Notes of Ch 4 Executive| Class 11th Political Science

What is an Executive?

• The organ of government that primarily looks after the function of implementation and administrations called the executive.

Principal functions of the Executive

• Executive is the branch of government responsible for the implementation of laws and policies adopted by the legislature.

• The executive is often involved in framing of policy.

• Some countries have presidents, while others have chancellors.

• The executive branch is not just about presidents, prime ministers and ministers.

• It also extends to the administrative machinery (civil servants).

• While the heads of government and their ministers, saddled with the overall responsibility of government policy, are together known as the political executive, those responsible for day to day administration are called the permanent executive.

What are the Different Types of Executive?

Presidential system

• The president is the Head of state as well as head of government.

• In this system the office of president is very powerful, both in theory and practice.

• Countries with such a system include the United States, Brazil and most nations in Latin America.

Semi-Presidential Executive

• Under the system of Executive Presidency, people directly elect the President.

• It may happen that both the President and the Prime Minister belong to the same political party or to different political parties.

• Countries with such a system include the France, Russia, Sri Lanka.

Parliamentary System

• The prime minister is the head of government.

• Most parliamentary systems have a president or a monarch who is the nominal Head of state.

• In such a system, the role of president or monarch is primarily ceremonial and prime minister along with the cabinet wields effective power.

• Countries with such system include Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom as well as Portugal.

Parliamentary Executive In India

• India already had some experience of running the parliamentary system under the Acts of 1919 and 1935. This experience had shown that in the parliamentary system, the executive can be effectively controlled by the representatives of the people.

Why Parliamentary Form

• Indian Constitution wanted to ensure that the government would be sensitive to public expectations and would be responsible and accountable.

• The presidential executive puts much emphasis on the president as the chief executive and as source of all executive power.

• There is always the danger of personality cult in presidential executive.

• Executive will be answerable to and controlled by the legislature or people's representatives.

What is Parliamentary Form of System?

• President who is the formal Head of the state of India and the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, which run the government at the national level.

• At the State level, the executive comprises the Governor and the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers.

Power and position of President

• Article 74 (1): There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.

• Provided that the President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such reconsideration.

Discretionary Powers of the President

• Constitutionally, the President has a right to be informed of all important matters and deliberations of the Council of Ministers.

• The Prime Minister is obliged to furnish all the information that the President may call for.

• The President often writes to the Prime Minister and expresses his views on matters confronting the country.

Three Situations where the President can exercise the power using his or her own discretion:

• Can send back the advice given by the Council of Ministers and ask the Council to reconsider the decision. In doing this, the President acts on his (or her) own discretion.

• Has veto power by which he can withhold or refuse to give assent to Bills (other than Money Bill) passed by the Parliament. Every bill passed by the Parliament goes to the President for his assent before it becomes a law. The President can send the bill back to the Parliament asking it to reconsider the bill. This veto' power is limited because, if the Parliament passes the same bill again and sends it back to the President, then, the President has to give assent to that bill. However, there is no mention in the Constitution about the time limit within which the President must send the bill back for reconsideration. This means that the President can just keep the bill pending with him without any time limit. This gives the President an informal power to use the veto in a very effective manner. This is sometimes referred to as pocket veto'.

• When after an election, no leader has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, the President has to decide whom to appoint as the Prime Minister. In such a situation, the President has to use his own discretion in judging who really may have the support of the majority or who can actually form and run the government.

The Vice President of India

• Elected for five years.

• Election method is similar to that of the President; the only difference is that members of State legislatures are not part of the Electoral College.

• May be removed from his office by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by a majority and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.

• Acts as the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and takes over the office of the President when there is a vacancy by reasons of death, resignation, removal by impeachment or otherwise.

• Acts as the President only until a new President is elected.

Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

• The Prime Minister becomes the most important functionary of the government in our country.

• Head of the Council of Ministers.

• The President exercises his powers only on the advice of the Council of Ministers.

• In the parliamentary form of executive, it is essential that the Prime Minister has the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha. This support by the majority also makes the Prime Minister very powerful.

• Decides who will be the ministers in the Council of Ministers.

• Allocates ranks and portfolios to the ministers.

• Depending upon the seniority and political importance, the ministers are given the ranks of cabinet minister, minister of State or deputy minister.

• In the same manner, Chief Ministers of the States choose ministers from their own party or coalition.

• The Prime Minister and all the ministers have to be members of the Parliament.

• If someone becomes a minister or Prime Minister without being an MP, such a person has to get elected to the Parliament within six months.

Size of the Council of Ministers

• An amendment was made that the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15 percent of total number of members of the House of People (or Assembly, in the case of the States).

• Collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. This provision means that a Ministry which loses confidence of the Lok Sabha is obliged to resign.

• The principle indicates that the ministry is an executive committee of the Parliament and it collectively governs on behalf of the Parliament.

Collective responsibility

• Based on the principle of the solidarity of the cabinet.

• Implies that a vote of no confidence even against a single minister leads to the resignation of the entire Council of Ministers.

• Also indicates that if a minister does not agree with a policy or decision of the cabinet, he or she must either accept the decision or resign.

• It is binding on all ministers to pursue or agree to a policy for which there is collective responsibility.

• The death or resignation of the Prime Minister automatically brings about the dissolution of the Council of Ministers but the demise, dismissal or resignation of a minister only creates a ministerial vacancy.

• The Prime Minister acts as a link between the Council of Ministers on the one hand and the President as well as the Parliament on the other.

• The Prime Minister is involved in all crucial decisions of the government and decides on the policies of the government.

• Thus, the power wielded by the Prime Minister flows from various sources: control over the Council of Ministers, leadership of the Lok Sabha, command over the bureaucratic machine, access to media, projection of personalities during elections, projection as national leader during international summitry as well as foreign visits.

At the State level

• Similar parliamentary executive exists, though with some variations.

• The most important variation is that there is a Governor of the State appointed by the President on the advice of the central government).

• Though the Chief Minister, like the Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party in the Assembly, the Governor has more discretionary powers.

• However, the main principles of parliamentary system operate at the State level too.

Permanent Executive: Bureaucracy

• The Executive organ of the government includes the Prime Minister, the ministers and a large organization called the bureaucracy or the administrative machinery.

In a democracy

• The elected representatives and the ministers are in charge of government and the administration is under their control and supervision.

• The legislature also exercises control overthe administration.

• The administrative officers cannot act in violation of the policies adopted by the legislature.

• It is the responsibility of the ministers to retain political control over the administration.

• India has established professional administrative machinery.

The Indian bureaucracy

• It consists of the All-India services, State services, employees of the local governments, and technical and managerial staff running public sector undertakings.

• The Union Public Service Commission has been entrusted with the task of conducting the process of recruitment of the civil servants for the government of India.

• Similar public service commissions are provided for the States also.

• Members of the Public Service Commissions are appointed for a fixed term.

• Their removal or suspension is subject to a thorough enquiry made by a judge of the Supreme Court.

• The bureaucracy is an instrument through which welfare policies of the government must reach the people.

• Bureaucracy is insensitive to the demands and expectations of the ordinary citizen.

How Expectations of the ordinary citizens can be sensitized?

• Only if the democratically elected government controls the bureaucracy, some of these problems can be effectively handled.

• On the other hand, too much political interference turns the bureaucracy into an instrument in the hands of the politician.

• Though the Constitution has created independent machinery for recruitment, many people think that there is no provision for protecting the civil servants from political interference in the performance of their duties.

• It is also felt that enough provisions are not there to ensure the accountability of the bureaucracy to the citizen.

• There is an expectation that measures like the Right to Information may make the bureaucracy a little more responsive and accountable.
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