Introduction to India – Indian Polity Notes Part 1 in English
Indian Polity Notes Part 1 in English
1] Introduction to India
- Our Nation, India has the greatest civilization of the world with a rich cultural heritage. Since its independence, our nation has achieved all round praiseworthy Socio-economic progress.
- It has become self sufficient in agricultural production and reached the tenth position in industrial development in the world. It is the sixth nation to have explored outer space.
- India is described as an “Epitoma of the world” – a perfect example of the world, as it has varied geographical features, climate, flora and fauna, heterogeneous cultures, customs, various languages and faiths. Yet it has achieved ,unity indiversity.
- India is the seventh largest country in the world with an area of 32,87,263 sq. kms. and it is the second most populous country in the world, next only to China.
- India is bounded by the Himalayan ranges in the north, the Indian Ocean in the South.
- The Bay of Bengal in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. It has a land frontier of about 15,200 kms. The length of its coastline is 7516. 6 kms.
- India is entirely situated in the Northern hemisphere. From south to north, the mainland extends between latitudes 804’ and 3706’ North latitudes.
- From west to east, it extends between 6807’ and 97025’ East longitudes.
- It measures about 3214 Kms. from north to south and about 2,933 Kms. from east to west.
Population and Literacy Rate
- The population density of India was 382. Sq. Kms in 2011. The population density is the number of people living per square kilometre.
- According to 2011 census, the literacy rate has increased to 74.04%. The male and the female literacy rates are 82.14% and 65.46% respectively.
- The population of India is 1210. 2 millions as per 2011 census, in which male population is 623.7 million and the female population is 586.5 million.
The Polity or the Political Administration
- India is the largest democracy in the world. India is a Sovereign Socialistic Secular Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary form of Government.
- The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution, which came into force on 26th January 1950. Indian Constitution is the lengthiest written Constitution in the world
- The Indian Union comprises of twenty nine States and seven Union Territories.
The Union Executive
- The Union Executive consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers and the Attorney – General of India.
- The President is the head of the Indian Union. He is the first citizen of India. He acts as the symbol of unity, integrity and solidarity of the nation. He is elected indirectly.
- A person who is the citizen of India and not less than years of age can contest the Presidential elections. Almost all the higher authorities in the country especially at the centre are appointed by the President.
- The Vice-President acts as the President when the President’s post is vacant or when the President is unable to discharge his duties.
- In a Parliamentary form of government, the President is only the normal head of the nation, while the Prime Minister is the real head of the government. The leader of the government.
- The leader of the majority party, who has the confidence of the Lok Sabha is appointed as the Prime Minister by the President.
- The Council of Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The Union Legislature
- The Union Legislature is called the Parliament. It consists of the President and the two Houses namely the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States).
- Lok Sabha is also called as the Lower House of the Parliament. It consists of members who are mostly directly elected by the people on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage.
- For election purpose the States and the Union Territories are divided into constituencies.
- The candidate who secures the maximum votes represents his/her constituency in the Lok Sabha.
- At present, there are members in the Lok Sabha which includes two nominated members from the Anglo-Indian community.
- Rajya Sabha is also called as the Upper House of the Parliament. The members of Rajya Sabha are elected indirectly. Members are elected
- At present, there are members in the Rajya Sabha, out of which 238 members are elected indirectly and 12 members who are distinguished in the field of Art, Literature, Science and Social Service are nominated by the President.
- Our constitution has 22 languages but initially 14 language. Hindi is a national language. There are listed in the 8th schedule of the constitution.
The State Government
The State Executive
- The State Executive consists of the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Council of Ministers and the Advocate-General.
- The Governor is appointed by the President for a term of 5 years. He is the Constitutional head of the State.
- An Indian citizen above the age of 35 is eligible to be appointed as the Governor. The leader of the majority party, who enjoys the confidence of the State Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor.
- The other Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- The real powers are vested in the hands of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.
The State Legislature
- The State Legislature is not uniform in all the States. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharastra and Uttar Pradesh have a bicameral Legislature and all the other states of India have a uni-cameral Legislature.
- A bi-cameral Legislature consists of two Houses – Legislative Council (Upper House) and Legislative Assembly (Lower House).
- A uni-cameral Legislature consists of only one House namely the Legislative Assembly (Lower House).
- The Judiciary is an independent organ. The Supreme Court of India is the Highest Court in our country.
- It is the guardian of our Constitution. It is at New Delhi. At present there are 31 Judges in the Supreme Court including the Cief Justice of India.
- The High Court is the highest court in the state. There are 21 High Courts in India, out of which 3 of them are common to two or more states.
- All the independent Nations of the world have their own unique identifications, which are popularly called the National Symbols.
- The National Flag, the National Emblem, the National Anthem, the National Song, the National Animal, the National Bird, the National Flower and the National Tree are the National symbols.
- They give us a feeling of oneness and inspire us to pay homage to our partriots.
The National Flag
- Our National Flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion.
- Its ratio of the length to its breadth is 3:2. Saffron colour at the top denotes courage and sacrifice. It was designed by Pingali Vengaya of Andhra.
- It also reminds us about the sacrifice made by the freedom fighters.
- The White colour in the middle denotes truth and Navy Blue Chakra in the middle induces us to move forward along the path of dharma, to bring peace and prosperity of the Nation.
- The design of chakra is taken from the lower part of the capital of the Saranath pillar of Asoka, the Chakra’s diameter is proportionate to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
- The Green colour band at the bottom signifies prosperity, greenery of our fertile land and faith. We must respect our national flag.
The rules concerning the Flag
- The Constituent Assembly approved the National Flag on July 22nd 1947, three weeks before the Indian Independence. It was hoisted on 15th August 1947 for the first time.
- The National Flag should be raised and lowered carefully.
- No other Flag should be placed higher than it nor should any flag be placed to its right.
- It should be raised to the top of the mast.
- We must lower it before sunset.
- The Flag is flown at half mast either to mourn the death of our National leader or when the Head of a friendly Nation passes away.
- We must stand in attention when the flag is hoisted.
The National Anthem
- All Nations have a patriotic song known as the National Anthem. We should stand in attention as a mark of respect, when the National Anthem is sung or its tune is played on a band. The National Anthem is sung at all National, State and other important functions.
- The Indian National Anthem was composed by the great poet Rabindranath Tagore.
- The original song in Bengali has got five stanzas. Only the first stanza has been selected as our National Anthem.
- The Constituent Assembly adopted the National Anthem on 24th January 1950.
- It was first sung on 27th December 1911, at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.
- The time duration for Singing or playing our National Anthem is approximately 52 Seconds. Short version of 20 seconds.
- The National Anthem reflects the glory and the greatness of our mother land. It gives the message of tolerance, unity, integrity and patriotism.
English version of the Anthem
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Thou dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of the Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha, of Dravid, Orissa and Bengal.
It echoe in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of the Yamuna and Ganges
and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for Thy blessings and sing Thy praise
The saving of all people waits in Thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India’s destiny.
Victory, Victory, Victory to Thee.
The National Emblem
- The National Emblem is taken from the Saranath Pillar of Asoka. It was adopted by the Government of India on 26th January 1950.
- Our National Emblem consists of four lions sitting back to back on a circular pedestal. Only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view.
- The lions represent power and majesty. The base has a horse on the left, a wheel in the centre and a bull on the right.
- The horse signifies energy and speed. The bull denotes hard work and steadfastness.
- The Chakra signifies dharma and righteousness. The words “Satyameva Jayate” in Devanagari Script, which means “Truth alone Triumphs” is inscribed below the abacus.
The National Song
- The Song –“Vande Mataram” was composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chattarjee. It was a source of inspiration to the people who fought for our freedom.
- This song was published in his book “Anand Matt” in 1882. It was first sung during the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.
- Interestingly the first person to sing the song in the Calcutta session was Rabindranath Tagore.
The National Animal
- Indian Government initially adopted the lion as our National animal.
- Later tiger was adopted as the National animal, The combination of grace, strength, ability and enormous power of the tiger has earned its place of pride as the National animal of India.
- The peacock is our National bird. Its beautiful, rich feathers indicate the natural beauty of our country. Indian Literature speaks high of the peacock.
The National Flower
- Lotus is our National flower. It is noted for its majesty, grandeur, beauty and fragrance. It denotes unity.
- It occupies a unique position in ancient Indian mythology.
- National Fruit: Mango
- National Game: Hockey
- National River: Ganga
- The National calendar is based on the Saka Era. It starts from 22.3.1957.
The National Tree
- Banyan tree is our National tree. It is a huge tree having the widest reaching roots of all known trees.
- The strong political structure and the national symbols of our land, instill the feeling and thought that all are Indians.
- Help in the growth of national integration.