Model Answers to PYQs (2018-2023)
1] The role of the President of India becomes more significant during a minority government and a coalition government. Explain. [2021/15m/200w/6b]
In the Indian setup, the myth of a President being just a rubber stamp gets falsified during a minority government and a coalition government.
In a situation where no single party or alliance has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, the President plays a crucial role in appointing the Prime Minister. The President must assess the available options and appoint a Prime Minister who is most likely to enjoy the support of a majority in the Lok Sabha. This decision becomes particularly important in the context of a minority or coalition government, where the support of multiple parties is necessary for the government to function.
In the case of a minority or coalition government, the President may need to mediate negotiations between different parties or alliances to form a stable government. The President may consider factors such as the number of seats each party or alliance holds, their past records, and their ability to garner support from other parties in order to arrive at a decision regarding government formation.
The President also possesses certain discretionary powers that become more significant in the context of a minority or coalition government. For example, the President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha and call for fresh elections if no government can be formed or if the existing government loses a vote of confidence. This power can be critical in situations where a government lacks stability or support. The President also has the power to promulgate ordinances, which can be particularly relevant in a situation where the government faces challenges in passing legislation through the Parliament.
The President, as the highest constitutional authority, may also provide guidance or advice to the government, especially in matters where constitutional provisions or norms need to be upheld. She also acts as a neutral arbiter or facilitate negotiations between different parties to maintain stability and ensure smooth governance.
So, in a minority or coalition government, the President of India assumes a more active and influential role in matters of government formation, stability, decision-making, and dispute resolution. [341 words]
2] Has the thrust of government tilted towards executive in contemporary Indian Politics? Give your arguments. [2020/15m/200w/7b]
Lately, there has been controversy over the hastily passing of bills in the parliament, without any proper discussion, one example being the farm laws. Activists have complained that the Parliament has been reduced to a site for procedural formalities, and the Lok Sabha appears to be an extension of the executive, rather than a mechanism for its accountability.
This tendency is due to the executive having a majority in the legislature which has made it easy to pass laws with the appropriate majority. But there are a few inherent ways that overpower the executive. For instance; the executive can pass important legislations through the Money bill route or even use the route of the ordinance. Recently Aadhar Act was passed like this to bypass the scrutiny of Upper House.
Moreover, the low ratio of the passage of Private members’ bills also points towards the tilt. Recently, important policy decisions were taken without discussing them in Parliament, the most crucial being the announcement of demonetization.
This truncation of the role of Parliament in the face of single-party dominance is further facilitated by the poor understanding of the role of the parliamentary opposition in Indian politics. Once the competition for people’s votes is over, it goes, the losers should step aside, respect the democratic mandate, and let the government do its job. The opposition may question the government like ordinary citizens, or prepare for the next election, but should not meddle in governance.
Thus various factors have contributed to the tilt towards executives in contemporary Indian politics. [255 words]
3] The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has emerged as the most powerful institution in India. Discuss. [2019/15m/200w/8b]
The PMO, as the office of the Prime Minister, serves as the nerve centre for policy formulation, decision-making, and implementation. The Prime Minister’s authority and control over key ministries and departments give the PMO significant power and influence over the functioning of the government.
The PMO plays a vital role in formulating policies and coordinating their implementation across various ministries and departments. It acts as a hub for inter-ministerial coordination and ensures coherence in government policies. The PMO’s involvement in policy matters can streamline decision-making and expedite the implementation process.
The PMO also acts as a key source of information and analysis, helping the Prime Minister make informed decisions on important matters. The PMO’s involvement often extends beyond routine administrative matters to crucial policy decisions. Moreover, it also serves as a bridge between the political leadership and the bureaucracy.
Most significantly, the PMO assumes a central role in crisis management and national security issues. It coordinates responses to emergencies, manages inter-agency collaboration, and guides the government’s actions during critical situations. Lastly, the PMO plays a crucial role in shaping India’s foreign policy and managing diplomatic relations with other countries.
The assertion that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has emerged as the most powerful institution in India undoubtedly stands true due to the significant role it plays in the smallest to largest policy-making. However, it is important to note that the power and influence of the PMO can vary depending on the individual occupying the Prime Minister’s position, the political context, and the dynamics within the government. [256 words]
4] Do the lieutenant governors have more power than the governor of the states? Explain. [2018/15m/200w/6b]
The Lt. Governor, like the Governor, can act as a titular head of the Union Territory. However, the powers of a Lt. Governor are wider than that of a Governor in a few instances. The Governor shall be regarded as the constitutional head of their respective States, while the Lt. Governor shall be regarded as an administrator of the UT and not a constitutional head.
Currently, five of the eight Union Territories, i.e., Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi, J&K, Ladakh and Puducherry, have Lt. Governors. Their powers have been enshrined in the constitution to ensure checks and balances for the state government and their functioning. Thus, Governors exist in the states of India, while Lt. Governors preside over five UTs.
Both the Governor and the Lt. Governor possess executive, legislative, financial, and judicial powers, which are more or less analogous to the powers of the President of India, as the same has been decided in the case of State of U.P. v. Babu Ram Upadhya.
In an observation made in November 2017, the Supreme Court said that the Lt. Governor of Delhi has more powers than the Governor of a State — he does not have to listen to the advice of the Council of Ministers.
In the case of Delhi, since portfolios like land, police and public order fall under the domain of the centre, of which the Lt. Governor is a representative, he holds more powers than a Governor.
The post of Governor and Lt governor has always been the subject of controversy in the Indian federal setting and they are accused of being the agent of central governments who try to distort an unfavourable state government. But these seats are important as they provide continuity and a link between the two levels of the government. [296 words]
The post contains answers to the last 6-year papers i.e. (2023-2018). Answers to the previous year questions from 2013-2017 are a part of our book PSIR Optional Model Answers to PYQs (2013-2022)