Policies, Governance and Administration | UGC NET Paper 1

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The topic “Policies, Governance and Administration” is not a new topic of Higher Education System. The only change is the word from “Polity” to “Policies” on revised UGC NET syllabus of Paper 1. The Policies, Governance and Administration of India are run by the Constitution of India.

Policies, Governance, and Administration – Basics of Indian Constitution

The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens.

The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules and 104 amendments.

But the Indian Constitution has 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules at the time of commencement. Besides the English version, there is an official Hindi translation.

Various Subject Committees like the Committee on Fundamental Rights and Union Constitution Committee had submitted their respective proposals and after a general discussion on all the proposals, a Drafting Committee chaired by Dr. BR Ambedkar was appointed. The Drafting Committee had the full authority to add, modify or delete any of the proposals submitted by the committees. The finalized draft of the Indian Constitution got the signature of the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajender Prasad on Nov 26, 1949, which is referred to as the Date of Passing. Since the Constituent Assembly, which finalized the Constitution was duly elected by means of indirect election by the people of India, The Constitution of India derives its authority from the people of India. The Constitution was thus enacted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950. The date 26 January was chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930. With its adoption, the Union of India officially became the modern and contemporary Republic of India and it replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document.

The Indian Constitution has borrowed heavily from other constitutions of the world and can be called a “beautiful patchwork”.

Some of the prominent features which have been borrowed are as under:

Feature Source / Inspiration
1.Fundamental RightsUSA
2.The Parliamentary System of GovernmentUK
3.Directive Principles of State PolicyIreland (Eire)
4.Emergency ProvisionsGermany (Third Reich)
5.Amendment ProcedureSouth Africa
6.Preamble to The Constitution of IndiaFrance
7.Federal Model of GovernanceCanada

Structure: The Constitution, in its current form, consists of a preamble, 25 parts containing 448 articles, 12 schedules, 2 appendices and 104 amendments.

The Preamble: The draft of the Preamble was prepared by Jawaharlal Nehru and is based on the American model. The 42nd Amendment added the words “Secular and Socialist” and now the preamble reads as follows:

“We the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens:

Justice; social, economic and political;

Liberty; of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

Equality; of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all;

Fraternity; assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation;

In our Constituent Assembly, November 26, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution”.

The Preamble is, technically, not a part of the Constitution (and this has been confirmed by the SC also), but it contains the basic philosophy of the whole Constitution and the ideals of the constitution-makers. It can be used by the Courts to help them in the interpretation of the Constitution in certain matters where the Constitution itself is silent.

Part I – Union and its Territory
Part II– Citizenship.
Part III – Fundamental Rights.
Part IV – Directive Principles of State Policy
Part IVA – Fundamental Duties.
Part V – The Union.
Part VI – The States.
Part VII – States in the B part of the First schedule (Repealed).
Part VIII– The Union Territories
Part IX – The Panchayats.
Part IXA – The Municipalities.
Part IXB – The Cooperative Societies
Part X – The scheduled and Tribal Areas
Part XI – Relations between the Union and the States.
Part XII – Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits
Part XIII – Trade and Commerce within the territory of India
Part XIV – Services Under the Union, the States.
Part XIVA – Tribunals.
Part XV – Elections
Part XVI – Special Provisions Relating to certain Classes.
Part XVII – Languages
Part XVIII – Emergency Provisions
Part XIX – Miscellaneous
Part XX – Amendment of the Constitution
Part XXI – Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions
Part XXII – Short title, date of commencement, Authoritative text in Hindi and Repeals

PartArticleArticles of the Constitution Deals with
Part IArticles 1-4Territory of India, admission, establishment or formation of new states
Part IIArticles 5-11Citizenship
Part IIIArticles 12-35Fundamental Rights
Part IVArticles 36-51Directive Principles of State Policy
Part IV AArticle 51-ADuties of a citizen of India. It was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976
Part VArticles 52-151Government at the Union level
Part VIArticles 152-237Government at the State level
Part VIIArticle 238Deals with states in Part B of the First Schedule. It was repealed by 7th Amendment in 1956
Part VIIIArticles 239-241Administration of Union Territories
Part IXArticle 242-243Territories in Part D of the First Schedule and other territories. It was repealed by 7th Amendment in 1956
Part XArticles 244-244 AScheduled and tribal areas
Part XIArticles 245-263Relations between the Union and States
Part XIIArticles 264-300Finance, property, contracts and suits
Part XIIIArticles 301-307Trade, commerce and travel within the territory of India
Part XIVArticles 308-323Services under the Union and States
Part XIV-AArticles 323A-323BAdded by the 42nd Amendment in 1976 and deals with administrative tribunals to hear disputes and other Complaints
Part XVArticles 324-329Election and Election Commission
Part XVIArticles 330-342Special provision to certain classes ST/SC and Anglo Indians
Part XVIIArticles 343-351Official languages
Part XVIIIArticles 352-360Emergency provisions
Part XIXArticles 361-367Miscellaneous provision regarding exemption of the President and governors from criminal proceedings
Part XXArticle 368Amendment of Constitution
Part XXIArticles 369-392Temporary, transitional and special provisions
Part XXIIArticles 393-395Short title, commencement and repeal of the Constitution

The Federal System

Article 1 of the Indian Constitution describes India as a “Union of States”. The term “Union” implies that:

  1. The Indian federation is not the result of a voluntary agreement by the states themselves. As is well known, after India’s independence, more than 550 states were integrated into the Union of India by the then Home Minister, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, leading to his being branded as the “Iron Man of India”. So, their inclusion in India is purely involuntary.
  2. The components of the Indian Union have no freedom to secede from it. (unlike the erstwhile USSR or the present-day USA where such freedom was/is vested in the states).

The Indian federal system is unique in the sense that in spite of its being a federal set-up, it still does not have many features characteristic of a typical federal set-up (like the USA). In general, the Indian set-up has been mostly described as quasifederal or semifederal due to the fact that the balance of power tilts heavily in favour of the Centre i.e. the states enjoy comparatively lesser powers in most spheres as compared with the Centre.

Territory of the Union

The territory of India comprises the entire geographical territory over which the sovereignty of India, for the time being, prevails. On the other hand, the Union of India includes only those component units, i.e., the states, which share power with the Centre. The UTs are centrally administered areas governed by the President acting through an Administrator appointed by him. As on date, the territory of India consists of 28 states, 7 UTs and 1 National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT- Delhi is neither a full state nor a UT). India is a federal constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system consisting of 28 states and 7 union territories. All states, as well as the union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments, both patterned on the Westminster model. A newly created UT, Jammu & Kashmir will also have legislatures and governments. The remaining five union territories are directly ruled by the Centre through appointed administrators. In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were reorganised on a linguistic basis. Making use of this provision, several landmark changes have been brought about in the political composition of the Indian territory, some of which are found in the table below:
1 States Reorganization Act, 1956 Andhra, Kerala formed (Andhra-first state on linguistic basis)
2 Bombay Reorganization Act, 1960 Gujarat, Maharashtra born as new states
3 The Panjab Reorganization Act, 1966 Panjab, Haryana and Chandigarh created
4 Mysore State Act, 1973 The name Mysore changed to Karnataka
5 State of Mizoram Act, 1986 Mizoram, earlier a UT, made a State
6 State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986 Arunachal Pradesh elevated to statehood
7 Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganization Act, 1987 Goa made a state

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental rights are the basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India which are guaranteed to all citizens. They are applicable without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, caste, gender, etc. Significantly, fundamental rights are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain conditions.

These rights are called fundamental rights because of two reasons:

  1. They are enshrined in the Constitution which guarantees them.
  2. They are justiciable (enforceable by courts). In case of a violation, a person can approach a court of law.

The Fundamental Rights were Seven when the constitution of India was enacted, but one right was removed later.

  • Right to equality (Article 14-18)
  • Right to freedom (Article 19-22)
  • Right against exploitation (Article 23-24)
  • Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25-28)
  • Cultural & educational rights (Articles 29-30)
  • Right to Property (Article 31) (It was removed later)
  • Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32).

Six Fundamental Rights

There are six fundamental rights mentioned in the Indian Constitution. They are listed below:

1. Right to equality (Articles 14-18)

2. Right to freedom (Articles 19-22)

3. Right against exploitation (Articles 23-24)

4. Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25-28)

5. Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29-30)

6. Right to constitutional remedies (Articles 32-35)

What is a Writ?

Writs are written order issued by the Supreme Court of India to provide constitutional remedies in order to protect the fundamental rights of citizens from a violation.

Type of Writs

The Constitution empowers the Supreme Court and High Courts to issue orders or writs. The types of writs are followings:

  • Habeas Corpus
  • Certiorari
  • Prohibition
  • Mandamus
  • Quo Warranto

Fundamental Duties

The fundamental duties which were added by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976, in addition to creating and promoting culture, also strengthen the hands of the legislature in enforcing these duties vis-a-vis the fundamental rights.

The list of 11 Fundamental Duties under article 51-A to be obeyed by every Indian citizen is given below:

The President

At the head of the Union Executive stands the President of India, who is elected by indirect election i.e. by an electoral college, in accordance with the system of proportional representation by a single transferable vote.

This electoral college comprises –

  1. Elected members of both Houses of Parliament
  2. Elected members of State Legislative Assemblies

Eligibility Conditions:

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Different Powers:

The Union Council of Ministers

While the Prime Minister is selected by the President, all other ministers are appointed by him on the advice of the Prime Minister. While selecting a Prime Minister, the President is restricted to the leader of the majority party at the Centre or the person who is in a position to form a government and prove is majority later on. The allocation of portfolios to the Ministers is also done by the President as per the Prime Ministerial advice.

The PM is at the head of the Council of Ministers and the Council cannot continue to exist in the event of resignation or death of the Prime Minister.

The State Executive

The normal office term of a Governor is 5 years, terminable earlier by resignation to the President or dismissal by the President.

The Indian Judicial System

Supreme Court

A Guarantor of The Constitution: The Supreme Court is the final interpreter the Constitution and Other laws. It tries to ensure adherence to both and thus acts a guarantor of individual rights in India granted by the law and the Constitution.

The High Courts

A High Court stands at the head of the judiciary in each state. But the Parliament has the power to establish a common High Court for two or more states (like the common HC for the North-Eastern states). A High Court comprises a Chief Justice and a number of other Judges, as may be decided by the President.

The HC enjoys the jurisdiction over the territorial limits of the state and has the power of superintendence and control over all Courts and Tribunals in that area.

In order to be appointed an HC Judge, a person must

The mode of removal of both SC and HC Judges is the same i.e. impeachment by Parliament and both hold office during “good behaviour”. Both categories of Judges, in addition to a monthly salary, are entitled to the use of an official residence, free of cost.

Some Important Political Terms

Lame-duck Government: Is defined as that government which has lost the motion of no-confidence in the Lok Sabha and does not have the constitutional authority to run the government. Still, on being asked by the President, such a government has to continue until alternative arrangements are made. Such a government is referred to as a lame-duck government.

Left Parties: Are those parties that adopt a radical political ideology. For instance, the CPI, CPI(M) and RSP etc.

Zero Hour: That time during parliamentary proceedings in the day when any matter of urgent national importance without any prior notice.

Starred Question: Those the answers to which are given orally by the Minister concerned in the


The study material for policies, governance, and administration are in brief and covered important topics. We advise you to read some other books or related topics on the internet. The syllabus is vast and can not be summarised in limited words or sentences.

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