Chief Election Commissioner of India
The Chief Election Commissioner heads the Election Commission of India, a body constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections to the national and state legislatures and of President and Vice-President. Chief Election Commissioner of India is a member of the Indian Civil Service and from the Indian Administrative Service, it is difficult to remove the authority of the Chief Election Commissioner once appointed by the president, as two-thirds of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha need to vote against him for disorderly conduct or improper actions. Despite the recent changes in the hierarchy, the system always had powers to impose unambiguous rules and guidelines that applied across the entire nation e.g. as to how the ballots will be cast and counted, what will be regarded as'unqualified' vote. India was one of the first countries in the world to go for a electronic ballot in the parliamentary elections in 2014. What made this remarkable was that the Election Commission of India had implemented this across the entire diverse Indian population that consisted of the rural illiterate people.
While the office has always been an important one in the machinery of the Indian political process, it gained significant public attention during the tenure of T. N. Seshan, from 1990 to 1996. Seshan is credited with undertaking a zealous effort to end corruption and manipulation in Indian elections. Though he made significant progress, several politicians attempted to derail these efforts. In particular, the expansion of the Election Commission to include the two Election Commissioners was seen as a move to curtail the commissioner's ability to act aggressively. In June 2012, Lal Krishna Advani, a veteran Indian politician and former Deputy Prime Minister of India, suggested that appointment of CEC should be made by a bipartisan collegium consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Law Minister and the Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, M Karunanidhi, the head of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party and five times Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu supported the suggestion.
Advani made this demand to remove any impression of bias or lack of transparency and fairness because, according to him, the current system was open to "manipulation and partisanship". Similar demand was made by many former CEC's such as N Gopalaswamy and S Y Quraishi. By the "Election Commission Act, 1991", the salary of the chief election commissioner is the same as salary of a Judge of Supreme Court of India; the following have held the post of the Chief Election Commissioner of India
Home Secretary (India)
The Home Secretary is the administrative head of the Ministry of Home Affairs. This post is held by senior IAS officer of the rank of Secretary to Government of India; the current Home Secretary is Rajiv Gauba. As a Secretary to Government of India, the Home Secretary ranks 23rd on Indian Order of Precedence. Home Secretary is the administrative head of the Ministry of Home Affairs, is the principal adviser to the Home Minister on all matters of policy and administration within the Home Ministry; the role of Home Secretary is as follows: To act as the administrative head of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The responsibility in this regard is undivided. To act as the chief adviser to the Home Minister on all aspects of policy and administrative affairs. To represent the Ministry of Home Affairs before the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament of India; the Home Secretary is eligible for a Diplomatic passport. The official earmarked residence of the Union Home Secretary is 3, New Moti Bagh, New Delhi, a Type-VIII bungalow.
As the Home Secretary is of the rank of Secretary to Government of India, his/her salary is equivalent to Chief Secretaries of State Governments and to Vice Chief of Army Staff/Commanders, in the rank of Lieutenant General and equivalent ranks in Indian Armed Forces. Cabinet Secretary of India Foreign Secretary Defence Secretary Chief Secretary
The Finance Secretary is the Permanent Secretary-level civil servant, who plays a leadership role in the bureaucracy of the Finance Ministry, Government of India. Subhash Chandra Garg is the present finance secretary of India; the Ministry of Finance is composed of five departments the Department of Economic Affairs, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Expenditure, the Department of Financial Services and Department of Investment and Public Asset Management. Each of the departments is headed by a secretary; each of the five secretaries directly reports to the finance minister. The "Finance Secretary" is a tag given to one of the five secretaries, it only denotes a first among equals. The other four secretaries do not report to the FS. By default, the FS tends to be the senior most of the five, where seniority is defined by the year of entry into the civil service and not age. Sometimes, none of the five is labelled FS. Most finance secretaries have been members of the Indian Administrative Service or IAS, but some of them have been career economists.
The last finance secretary of India was Hasmukh Adhiya. Ashok Lavasa, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Duvvuri Subba Rao, Bimal Jalan, Manmohan Singh, K. G. Ambegaokar, S Venkitaraman,and Vijay Kelkar are some of the best known finance secretaries. Edmund James Sinkinson BCS LLD born Kendal, UK, 16 July 1849, was Financial Secretary to the Government of India, he died at Darjeeling 1 Jan 1892. One rupee note is signed by Finance Secretary of India and it does not have the word'I promise to pay the bearer'; the Coinage act 2011 which took over Coinage act 1940 says "necessary provisions for inclusion of Government of India one rupee note within the meaning of ‘Coin’ have been consciously incorporated in the Coinage Act, 2011. Further, the RBI, as per Section 24 of the RBI Act, 1934, is not empowered to issue bank note of denomination of value of one rupee" Further, "apart from the metal, the coin may be made of any other material," Hence according to the act One Rupee Note is a'coin'. In accordance with the RBI Act 1934, RBI can not mint coins.
What are the implications of One Rupee note to be classified as a coin. One Rupee Note is an asset, just like other coins. So "I promise to pay the bearer." is not written on the note. You hold an asset. While RBI Notes are a liability. One Rupee Note and One Rupee coins are legal tenders for unlimited amounts. One rupee defines the unit of the currency! It is the base of the currency system. A 1000 rupees RBI note says "I promise to pay the bearer the sum on one thousand rupees". Hence RBI notes which are a liability promises to pay you an asset; this asset is defined by "One rupee" So, the Government of India has the power to mint/print 1 Rupee coin/note which are an asset and define the unit of currency. RBI notes get the value from the asset known as'Rupee'. Finance Ministry, Official website
Vice President of India
The Vice President of India is the second-highest constitutional office in India after the President. Article 63 of Indian Constitution states that "There shall be a Vice President of India." The Vice President acts as President in the absence of the president due to death, impeachment, or other situations. The Vice President of India is ex officio Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha; when a bill is introduced in Rajya Sabha, the vice president decides whether it is a financial bill or not. If he is of the opinion, a bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha is a money bill, he would refer the case to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha for deciding it. Article 66 of the Indian Constitution states the manner of election of the Vice President; the Vice President is elected indirectly by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of Proportional Representation by means of the Single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot conducted by election commission.
The Vice President of India acts as the Honourable Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh. Venkaiah Naidu is the Vice President of India, he defeated UPA's candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi on 5 August 2017 election. As in the case of the President, in order to be qualified to be elected as Vice President, a person must: Be a citizen of India Have completed more than 35 years of age Not hold any office of profitWhile in order to be a President, a person must be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha, the Vice President must be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha; this difference is because the Vice President is to act as the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The Vice President is elected indirectly, by an electoral college consisting of members of both houses of the Parliament; the election of the Vice President is different from the election of the President as the members of state legislatures are not part of the electoral college but the nominated members of both the houses are part of electoral college for the vice presidential election.
The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of the Vice President must be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and 20 electors as seconders. Every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs.15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India. The Election Commission of India, a constitutional autonomous body, conducts the election; the election is to be held no than 60 days of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice President. A Returning Officer is appointed for the election the Secretary-General of either House of the Parliament, by rotation; the Returning Officer issues a public notice of the intended election, inviting nomination of candidates. Any person qualified to be elected and intending to stand for election is required to be nominated by at least twenty Members of Parliament as proposers, at least twenty other Members of Parliament as seconders; the nomination papers are scrutinized by the Returning Officer, the names of all eligible candidates are added to the ballot.
The election is proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote by secret ballot. Voters stack-rank the candidates, assigning 1 to their first preference, 2 to their second preference, so on; the number of votes required by a candidate to secure the election is calculated by dividing the total number of valid cast votes by two, adding one to the quotient by disregarding any remainder. If no candidate obtains the required number of first-preference votes, the candidate with the least number of first-preference votes is eliminated and his/her second-preference votes are transferred; the process is repeated. Nominated members can participate in the election. After the election has been held and the votes counted, the Returning Officer declares the result of the election to the electoral college. Thereafter, he/she reports the result to the Central Government and the Election Commission of India and the Central Government publishes the name of the person elected as Vice President, in the Official Gazette.
The Vice President may resign his office by submitting his resignation to the President. The resignation becomes effective from the day. All disputes arising in connection with the election of the Vice President are petitioned to the Supreme Court of India, which inquires into the matter; the petition is heard by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court is final. Supreme Court shall inquire and decide regarding doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with the election of a Vice President per Article 71 of the constitution. Supreme Court can remove the Vice President for the electoral malpractices or upon being not eligible to be Rajya Sabha member under the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Subject to Article 71, Parliament made applicable rules/procedure to petition the Supreme Court for resolving the disputes only that arise during the election process of the vice president but not the doubts that arise from his unconstitutional actions/deeds or changing Indian citizenship during the tenure of vice president which may violate the requisite election qualifications.
Supreme Court shall expeditiously decide any doubt raised by which the elected vice president could be ineligible to be Rajya Sabha member for the unconstitutional acts committed before becoming vice president. Under Article 71, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to inquire and decide about the so called unconstitutional acts committed by the Vice President such as turni
Fundamental rights in India
Fundamental rights, the basic and civil liberties of the people, are protected under the charter of rights contained in Part III of the Constitution of India.. Fundamental rights apply universally to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, caste or gender; the Indian Penal Code and other laws prescribe punishments for the violation of these rights, subject to discretion of the judiciary. Though the rights conferred by the constitution other than fundamental rights are valid rights protected by the judiciary, in case of fundamental rights violations, the Supreme Court of India can be approached directly for ultimate justice per Article 32; the six fundamental rights recognised by the Indian constitution are the: Right to equality Right to freedom Right against exploitation Right to freedom of religion Cultural and Educational Right, Right to constitutional remedies1. The right to equality includes equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, gender or place of birth, equality of opportunity in matters of employment, abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.
2. Cultural and Educational Rights are given to the Citizens of India to conserve their cultural practices and that they must have access to education. 3. The right to freedom includes freedom of speech and expression, association or union or cooperatives, movement and right to practice any profession or occupation. 4. The right against exploitation prohibits all forms of forced labour, child labour and trafficking of human beings. 5. The right to freedom of religion includes freedom of conscience and free profession and propagation of religion, freedom to manage religious affairs, freedom from certain taxes and freedom from religious instructions in certain educational institutes. Cultural and educational rights preserve the right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. 6. The right to constitutional remedies is present for enforcement of Fundamental Rights; the right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty of the citizens.
Fundamental rights for Indians have been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. They have been used to abolish untouchability and thus prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, sex, or place of birth, they forbid trafficking of human beings and forced labour. They protect cultural and educational rights of religious and linguistic minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and establish and administer their own education institutions, they are covered in Part III of Indian constitution. Some features of Indian Constitution: 1, it provides safeguard. 2. It provides safeguard against discrimination. 3. It says "all persons are equal before law." 4. It provides fundamental rights; the development of such constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights in India was inspired by historical examples such as England's Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France's Declaration of the Rights of Man. In 1919, the Rowlatt Act gave extensive powers to the British government and police, allowed indefinite arrest and detention of individuals, warrant-less searches and seizures, restrictions on public gatherings, intensive censorship of media and publications.
The public opposition to this act led to mass campaigns of non-violent civil disobedience throughout the country demanding guaranteed civil freedoms, limitations on government power. Indians, who were seeking independence and their own government, were influenced by the independence of Ireland and the development of the Irish constitution; the directive principles of state policy in Irish constitution were looked upon by the people of India as an inspiration for the independent India's government to comprehensively tackle complex social and economic challenges across a vast, diverse nation and population. In 1928, the Nehru Commission composing of representatives of Indian political parties proposed constitutional reforms for India that apart from calling for dominion status for India and elections under universal suffrage, would guarantee rights deemed fundamental, representation for religious and ethnic minorities, limit the powers of the government. In 1931, the Indian National Congress adopted resolutions committing itself to the defence of fundamental civil rights, as well as socio-economic rights such as the minimum wage and the abolition of untouchability and serfdom.
Committing themselves to socialism in 1936, the Congress leaders took examples from the Constitution of the Soviet Union, which inspired the fundamental duties of citizens as a means of collective patriotic responsibility for national interests and challenges. Task of developing a constitution for the nation was undertaken by the Constituent Assembly of India, composing of elected representatives; the Constituent Assembly first met on 9 December 1946 under the presidency of Dr. Sachidanand Dr. Rajendra Prasad was made its president. While members of Congress composed of a large majority, Congress leaders appointed persons from diverse political backgrounds to responsibilities of developing the constitution and national laws. Notably, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar became the chairperson of the drafting committee, while Jawaharlal Neh
Indian Foreign Service
The Indian Foreign Service is the administrative diplomatic civil service under Group A and Group B of the Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the Government of India. It is considered to be one of the two premier Civil Services, as appointment to IFS renders a person ineligible to reappear in Civil Services Examination, it is a Central Civil service as Foreign policy is the subject matter and prerogative of Union Government. The Ambassador, High Commissioner, Consul General, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Foreign Secretary are some of the offices held by the members of this service; the service is entrusted to manage foreign relations of India. It is the body of career diplomats serving in more than 162 Indian Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations around the world. In addition, they serve at the headquarters of the Ministry of External affairs in Delhi and the Prime Minister's Office, they head the Regional Passport Offices throughout the country and hold positions in the President's Secretariat and several ministries on deputation.
Foreign Secretary of India is the administrative head of the Indian Foreign Service. IFS was created by the Government of India in October 1946 through a Cabinet note but its roots can be traced back to the British Raj when the Foreign Department was created to conduct business with the "Foreign European Powers". IFS Day is celebrated on October 9 every year since 2011 to commemorate the day the Indian Cabinet created the IFS. Officers of the IFS are recruited by the Government of India on the recommendation of the Union Public Service Commission. Fresh recruits to the IFS are trained at the Foreign Service Institute after a brief foundation course at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. On 13 September 1783, the board of directors of the East India Company passed a resolution at Fort William, Calcutta, to create a department, which could help "relieve the pressure" on the Warren Hastings administration in conducting its "secret and political business." Although established by the Company, the Indian Foreign Department conducted business with foreign European powers.
From the beginning, a distinction was maintained between the foreign and political functions of the Foreign Department. In 1843, the Governor-General of India, Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough carried out administrative reforms, organizing the Secretariat of the Government into four departments: Foreign, Home and Military; each was headed by a secretary-level officer. The Foreign Department Secretary was entrusted with the "conduct of all correspondence belonging to the external and internal diplomatic relations of the government."The Government of India Act 1935 attempted to delineate more functions of the foreign and political wings of the Foreign Department, it was soon realized that it was administratively imperative to bifurcate the department. The External Affairs Department was set up separately under the direct charge of the Governor-General; the idea of establishing a separate diplomatic service to handle the external activities of the Government of India originated from a note dated 30 September 1944, recorded by Lieutenant-General T. J. Hutton, the Secretary of the Planning and Development Department.
When this note was referred to the Department of External Affairs for comments, Olaf Caroe, the Foreign Secretary, recorded his comments in an exhaustive note detailing the scope and functions of the proposed service. Caroe pointed out that as India emerged as autonomous, it was imperative to build up a system of representation abroad that would be in complete harmony with the objectives of the future government. On 9 October 1946, on the eve of Indian independence, the Indian government established the Indian Foreign Service for India's diplomatic and commercial representation overseas. With independence, there was a near-complete transition of the Foreign and Political Department into what became the new Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations. In 1948, the first group of Indian Foreign Service officers recruited under the combined Civil Services Examination administered by the Union Public Service Commission joined the service; this exam is still used to select new foreign service officers.
The Civil Services Examination is used for recruitment for the Indian Foreign Service. The entire selection process lasts for about 12 months. Only a rank among toppers guarantees an IFS selection— an acceptance rate of 0.02 percent and is known to be the'heaven borne service'. In recent years, the intake into the Indian Foreign Service has averaged between 8-12 persons annually; the present cadre strength of the service stands at 600 officers manning around 162 Indian missions and posts abroad and the various posts in the Ministry at home On acceptance to the Foreign Service, new entrants undergo significant training,which is considered to be one of the most challenging and longest service trainings in the Government of India and nearly takes more than 3 years to graduate from. The entrants undergo a probationary period. Training begins at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, where members of many elite Indian civil services are trained. After completing a 15-week training at the LBSNAA, the probationers join the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi for a more intensive training in a host of subjects important to diplomacy, including international relat
2014 Indian general election
The Indian general election, 2014 was held to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha, electing members of parliament for all 543 parliamentary constituencies. Running in nine phases from 7 April to 12 May 2014, it was the longest election in the country's history. According to the Election Commission of India, 814.5 million people were eligible to vote, with an increase of 100 million voters since the last general election in 2009, making it the largest election in the world. Around 23.1 million or 2.7% of the total eligible voters were aged 18–19 years. A total of 8,251 candidates contested for the 543 Lok Sabha seats; the average election turnout over all nine phases was around 66.40%, the highest in the history of Indian general elections. The results were declared on 16 May 2014, 15 days before the 15th Lok Sabha completed its constitutional mandate on 31 May 2014; the counting exercise was held at 989 counting centres. The National Democratic Alliance won a sweeping victory; the BJP won 31.0% votes, the lowest share for a party to form a majority government in India since independence, while NDA's combined vote share was 38.5%.
BJP and its allies won the right to form the largest majority government since the 1984 general election, it was the first time since that election that a party has won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties. The United Progressive Alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, won 59 seats, 44 of which were won by the Congress, that won 19.3% of all votes. It was the Congress party's worst defeat in a general election. In order to become the official opposition party in India, a party must gain 10% of the seats in the Lok Sabha. Due to this fact, India remains without an official opposition party; as per the requirements of the Indian Constitution, elections to the Lok Sabha must be held at an interval of five years or whenever parliament is dissolved by the president. The previous election, to the 15th Lok Sabha, was conducted in April–May 2009, its term would have expired on 31 May 2014; the election to the 16th Lok Sabha was organised and conducted by the Election Commission of India and was held in multiple phases, to better handle the large electoral base and security concerns.
Since the last general election in 2009, the anti-corruption movement by Anna Hazare, other similar moves by Baba Ramdev and Arvind Kejriwal, gathered momentum and political interest. Kejriwal went on to form a separate political party, Aam Aadmi Party, in November 2012; the 2012 presidential election resulted in Pranab Mukherjee of Indian National Congress becoming the president. Andhra politics was further shaken following the death of its chief minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, his son, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy broke from the INC and founded the YSR Congress Party, taking several politicians with him; the final session of parliament ended on 21 February. Amongst the agenda in the final session was passing The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2013 in tackling corruption and the creation of Telangana; the Cabinet of India revised the limit of election expenditure by a candidate for parliamentary constituencies to ₹7 million in bigger states and to ₹5.4 million in smaller states and all union territories except Delhi.
This revision of the ceiling on the elections were attributed to the increase in the number of electors and polling stations as well as the increase in the cost inflation index. Satyendra Singh, a doctor with a disability, showed the lack of preparedness by the Election Commission of India towards electors with disabilities through the Right to Information Act; the Chief Electoral Officer in Delhi, Vijay Dev started a campaign on providing accessibility for the disabled, along with him. Singh conducted sensitisation workshops for election officers and helped in setting up a registration link for voters with disabilities to register to vote and provide their requirements; the Chief Election Commissioner of India, V. S. Sampath, announced the polling schedule on 5 March. Voting was scheduled to be held in nine phases from 7 April to 12 May, the results of the election were announced on 16 May. Simultaneous elections were held for the Vidhan Sabhas of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim.
Important issues during the campaign included high inflation, lack of jobs, economic slow down, corruption and terrorism, religious division and communalism, infrastructure such as roads and water. In another survey by Zee News for about 14% of people, corruption is the main issue in the election. Bloomberg highlighted India's slowing economy amidst a record high current account deficit and a falling rupee in summer 2013, it pointed out a lack of infrastructure investment and a government likely to give subsidies that the national finances cannot afford just before the election. Other points it mentioned were an inefficient bureaucracy; the economy was the main issue in the campaign. The lack of a clear mandate as a result of the election could lead to an increase in the price of gold in the country. Modi brought up the issue of farmer suicides that resulted from high debt and poor yield on their crops. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha criticised the incumbent Chidambaram in saying that he had a "habit that he will get a strong economy, he will ruin it before he leaves...
Shri Chidambaram will be remembered in history as a spoiler, as someone who specialises in sub-five per cent growth rate, for his hubris, arrogance". During the UPA-2 government, a number of scams came to public attention, deteriorating the image of