Short Questions and answers for the KPSC. It is decided to post every week a few short questions and answers on a variety of topics. This is done as a measure of social responsibility. I hope candidates will read them and benefit from them.
1.What is the meaning of Political Accountability ? What are the discretionary powers of the President? 200 words
Political Accountability means political responsibility. The President must act according to law and convention. He can be impeached by Parliament if he does not do so. The President’s discretionary powers are to select the leader who is likely to secure a majority in the Lok Sabha. If the incumbent PM loses majority and recommends dissolution, he had to decide whether to accede to his request and order elections or to call upon another person to form the Government. He can return a Bill for reconsideration by the Cabinet. President Abul Kalam returned to the Parliament a Bill passed for its reconsideration. He can send messages to Parliament. Like the British monarch he can warn, he can advice and he can encourage. But he must remember that he is only a constitutional head. He is only the Head of State and not Head of Government. But the President is not a magnificent cipher – a phantom king without a crown. The President is accountable to the nation as a whole. The nation is entitled to his views on the burning issues of the day. Eg.,Shri.K.R.Narayan , Dr. .Radha Krishnan and Dr. Abdul Kalam who in fact threatened to resign over the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly.
2. While the President and the PM are accountable, is the Opposition also responsible? 50 words
The opposition should always be on the alert and point out the mistakes of the government where it is wrong but it cannot has no right to paralyze parliament. The opposition has no right to resort to obstructionist tactics in Parliament. The opposition is also responsible to work according to the Constitution.
3. How are the Judges responsible? 50 words
Judges in the lower cadre are accountable to the higher cadre. They must deliver their judgements in the open court with reasons. Their judgements can be appealed against and set aside. They must dispense justice quickly and prevent accumulation of arrears. Judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court can be impeached.
4.How is the Governor accountable? 50 words
The Governor presides over the state. However he is responsible only to the President and not to the State Legislature. The state Legislature cannot criticize him; cannot remove him; can do nothing if he sleeps over a bill; or reserves it for the consideration of the president and the President just sleeps over it.
5. How is the Prime Minister responsible? 150 words
The P.M. is accountable to the Council of Ministers. He cannot act like Smt. Indira Gandhi did in doing something first (proclaiming the emergency) and then asking the Council of Ministers to approve it. That is why the 44th Amendment empowered the President to ask the P.M. to place before the Council of Ministers any decision taken for approval by the Council as a whole for reconsideration. He must choose his Council of Ministers with care, allot them their portfolios and see that they work well. He and his Council of Ministers are answerable to Parliament. He must answer questions in Parliament and explain his actions. The moment he loses majority in the Lok Sabha, he must either resign or appeal to the electorate. If the President agrees, elections are held and if again the PM does not have majority, he must resign.
6. How far is the Federal Government is accountable to the States and the States to the Federal Government? 100 words
The responsibility is mutual. The Federal Government must treat all States fairly and it must not neglect the Opposition ruled States. And the States must carry on their work according to the Constitution and carry out the Directives issued by the Federal Government in areas where the Federal Government has power to do so. The Federal Government is responsible for carrying on the Government according to the Constitution. It can impose an emergency over the State where no government can be formed or which does not carry out the directions of the Centre. Emergency can be imposed under Articles 356 and 365.
7. Maintenance of law and order is the responsibility of the State Government. Comment 150 words
They should not allow secessionist and terrorist elements to breed on their territory. Tamil Nadu brazenly allows pro-LTTE elements to thrive on its territory. And when the IPKF returned badly bruised because of the treachery of the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE, the Chief Minister did not even go to receive them at the Madras port. They have to carry out the instructions of the center in certain cases like protection of federal property etc., Otherwise the administration of the State can be taken over by the Centre under Art 365. Also when the constitutional machinery fails in the state, the centre has power to take over the administration of the State under Art 356. But after Bommai’s case, it is now clear that for wrongful exercise of this power, the Supreme court can be approached. In this case the Supreme Court decided that the question whether a Government has lost its majority must be tested in the Legislature.
8. How far is the voter accountable? 50 words
He must go to vote and vote for the candidate on his merits and not according to his religion or caste or on monetary considerations. After all people get the Government they deserve. Many people do not go to vote and the result is vote banks emerge and corrupt people get elected.
9. How far is the Media responsible? 50 words
News papers are highly accountable to their readers and to the nation. Opinion is free but facts are sacred. They should not resort to sensationalism and for the sake of advertisement revenue must not suppress facts. These are days of Investigative Journalism aided by the RTI. But there should not be media trial.
10. How far are Pressure Groups accountable? 50 words
Pressure groups should act carefully. Look at the Industrialists. While they are justified in asking for reforms and infrastructure, they should not blackmail the Government. Charges have been leveled that the Ambanis have been doing so. Indeed no section of society should form a pressure group in such a manner as to subvert democratic decision making.