Electoral Reforms In India

EC pulled up for backing simultaneous polls


Mains Paper 2: Polity | Powers, functions & responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Standing Committee, Election Commission

Mains level: Debate on simultaneous elections (A question was asked in Mains 2017 on this topic)

EC does not have the mandate to decide the issue

  1. The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice discussed electoral reforms
  2. Lawmakers questioned the Election Commission about its recent statements endorsing simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, saying it does not have the mandate to decide the issue

How will simultaneous election process decided?

  1. Constitution needs to be amended in order to facilitate simultaneous elections
  2. A constitutional amendment would have to be cleared by both Houses of Parliament
  3. It would have to be ratified by the Assemblies of half of the States
  4. The other way was for all Assemblies and the Union government to agree to the plan voluntarily


Standing Committee

  1. In the Indian Parliament, a Standing committee is a committee consisting of Members of Parliament
  2. It is a permanent and regular committee which is constituted from time to time according to the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business
  3. The work done by the Indian Parliament is not only voluminous but also of a complex nature, hence a great deal of its work is carried out in these Parliamentary Committees
  4. Both Houses of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, and Lok Sabha have similar Committee structures with a few exceptions
  5. These standing committees are elected or appointed every year, or periodically by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, or as a result of consultation between them
  6. Important committees are the Committee on Estimates, the Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee on Public Undertakings and DRSCs
  7. These committees play an important role in exercising a check over governmental expenditure and Policy formulation
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