Government Structure

Political system of India is quasi federal in nature. Key features of federation such as two governments, division of powers, bicameralism etc are integral part of the Indian constitution. The country has a parliament at the centre and a state legislature in each of the state. Regular elections are held to elect members to each legislature.

The Centre

At the central level, there is the parliament of India. It consists of the President of India and two houses ie: the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha is also known as the Popular House since the members to this house are directly elected by the people. It has 545 members. Out of these 543 are directly elected by the people while 2 are nominated from Anglo Indian community by the president on the advice of union council of ministers, if in the opinion of the president that community is not adequately represented in the house. The normal tenure of the Lok Sabha is 5 years.

Rajya Sabha is also known as the upper house or the council of states. It has 245 members as per the current law. The actual strength of the house is 250 members. Not more than 238 members are elected by the representatives of the states and union territories. They are elected from different states by the members of legislative assemblies of the states, through proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. 12 members are nominated by the president on the advice of union council of ministers from amongst the persons having wide experience or special knowledge in the fields of literature, science, art and social service. This is a permanent house and is not subject to dissolution. Its members are elected for a term of six years and 1/3rd of its members retire every 2 years.

The State

As mentioned earlier, India offers a quasi federal structure where states have their own legislature. All states in India come with a state legislative assembly. There are some states which have two houses, a legislative assembly and a legislative council. The strength of the legislative council should not exceed 500 and should not be less than 60 (Goa and Sikkim are special cases. Members to the legislative assembly are directly elected by the people. Only six states in India have a legislative council. These include Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The strength of the legislative council should not exceed 1/3rd of the total strength of the legislative assembly of the state and it should not be less than 40. The members of the legislative council are elected in various proportions by members of the legislative assembly graduates, teachers, local bodies and governor of that particular state.

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