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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Indian Polity #7

THE STATE EXECUTIVE

THE GOVERNOR OF A STATE
Overview

  • 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

POWERS OF THE GOVERNOR
  • 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

THE STATE LEGISLATURE
Overview

  • 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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