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Indian Polity #7



  • 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.
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free

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
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free

  • 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
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free


  • 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
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free

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
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free

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
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free

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 years
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free

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
Keywords: India, ias, upsc, exam, civil service, study material, general studies, Indian polity, free

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


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13.0 Learning Outcome

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Initiatives towards Constitutional Status to Local Governance

13.2.1 Features of 73rd Constitutional Amendment

13.2.2 Features of 74th Constitutional Amendment

13.2.3 Decentralised Planning in Context of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act

13.3 Initiatives after Economic Reforms

13.4 Functioning of PRIs in Various States after 73rd Amendment

13.5 Functioning of Local Governance after 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment: Observations

13.6 Conclusion

13.7 Key Concepts

13.8 References and Further Reading

13.9 Activities


After studying this Unit you should be able to:

• Identify the background of revitalisation of local governance;

• Understand the features of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment;

• Discuss the initiatives after economic reforms; and

• Outlines the functioning of local governance in various states after the amendment.


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Ans. In terms of their scope and effect, these terms have specific connotations. The effect of Pardon is to abolish punishment and to absolve the convict of all charges. If Pardon is granted, it is assured as if the convict has not committed any crime. The convict will not face any disabilities due to the allegations and charges made against him. ‘Remission’ means reducing the punishment without changing the nature of punishment. For example, the imprisonment for 20 years may be reduced to the imprisonment for 10 years. ‘Commutation’ means reducing the punishment by changing the nature of punishment. For example, punishment to death may be changed to life imprisonment. ‘Respite’ means reducing or changing the nature of punishment in view of the specific facts and circumstances of the convict. For example, the punishment to death awarded to a pregnant woman, may be changed to simple life imprisonment. Respite means delay in execution of punishment especially that of death, in order to …

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Constitutional evolution under British ruleRegulating Act 1773beginning of British parliamentary control over the East India Companysubordination of the presidencies of Bombay and Madras to BengalGovernor of Bengal made Governal-Generalcouncil of Governor-General establishedSupreme Court established in CalcuttaPitt’s India Act 1784commercial and political activities of the Company separatedestablished a board of control over the CompanyCharter Act 1813trade monopoly of the Company abolishedmissionaries allowed to preach in IndiaCharter Act 1833Governor-General of Bengal becomes Governor-General of Indiafirst Governor-General Lord William Bentickends commercial activities of the CompanyCharter Act 1853legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s council separatedopen competition for Indian Civil Services establishedIndian Council Act 1861establishes legislative councils at the centre, presidencies and provincesGovernor-General’s executive council to have Indians as non…