1. UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (UPSC)
The composition of the Commission is determined by the President. The UPSC members appointed for a term of 6 yrs, or till they reach 65 yrs of age. The members can resign earlier and the President can also remove them by issuing orders only after the Supreme Court recommends after an inquiry. The UPSC members are not eligible for employment by the government after retirement.
2. COMPTROLLER AUDITOR GENERAL INDIA (CAG)
He is appointed by the President. A person with long administrative experience and knowledge of accounts is appointed. He holds office for 6 yrs or till 65 yrs of age.
The President can remove him only on the recommendation of both the Houses of Parliament (as in the case of a judge of the Supreme Court). He is the guardian of the public purse. Duties He audits the accounts of the Union and the States and ensures that nothing is spent out of the Consolidated Fund of India or of the States without parliamentary sanction or the sanction of the respective State Legislatures.
3. ATTORNEY GENERAL
He occupies the highest legal office of the Union Government.
He is appointed by the President and holds office at the pleasure of the President. Only a person qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme
Court can hold this post.
Duties:He advises the Government of India in legal matters. He has the right to audience in any courts in India can take part in the proceedings of the Parliament and its committees. However, he is not given the right to vote. He is assisted by Solicitor General and four Additional Solicitor Generals.
He holds office at the pleasure of the President. Normally, the incumbent Attorney General resigns whenever a new government is sworn in.
4. ELECTION COMMISSION
The Constitution provides for an independent Election Commission to ensure free and fair election to the Parliament, the state legislature and the offices of President and Vice-President.
Chief Election Commissioner +2 Election Commissioners. They enjoy equal powers.
The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by the President and the other Election Commissioners are appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Election Commissioner.
The Election Commissioners are appointed for a term of 6 years or till the age of 65, whichever is earlier. They are not eligible for re-appointment. Also, they cannot hold any office of profit after retirement.
The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office before completion of his term by the President on the basis of an impeachment motion passed by the Parliament by a special majority for proven misbehaviour or incapacity (same as that of the Judges of the Supreme Court).
The other Election Commissioners may be removed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
The Election Commissioner draws a salary equivalent to the salary drawn by a Judge of the Supreme Court.
First Chief Election Commissioner - Sukumar Sen
The status of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners in terms of salaries and allowances is equivalent to that of the Supreme Court Judges.
If a person is convicted of any offence and is sentenced to imprisonment of 2 years or more, it will disqualify him from contesting elections. If a person acquires the citizenship of a foreign country, he is also debarred from contesting elections. As such, there are around six grounds also called ‘Statutory Disqualifications’ based on which a person can be debarred from contesting elections.
Person in Jail
A person confined in jail does not have the right to vote though he has the right to contest elections.
Right to contest
A person cannot contest from more than two constituencies for a Lok Sabha / Vidhan Sabha election.
Only an association or body of Indian citizens calling itself a political party and wanting to avail itself of the provisions of Part-IV- A of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, is required to get itself registered with the Election Commission. A political party is a recognised political party in a State, if and only if either the conditions specified in Clause (A) are, or the condition specified in Clause (B) is, fulfilled by that party and not otherwise, that is to say-
Conditions for National Party: The total number of valid votes polled by all the contesting candidates of such party is not less than 6% of the total valid votes polled by all the contesting candidates in a General Election.
If a political party is treated as a recognised political party in four or more States, it shall be known as a `National Party’ throughout India.
If a political party is treated as a recognised political party in less than four States, it should be known as a `State Party’.
The Election Commission has recognized 8 political parties as National Parties and 52 political parties as State Parties in different States at the time of General Elections 2019.
POWERS (Article 324)
The Commission enjoys the powers of superintendence, direction and control of the elections to both Houses of Parliament.
The Election Commission of India, inter-alia, is also vested with the following powers:
A. superintendence, direction and control of the elections for the President and Vice-President of India.
B. Conduct of elections to the Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) and the Vidhan Sabhas and the Vidhan Parishads.
C. Preparation of electoral rolls.
Elections are conducted as per the constitutional provisions, supplemented by parliamentary laws. The Representation of the People Act, 1951 deals in detail with all aspects of the conduct of elections and all post-election disputes.
5. FINANCE COMMISSION
The Finance Commission is constituted by the President every five years or at such an early time, as he considers necessary.
It consists of a Chairman and 4 other members. They are eligible for re-appointment. The Chairman is selected from persons who have had experience in public affairs, while the members are selected from the persons who:
The 14th Finance Commission had recommended the sharing of taxes between the states and the centre in the ratio of 42: 58 from an earlier 32:68 ratio recommended by the 13th Finance Commission.
The Terms of Reference and the matters to be considered by the Finance Commission are:
1. (i) the distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes;
(ii) the principles which should govern the grants-in- aid of the revenues of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India and
(iii) the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities in the State on the basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the State.
2. The Commission shall give suggestions to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management Acts currently in force. The 14th Commission report will apply for a period of five years commencing from April 1, 2015.
PANCHAYATI RAJ / LOCAL BODIES
This system has been enacted to ensure direct participation of people at the grass roots level. The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee submitted its report in 1957 in which it recommended:
The 3-tier system of Panchayat Raj was first adopted by Rajasthan in 1959, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal.
Article 120 lays down the official language of the Parliament. It says that the business of the Parliament shall be transacted in Hindi or English.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE UNION
Part XVII of the constitution deals with the Official language of the Union. (Articles 343-351). Hindi in Devanagari was accepted as the Official language of the Union with international form of Indian numerals. English was allowed for 15 years and it was to cease w.e.f. January, 1965. But it was not acceptable to states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry and West Bengal. So English was allowed to be used simultaneously as an Official Language.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE ACT 1963
The Parliament enacted the Official Language Act, 1963 which permitted continued use of English along with Hindi for all official purposes and in Parliament.
PROMOTION OF HINDI
Article 351 provides for spread and development of Hindi language. The ultimate goal is spread and development of Hindi and gradual switchover for official purposes and as a link language.
Besides Hindi, our constitution recognises other languages and the need for their development. These languages are mentioned in the 8 th Schedule. Originally, there were 14 languages in the Eighth Schedule and eight languages were added later byamendments. Currently, the total number of languages in the 8 th Schedule is 22.