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Executive in a Parliamentary System: NBSE Class 11 Political Science

Executive in a Parliamentary System nbse 11
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Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 11 Political Science Chapter 13: Executive in a Parliamentary System. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.

Introduction

The Executive, a crucial organ of the government, is responsible for the implementation of laws and policies made by the legislature. It comprises two types: the Political Executive, which includes the Head of the State and Heads of the Governmental Departments, and the Permanent Executive, which consists of the whole body of appointed officers, including those who belong to All-India Services, Central Services, and State Services.

In India, the President, as the Head of the State, holds a significant position. Elected by members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies, the President exercises various powers, including executive, military, diplomatic, legislative, judicial, and emergency powers. However, the President’s role is primarily nominal or constitutional, with discretionary powers exercised under certain circumstances.

The Prime Minister, on the other hand, is the real Executive Head of the State. The Prime Minister’s position is pre-eminent in the government, especially when his party commands a clear majority in the State Legislature. The Prime Minister is responsible for appointing the Council of Ministers, ensuring representation from all major communities and geographical regions of the country. The Council of Ministers, collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly, exercises executive, legislative, and financial powers.

The Governor, another key figure in the State governmental system, acts in two capacities: as the normal Constitutional Head of the State and as a Representative of the Central Government in the State. The Governor exercises certain discretionary powers and plays a crucial role in the administration of Tribal Areas in certain states.

The Chief Minister, the pivot of the State Administration, is appointed by the Governor and holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. The Chief Minister’s position becomes imposing when his party commands a clear majority in the State Legislature. The Chief Minister is responsible for leading the Council of Ministers and ensuring the implementation of government policies.

Textual questions and answers

A. Long answer questions

1. With reference to the powers of the President of India briefly explain the following:

(a) Executive Powers

Answer: The Constitution says that the “executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President”. The Prime Minister is to be appointed by the President and the other Ministers are appointed by him on the advice of the Prime Minister. The President appoints the Attorney General of India, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, the judges of the Supreme Court and those of the High Courts, the Governors and Ambassadors.

(b) Legislative Powers

Answer: The President is an integral part of the Union Parliament. The President has the power to summon and prorogue the Houses of Parliament and to dissolve the Lok Sabha. The President addresses both Houses of Parliament assembled together at the first session after each General Election and at the commencement of the first session each year. Besides, the President is empowered to address either House or their joint sitting at any time. Every Bill to become law requires President’s assent. The President may give assent to the Bill or may refuse the assent. President can also send it back for reconsideration, if it is not a Money Bill. In case the Bill is passed again by both Houses of Parliament with or without amendment, the President must give his assent thereto. The most important power of the President is the power to promulgate Ordinance under Article 123. The Ordinance has the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament.

(c) Judicial Powers

Answer: The President has the power to grant pardon or reduce the punishment that a person receives. A pardon may be absolute as well as conditional. The pardoning power “exists to afford relief from undue harshness.” The President is not answerable to any Court for the exercise of the powers and duties of his office. No criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the President in any Court during his term of office.

2. Describe the Discretionary powers of the President of India. (Or) Situations may arise when the President may use his discretion to act as he thinks right. In this context mention any three situations when President shall have authority to use his Judgement to decide what to do.

Answer: The Discretionary powers of the President of India include:

  • The President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider its advice.
  • The President can veto a Bill, although it should be called a ‘Limited Veto’. He can withhold or refuse to give his assent to a bill or can also send it back for reconsideration. In case the Bill is passed again by Parliament, the President cannot withhold assent to the Bill.
  • A situation may arise when after a Prime Minister has resigned, several leaders stake their claim to succeed him, but none of them enjoys majority support in the House. The President will have to make a judicious decision under such circumstances. Such a situation may also arise as a result of a General Election in which no single party has a majority in the Lok Sabha. Under such extraordinary situations, the President has the authority to use his judgement to decide what to do.

3. “The Prime Minister enjoys a pre-eminent position in the government.” Comment. (Or) Explain the position and powers of the Prime Minister of India.

Answer: The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and the other Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. In reality, the Prime Minister is the leader of the Party or Coalition which commands a majority in the Lok Sabha. In appointing the Prime Minister, the President has very little power of making a personal choice.

The position and powers of the Prime Minister can be assessed under the following heads:

Prime Minister and the President: Prime Minister is the link between the Cabinet and the President. The decisions of the Cabinet are conveyed to the President through the Prime Minister. It is he who keeps him informed on all matters of government. In appointing and removing the High officials the President always acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister and the Cabinet: Prime Minister has a pre-eminent position in the Government. He is “the key-stone of the Cabinet Arch.” The Prime Minister is the recognised leader of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister presides at the Cabinet meetings. He decides the agenda and chooses the order in which items on the agenda will be discussed. At Cabinet meetings, the Ministers put forth their views. The Prime Minister would listen to them and then give his own conclusion, which normally is the decision the Cabinet. In foreign, defence, economic and technological matters, the Prime Minister’s word is final.

Size of the Council of Ministers: As regards the size of the Council of Ministers, the Constitution 91st Amendment Act (2003) stated quite categorically that the total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of members of the House of the People (the Lok Sabha).

Categories of Ministers: All Ministers do not belong to the same rank. Usually, there are three categories of Ministers: Cabinet Ministers or “members of the Cabinet”, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers. The Cabinet Ministers hold major portfolios like Home, Defence, Finance, External Affairs, Railways, etc. Only Cabinet Ministers have a right to attend meetings of the Cabinet. They together determine the policy and programme of the Government.

Powers and Functions of the Cabinet: The functions of the Cabinet have not been defined Constitutionally, but it has enormous powers and responsibilities. The Cabinet formulates external and domestic policies of the Government. It takes decisions on all major problems-defence and security needs, energy requirements, savings for the future, health projects, President’s rule in the State, forming new States, industrial policy, import of technology and electoral reforms, etc. The Cabinet is responsible for whole of the expenditure of Government and for raising necessary revenues to meet it. A Money Bill can be introduced in the Lok Sabha only by a Minister.

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6. Describe the position and powers of the Chief Minister of a State. (Or) “The Chief Minister is the pivot of the State Administration.” Comment.

Answer: The position and powers of the Chief Minister of a State are:

Formation of the Ministry: The Chief Minister has a free hand in preparing the list of his colleagues. Assigning departments or portfolios to the Ministers is done by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. 

Removal of Ministers: The Ministers hold office during the pleasure of the Governor. In fact, the Chief Minister may ask anyone of his colleagues to resign. If he declines, he will be dismissed by the Governor.

The Chief Minister presides over the Meetings: As Chairman of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister controls the agenda for the Cabinet meetings. In matters of public order, agricultural production, supply and distribution of goods, he plays a special role in directing the policy of the Government.

The sessions of the House are summoned and prorogued by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. Moreover, the agenda of the House is determined by the Speaker in consultation with the Chief Minister

The Chief Minister is the leader of the State Legislative Assembly. All principal announcements of policy are made by him. The Chief Minister intervenes in debates of general importance. He can appease an angry House by promising immediate relief or concessions when needed. 

In normal circumstances the Governor dissolves the Legislative Assembly when advised by the Chief Minister to do so.

B. Short answer questions

7. What is meant by the Executive?

Answer: The term ‘Executive’ is used in a broad sense to indicate the branch of government responsible for the implementation of laws and policies made by the legislature. In this sense, it includes not only the Head of State (The President, King or the Chancellor) but also the ministers, governors and the whole mass of administrators who constitute the bureaucracy or the “Civil Service”. In fact, the subordinate officers and employees of the government also form a part of the executive structure.

8. What is meant by the Political Executive?

Answer: The Political Executive consists of the Head of the State and Heads of the Governmental Departments, called Ministers. Ministers come and go with the fluctuations in the fortunes of their respective parties. That is the reason why this part of the Executive is known as the ‘Political Executive’.

9. What is Permanent Executive? Mention the two main functions of the Civil Servants.

Answer: The Permanent Executive consists of the whole body of appointed officers i.e., the permanent civil servants. All those civil servants who belong to All-India Services, Central Services and State Services. The main functions of the Civil Servants are:

  • The Civil Servants provide the necessary information, data, and alternatives for policy-making.
  • Once the policy is formulated, it is the duty of the Civil Servants to implement it. They ensure that the benefits of the policies reach the people for whom they are meant.
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12. Mention any three Discretionary powers of the Governor.

Answer: Three Discretionary powers of the Governor are:

  • There are some provisions as to the administration of Tribal Areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Mizoram. The Governor of each of these States exercises these functions in his discretion.
  • The Governor may refuse to give assent to a Bill or he may send it back for reconsideration. He may also reserve a Bill for the assent of the President.
  • Circumstances can arise when no party commands an absolute majority in the House. In such a case the Governor will have to exercise his personal judgement in selecting the Chief Minister.

13. What is Governor’s role as a Representative of the Union Government in the State.

Answer: The Governor may be regarded as a link between the Union and the State. He shall reserve for consideration of the President any Bill which would endanger the role which the High Court is intended to fulfil under the Constitution. He may reserve other Bills also for the consideration of the President.

The Governors of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram would constitute District or Regional Councils for the administration of Tribal Areas. They keep the President informed as to the administration of Tribal Areas. As soon as the State comes under President’s rule, the Governor, being a Representative of the Centre, takes over the reins of administration into his own hands.

D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✔) the correct answer.

14. Who among the following are not a part of the Political Executive?

Answer: (c) Members of All-India Civil Services

15. Emergency on account of the Failure of Constitutional Machinery in States arises when:

Answer: (d) Where a Ministry has resigned and no other Party is willing or able to form Ministry

16. While appointing the Prime Minister the President chooses:

Answer: (c) Leader of the Party or Coalition which commands a majority in the Lok Sabha

17. Which of the following is a correct statement about the size of the Union Council of Ministers?

Answer: (b) It should not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of Members of the Lok Sabha ✓

Value-based question

Should only such persons be chosen as Ministers who happen to be Prime Minister’s loyal friends? What should the Prime Minister bear in mind at the time of selecting the Union Ministers?

Answer: The Prime Minister should bear in mind that the selection of Ministers is not merely a matter of rewarding those who have shown him personal loyalty. He should choose those who are likely to prove efficient as Ministers. He should take into account the claims of the different regions, races, and communities. He should also remember that the Cabinet should include persons of experience as well as youth. The Prime Minister should not forget that the Cabinet is a team and should not include those who are not likely to play as members of the same team.

Additional/extra questions and answers

1. What is the broad and narrow meaning of ‘Executive’ in the context of the government? 

Answer: In a broad sense, the term ‘Executive’ denotes the branch of government responsible for implementing laws and policies formulated by the legislature. This includes not only the Head of State (The President, King, or the Chancellor) but also ministers, governors, and the entire administrative body constituting the bureaucracy or the “Civil Service”. Subordinate officers and employees of the government also form a part of the executive structure. In a narrower sense, ‘Executive’ refers to the smaller body of decision-makers, often called “the political executive”, comprising Ministers in India and Secretaries in the United States. 

2. Who are the components of the Political Executive? 

Answer: The Political Executive consists of the Head of the State and Heads of the Governmental Departments, termed as Ministers in England and India, and “Secretaries” in the United States. These individuals are generally public figures, and their tenure is not permanent, but subject to the fortunes of their respective parties. 

3. Explain the role of the Political Executive in countries with a Parliamentary System of Government. 

Answer: In countries with a Parliamentary System of Government, the executive work is carried out in the name of the Crown or the President, but their powers are usually nominal and ceremonial, holding offices of honour rather than power. The actual executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers led by the Prime Minister. In Britain, the Cabinet is the real executive. Similarly, in India, modelled on the British pattern, an elected President serves as the nominal head of the State, with the actual executive power vested in the Council of Ministers. 

4. Why did the framers of the Constitution favor a Parliamentary Government both at the Centre and in the States in India? 

Answer: The framers of the Indian Constitution favored a Parliamentary Government both at the Centre and in the States to ensure an Executive (Council of Ministers) that is answerable to the people’s representatives in Parliament or in the State Legislature. This way, the powers of the government remain accountable to the will and interests of the citizens, facilitating a democratic form of governance. 

5. Describe the composition and role of the Permanent Executive. 

Answer: The Permanent Executive comprises the entire body of appointed officers and employees of a government. They are recruited through competitive examinations and possess special qualifications and knowledge about their work and vocation. Their tenure is generally permanent. The importance of these permanent civil servants has increased due to the amplified activities of the state. They function as the backbone of administration, maintaining continuity and providing necessary expertise for policy implementation, regardless of changes in the Political Executive. They execute and enforce laws, carry out day-to-day administration, and provide policy inputs to the Political Executive. 

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60. Describe the Chief Minister’s role in the Council of Ministers, particularly in relation to the formation of the ministry, removal of ministers, and presiding over meetings. 

Answer: As the head of the Council of Ministers, the Chief Minister plays a significant role. He has a free hand in forming the ministry, i.e., preparing the list of his colleagues. The allocation of departments or portfolios to the Ministers is done by the Governor based on the Chief Minister’s advice. Regarding the removal of ministers, although they hold office during the Governor’s pleasure, the Chief Minister can ask any of his colleagues to resign. If a Minister declines, he will be dismissed by the Governor, showing the Chief Minister’s influence. When it comes to presiding over meetings, the Chief Minister controls the agenda for the Cabinet meetings. He has a significant role in guiding the government’s policy on matters of public order, agricultural production, and supply and distribution of goods. Thus, the Chief Minister’s influence is profound in the Council of Ministers, shaping its composition, functioning, and policy direction.

Additional/extra MCQs

1. Who generally comprises the ‘Political Executive’? 

A. Civil Servants B. Legislators C. Ministers and Secretaries D. Judges 

Answer: C. Ministers and Secretaries 

2. What is the tenure of the Political Executive? 

A. Life-long B. Ten years C. Variable D. Permanent 

Answer: C. Variable 

3. Who is the real executive in a Parliamentary System of Government? 

A. The President B. The King C. The Council of Ministers D. The Bureaucracy 

Answer: C. The Council of Ministers 

4. What type of government did the framers of the Indian Constitution favor at the Centre and States? 

A. Presidential B. Federal C. Parliamentary D. Dictatorial 

Answer: C. Parliamentary 

5. How is the Permanent Executive generally recruited? 

A. By appointment B. By election C. Through competitive examinations D. By nomination 

Answer: C. Through competitive examinations 

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103. Who can appease an angry House by promising immediate relief or concessions?

A. Speaker B. President C. Governor D. Chief Minister

Answer: D. Chief Minister

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