In a democracy, every policy is made systematically while adhering to all the rules and regulations. There is a strict structure within which the policies are discussed and formulated. But do you know how these institutions work or who these institutions consist of? This is exactly what Class 9 Social Science – Civics chapter on ‘Working of Institutions’ talks about. In this chapter, we will get a close look at the working and structure of the Central and the Union Government, or the Indian Government as a whole and try to understand how these institutions function and how different institutions are connected to one another in a democratic fashion. Scroll down this blog get a comprehensive summary of Working of Institutions Class 9 Notes.
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How is a Major Policy Decision Taken?
The first section of Class 9 Working of Institutions notes down the key pointers of how a major policy decision is finalised in a democracy. To understand how any policy decision is taken, let us consider an order issued by the government of India on August 13, 1990. It was called an official memorandum and it was signed by The Joint Secretary from the Department of Personnel and Training of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. This official memorandum passed the order for 27% reservation of seats for educationally and socially backwards classes in the civil services. Now, it was a big decision and there was a clear system which was followed before the passing of this memorandum.
Here are the study notes on how policy decision making is explained in Class 9 Working of Institutions:
The signing of the official memorandum was the last step towards implementing this particular order but before this, all the policy makers of the government got together and decided in favour of implementing it. Now, who are these policymakers? These are the major functionaries of our country. Who are these functionaries? Here are the major policymakers as mentioned in Class 9 Working of Institutions:
- The President, who is the head of the state and the highest formal authority.
- The Prime Minister, who is the head of the government, the decision-makers.
- Then comes the Parliament with the president and the members of the two houses i.e., Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
The Class 9 Working of Institutions also notes that this official memorandum that we talked about didn’t come into being in an instant, it was a culmination of a lot of events. Here is a summary of these events:
- In 1979, the Mandal Commission was formed to study the position of the backward classes in our country and come up with suggestions to improve their condition. One such suggestion was the implementation of this reservation policy. But that was not it.
- After that, the recommendations were discussed in the Parliament and it’s only in the year 1990 i.e, after almost 10 years that this order was officially passed after going through very complicated procedures.
- In the Lok Sabha elections of 1989, the Janata Dal party started an election campaign for themselves on the ground that they would implement the recommendations of the Mandal Commission if they came into power. So, they won, their member V.P Singh became the prime minister and the policy was finally implemented.
- This process was also a long one. It started with the prime minister announcing his intention to do the same, then it was discussed amongst the cabinet ministers, a formal announcement was made in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and that’s when the paperwork started.
But the story doesn’t end here. Such policies which have a huge impact on the life of the masses are often met with a lot of opposition. There were people who believed this policy to be unfair and therefore organised a number of protests to revoke the decision. Now comes the question: who resolves such issues?
In India, the Supreme Court and the High Courts settle disputes arising out of governmental decisions. Cases were filed against this order in the courts and then a panel of judges listened to both the sides and in 1992 declared that the order was valid and an important one but suggested a small change in the original order. It said that well-to-do persons among the backward classes should be excluded from getting the benefit of reservation. And therefore the order was altered accordingly and this reservation policy was officially implemented.
Need for Political Institutions
Now we know how much work goes into the making of a single policy and how without the presence of the political institutions this system cannot work. These working institutions which form our government work together to ensure the safety of its citizens and their physical well-being. They initiate taxation and subsidy policies to ensure equitable growth. The role of the political institutions is to first take decisions, implement them and then ensure its working. And this all together shows us the need for political institutions.
Moving further on our study notes for Class 9 Working of Institutions. the basic composition of these institutions is given below:
- First is formed by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that make all important policy decisions.
- The Civil Servants who work together to implement the ministers’ decisions.
- Then the Supreme Court where disputes between citizens and the government are finally settled.
It’s by the coming together of these institutions that the just nature of our Indian Democracy is maintained without any complications.
Role of Parliament
If we consider again the example of the Official Memorandum, the Parliamentary discussions on the Report influenced and shaped the decision of the government regarding it. Even though it’s not the Parliament implemented the policy, without the agreement of the parliament the policy couldn’t have been implemented. Now, let us have a closer look at why exactly do we need a Parliament.
The parliament is formed by an assembly of elected representatives. At the state level, such an assembly is also called the Legislature or Legislative Assembly. The following are the roles played by a parliament.
- Parliament is the law-making authority of any county. Parliaments can make new laws, change existing laws, or abolish existing laws and make new ones.
- The Indian Parliament has full control over the working of the government. The government cannot make any decision without the support of the Parliament.
- Without the permission of the Parliament, the government cannot spend any public money.
- Parliament is the highest forum of debate and discussion of the country on any matter.
So, basically, it’s the Parliament which looks after the entire system and is, therefore, an important political institution.
Two Houses of the Parliament
Like in most countries, the Parliament of India is divided into two chambers or houses namely the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Here are the key differences between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as per Working of Institutions Class 9 Notes:
|Lok Sabha||Rajya Sabha|
|The Lok Sabha is the upper house of the Parliament and the members are elected by the people.||The Rajya Sabha is the lower house of the Parliament and the members are elected by the members of state legislative assemblies|
|It exercises real power on behalf of the people||The most common work that the Rajya Sabha performs is to look after the interests of various states and regions.|
It is important to note that the President is a part of the Parliament but is not a member of any of the houses. And that’s why all the policies made in any of the houses need the approval of the President to be implemented. Also, our Constitution has given various special powers to Rajya Sabha over the states. But on most matters, the Lok Sabha exercises supreme power. Here is a summary of the powers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as per Working of Institutions Class 9 Notes:
- Any law needs to be passed by both the houses of the Parliament, and as the Lok Sabha has more members, it gets an upper hand in case there is a dispute between the houses and it needs to be resolved through voting.
- When the Lok Sabha passes the budget of the government or any other money-related law, the Rajya Sabha doesn’t have the power to reject it. The Rajya Sabha can only delay it by 14 days or suggest changes in it and the Lok Sabha may or may not accept these changes.
- Lok Sabha controls the council of ministers. Without the support of the members of the Lok Sabha, a Prime Minister cannot be appointed and in case the members of Lok Sabha have “no confidence” in the council of ministers, they have to quit along with the Prime Minister.
At different levels of the government, there are functionaries who take day-to-day decisions but
do not exercise supreme power on behalf of the people. All those functionaries are together known as the executive. The word executive comes from the fact that they have the responsibility to “execute” the policies of the government. Here are the major executives mentioned in Class 9 Working of Institutions:
Political and Permanent Executive
|PolPtical Executive||Permanent Executive|
|Elected by the people for a specific duration.||The members of which are elected for a long term basis and a change in the ruling party doesn’t alter their position.|
|Consists of all your politicians.||Consists of your civil servants.|
|The Political Executive forms the heads of government and other departments of the government.||They work under the Political Executive and assist them in carrying out administrative activities.|
The Political Executive holds more power than the Permanent Executive because in a democracy the will of the people matters the most and the Political Executive is elected directly by the people and is, therefore, a representative of their interests.
Prime Minister and Council of Ministers
The Prime Minister is the most important political institution and is directly elected by the President. This doesn’t mean that the President can choose anyone he/she likes but have to choose the leader of the majority party in Lok Sabha as the Prime minister. And in case there is no majority, the President elects a candidate who is likely to have maximum public support. After the appointment of the Prime Minister, the President appoints other ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is free to choose ministers, as long as they are members of Parliament. And these ministers who are 60-80 in numbers together form the council of ministers.
Going through our study notes on Class 9 Working of Institutions you must also remember the three categories of Council of Ministers:
- Cabinet Ministers who take decisions in the name of the council of ministers. The cabinet comprises of 20 ministers.
- Ministers of State with independent charge who are in charge of smaller ministries and attend the cabinet meeting only when invited.
- Ministers of State who assist the Cabinet Ministers.
Powers of the Prime Minister
- The Prime Minister attends the Cabinet Meetings.
- He coordinates the work of various departments and solves any disputes amount between them.
- The Prime Minister distributes the work amongst ministers.
- He also has the power to dismiss ministers. When the Prime Minister quits, the entire ministry quits.
As we have seen, the Cabinet is the most important institution and clearly, the Prime Minister leads the Cabinet. And this is exactly why the Prime Minister is so powerful. Also, the Prime Minister controls the Cabinet and Parliament through the party which he leads. If you want to get an idea of their power then look at the position Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi held within the country.
The next section in our study notes on Class 9 Working of Institutions focuses on the role of the President.
- The President is the head of a state. The President supervises the overall functioning of all the political institutions in the country so that they operate in harmony to achieve the objectives of the State.
- The prime minister is not directly elected by the people but by the Elected Members of Parliament (MP’s) and Members of the legislative Assemblies. The person who gets the majority of votes gets appointed therefore the President is a spokesperson for the entire nation.
- The President holds a significant amount of power. It’s the President who elects the Chief Justice of India and the judges of the supreme court and more importantly the prime minister of yeh country. But this doesn’t mean that the President has freedom to do anything at all.
- The President is answerable to the Council of Ministers. If the council extends a policy, the President can ask the council to reconsider the decision but cannot outrightly reject it.
As we have already discussed in our notes on Class 9 Working of Institutions, the Judiciary settles disputes arising out of government decisions. And that’s exactly why an independent and powerful judiciary is important, to ensure that the decisions made are completely just in nature. What does the judiciary consist of?
- Supreme Court for the entire nation
- High Courts in the states
- District Courts and the courts at the local level
The supreme court is the highest authority and its decisions are binding on all other courts. It is also the highest court of appeal in criminal and civil cases which takes in cases Between citizens of the country between
- Citizens and government
- Two or more state governments
- Governments at the union and state level
The supreme court doesn’t come under the control of the legislative and the executive and therefore can make free and well-informed decisions. The judiciary in India is also one of the most powerful in the world as in India, The Supreme Court and the High Courts have the power to declare invalid any law of the legislature or executive, at both Union level and state level if they find such law or action is against the Constitution. This is called Judicial Review.
Now that you have gone through Working of Institutions Class 9 notes, here are some practice questions for you:
- Discuss how the Judiciary acts as a guardian of fundamental rights.
- Why is there a need for political institutions? (CBSE 2014,15)
- The Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha. How?
- What are the major powers and fiction of the Prime Minister?
- What are the major functions and powers of the Parliament?
- Describe the different categories within the council of Ministers.
So, we hope that our study notes on the working of institutions class 9 helped you get a summary of this chapter. If you feel unsure about finding the right stream after 10th, our Leverage Edu experts are here to lend you a helping hand. Sign up for a free counselling session with us and get answers to all your career or academic queries!