ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM AT STATE AND DISTRICT LEVELS
IGNOU BPAC 134 Solved Free Assignment
BPAC 134 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. 1. Distinguish between the Secretariat and Executive department.
Ans. The basic approach is that policy-making work should be separate from the execution of the policy.
Due to this separation of powers between the two, the responsibility of the Secretariat is to aid, assist, and advise the political executive in policy formulation. The execution of the policy is the responsibility of the Executive Department.
The secretariat department is normally headed by a generalist civil servant (IAS). Each secretariat department is in-charge of a number of executive departments.
It depends upon the nature of the work of the secretariat department. Some secretariat departments do not require any executive departments, for example Department of Law, Finance, etc.
The executive department is headed by a specialist and functions under the supervision of the secretariat department.
For example, a specialist like Director of Agriculture would function under the supervision of a generalist, the Secretary of Agriculture.
Likewise, the education director functions under the education secretary and industry director under the industry secretary.
The administrative philosophy of separating policy formulation from its execution evolved to counter the argument that politics should be kept out of administration.
The policy is concerned with political choices and broader values while the execution deals with practical nitty-gritty.
Historically, the separation of policy-making from its execution evolved to underline the importance of the political executive.
Woodrow Wilson held, that policy formulation is the responsibility of the political executive and the job of an administrator is limited to implement the policies.
Max Weber justified it and held that examining the policy is not the job of the administrators who execute it.
The experience of the administrators is very valuable for those responsible to take political decisions of policy formulation.
The administrators get acquainted with many aspects of policy execution. They know the problems and practical difficulties which do come up later in the course of policy implementation.
This, in fact, gives them an edge over the politicians in decision-making and policy formulations.
The amount of inputs available by the use of modern advances in data storage, processing and management has made vast difference to the capability of evaluations.
This is being used by new generations of specialists and professionals coming to the administrative services and manning the key positions.
The administrators on the basis of being more informed and having expertise in their field, have come to play a wider role in policy formulation. The reasons are:
(a) The importance of facts, figures and relevant data in policy formulation can not be exaggerated.
In order to make the policies really effective the politicians require the data support and depend on the administrators for it.
(b) On the basis of their long experience, the administrators tender valuable advice on feasibility of better policy options.
(c) The policy formulations which get the final form of an Act passed by the Legislature, originate in form of a draft prepared by the civil servants, which after getting ministerial approval are placed before the legislature.
(d) When required to choose between various alternative courses of actions, the adminis-trators exercise administrative discretion.
Policy decisions in various modern fields require high technical expertise and the legislature has no option but to confine itself to indicating broad framework of law, leaving the details to be finalized by those well-versed in the particular fields.
Q 2. Examine the administrative relations between State and Local Government.
Ans. The local bodies play an important role in sustainable development. We will see the administrative relations between the State and Local Bodies in the following areas:
(i) Approval of Bye-laws and Rules: The bye-laws and rules are approved by the State Government within the framework of the Municipal Act for the civic governance within their jurisdiction and annul their resolutions, if these local bodies exceed their limits.
The bye-laws and rules framed by the PRIS within the framework of the Panchayati Raj Act are passed by the State Government and are considered as guiding factors of growth within the jurisdiction of a local government.
These rules also strengthen the relations between the State Government and Local Government.
(ii) Control on Local Bodies through State Cadre: The State Government controls the higher level personnel of the Rural Local Bodies and Urban Local Bodies in the states.
The All India Services or the State Service personnel manned the most of the higher level administrative positions in PRIS and Municipalities which prevents local bodies from promoting their own administrative leadership.
The State Government also controls the Urban Local Bodies through their personnel.
(iii) Audit of the Local Bodies and issuance of Directions: To improve the administrative system, the State Government conducts inspections of Local Bodies and issue suitable directions.
The Government mentions the purpose and method of proper utilisation of the grants while giving grants. The periodic audit is also an instrument of control.
The Legislature of a State makes provisions regarding the maintenance of accounts by the Panchayats and auditing of such accounts for the Audit of accounts of Panchayats (Article 243J).
The Government has the power to remove and annul the resolutions of local bodies and has the power of removing members of these bodies and officers at various levels and also inspects the Institutions of self- governance.
Some powers possessed by the State Government include the power of inspection, supervision and control over local bodies. For this, an authorised state officer inspects all books, proceedings and records of local bodies.
(iv) Submission of Periodic Reports to State Government: Thelocal Bodies submit the reports about their functioning to the State government.
The KPR Act, 1994 read with the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Manner of Inspection and Audit System) Rules, 1997 and the KM Act, 1994 read with Kerala Municipality (Manner of Inspection and Audit System) Rules, 1997 lays down that the PRIS/ULBS shall prepare Annual Financial Statements (AFS) and forward them to the Director of Local Fund Audit (DLFA) after getting them approved by the Panchayat/Municipal Council/Corporation Council not later than 31 July/31 May/ 31 May respec-tively of the succeeding year.
The Kerala Local Fund Audit Act, 1994 (KLFA Act) states that the the DLFA has to complete the audit of accounts submitted by Local Self-Government Institutions (LSGIS) within six months of the receipt of accounts and issue Audit Report within three months from the date of completion of audit.
(v) Default Power of the State Government: When the municipal Body is not successful in discharging the duties, for example if it fails to lay out proper sewers or sewage disposal plants within the specified time-limit, the state government may announce the local authority to be in default and can take action against it.
At times, if it’s necessary the Government gets that work done on its own but expenditure for it will be borne by the Urban Local Body.
The name given to this power of State Government is known as the default power which should be applied rarely and as a last resort, after using all means of advice and persuasion otherwise it will result in strained relations between state and local body.
(vi) An Appeal against the Unjust and Arbitrary Behaviour of a Local Body: An appeal can be made to the state government for the desired action in case of an unjust and arbitrary behaviour of a Municipal body or PRIS.
After the 73rd Constitutional Amend-ment, the state governments have supplied the necessary legislative provisions in their Panchayati Raj Acts to empower the District Collectors to oversee malpractices and the misuse of powers by the panchayats in their area, which may be from the suspension of the Panchayats to the suspension of the elected chair-persons.
The state government dependscupon the reports of the District Collector in order to take the necessary action.
The District Collector is the eyes and ears of the state government at the local level and the role that continues to be strengthened in states.
(vii) Control on Arbitrary Practices: When the State Government dissolved any Local body at its own discretion, it was seen that the elections would not be held for years.
The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act states that if the state government takes a decision to dissolve a municipal body before the expiration of five years, then before the dissolution, the government will give a reasonable opportunity to that municipality for being heard.
In addition to this, the elections for constituting a new municipality will have to be completed within a period of six months.
The Municipal Body can remain dissolved for a period of only six months. The municipality so constituted, after dissolution, will continue only for the remainder period for which the dissolved municipality would have continued had it not been dissolved by the State Government.
The similar process is followed in case of the PRIs and such provisions will ensure that the municipalities and PRIS are not dissolved arbitrarily and will play a significant role in improving the relationship between the State Government and Local Bodies.
(viii) Dissolution of Municipality: Before the enactment of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, the state government could supersede and suspend a municipality.
For example, in 1989, out of 73 Municipal Corporations 39 were superseded at different points of time. This refers to the extent of control exercised by the State over Local Bodies.
But now, the state legislatures do not possess the power to make amendments in any law, which can lead to supersession of any municipality, before the expiration of its normal term of five years.
The similar process is followed in case of the PRIS also after 73rd Constitutional Amendment.
This can be stated as a security against arbitrary action by the state government, which will improve the relationship between the State Government and Local Bodies.
Q. 3. Highlight the system of district administration during British period.
Ans. The District is the principal unit of territorial administration in India. The Mauryas were the first to constitute the District as the most prominent territorial unit; and centralise its administration with all powers concentrated in a single officer called the Rajuka at its hierarchic apex.
After that the consolidation of the territories generally in terms of the existing districts was done by the British and they in the early part of their rule believed that the larger the district, the greater the administration, and the higher the stature and the prestige of their District Officer.
At the time of Warren Hastings, the foundation of the present day District Administration was laid and from the historical perspective the District Administration in India was designed to resist political activities and political pressures rather than to generate a climate to enable local social forces to resolve political conflicts in the larger interest of society.
After that the British modified the pattern to facilitate the introduction of their system of administration based on the rule of law.
The objective was to make it really effective for the purpose of realising land revenue and enforcing law and order.
The centralisation measures that they had taken in building up a prefectorial bureaucratic society, yielded quick dividends from the angle of their imperial objectives, but the consequences of such measures could be abated to some extent only with their programme of participation of Indians in the administration; and the introduction of Local Self-Government.
The important functions and powers of the district administration remained intact in the hands of government in the district and the representative of the government in the district was also authorised to exercise supervisory and regulatory jurisdictions over all activities in his territory, and exercise residuary powers according to his discretion.
Q. 4. Discuss the composition of State Finance Commission.
Ans. By the end of the year 2019, most of the states have setup four to five Finance Commissions.
The State Finance Commission is appointed at the end of every five years but there is no fixed term of its working and it ends as soon as it submits its report.
The State Finance Commission generally works for a period of one year to one and a half years and in every state the appointment of State Finance Commission takes place on the basis of its announcement made by the Governor and it comes into existence from the date of assuming of charge by its Chairman and members.
The composition of the Finance Commission is not uniform and constitutes a Chairman and a few members. The strength in some states is specified by the state legislation.
For example in Punjab, the Finance Commission constitutes the Chairman and four other members and in Tamil Nadu it constitutes one Chairman and four members.
In Haryana, the third Finance Commission constitutes one Chairman and three members whereas the fifth Finance Commission constitutes seven members including one Chairman and one Member Secretary.
Qualifications for Chairman/Members: The qualifications/conditions for the appointment of Chairman and members are clearly mentioned in some states whereas in other states there is no such specification.
In Punjab, the person to be recruited as Chairman of the Finance Commission is supposed to have an experience in public affairs and the persons to be appointed as
Members thereof are required to have:
Special knowledge and experience in matters related to the economic and financial field regarding Panchayats or regarding Munici-palities Broad experience in financial matters and administration, or Special knowledge in the field of economics.
Disqualification: A person may be disqualified for being appointed as Member or for being a Member of the Finance Commission in the following cases:
. If s/he is of unsound mind
. If s/he is an undercharged insolvent
. If s/he has been convicted of an offence, which involves moral turpitude, or
. If s/he has such financial or any other interest, as is likely to affect prejudicially her/his functions as a Member of the State Finance Commission.
Term of Members: The tenure of every member of the State Finance Commission who holds office for the period may be specified in order of the Governor appointing her/him as such but shall be eligible for reappointment, provided that s/he may, by a letter addressed to the Governor, resign her/his office, at any time prior to the period specified in her/his appointment letter. Conditions of Service: There are some conditions of service of the State Finance Commission.
The Chairman and Members of the Finance Commission may provide whole time or part time service to the State Finance Commission as the Governor may in each case specify; and they shall be paid fees or salaries and such allowances as the State Government may prescribe from time-to-time.
Q. 5. Describe the evolution, need and significance of Lokayukta.
Ans. The evolution of Lokayukta can be traced to the Ombudsmen in Scandinavian countries. An Om-budsman is a person who is appointed to protect citizens against any form of maladministration.
The first country to introduce the system was Sweden and the initiatives taken by the Indian government towards making the administrative system free from corruption and malpractices resulted in creation of the government of two anti-corruption watchdogs, that is, Lokpal and Lokayukta.
In this regard, it is pertinent to trace the historical journey through which these institutions have been evolved.
The main objective of “Lokpal” and “Lokayukta” was the redressal of grievances of the citizens.
The Lokayukta is created as a statutory authority with a fixed tenure to enable it to discharge its functions independently and impartially as per the recommen-dations of the ARC.
The former High Court Chief Justice or former Supreme Court Judge is usually the person appointed for the purpose.
In the year 1972, the state of Maharashtra created the institution of lokayukta and then in 1973 by Rajasthan and then Uttar Pradesh in 1975, Madhya Pradesh, etc.
There are few states where there is a provision for Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta (for instance in Maharashtra and Rajasthan).
The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (SARC) in its report, entitled ‘Ethics in Governance’ has suggested that the Lokayukta should be a multi-member body that constitutes a Judicial Member as the Chairperson, an eminent jurist or eminent administrator with credentials as member and the Head of the State Vigilance Commission as an ex-officio member.
The Chairperson of the Lokayukta is selected from a panel of the retired Supreme Court Judges or retired Chief Justice of the High Court, by a committee consisting of the Chief Minister, Chief Justice of the High Court and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of the State.
Another member from amongst eminent jurists/administrators is also selected by the same committee.
The SARC underscores the point that the jurisdiction of the Lokayukta would extend to only those cases, which involve corruption, while the matters of general public grievances will be left outside its purview.
There should be an independent machinery of the Lokayukta for investigation of cases.
There can be a problem before the Lokayukta of soliciting and receiving the active cooperation of the state government even if the Governor is consti-tutionally correct.
The action taken on the suggestions by the Lokayukta would also require the state government’s cooperation and support.
An amendment to the Constitution has been suggested to implement the Lokayukta uniformly across Indian states, on the lines suggested by the first AR, to deal with the pertinent problems of maladministration and administrative injustice.
The sincere efforts of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 had received presidential assent on January 1, 2014 and came into force from January 16, 2014.
Q. 6. Highlight the powers and functions of the Councils of Ministers.
Ans. The Council of Ministers is the highest policy-making body of the state government and is responsible for laying down the policies in respect to all matters within the legislative and administrative competence of the state government.
The Council is also responsible for reviewing the implementation of the policy laid down by it and can revise any policy in view of the feedback received during implementation.
The Governor exercises her/his executive powers on the advice of the Council of Ministers and all the executive power is exercised in the name of the Governor, there is no limitation on the powers of the Council except the following:
(a) The limits imposed by the Constitution and the laws passed by the Union and State Legislature.
(b) Self-imposed limits to exclude consideration of less important matters.
Q. 7. What do you mean by All India Services?
Ans. All India Services consists of the elite corps of officers who would man top positions both in the states as well as the Centre.
The officers are selected by the Union Government through the Union Public Service Commission. After recruitment, each officer is given a specific state cadre.
The concerned officer moves to the Central government. The arrangement under which such movement takes place is known as the Tenure System.
The officer is shifted back and forth between the state and the Centre during the first twenty years of her/his career and then finally gets stationed at the Centre.
The officers of the All India Services work under the joint control of the Centre and the state to which they are allotted.
The existence of the Tenure System, under which officers of the All India Services move to the Centre periodically, ensures that the incumbents of the policymaking posts at the Centre are backed by rich field experience.
The personnel for the All India Services come from the superior administrative posts in the states, at the district level and above.
The IAS officers are given the posts of District Collectors, Divisional Commissioners, members of the Board of Revenue, Secretaries to the Government, Chief Secretary, etc.
The IPS offices are given the posts of Superintendents of Police (SPs) and above in the Police Department at the state level.
Q. 8. Discuss the role of election tribunal.
Ans. There are many states that have provided for a provision to setup an Election Tribunal at the State level in order to take up election related disputes.
In Punjab, an Election Tribunal is constituted by the State Government in consultation with the SEC for each district or part thereof, at the District or Sub-Divisional Headquarters.
By notification, the State Government appoints an IAS or PCS Class I/Group A Officer of the State Government having adequate administrative, legal or magisterial experience, as the Presiding Officer of an Election Tribunal.
Procedure before the Election Tribunal: Every Election Petition is tried by the Election Tribunal may be in accordance with the procedure contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act 5 of 1908) to the trial of suits.
“The Election Tribunal shall have the power to refuse, for reasons to be recorded in writing and to examine any witness or witnesses, if it is of the opinion that the evidence of such witness or witnesses is not material for the decision of the election petition or that the party tendering such witness or witnesses is doing so on frivolous grounds or with a view to delay the proceedings of the election petition.”
(Punjab State Election Commission Act, 1994, Chapter XII (81)). The provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Central Act 1 of 1872) apply in all respects to the trial of an Election Petition.
First, we will discuss the corrupt practices and electoral offences which can be observed during the elections.
Q. 9. Write a short note on Gram Nyayalayas.
Ans. Gram Nyayalayas are mobile courts which are formed under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008. The objective was the speedy and easy access to justice system in rural areas.
This Act came into existence from 2nd October, 2009 with the aim of providing inexpensive justice to rural people at their doorsteps.
There are 204 functional Gram Nyayalayas (Economic Services Group National Productivity Council, 2017-18), against a target of 2500.
The Nyayalayas try criminal cases, civil suits, claims or disputes that are specified in the First Schedule and Second Schedule of the Act.
The District Court or the Court of Session may shift all the civil or criminal cases, which are pending before the courts to the Gram Nyayalaya.
The Gram Nyayalaya has its discretion to retry the cases or proceed from the stage at which it was transferred to it.
The scope of cases can be changed by the central as well as the State Governments as per their respective legislative competence. The judgement and order passed by the Nyayalaya are deemed to be a decree.
In this context, the summary procedure can be followed to avoid delay in its execution. The Gram Nyayalayas are followed by a Nyayadhikari.
A Gram Nyayalaya has jurisdiction over an area that is specified by a notification by the State Government in consultation with the respective High Court.
The main expectation from these Nyayalayas is to be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to any rule made by the High Court.
They shall not be bound by the rules of evidence provided under Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
A person accused of an offence files an application for plea bargaining. The Gram Nyayalaya possesses the power of Criminal and Civil Courts.
(i) Criminal Cases: Appeal lies to the Court of Session that shall be heard and disposed of within a period of six months from the date of filing of this appeal.
(ii) Civil Cases: Appeal lies to the District Court that shall be heard and disposed of within a period of six months from the date of filing of such appeal.
Q. 10. Enumerate the powers and functions of Zila Parishad.
Ans. The ZP is mainly an advisory, supervisory and coordinating agency of the Panchayat system and performs the following nctions:
Advice to PS on the requirement of the Government or at the request of a Panchayat Samiti or of its own motion.
Coordinates and consolidates development plans in respect of PS. Secures the execution of plans, project schemes etc. common to two or more Panchayat Samitis in the district.
Advises the Government on all matters concerning development activities and maintenance of services in the district. Advises the Government on allocation of work among Gram Panchayats and Panchayat Samitis and coordinate their work.
Advises the Government on matters referred by the Government concerning the implementation of any statutory or executive order, and Examines and approves the budget of Panchayat Samitis in the manner laid down in the Act (for example, Section 102 of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994).
The Zila Parishad, under written order of the Government exercises such supervision and control over the performance of all or any of the administrative functions of the Gram Panchayat and Panchayat Samiti within the district or any part thereof.