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Chapter 93. UPSC Questions on Indian Polity (General Studies—Mains) (Indian Polity & Constitution Summary Laxmikanth)

UPSC Questions on Indian Polity (General Studies—Mains)

1993 Test Paper
1. (a) What are the essentials of a true federation? Analyse the nature of the Indian federation. (About 250 words) 40
OR
(b) Describe the powers and functions of the Council of States. Compare its powers with those of the House of the People. (About 250 words)
2. Answer any two of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 150 words): 20 + 20 = 40
(a) What are the fundamental duties and their implications?
(b) Describe the doctrine of colourable legislation.
(c) Describe the composition and functions of the Election Commission of India.
(d) Describe the composition and functions of the National Development Council.
3. Answer any three of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 25 words): 3 × 3 = 9
(a) Distinguish between preventive detention and punitive detention.
(b) What are the various writs available to the citizens of India?
(c) When and why was the National Literacy Mission founded?
(d) What is meant by ‘equal protection of law’?
(e) What is the content of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution of India?
(f) What is the purpose of Article 24 of the Constitution of India?
1994 Test Paper
1. (a) “In India, though the Governor is the constitutional head of a state just as the President of the country, the former may be enjoying more powers than the latter.” Do you agree? Give reasons. (About 250 words) 40
OR
(b) Explain the role of the Planning Commission and the National Development Council in the formulation of public policy in India. (About 250 words)
2. Answer any two of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 150 words): 20 + 20 = 40
(a) Explain the significance of the April 1994 Supreme Court judgement on the proclamation of President’s rule.
(b) Describe the emergence of Basic Structure concept in the Indian Constitution.
(c) What are the major recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee’s Draft National Population Policy, relating to gender issues?
(d) Explain the position of the Election Commission with regard to the residential qualification of the members of the Council of States. What do you think about it?
3. Answer any three of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 25 words): 3 × 3 = 9
(a) Differentiate between the ‘due process of law’ and ‘the procedure established by law’ in the context of deprivation of personal liberty in India.
(b) Explain the meaning of ex post-facto legislation.
(c) What is Section 309 IPC about? Why was it in the news recently?
(d) What is our country’s highest civilian award? Who are the two foreigners on whom the award was conferred?
(e) Indicate the provisions of Indian Constitution relating to Secularism.
(f) Four more languages were added to the 8th Schedule of the Constitution through two amendments. Give the names of these four languages as also the serial number of amendments.
1995 Test Paper
1. (a) Distinguish between Parliamentary and Presidential forms of Government. Do you think that changing over to presidential form will be a solution for better governance? Substantiate your answer. (About 250 words) 40
OR
(b) What is the position of the Supreme Court under the Constitution of India? Discuss its role as a guardian of the Constitution. (About 250 words)
2. Answer any two of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 150 words): 20 + 20 = 40
(a) Explain the functions of the Estimates Committee.
(b) Describe the non-federal features of the Council of States.
(c) What are the constitutional rights of the citizens of India? What do you think about the demand of the NRI’s for dual citizenship?
(d) Describe the salient features of Anti-Defection Law.
3. Answer any three of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 25 words): 3 × 3 = 9
(a) Define Financial Emergency. How many times has this been proclaimed so far?
(b) What is the present status of the right to property as a Fundamental Right?
(c) Why is Article 32 considered as the cornerstone of the Constitution?
(d) What is a bicameral legislature? Mention the states that have a bicameral legislature in our country.
(e) Explain the scope of Article 331.
(f) Explain the status of the Ministers known as ‘Ministers of State’.
1996 Test Paper
1. (a) What do you understand by the term ‘Rule of Law’? How does the Constitution of India seek to establish it? (About 250 words) 40
OR
(b) Why does the Constitution of India contain different forms of Oath for the President, the Ministers, the Legislators and the members of the Judiciary? Discuss their significance. (About 250 words)
2. Answer any two of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 150 words): 20 + 20 = 40
(a) What is a Cut Motion? Discuss its significance.
(b) How are electoral constituencies delimited for Parliamentary elections in India?
(c) What is delegated legislation and which are the factors responsible for its increase?
(d) What are the Consolidated and Contingency Funds of India? How are the two operated?
3. Answer any three of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 25 words): 3 × 3 = 9
(a) What is the major recommendation of Dinesh Goswami Committee?
(b) What role can the Union Government play in settling inter-state water disputes?
(c) The Writ of Mandamus cannot be granted against certain persons. Who are they?
(d) What constitutional provisions make the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India independent?
(e) How do you distinguish between a Money Bill and a Finance Bill?
(f) What are the functions of the Human Rights Commission of India?
1997 Test Paper
1. (a) How are the President and the Vice-President of India elected? What are the constitutional issues involved in their election? (About 250 words) 40
OR
(b) What is Social Justice? How can reservation of seats for women in Parliament contribute to the establishment of a socially just society in India? (About 250 words)
2. Answer any two of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 150 words): 20 + 20 = 40
(a) Present your views for and against the creation of an All India Judicial Service.
(b) Discuss the factors responsible for the rise of regionalism in India. How does it influence the political system?
(c) What, according to the Supreme Court, constituted ‘The Basic Features’ which is upheld in case known as
(i) Keshavanand Bharati v/s. State of Kerala (1990)
(ii) Minerva Mills v/s. Union of India (1990)?
(d) How does the Parliament control the financial system in India?
3. Answer any three of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 25 words): 3 × 3 = 9
(a) What do Rule 184 and 193 in Parliamentary Procedure signify?
(b) What is meant by ‘Gujral Doctrine’? Write its specific principles.
(c) Give a brief account of C.M.P. (Common Minimum Programme) of the United Front Government at the Centre.
(d) Write any four fundamental duties prescribed in the Constitution of India.
(e) What specific provisions exist in the Constitution of India about child labour?
(f) What is Article 356 in the Indian Constitution? Comment.
1998 Test Paper
1. (a) Briefly state the stages through which the present position of the Directive Principles vis-à-vis the Fundamental Rights has emerged. (About 250 words) 40
OR
(b) Explain the concept of ‘Prime Ministerial Government’ and account for its decline in recent times in India.
2. Answer any two of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 150 words): 20 + 20 = 40
(a) Highlight the significance of the Seventy-Third Amendment to the Constitution of India?
(b) How are the new States formed in India? Why have the demands of separate states like those of Vidarbha, Telangana etc. not been considered by the Government recently?
(c) On what grounds the Legislative Councils are justified? How is it created or abolished in a State?
(d) Differentiate and state the significance of general election, mid-term election and by-election.
3. Answer any three of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 25 words): 3 × 3 = 9
(a) What is meant by ‘Protem Speaker’?
(b) Point out the constitution and functions of the Central Vigilance Commission.
(c) State the amplitude of Article 21 of the Constitution.
(d) Which of the cases regarding disqualifications for Membership of either House of Parliament are decided by the President?
(e) Differentiate between Parliamentary Secretary and Lok Sabha Secretary.
(f) What is a Privilege Motion?
1999 Test Paper
1. (a) In what ways is the Rajya Sabha expected to play a special role in today’s changing political scenario? (About 250 words) 40
OR
(b) On what grounds does Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibit discrimination? Indicate the way the concept of ‘special protection’ has qualified this prohibition, and contributed to social change.
2. Answer any two of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 150 words): 20 + 20 = 40
(a) What is the importance of Directive Principles of State Policy? Mention which Directive Principles of State Policy have got primacy over the Fundamental Rights.
(b) Discuss the composition and functions of the National Security Council.
(c) Highlight the significance of the Twenty Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of India?
(d) Assess the importance of the role played by the Public Accounts Committee.
3. Answer any three of the following (Answer to each question should be in about 25 words): 3 × 3 = 9
(a) Who presides over the Joint-Session of the two Houses of the Indian Parliament over a non-money bill?
(b) Is there any provision to impeach the Governor of a State?
(c) In case of any dispute whether a bill is a money bill or not, whose decision is final?
(d) How is the Vice-President of India elected?
(e) What is the status of the Right to Property in the Indian Constitution?
(f) What is the maximum gap between two sessions of the Indian Parliament?
2000 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Examine the need for the review of the Indian Constitution.
(b) Examine the demand for greater State-autonomy and also its impact on the smooth functioning of the Indian polity.
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) How does Parliament control the Union Executive? How effective is its control?
(b) What constitutes the doctrine of ‘basic features’ as introduced into the Constitution of India by the Judiciary?
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30
(a) Identify the major electoral reforms which are necessary in the Indian Political System.
(b) Examine the role of Estimates Committee.
(c) Discuss the major extra-constitutional factors influencing the working of federal polity in India.
4. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 5 × 2 = 10
(a) What is vote on account?
(b) What is Caretaker Government?
(c) Do you justify the Prime Minister’s entry into Parliament through the Rajya Sabha?
(d) What is a Privilege Motion?
(e) What is contempt of Parliament?
5. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Discuss the provisions of the Human Rights Protection Act (1993) relating to the following:
(i) Definition of human rights.
(ii) Composition of the National Human Rights Commission.
(iii) Functions of the Commission.
(iv) What suggestions have been made for amending the Act for making the role of the NHRC more effective?
(b) Discuss the propositions laid down by the Supreme Court of India in the context of Torture in Prisons and Human Dignity.
2001 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Discuss the administrative relations between the centre and the states in the light of recent controversies.
(b) Bring out the aberrations of the parliamentary system of government in India.
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is the constitutional position of Directive Principles of State Policy? How has it been interpreted by the judiciary after the emergency in 1975-77?
(b) What are the main differences between the passage of a Constitution Amendment Bill and other Legislative Bills?
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 2 × 15 = 30
(a) Comment on the nature of Ordinance-making power of the President of India. What safeguards are there against possible misuse?
(b) Distinguish between Cabinet Secretariat and Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Which of these is more important?
(c) Discuss the constitutional provisions regarding the rights of children.
4. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 5 × 2 = 10
(a) Explain the Local Area Development Scheme of the Members of Parliament.
(b) What is Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha?
(c) Why is it said that the centre has absolute veto over state legislation?
(d) What is Call Attention Motion?
(e) When is the device of joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament not available?
2002 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) “The issue of a hung Parliament adversely affects the stability of Indian Government.” Discuss the statement and point out how far changing over to the Presidential form of government will be a solution to this problem.
(b) Why does the Constitution of India provide different forms of Oaths for the President, the Ministers, the legislators and the members of the judiciary? Discuss their significance.
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is the position of the Supreme Court under the Constitution of India? How far does it play its role as the guardian of the Constitution?
(b) How is the Constitution of India amended? Do you think that the procedure for amendment makes the Constitution a play-thing in the hands of the Centre?
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 2 × 15 = 30
(a) Discuss the constitutional provisions relating to the non-justiciable directives binding upon the states.
(b) Describe the methods of delimiting constituencies for parliamentary elections in India.
(c) Explain the role of the Public Accounts Committee.
4. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 5 × 2 = 10
(a) What is the importance of the 84th Amendment of the Indian Constitution?
(b) Under what Article of the Constitution can the Union Government play its role in settling inter-state water disputes?
(c) What is the role of the protem speaker?
(d) What is meant by the ‘lame-duck session’ of the legislature?
(e) What is meant by the ‘fringe areas’ in the sphere of local government in India?
5. Write on any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is the composition of the Electoral College for the election of the President of the Indian Republic? How is the value of votes cast counted?
2003 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Discuss the question of death sentence and Presidential clemency.
(b) Explain the discretionary powers of the Governor of a State.
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Discuss Parliamentary Control over the Executive.
(b) Identify the major obstacles in the smooth functioning of Parliamentary democracy in India.
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 2 × 15 = 30
(a) Highlight the significance of Forty Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of India.
(b) Identify the major Fundamental Duties.
(c) Explain the relevance of Rajya Sabha as a second chamber in the federal set up of Indian Parliamentary System.
4. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 5 × 2 = 10
(a) What is a point of order? When can it be raised?
(b) What is a Privilege Motion?
(c) State the difference between Council of Ministers and the Cabinet.
(d) How is the Vice-President of India elected?
(e) What is meant by ‘sine-die’ adjournment?
2004 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is the significance of a preamble to a constitution? Bring out the philosophy of the Indian polity as enshrined in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.
(b) Discuss the meaning of “breakdown of constitutional machinery”. What are its effects?
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Discuss how the Constitution of India provides equal rights.
(b) How does the Indian Constitution seek to maintain independence of the Public Service Commission?
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 2 × 15 = 30
(a) Define Money-bill. Discuss how it is passed in the Parliament.
(b) What is a Finance Commission? Discuss the main functions of the State Finance Commission.
(c) Discuss how state governments can exercise control over panchayats.
4. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 5 × 2 = 10
(a) What is Habeas Corpus?
(b) What are the constitutional restrictions imposed upon the power of borrowing of the state governments?
(c) What is the special facility provided to the linguistic minorities under Article 350 A?
(d) How can a judge of the Supreme Court be removed?
(e) How is the Election Commission of India constituted?
2005 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Comment on the financial relations between the Union and the States in India. Has post-1991 liberlization in any way affected it?
(b) Is it possible to distinguish between judicial review and judicial activism in India? Does the recent behaviour of the Indian judiciary partake more of judicial activism? Argue with suitable examples.
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) Would you say that the implementation of the Panchayati System in the last ten years has led to a real restructuring of the Indian polity?
(b) Give your views on the right to freedom of religion as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Do they make India a secular State?
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30
(a) What are the constitutional limitations on the free movements of Indians throughout the country?
(b) How has the Indian State tackled the trade-off between environment and development?
(c) What are the steps that the Election Commission may take if a recalcitrant State Government wants to put off Assembly Elections?
4. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 2 × 5 = 10
(a) What is meant by ‘double jeopardy’?
(b) What are the protections afforded to Scheduled Tribes in the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution?
(c) In what ways can the President of India ascertain the views of the Supreme Court on a particular bill?
(d) What is the common point between articles 14 and 226 of the Indian Constitution?
(e) Who and what does the Indian Parliament consist of?
2006 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is right to life and personal liberty? How have the courts expanded its meaning in recent years?
(b) On what grounds can a member be disqualified from either House of Parliament?
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is the ‘strategic partnership’ between India and United States of America? What are its implications for both the partners?
(b) Discuss economic backwardness as a major challenge of Indian democracy. Can democracy and development go together smoothly?
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words): 2 × 15 = 30
(a) How would you differentiate between the passage of a Constitution Amendment Bill and of an Ordinary Legislative Bill?
(b) How does the Inter-State Council establish co-ordination between States?
(c) Is the High Courts’ power to issue ‘writs’ wider than that of the Supreme Court of India?
4. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 5 × 2 = 10
(a) Explain the following terms :
(i) Dissolution of the House
(ii) Prorogation of the House
(iii) Adjournment of the business of the House
(b) What is Consolidated Fund of India?
(c) To what extent can the President withhold his assent to a Bill already passed by the Parliament?
(d) What is India’s ‘Look East’ Policy?
(e) What is meant by ‘empowerment of women’ in India?
2007 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is a Constitution? What are the main sources of the Indian Constitution?
(b) Bring out the differences between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy. Discuss some of the measures taken by the Union and State Governments for the implementation of the Directive Principles of State Policy.
2. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is Regionalism? In which way regionalism has affected the Indian polity?
(b) What are the main determinants of voting behaviour in India?
3. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words): 15 × 2 = 30
(a) What are the exceptions when the President of India is not bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers?
(b) What is pro tem Speaker?
(c) Under what circumstances, Parliament may legislate on State subjects?
4. Answer the following questions (About 20 words each): 2 × 5 = 10
(a) What is criminalization of politics?
(b) How is the President of India elected?
(c) What is casting vote?
(d) What is the difference between Council of Ministers and Cabinet?
(e) What is the importance of Right to Constitutional Remedies?
2008 Test Paper
1. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What is meant by ‘Judicial Activism’? Evaluate its role in the context of the functioning of Indian polity.
(b) Discuss the major extra-constitutional factors influencing the federal polity in India.
2. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30
(a) Enumerate the Fundamental Duties incorporated in the Constitution after the 42nd Amendment.
(b) Examine the demand for greater state autonomy and its impact on the smooth functioning of Indian polity.
(c) Discuss the composition and functions of the Union Public Service Commission.
3. Answer the following (About 20 words each): 2 × 5 = 10
(a) What is a Censure Motion?
(b) Distinguish between the auditing and accounting functions of the CAG of India.
(c) Distinguish between a starred question and an unstarred one asked in the Parliament.
(d) What is contempt of Parliament?
(e) What were the two major considerations to have the Governor appointed and not elected?
4. Answer any ONE of the following (About 250 words): 30
(a) What, in your opinion, are the causes of terrorism? Suggest suitable measures to deal with the threat of terrorism in India.
(b) Do you think there is a need for a review of the Indian Constitution? Justify your view.
5. Answer any TWO of the following (About 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30
(a) Examine the role of caste in Indian politics.
(b) Discuss the problems in achieving National Integration in India.
(c) Examine the impact of Regional Political Parties in Indian politics.
2009 Test Paper
1. Answer any two of the following (in about 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30
(a) What are your views on the features and impact of the Domestic Violence Act,2005?
(b) Are the traditional determinants of voting behaviour in India changing? Examine in the context of the last General Elections.
(c) Examine corruption as a serious development challenge in Indian Polity.
2. Answer the following (in about 150 words): 15
(a) In the changing context of governance in the country, what should be the role of the UPSC?
3. Answer the following (in about 150 words): 15
(a) ‘As we live in a plural society we need the greatest freedom to express our opinions even if others find it offensive’ – Do you agree? Discuss with reference to some recent incidents in the Indian context.
4. Write on the following (in about 20 words each): 2 × 3 = 6
(a) Significance of 26th November in the country’s polity
(b) Pocket Veto
(c) PESA, 1996
2010 Test Paper
1. Answer the following (in about 250 words): 20
(a) “Disputes between the riparian states on sharing of river waters in post-Independence India are becoming increasingly complex.” Objectively analyse the major disputes in this connection, with special reference to the Southern States.
2. Answer the following (in about 150 words): 12
(a) With respect to Cooperative Societies what are the salient features of the 106thand 111th Constitutional Amendment Bills as at present?
3. Answer the following (in about 150 words): 12
(a) What are the grounds of disqualification of a Member of Parliament from either House? Quote relevant provisions in your answer.
4. Write brief but precise note on the following. Your answer should not exceed 50 words. 5
(a) Legislative powers assigned to the Rajya Sabha under Art. 249 and Art. 312 of the Constitution.
5. Answer the following (in about 150 words): 12
(a) Bring out the powers and responsibilities attached to the office of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
6. Answer the following, briefly but precisely. Answer should be less than 50 words. 5
(a) How is disagreement between the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of a State in passing of an ordinary Bill, resolved?
2011 Test Paper
1. Answer the following (in about 250 words each): 20 × 3 = 60
(a) ‘Essentially all that is contained in Part IV – A of the Constitution is just a codification of tasks integral to the Indian way of life’. Critically examine this statement.
(b) ‘The exercise of executive clemency is not a privilege but is based on several principles, and discretion has to be exercised in public considerations.’ Analyse this statement in the context of the judicial powers of the President of India.
(c) Bring out the salient features of the PCPNDT Act, 1994, and the implications of its amendment in 2003.
2. Comment on the following (in about 150 words each): 12 × 3 = 36
(a) Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS).
(b) Evolution of ‘Green Benches’ in our higher judiciary.
(c) Distinction between ‘Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committees’ and ‘Parliamentary Forums’.
3. Comment on the following in NOT more than 50 words each: 5 × 2 = 10
(a) Composition and functions of the National Executive Committee of the National Disaster Management Authority.
(b) The Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009 and why it has been in the news recently?
4. Comment on the following in not more than 50 words: 5
(a) E-governance initiatives by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
2012 Test Paper
1. Answer the following (in about 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30
(a) The Union Cabinet recently cleared the proposal to rename and amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. What are the salient features of the proposed amendments?
(b) What are the salient features of the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2011 introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011?
2. Answer the following (in about 50 words each): 5 × 3 = 15
(a) What is the ‘Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat’?
(b) What are the Rights within the ambit of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution?
(c) Comment on the significance of the Preamble contained in the Right to Information Act.
3. Comment on the following (in about 20 words): 2
(a) Determining the ‘value’ assigned to the vote of a Member of a State Legislative Assembly and of a Member of Parliament in the Indian Presidential elections.
2013 Test Paper
1. The role of individual MPs (Members of Parliament) has diminished over the years and as a result healthy constructive debates on policy issues are not usually witnessed. How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law which was legislated but with a different intention?[200 words] 10
2. Discuss Section 66A of IT Act, with reference to its alleged violation of Article 19 of the Constitution. [200 words] 10
3. Recent directives from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas are perceived by the ‘Nagas’ as a threat to override the exceptional status enjoyed by the State. Discuss in light of Article 371A of the Indian Constitution.[200 words] 10
4. ‘The Supreme Court of India keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament in amending the Constitution.’ Discuss critically. [200 words] 10
5. Many State Governments further bifurcate geographical administrative areas like Districts and Talukas for better governance. In light of the above, can it also be justified that more number of smaller States would bring in effective governance at State level? Discuss. [200 words] 10
6. Constitutional mechanisms to resolve the inter-state water disputes have failed to address and solve the problems. Is the failure due to structural or process inadequacy or both? Discuss. [200 words] 10
7. Discuss the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission which have been a departure from the previous commissions for strengthening the local government finances.[200 words] 10
8. The product diversification of financial institutions and insurance companies, resulting in overlapping of products and services strengthens the case for the merger of the two regulatory agencies, namely SEBI and IRDA. Justify. [200 words] 10
9. The concept of Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme is almost a century old in India with early beginnings in Madras Presidency in pre-independent India. The scheme has again been given impetus in most states in the last two decades. Critically examine its twin objectives, latest mandates and success. [200 words] 10
10. Pressure group politics is sometimes seen as the informal face of politics. With regards to the above, assess the structure and functioning of pressure groups in India. [200 words] 10
11. The legitimacy and accountability of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their patrons, the micro-finance outfits, need systematic assessment and scrutiny for the sustained success of the concept. Discuss. [200 words] 10
12. The Central Government frequently complains on the poor performance of the State Governments in eradicating suffering of the vulnerable sections of the society. Restructuring of Centrally sponsored schemes across the sectors for ameliorating the cause of vulnerable sections of population aims at providing flexibility to the States in better implementation. Critically evaluate. [200 words] 10
13. Electronic cash transfer system for the welfare schemes is an ambitious project to minimize corruption, eliminate wastage and facilitate reforms. Comment. [200 words] 10
14. The basis of providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA) is rooted in establishing connectivity. Comment. [200 words] 10
15. Identify the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are related to health. Discuss the success of the actions taken by the Government for achieving the same. [200 words] 10
16. Though Citizens’ charters have been formulated by many public service delivery organizations, there is no corresponding improvement in the level of citizens’ satisfaction and quality of services being provided. Analyse. [200 words] 10
17. ‘A national Lokpal, however strong it may be, cannot resolve the problems of immorality in public affairs.’ Discuss. [200 words] 10
18. What is meant by Gujral doctrine? Does it have any relevance today? Discuss. [200 words] 10
2014 Test Paper
Answer all the questions in NOT MORE than 200 words each. Contents of the answers is more important than its length. All questions carry equal marks.
1. Starting from inventing the ‘basic structure’ doctrine, the judiciary has played a highly proactive role in ensuring that India develops into a thriving democracy. In light of the statement, evaluate the role played by judicial activism in achieving the ideals of democracy. 12½
2. Though the federal principle is dominant in our Constitution and that principle is one of its basic features, but it is equally true that federalism under the Indian Constitution leans in favour of a strong Centre, a feature that militates against the concept of strong federalism. Discuss.12½
3. The ‘Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and its Members’ as envisaged in Article 105 of the Constitution leave room for a large number of un-codified and un-enumerated privileges to continue. Assess the reasons for the absence of legal codification of the ‘parliamentary privileges’. How can this problem be addressed? 12½
4. What do you understand by the concept ‘freedom of speech and expression’? Does it cover hate speech also? Why do the films in India stand on a slightly different plane from other forms of expression? Discuss. 12½
5. Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse.
6. The size of the cabinet should be as big as governmental work justifies and as big as the Prime Minister can manage as a team. How far is the efficacy of a government then inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss. 12½
7. The setting up of a Rail Tariff Authority to regulate fares will subject the cash strapped Indian Railways to demand subsidy for obligation to operate non-profitable routes and services. Taking into account the experience in the power sector, discuss if the proposed reforms is expected to benefit the consumers, the Indian Railways or the private container operators. 12½
8. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in India can be most effective when its tasks are adequately supported by other mechanisms that ensure the accountability of a government. In light of the above observation assess the role of NHRC as an effective complement to the judiciary and other institutions in promoting and protecting humans rights standards.
9. The penetration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting participation in development programmes is facing socio-cultural hurdles. Examine. 12½
10. Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economies? 12½
11. Has the Cadre based Civil Services Organization been the cause of slow change in India? Critically examine.12½
12. Two parallel run schemes of the Government, viz. the Aadhaar Card and NPR, one as voluntary and the other as compulsory, have led to debates at national levels and also litigations. On merits, discuss whether or not both schemes need run concurrently. Analyse the potential of the schemes to achieve developmental benefits and equitable growth. 12½
2015 Test Paper
Answer all the questions in NOT MORE than 200 words each. Contents of the answers are more important than their length.
1. Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy. 12½
2. The concept of cooperative federalism has been increasingly emphasized in recent years. Highlight the drawbacks in the existing structure and the extent to which cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings. 12½
3. In absence of a well-educated and organized local level government-system, ‘Panchayats’ and ‘Samitis’ have remained mainly political institutions and not effective instruments of governance. Critically discuss. 12½
4. Khap Panchayats have been in the news for functioning as extra-constitutional authorities, often delivering pronouncements amounting to human rights violations. Discuss critically the actions taken by the legislative, executive and the judiciary to set the things right in this regard. 12½
5. Resorting to ordinances has always raised concern on violation of the spirit of separation of powers doctrine. While noting the rationales justifying the power to promulgate ordinances, analyze whether the decisions of the Supreme Court on the issue have further facilitated resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate ordinances be repealed? 12½
6. What are the major changes brought in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 through the recent Ordinance promulgated by the President? How far will it improve India’s dispute resolution mechanism? Discuss. 12½
7. Does the right to clean environment entail legal regulations on burning crackers during Diwali? Discuss in the light of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and Judgement(s) of the Apex Court in this regard. 12½
8. Examine critically the recent changes in the rules governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976. 12½
9. The Self-Help Group (SHG) Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP), which is India’s own innovation, has proved to be one of the most effective poverty alleviation and women empowerment programmes. Elucidate. 12½
10. How can the role of NGOs be strengthened in India for development works relating to protection of the environment? Discuss throwing light on the major constraints. 12½
11. Public health system has limitations in providing universal health coverage. Do you think that the private sector could help in bridging the gap? What other viable alternatives would you suggest? 12½
12. Though there have been several different estimates of poverty in India, all indicate reduction in poverty levels over time. Do you agree? Critically examine with reference to urban and rural poverty indicators. 12½
13. In the light of the Satyam Scandal (2009), discuss the changes brought in corporate governance to ensure transparency, accountability.12½
14. “If amendment bill to the Whistleblowers Act, 2011 tabled in the Parliament is passed, there may be no one left to protect.” Critically evaluate. 12½
15. “For achieving the desired objectives, it is necessary to ensure that the regulatory institutions remain independent and autonomous.” Discuss in the light of the experiences in recent past. 12½

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