the power sharing structure?
Answer: It is very difficult to make changes to the power sharing arrangements between the union government and state governments due to the following reasons:
- There is clear distinction of power between state and centre through three list system.
- In this arrangement constitution clearly lays down the division of powers between Union and State. So for any changes, it has to go through the amendment procedures which is difficult.
- Here, the centre has a general authority, but the regional or state governments are given autonomy. Therefore, interference in each other’s jurisdiction for any change is difficult.
Question: “Belgium shifted from a unitary to a federal form of government”. What key changes were brought in the political system under the above mentioned shift ?
- Many powers of the central government were given to state governments of the two regions of the country.
- The regional governments were given constitutional powers that were no longer dependent on the central government.
- Apart from the central government and the state government there is a third kind of government known as community government. This government has the power regarding cultural, educational and language related issues.
- Gram Panchayat
- Panchayat Samiti
- Zila Parishad
- It is a council consisting of several ward members, often called the Panch and a president or a Sarpanch.
- A few Gram Panchayat are grouped together to form a Panchayat Samiti or Block or a Mandal.
- All the Panchayat Samitis or Mandals in a district together constitute the Zila Parishad.
- A Mayor is an elected Chairperson of the Municipal Corporation.
Question: Which is the highest tier of the Panchayati Raj? Explain its composition.
Answer: The highest institution of the Panchayati Raj in rural areas is the Zila Parishad. The Zila Parishad coordinates the activities of all the Block Samitis in the whole district. Most members of the Zila Parishad are elected. Members of the Lok Sabha and the MLAs of that district along with some other officials of other district level bodies are also its members. The Zila Parishad’s Chairperson is the political head of the Zila Parishad.
Question: What is a Panchayati Raj? What is its importance?
Answer: The rural local government is known as the Panchayati Raj.
- It helps the people to directly participate in decision-making.
- It helps in the decentralization of power.
- It reduces the burden of the central government.
Question: What is Gram Sabha? Mention its functions.
Answer: Every adult of the village who is 18 years of age constitute the Gram Sabha.
- It is the decision-making body of the entire village.
- The village Panchayat works under the supervision of the Gram Sabha.
- It approves the annual budget of the Gram Panchayat.
Question: Write a short note on centre – state relations?
- Legislative Relations: The Seventh Schedule contains three Lists. The Union List contains items that are in the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament. The State List contains items which are within legislative competence of State Legislatures.
Finally there is a Concurrent List on which both Parliament and States can make laws, but in event of any conflict or overlap, the law made by the Parliament prevails.
- Administrative Relations: The executive power is co-extensive with legislative power. The Constitution has created the mechanism of All India Services, which provides administrative cohesion and efficiency in both Union and the States.
- Financial Relations: Both Centre and States have certain independent sources of income. However, it is the Centre that has access to enormous amounts of funds and thus provides funds to States.
Question: Enlist the major steps towards decentralization taken by Indian government in 1992?
- The condition was amended to make the third tier of democracy more powerful and effective.
- Now it is constitutionally mandatory to hold regular elections to local government bodies.
- Seats are reserved in the elected bodies and the executive heads of these institutions for the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
- At least one third of all positions are reserved for women.
- An independent institution called the State Election Commission.
- The state governments are required to share some powers and revenue with the government bodies.
Question: What is Federalism?
Answer: Federalism is the advocacy of federal political orders, where the final authority is divided between sub-units and a centre. Unlike a unitary state, sovereignty is constitutionally split between at least two territorial levels so that units at each level have final authority and can act independently of the others in some area. In such a case citizens have political obligations to two authorities. The allocation of authority between the sub-unit and centre may vary.
The federal system thus has dual objectives that is to safeguard and promote unity of the country and accommodate regional diversity.
Governments at different levels should agree to some rules of power sharing. An ideal federal system has both aspects; mutual trust and agreement to live together.
Question: What makes India a Federal Country?
Answer: India is a nation with many languages, religions and regions. It emerged as an independent nation after a long and painful partition. Several princely states became a part of the country soon after independence. India was declared as a Union of States, by the Constitution.
The Indian Union is based on the principles of federalism. The Constitution earlier provided a two-tier system of government, the Union Government (Central Government), representing the Union of India and the State governments. Later, Panchayats and Municipalities were added as a third tier of federalism. All these different forms of government enjoy separate jurisdiction.
Question: Write a brief note on village councils.
Answer: Village Councils looked after the affairs of the village, had police and judicial powers and were the lines of contact with higher authorities on matters affecting the villages. Custom and religion elevated them to a sacred position of authority.
These Councils were the pivot of administration, the centre of social life, and, above all, a focus of social solidarity.