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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 31 May 2019
  • A fuel cell is a device that converts chemical potential energy (energy stored in molecular bonds) into electrical energy. A PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) cell uses hydrogen gas (H2 ) and oxygen gas (O2 ) as fuel. The products of the reaction in the cell are water, electricity, and heat.


Regarding Indian Political System

  • India Is A Quasi - Federation Like USA Not Like Canada
  • Indian Constitution Followed Irish Constitution For List System Of Power Sharing
  • India Became A Republic On August 15th 1947.

Choose The Correct Options :

(A) Only 1

(B) 1,2 & 3

(C) None

(D) Only 3

  • Quasifederal , or Federal with strong bias towards centre

Constitution of India has not described India as a federation.

  • Article 1 of the Constitution describes India as a “Union of States.” This means, India is a union comprising of various States which are integral parts of it.
  • The Indian Union is not destructible. Here, the States can not break away from the union. They do not have the right to secede from the union.
  • In a true federation, the constituting units or the States have the freedom to come out of the union.
  • India is not a true federation. It combines the features of a federal government and the features of a unitary government which can also be called the nonfederal features. Because of this, India is regarded as a semi-federal state.
  • The Supreme Court of India also describes it as “a federal structure with a strong bias towards the Centre”.
  • The Centre exercises control over the States. The States have to respect the laws made by the central government and can not make any law on matters on which there is already a central law.
  • The centre can also give directions to the States which they must carry out.
  • In a true federation, the upper house of the legislature has equal representation from the constituting units or the States. But in our Rajya Sabha, the States do not have equal representation.
  • The populous States have more representatives in the Rajya Sabha than the less populous States.
  • The upper house of the Indian Parliament, that is, the Rajya Sabha is not properly representative of all the States of Indian union.
  • In India, the existence of a State or a federating unit depends upon the authority of the Centre. The boundary of a State can be changed by created out of the existing States.
  • In a true federal state, citizens are given dual citizenship. First, they are the citizens of their respective provinces or States and then they are the citizens of the federation. In India however, the citizens enjoy single citizenship, i.e., Indian citizenship or citizenship of the country as a whole.
  • Seccession argument:
  • The states are not a creation of the parliament but of the constitution and therefore have independent existence from the union.
  • Article 1 of the constitution says that india is a union of states, clearly recognizing the existence and position of the states in the setup. It is very important since the country itself is defined through the states.
  • Some have also interpreted this the other way to say that since it is a union of states which means that the states are not free to secede it cannot be considered a federation.
  • But one must note that there is no federation in the world where the states are allowed to secede constitutionally(even in the us).Such a provision would qualify it as a confederation(like the european union) rather than as a federation.
  • Division of powers:
  • It is pointed out by many that the states only have very limited powers and that most “important” powers reside with the union and therefore it cannot be a fedearation.
  • But one must note that division of powers is not considered to define what constitutes a federation but rather the legal position of the constituents vis-a-vis the federal government in the constititon.
  • Therefore, just because the union has more powers does not mean that the system is not federal.Thats not the definition of a federation.
  • Moreover, the states have some important powers such as powers over land, local governments, police, public order etc. among others which are important areas of legislation especially, police and public order.
  • In federations such as russia and malaysia police is controlled by the federal government. there are countries that are considered federations but the constituents have similar or less powers than states in india eg. austria, malaysia, canada etc
  • Revenue :
  • The third argument is that the source of revenue for the states is limited and therefore it is not truly a federation.
  • In india the states and the union have separate non-overlapping channels of tax sources, in addition to the taxes that the states themselves levy and collect, the central govt makes transfer payments to the states on a range of taxes it levies and/or collects.
  • States in countries like australia which is considered a true federation and malaysia also mostly rely on transfer payments from the federal govt for their source of revenue.
  • Representation of states: That the states are not equally represented in the upper house unlike in say the US where each state has equal representations. but in canada and germany which are federations the states dont have equal representation as well.
  • Many such other arguments can also be countered and one can see that many other federations share some of those oddities as well.
  • But then again there are certain features in the constitution like the appointment of the governor by the president instead of being elected directly/indirectly by the people of the state, lack of constitutions for the state and a unitary judiciary which are not federal characteristics and are not found in other federations . Even unitary nations such as spain and South Africa allow its constituents to have a constitution.
  • So as i said it is difficult to say whether it is federal or not, Certainly it cant be called a unitary system. It seems like the constitution has been written in such a way that the system has been put on the verge of being a federation but the makers did not go thru and make it a true federation bt one that has a lot of “federal characteristics”.


  • 1st committee for Panchayati Raj system was L.M. Singhvi Committee
  • PRIs get funds from State finance commission only
  • Since 73rd amendment PRIs are present in all states and Union territories

Choose correct :

(A) 1 & 2

(B) 2 & 3

(C) All

(D) None

Various committees on Panchayati Raj:

  • Balwant Rai Mehta: established 1957
  • V.T. Krishnammachari: 1960
  • Takhatmal Jain Study Group: 1966
  • Ashok Mehta Committee: 1978
  • G.V.K. Rao Committee: 1985
  • Dr. L.M. Singhvi Committee: 1986
  • P. K. Thoongan committee: 1988
  • In India, the Panchayati Raj now functions as a system of governance in which gram panchayats are the basic units of local administration.
  • The system has three levels:
  • Gram Panchayat (village level),
  • Mandal Parishad or Block Samiti or Panchayat Samiti(block level), and
  • Zila Parishad (district level).
  • It was formalized in 1992 by the 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution
  • The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee, headed by MP Balwantrai Mehta, was a committee appointed by the Government of India in January 1957 to examine the work of the Community Development Programme (1952) and the National Extension Service (1953), to suggest measures to improve their work.
  • The committee's recommendation of the committee by NDC in January 1958, and this set the stage for the launching of Panchayati Raj Institutions throughout the country. The committee recommended the establishment of the scheme of ‘democratic decentralization’, which finally came to be known as Panchayati Raj.
  • The Panchayats receive funds from three sources:
  • Local body grants, as recommended by the Central Finance Commission
  • Funds for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes
  • Funds released by the state governments on the recommendations of the State Finance Commissions
  • In the history of Panchayati Raj, in India, on 24 April 1993, the Constitutional (73rd Amendment) Act 1992 came into force to provide constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions.
  • This act was extended to Panchayats in the tribal areas of eight states, namely: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan beginning on 24 December 1996.
  • Currently, the Panchayati Raj system exists in all states except Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, and in all Union Territories except Delhi.

 In Tripura, Panchyat Raj System exists.

  • But, in Nagaland Meghalaya & Mizoram there are no any Panchyat Raj as because they exempted under Article 243M(2) and also enjoying Special Constitutional Provision under Article 371A, 371B, 371C,371F,371G,371H by the Constitution of India. The Following states having autonomous districts & Councils formed Under Sixth Schedule of Constitution, thereby these areas are ruled by self-govt. So there are no any Panchyati Raj System.
  • A Panchayat Samiti (block panchayat) is a local government body at the tehsil level. This body works for the villages of the tehsil that together are called a "development block".
  • The Panchayat Samiti is the link between the Gram Panchayat and the district administration. Just as the tehsil goes by other names in various parts of India, notably mandal and taluka, there are a number of variations in nomenclature for the block panchayat.
  • For example, it is known as Mandal Praja Parishad in Andhra Pradesh, Taluka Panchayat in Gujarat and Karnataka, and Panchayat Samiti in Maharashtra. In general, the block panchayat has the same form as the gram panchayat but at a higher level.
  • Constituency
  • Membership in the block panchayat is mostly ex-official; it is composed of: all of the Sarpanchas (gram panchayat chairmen) in the Panchayat Samiti area, the MPs and MLAs of the area, the sub-district officer (SDO) of the subdivision, co-opt members (representatives of the SC/ST and women), associate members (a farmer from the area, a representative of the cooperative societies and one from marketing services), and some elected members.
  • The Panchayat Samiti is elected for a term of five years and is headed by a chairman and a deputy chairman


  • The common departments in the Samiti are as follows:
  • General Administration
  • Finance
  • Public Works
  • Agriculture
  • Health
  • Education
  • Social Welfare
  • Information Technology
  • Water Supply Department
  • Animal Husbandry and others
  • There is an officer for every department. A government-appointed Block Development Officer (BDO) is the executive officer to the Samiti and the chief of its administration, and is responsible for his work to the CEO of ZP.
  • Functions
  • Implementation of schemes for the development of agriculture and infrastructure
  • Establishment of primary health centres and primary schools
  • Supply of drinking water, drainage and construction/repair of roads
  • Development of a cottage and small-scale industries, and the opening of cooperative societies
  • Establishment of youth organisations

District level panchayat

  • The governing of the advance system at the district level in panchayat raj is also popularly known as zila parishad. The chief of administration is an officer of the IAS cadre. And chief officer of the panchayat raj for the district level
  • Composition
  • The membership varies from 40 to 60 and usually comprises- deputy commissioner of the district.
  • Presidents of all panchayat samitis in the district, and
  • Heads of all government departments in the district;
  • Members of parliament and members of legislative assemblies in the district;
  • A representative of each cooperative society ;
  • Some women and scheduled caste members if not adequately represented; and co-opted members having extraordinary experience and achievements in public service.
  • Zila Panchayats are Panchayats at Apex or District Level in Panchayat Raj Institutions (or PRIs).
  • The 73rd Amendment is about Governments' (which are also known as Panchayati Raj Institutions or PRIs)
  • Panchayat at District(or apex) Level
  • Panchayat at Intermediate Level
  • Panchayat at Base Level
  • The Zila Panchayat or District Council or Zilla Parishad or District Panchayat, is the third tier of the Panchayati Raj system.
  • Zila Parishad is an elected body.
  • Block Pramukh (president) of Panchayat Samiti (Block) are also represented in Zila Parishad.
  • The members of the State Legislature and the members of the Parliament of India are members of the Zila Parishad.


  • All persons whose names are included in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of a village panchayat shall be deemed to be constituted as Grama Sabha of such village
  • Gram sabha will shall place before the Sarpanch a report relating to the developmental programmes relating to the constituency during the previous year and these that are proposed to by undertaken during the current year
  • Grama Sabha shall meet at least once in 6 months at the place fixed by the Village Panchayat

Choose correct

(A) 1 & 2

(B) 1 & 3

(C) 2 & 3

(D) 1 only

  • Grama Sabha
  • For the purpose of this chapter, each constituency of village panchayat may be specified as a village under clause (g) of article 243.
  • All persons whose names are included in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of a village panchayat shall be deemed to be constituted as Grama Sabha of such village.
  • Grama Sabha shall meet at least once in three months at the place fixed by the Village Panchayat and to such meetings, the convenor of the Village Panchayat shall, compulsorily invite the member of the Block Panchayat, the District Panchayat and the Legislative Assembly representing the area of the Grama Sabha. Provided that the Convenor shall, on a request in writing made by not less than ten percent of the members of any Grama Sabha, convene a special meeting of the Grama Sabha within fifteen days with the agenda given along with the request. Provided further that such special meeting shall be convened only once within the period between two general meetings
  • The member of a village panchayat representing the constituency comprised in the area of a village shall be the convenor of that Grama Sabha; however due to any reason, physical or otherwise, the convenor is unable to perform his functions as such, the President may appoint a member representing any adjacent constituency as the convenor.
  • Every meeting of the Grama Sabha shall be presided over by the President of the village panchayat or in his absence the vice-president or in the absence of both of them by the convenor of Grama Sabhas.
  • The village panchayat shall place before the Grama Sabha a report relating to the developmental programmes relating to the constituency during the previous year and these that are proposed to by undertaken during the current year, and the expenditure therefore, the annual statement of accounts and the administration report of the preceding year. If in any circumstances, any decision of the grama sabha could not be implemented, the president shall report the reason therefore, before the Grama Sabha.
  • The village panchayats, the block panchayats and the district panchayats shall give due consideration to the recommendations and suggestions, if any, of the Grama Sabha.


Choose correct options regarding gram nyayalayas :

  • Objective is to provide inexpensive justice to people in rural areas at their homes
  • its presiding officer (Nyayadhikari) is appointed by the high court in consultation with the state govt.
  • A Gram Nyayalaya is established for every Panchayat at village level or a group of contiguous Panchayats at intermediate level in a district.

(A) Only2

(B) 1 & 3

(C) All

(D) none

  • Gram nyayalayas act 2008 had into force on october 2, 2009.
  • The gram nyayalayas act, 2008 has been enacted to provide for the establishment of the gram nyayalayas at the grass roots level for the purpose of providing access to justice to the citizens at their door steps. Here are some important points, which you have to note down:
  • Objective is to provide inexpensive justice to people in rural areas at their doorsteps. But
  • Doorsteps do not mean that court will come to the home of the parties. It means that it is available at panchayat level and dispose the work by going to the villages
  • Each Gram Nyayalaya is a court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class and its presiding officer (Nyayadhikari) is appointed by the State Government in consultation with the High Court. (Please note that in regular civil / judicial courts, the High Court itself makes appointments)
  • A Gram Nyayalaya is established for every Panchayat at intermediate level or a group of contiguous Panchayats at intermediate level in a district.
  • Seat of the Gram Nyayalaya is located at the headquarters of the intermediate Panchayat, they go to villages, work there and dispose of the cases.
  • The judges who preside the Grama Nyayalaya are strictly judicial officers. They draw the same salary, deriving the same powers as First Class Magistrates working under High Courts.
  • A Grama Nyayalaya is a mobile court and exercises the powers of both Criminal and Civil Courts.
  • Gram Nyayalaya try criminal cases, civil suits, claims or disputes which are specified in the First Schedule and the Second Schedule to the Act. These are summarized as below:
  • Offences not punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years.
  • Theft as well as receiving or retaining stolen property, where the value of the property stolen does not exceed rupees twenty thousand
  • Offences related to central acts such as payment of wages, minimum wages, Protection of civil rights, Bonded labour, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act etc.
  • Offences under states acts which are notified by each state government.
  • Civil and Property suits such as use of common pasture, water channels, farms, right to draw water from a well or tube well etc.
  • The first schedule and second schedule of the Gram Nyayalaya act can be amended by both the central and state governments.
  • Each Gram Nyayalaya exercises the power of a Civil Court with some modification such as special procedure as mentioned in the act.
  • The primary focus of the Gram Nyayalaya is to bring about conciliation between the parties.
  • The judgment and order passed by the Gram Nyayalaya is deemed to be a decree.
  • A Gram Nyayalaya is not be bound by the rules of evidence provided in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 but is guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to any rule made by the High Court.
  • A Gram Nyayalaya is not be bound by the rules of evidence provided in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 but is guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to any rule made by the High Court.
  • An appeal against a judgement of the Gram Nyayalaya is taken forward as follows:
  • Session Courts in case of criminal case
  • District courts in case of civil cases