India Government

Indian Government and Politics

India Government: Federal republic based on separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Central government known as union government. Constitution of 1950 in force but much amended; power concentrated in Parliament with upper house–Rajya Sabha (Council of States)–appointed by president and elected by state and territory assemblies and lower house–The Lok Sabha (House of the People)–popularly elected. Supreme Court highest court of land; high courts in states.

India Government Administrative Divisions: Twenty-five states with 476 districts, one national capital territory, six union territories. State governors appointed by president, chief minister member of popularly elected state assembly; central-government agencies prevalent at local levels. Constitution allows central control of state government (President’s Rule) during time of emergency on recommendation of governor. Districts subdivided into taluqs or tehsils, townships that contain from 200 to 600 villages. Small, centrally controlled union territories with lieutenant governor or chief commissioner appointed by president.

Politics: With 354 million voters, some 14,700 candidates, more than 500 parties, and nearly 595,000 polling stations in April-May 1996 elections, India often called “world’s largest democ-racy.” Since independence, dominated by Indian National Congress (Congress–see Glossary) and its factions; occasional rule by minority-party and coalition governments; Janata Party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), communist parties, and several regional parties also important.

Foreign Relations: Member of United Nations (UN), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Nonaligned Movement, and numerous other international organizations. Relations with all major nations based on principles of nonalignment.

Data as of 1995

India Government

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