The parliamentary democracy of the Indian Union is based on the British administrative system. Though India is a continental state and is the most culturally diverse country in the world today, the adopted federal system has more unitary features than the United States. In the Indian federal system there is a considerable array of central power in relation to the states. As in Britain, the Indian system has developed into a prime ministerial dominance, but the parliament and the cabinet became less significant than in Britain.
In a presidential system of government like that of the USA, the three branches of government - the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary - are independent units. But in the Indian parliamentary system the executive is subordinate to the legislature, and the judiciary is independent.
The Parliament consists of Rajya Sabha (the council of states) and Lok Sabha (the house of people). All legislation requires consent of both houses of parliament. However, in case of money bills, the will of the Lok Sabha prevails.
The Rajya Sabha consists of 245 members. Of these, 233 represent states and union territories and the President nominates 12 members. Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect; the Legislative Assemblies of the concerned states elect Rajya Sabha members. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution, one-third of its members retire every second year.
The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of universal adult suffrage. As of today, the Lok Sabha consists of 545 members with 2 members nominated by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian Community. Unless dissolved under unusual circumstances, the term of the Lok Sabha is five years.
The system of government in states closely resembles that of the Union. There are 25 states and seven Union territories in the country. The President, through an administrator appointed by him, governs the Union Territories.
A recognized political party has been classified as a National Party or a State Party. If a political party is recognized in four or more states, it is considered as a National Party. For example, Congress (Indira) Party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) etc are national parties, and parties such as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP, the Party of Telugu Nation or Country ), which is limited only to the state of Andhra Pradesh (and Telugu Nationality), are state parties.
i) The Government
ii) The Constitution
ii) The Union v. States
iv) The Judicial System
iv) The Legal System
Back to Contents Page
Back to Vepachedu Home Page