The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has been constituted under Article 338 of the Constitution of India as amended by the Constitution (Eighty-Ninth Amendment) Act, in the year 2003. The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and three other Members.
Article 338 of the Constitution provides for a National Commission for Scheduled Castes-
(1) There shall be a Commission for the Scheduled Castes to be known as the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes.
(2) Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, the Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice- Chairperson and three other Members and the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members so appointed shall be such as the President may by rule determine.
(3) The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
(4) The Commission shall have the power to regulate its own procedure.
(5) It shall be the duty of the Commission-
(a) To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;
(b) To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes;
(c) To participate and advise on the planning process of socio- economic development of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;
(d) To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards; (e) to make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio- economic development of the Scheduled Castes ; and (f) To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Castes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
(6) The President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the Union and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.
(7) Where any such report, or any part thereof, relates to any matter with which any State Government is concerned, a copy of such report shall be forwarded to the Governor of the State who shall cause it to be laid before the Legislature of the State along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the State and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.
(8) The Commission shall, while investigating any matter referred to in sub-clause (a) or inquiring into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) of clause (5), have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;
(b) Requiring the discovery and production of any document;
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents;
(f) Any other matter which the President may, by rule, determine.
(9) The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy mattes affecting Scheduled Castes.
(10) In this article, references to the Scheduled Castes shall be construed as including references to such other backward classes as the President may, on receipt of the report of a Commission appointed under clause (1) of article 340, by order specify and also to the Anglo-Indian community.
The Planning Commission was set up by a Resolution of the Government of India in March 1950 in pursuance of declared objectives of the Government to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of the resources of the country, increasing production and offering opportunities to all for employment in the service of the community. The Planning Commission was charged with the responsibility of making assessment of all resources of the country, augmenting deficient resources, formulating plans for the most effective and balanced utilisation of resources and determining priorities. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Chairman of the Planning Commission.
The first Five-year Plan was launched in 1951 and two subsequent five-year plans were formulated till 1965, when there was a break because of the Indo-Pakistan Conflict. Two successive years of drought, devaluation of the currency, a general rise in prices and erosion of resources disrupted the planning process and after three Annual Plans between 1966 and 1969, the fourth Five-year plan was started in 1969.
The Eighth Plan could not take off in 1990 due to the fast changing political situation at the Centre and the years 1990-91 and 1991-92 were treated as Annual Plans. The Eighth Plan was finally launched in 1992 after the initiation of structural adjustment policies.
For the first eight Plans the emphasis was on a growing public sector with massive investments in basic and heavy industries, but since the launch of the Ninth Plan in 1997, the emphasis on the public sector has become less pronounced and the current thinking on planning in the country, in general, is that it should increasingly be of an indicative nature.
Organisation of the Planning Commission of India
The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Planning Commission, which works under the overall guidance of the National Development Council. The Deputy Chairman and the full time Members of the Commission, as a composite body, provide advice and guidance to the subject Divisions for the formulation of Five Year Plans, Annual Plans, State Plans, Monitoring Plan Programmes, Projects and Schemes.
Functions of the Planning Commission of India
The 1950 resolution setting up the Planning Commission outlined its functions as to:
a. Make an assessment of the material, capital and human resources of the country, including technical personnel, and investigate the possibilities of augmenting such of these resources as are found to be deficient in relation to the nation`s requirement;
b. Formulate a Plan for the most effective and balanced utilisation of country`s resources;
c. On a determination of priorities, define the stages in which the Plan should be carried out and propose the allocation of resources for the due completion of each stage;
d. Indicate the factors which are tending to retard economic development, and determine the conditions which, in view of the current social and political situation, should be established for the successful execution of the Plan; Determine the nature of the machinery which will be necessary for securing the successful implementation of each stage of the Plan in all its aspects;
e. Appraise from time to time the progress achieved in the execution of each stage of the Plan and recommend the adjustments of policy and measures that such appraisal may show to be necessary; and
f. Make such interim or ancillary recommendations as appear to take it to be appropriate either for facilitating the discharge of the duties assigned to it, or on a consideration of prevailing economic conditions, current policies, measures and development programme or on an examination of such specific problems as may be referred to it for advice by Central or State Governments.
Evolving Functions of the Planning Commission of India
From a highly centralised planning system, the Indian economy is gradually moving towards indicative planning where Planning Commission concerns itself with the building of a long term strategic vision of the future and decides on national priorities. It works out sectoral targets and provides promotional stimulus to the economy to grow in the desired direction.
Planning Commission of India plays an integrative role in the development of a holistic approach to policy formulation in critical areas of human and economic development. In the social sector, schemes which require coordination and synthesis like rural health, drinking water, rural energy needs, literacy and environment protection have yet to be subjected to coordinated policy formulation. It has led to multiplicity of agencies. An integrated approach can lead to better results at much lower costs.
The emphasis of the Commission is on maximising the output by using our limited resources optimally. Instead of looking for mere increase in the plan outlays, the effort is to look for increases in the efficiency of utilisation of the allocations being made.
With the emergence of severe constraints on available budgetary resources, the resource allocation system between the States and Ministries of the Central Government is under strain. This requires the Planning Commission to play a mediatory and facilitating role, keeping in view the best interests of all concerned. It has to ensure smooth management of the change and help in creating a culture of high productivity and efficiency in the Government.
The key to efficient utilisation of resources lies in the creation of appropriate self-managed organisations at all levels. In this area, Planning Commission attempts to play a systems change role and provide consultancy within the Government for developing better systems. In order to spread the gains of experience more widely, Planning Commission also plays an information dissemination role.
The Union Public Service Commission is one of the important Constitutional Bodies in India which has been formed to recruit various civil servants of the country by conducting competitive examinations. Originally the first Public Service Commission was constituted by the British Government in the year 1926. Article 315 of the Constitution provides for the creation of Public Service Commissions both for the Union and the States and also for Joint State Public Service Commission. According to Article 316, the Chairman and other members of the Union Public Service Commission will be appointed by the Indian President who may by regulations determine the number of members of the commission and their conditions of service and for the staff of the commission.
History of Union Public Service Commission
Composition of Union Public Service Commission
The number of members of the Union Public Service Commission is seven including the chairman. As nearly as may be, one half of the members of every Public Service Commission shall be persons who at the dates of their respective appointments have held office at least for 10 years under the Government of India. A member of the Union Public Service Commission will hold office for a term of 6 years or until he attains the age of 65. All the appointments are made by the Indian President who is also dismissing authority in their case. But dismissal can be made only when a member has been charged with misbehaviour and such a charge, after investigation, has been established by the Supreme Court of India. He can also be removed from service, if he has been declared of unsound mind, insolvent, a disqualified citizen or he got gainful employment outside his official responsibilities, without prior approval of the government. The chairman and the members are ineligible for reappointment after retirement. The Forty-second Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976 provides for the creation of an All-India Judicial Service Commission by Parliament by law.
Functions of Union Public Service Commission
The functions of Union Public Service Commissions have been laid down in Article 320. The duty of the Union Public Service Commission will be to conduct examinations for appointment to the services of the Union. The Union Public Service Commission may, if requested by any two or more states, assist them in framing and operating a scheme of joint recruitment for any services for which candidates possessing special qualifications are required. The commission has a right to be consulted on all matters relating to methods of recruitment, principles of appointment, in making promotions and transfers from one service to another, on all disciplinary matters affecting a government servant Parliament may by law confer additional power to be exercised by the commission. All expenses of the commission will be charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India.
The Public Service Commission is required to submit annually to the President a report as to the work done by the commission and on receipt of such report the President shall cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament. It is also the duty of the Union Public Service Commission to summit a monthly report to the President and then after the report is examined by the President it is sent to each House of Parliament.
Impartiality of Union Public Service Commission
In order to ensure the impartiality of the Union Public Service Commission, the Commission has been declared an independent statutory body, which is responsible to the Parliament, through the Ministry for Home Affairs, for all its activities. The appointments in the commission are made by the President and thus both in the cases of appointment and dismissal the political government has no hand. Similarly, the members of the Service Commission will continue to hold office for a fixed tenure, during their good behaviour. As a further measure towards securing impartiality, it has been provided that during the tenure of their office and after retirement the members of the service commission shall not accept any gainful employment without the prior permission of the government.
Constitutional Bodies in India are formed by the Constitution which helps the Government to run properly. Each of these permanent or semi-permanent organizations is responsible for the administration of specific functions. Some additional bodies help them by providing advisory functions. After the release of India from the clutches of British, introduction of these independent bodies in government helped to develop India into a Social, Secular and Democratic Republic. Either the president or the Prime Minister of India appoints the chief of these bodies. Constitutional bodies are framed by the Constitution of a nation and can't be abolished without consent of the states.
Constitutional body is formed to continue the objectives of the Constitution.
A list of Constitutional bodies in India
1. 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC)
2. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)
3. Central Information Commission
4. Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
5. Central Water Commission (CWC)
6. Committee on Infrastructure (CoI)
7. Competition Commission of India
8. Expenditure Reforms Commission
9. First National Judicial Pay Commission
10. Ganga Flood Control Commission (GFCC)
11. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
12. Law Commission of India
13. National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)
14. National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNSNT)
15. National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
16. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
17. National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK)
18. National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
19. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
20. National Commission for Women (NCW)
21. National Commission on Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector (NCEUS)
22. National Commission on Farmers
23. National Commission on Population
24. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)
25. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
26. National Knowledge Commission, India
27. Oversight Committee
28. Planning Commission
29. Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
30. Thirteenth Finance Commission
31. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
1. Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC)
2. Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC)
3. Assam Public Service Commission
4. Bihar State Selection Commission
5. Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission
6. Delhi Commission for Women
7. Gujarat Ecology Commission (GEC)
8. Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission
9. Jammu and Kashmir State Electricity Regulatory Commission
10. Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC)
11. Kerala Law Reforms Commission
12. Kerala Women's Commission
13. Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission
14. Madhya Pradesh State Minority Commission (MPSMC)
15. Manipur Public Service Commission
16. Public Grievances Commission, Delhi
17. Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission
18. Rajasthan Public Service Commission
19. Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission (RSHRC)
20. Sikkim Public Service Commission (SPSC)
21. State Election Commission, Chandigarh UT
22. State Election Commission, Goa
23. State Election Commission, Andhra Pradesh
24. State Election Commission, Arunachal Pradesh
25. State Election Commission, Bihar
27. State Election Commission, Delhi
28. State Election Commission, Haryana
29. State Election Commission, Karnataka
30. State Election Commission, Kerala
31. State Election Commission, Madhya Pradesh
32. State Election Commission, Maharashtra
33. State election Commission, Orissa
34. State Election Commission, Rajasthan
35. State Election Commission, Tamil Nadu
36. State Election Commission, Uttar Pradesh
37. State Information Commission, Madhya Pradesh
38. State Information Commission, Orissa
39. State Information Commission, Punjab
40. State Information Commission, West Bengal
41. State Planning Commission (SPC), Tamil Nadu
42. Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC)
43. Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission
44. Third State Finance Commission, Tamil Nadu
45. Tripura Public Service Commission
46. Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission
47. West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC)
Constitutional Bodies in India are the permanent or semi-permanent organization within the machinery of government. These bodies are responsible to look after the administration of specific functions. The functions of these bodies are normally executive in character. Moreover, different types of organisation or commissions are used for advisory functions. The bodies are of national importance and help in the effective function of the government. India is a Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic and after independence, the introduction of the independent bodies as a part of the government helped the country. These constitutional or independent bodies have extensive administrative functions. The chief of these bodies are either appointed by the president of India or the Prime Minister serve as the chairman.
Among the major Constitutional Bodies in India, Election Commission is a permanent Constitutional Body. It was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950. The Constitution has vested to this body superintendence, direction and control of the entire process for conduct of elections. Comptroller and Auditor General of India is another authority established by the Constitution of India. He is provided with the power auditing all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments. In order to ensure independence of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General from the executive government, the position thus remains permanent.
Planning Commission of India is among the Constitutional Bodies in India. The planning commission was charged with the service of the opportunities to all for employment in the service of the community. The Prime Minister is the chairman of the Planning commission and the whole commission works under the guidance of the national Development Council. Finance Commission also serves a constitutional body for the purpose of allocation of certain resources of revenue between the Union and the State Governments.
Other significant Constitutional Bodies in India include Central Vigilance Commission, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Human Rights Commission as well as National Commission for Women. The Union Public Service Commission was given autonomous status both at Federal and Provincial levels for ensuring unbiased recruitment to the civil services and also for protection of service interests. All India Services are the civil services of India that supports in the recruitment of employees on the basis of an examination conducted through the Union Public Service Commission. The All India Services Act of 1951 authorizes that the government of India can make rules and regulation for the recruitment and conditions of service of the persons appointed for the ranks of All India Service.
The organisations such as National Commission for Backward classes, National Commission for Minorities and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes are the other significant Constitutional Bodies in India
1. Explain the methods of measuring poverty in India?
(b) Estate duty in respect to property other than agricultural land.
(c) Terminal taxes on goods or passengers carried by railway, sea or air.
(d) Taxes on railway fares and freights.
(e) Taxes other than stamp duties on transactions in stock exchanges and future markets.
(f) Taxes on the sale or purchase of newspapers and on advertisements published therein.
(g) Taxes on the sale or purchase of goods other than newspapers, where such sale or purchase takes place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.
Under Article 272, Union duties of excise other than such duties of excise on medicinal and toilet preparations as are mentioned in the Union List shall be levied and collected by the Government of India, but, if Parliament by law So provides, these shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India to the States in accordance with such principles of distribution as may be formulated by such law.
(b) It has also been provided that these sums shall be paid out of Consolidated Fund of India as grants-in-aid to the States to meet the costs of such schemes of development as may be under-taken for the purpose of promoting the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes in the State or raising the level of administration of the Scheduled Areas therein to that of the administration of the rest of the areas of that State.
(c) The Slate of Assam will be given a special grant in-aid for raising the level of administration of tribal areas to that of the administration of the rest of the areas of that State.
Distribution of Legislative Powers
Since India is a federal State, there is distribution of powers among the Centre and the state. In this regard, Article 246 provides for the following lists:
List 1 or the Union List: This list includes subjects over which Parliament has the exclusive poser to legislate. The list contains 97 items, some of which are defence, foreign affairs, citizenship, currency, judiciary, central taxes, etc.
List II or the State List: This list contains 66 items over which the state legislature have the exclusive power to legislate. Some of the important items are public health and sanitation, pilgrimage, roads, agriculture, state taxes, etc.
List III or the Concurrent List: This list contains 47 entries over which both Parliament and the state legislatures can legislate, Some of the important items are marriage, economic and social planning, trade union, stamp duties, etc.
It may be noted that Parliament has exclusive powers to make any law with respect to any matter which is not covered in any of three lists. This is known as residuary powers of legislature.
Power of the Parliament to make Laws on State List Matters
Normally the state legislature has the exclusive powers to make laws with respect to subjects enumerated in the state list. But Article 246 of our constitution empowers Parliament to make laws even on state list matters under the following five circumstances;
In the National Interest (Article 249) : National Interest has been defined but whenever parliament feels that it is necessary to pass laws on state list matters in public interest, it is covered under this Article.
During proclamation of emergency (Article 250) : While proclamation of emergency is in operation, Parliament shall have the power to make laws for whole or any part of the territory of India on any matter in the state list. Here emergency includes period of internal disturbances and external aggression etc.
On request of two or more states (Article 252) : If there is a dispute between two or more states and they pass a resolution in their assemblies to refer the matter to Parliament for any law on state list matters concerning them, the Parliament can pass law.
Legislation for enforcing international agreements (Article 253) : If there is any international agreement between foreign country and India, and to give effect to such agreement if a law is to be passed, the Parliament can pass the law ever if the matter is contained in state list.
Breakdown of Constitutional machinery in a state (Article 356) : parliament can make law with respect to all state matters as regard the state in which there is breakdown of constitutional machinery and is under President Rule.
The A.P. State Government has reacted positively to combine 190 additional posts to the present ongoing process of Group 1 recruitment. The Government has sent a letter to the APPSC in this regard and now it is in the hands of the APPSC to decide the issue. At present the members of APPSC are discussing the legal issues of the issue as the Preliminary Examination has already been conducted.
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