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INDIAN POLITY | CONSTITUTIONAL TERMS

    1. Appellate Jurisdiction : The authority to hear the appeal against the law courts.
    2. Bill (Law) : Bill means proposed law introduced in the legislature for discussion. When passed, it becomes a law. A Bill may be introduced in either house of legislature by a minister. It is then called an 'Official Bill'. A Bill may be introduced by a member in either house of legislature after giving due notice. Such a bill is called a 'Non-Official Bill'.
    3. Budget : A Statement of annual income and expenditure is submitted to the legislature for its approval.
    4. Cabinet : First rank members of the Council of Ministers appointed by the President on the recommendations of the Prime Minister.
    5. Collective Responsibility : It means that the Council of Ministers take decisions collectively and all ministers actively support that decision. The whole Council of Ministers resigns if a vote of no-confidence is passed against a minister.
    6. Constitution : A body of Fundamental laws and principles according to which a country is governmed. It is a frame wok within which a governmen works.
    7. Constitutency : A body of voters that elect its representative to a legislative body like the Lok Sabha, or the Vidhan Sabha.
    8. Civil Cases : Cases oncerning property, contracts and damage to goods in transit, etc.
    9. Crimnal cases : Cases dealing with left, robbery, physical injury or murder.
    10. Citizen : A citizen is one who lives in a country and participates in the working of the government. An individual cannot be a citizen of more than one country.


    1. Constitutional Remedy : Our Constitution provides that, in case an individual feels that he has been denied his fundamental rights, he can demand justice from the Court according to a procedure set by law.
    2. Democratic Republic : A government through elected representatives where the Head of the government is elected for a fixed term.
    3. Directive Principles : These principles are constitutional guidelines and directives to the government for the achievement of national goals.
    4. Executive : A branch of government which implements and executes or administers law. The Cabinet, the Council of Ministers and the Public Services are a part of the Executive.
    5. Exploitation : To make use of the services of others for selfish purposes.
    6. Economic Justice : It implies removal of economic inequalities. All citizens are guaranteed a decent standard of living.
    7. Fraternity : Spirit or brotherhood among the citizens.
    8. Fundamental Rights : Rights fundamental or essential to good living; six fundamental rights are guaranteed by our constitution
    9. Impeachment : It means accusing a high official like President of India, Supreme Court Judge, etc. of disloyally to the country and corruption and trying him in the Parliament according to a procedure set by law.
    10. Judiciary : A branch of government which decides disputes among individuals, between individuals and the government or between parts of governments; for example, Supreme Court, High Court and Subordinate Courts.


    1. Magna Carta : The great Charter of England, granted by King John is called Magna Carta. "It provides that"no man shall be taken or imprisoned nor will he pass upon him or condemn him but by lawful judgement.
    2. President's Rule : A situation may rise when the Governor feels that no party in the State Vidhan Sabha has a clear majority or that the state ministry has lost the confidence of the Legislature and it is not possible to form an alternative ministry. There may be a situation when he feels it is not possible to carry on the administration of the state in a constitutional manner. In such a case, the President, on the report of the Governor, may dissolve the Assembly and dismiss the Council of Ministers. The State then comes under what is popularly known as the Governor's Rule or President's Rule.
    3. Preamble : A Statement of the spirit and meaning of the Constitution. It is the introduction in which the purpose of the Constitution is given.
    4. Prorogue : An act of ending of a session. It is the discretion of the President and the Governor.
    5. Laissez faire : A general principle of non-interference.
    6. Legislature : A law-making body of elected representatives who make law for a country or a state; for example. Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha.
    7. Question Hour : The list of the business before the House of Legislature is given to the members in advance. Generally, the first hour of each sitting is "Question Hour". The Government give replies to the question aleady sent by the members. The members are entitled to get more information through "supplementary Question". The main purpose of the "Question Hour" is to seek information and draw the attention of the Government to issues of public importance. After the "Question Hour, the agenda is taken up".
    8. Recess : The term is used for the period between the prerogation of parliament and its reassembly in a new session.
    9. Secular State : A state which gives every individual a right to practise his religion and worship in his own way. It treats all religions alike. It neither favours any religion nor discriminates against any religion. India is a Secular State.
    10. Snap General Election : Means a general election which is called for suddenly. This happens in a democratic regime when a duly installed majority government finds it difficult to deal with an extraordinary situation and wants the electorate to give a fresh verdict on its programmes and policies.


    1. Snap Poll : A snap poll means a sudden election to a legislature held at short notice before the expiry of its full term. A midterm poll also means the same thing, even if an election is ordered many months after the middle of a legislature's usual five-year span. But it was the surprise dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1971 and the election ordered soon afterwards that has given wide currency to the expression "snap poll".
    2. Socialistic Pattern of Society : Means distribution of economic power or reduction of inequalities in income and wealth in a country. The Resolution for a "Socialistic Pattern of Society" was adopted at the Avadi Session of the Indian National Congress. Splinter Group : Quite often parties have within them certain groups which can be reffered to as splinter groups. They are groups of people who differ from the main body in their approach views or strategy.
    3. Starred and Unstarred Questions : When asking questions members of Parliament may ask for either oral or written answers. Questions to which oral answers are required are marked with an asterisk, and are known as Starred Question. Questions requiring written replies are Unstarred Questions.
    4. Socialist State : A state which tries to bring about economic and social equality in the country. India aims at establishing such a socialist state.
    5. Sovereign Government : A government that is supreme and free and does not take directions from any outside authority.
    6. Social Justice : It implies that all citizens are treated equal and none can be discriminated against on basis of caste, creed, religion or status.
    7. State of Emergency : The President can declare a state of emergency in the country in an emergency caused by way, of foreign attack or internal disturbances and the armed rebellion in the country on an express request of the cabinet.
    8. Simple Majority Vote : Usually a candidate who secures the highest percentage of votes is declared elected by a simple majority vote. He may actually not get even fifty percentage of votes.
    9. Sine die : It is an adjournment of a meeting to a date which is not fixed specifically at that time.
    10. Single Transferable Vote : Under the system, the voters cast their votes for candidates in order of preference. If a candidate does not secure more than fifty percent votes, the second preference votes are also counted and a candidate is elected on the basis of total votes polled, first preference and second preference.



    1. Single Citizenship : India has single citizenship. It means that all the citizens of India. They are not the citizens of state i.e. Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal. In U.S.A., the citizens have double citizenship. They are the cities of U.S.A. and also of a particular state.
    2. Ultimatum : Final terms before a certain course of action vis-a- vis another party is adopted.
    3. Untouchability : Due to caste distinctions prevailing in Indian society, certain castes were considered low and suffered from many social and economic injustices.
    4. Universal Adult Franchise : It means that every adult citizens enjoys the right to vote. In India a citizen who is not less than 18 years of age enjoys this right.
    5. Ultravires : An invalid act done in excess of the authority conferred by law, acts beyond the scope of the powers of a corporation as defined by its memorandum and articles of association. In fact, it is an act done beyond powers or lack of power.
    6. Veto : Right of executive head to refuse to approve any legislation.
    7. Vote : Right of executive head to refuse to approve any legislation.
    8. Vote on account : Usually, Vote on account is taken for a sum equivalent to one-sixth of the expenditure for the entire year in respect of demands for grants. As a convention, it is passed by the Lok Sabha without any discussion.
    9. Vote of Credit : During a national emergency, the house might grant a lump sum through a vote of credit. Likewise, exceptional grants are given for special purposes.
    10. Vote of no-Confidence : It implies that the legislature feels that the Council of Ministers is not working properly and deserves to be removed from office. It has lost the confidence of the legislature. If such a proposal is passed, the Council of Ministers resigns.
    11. Waiver : The act of abandoning or refraining from asserting a legal right is called waiver. It is a defence against subsequent enforcement.
    12. Weaker Sections : Classes of people who are socially and economically backward.
    13. Weightage : Allowing a community (or group) more representation that it can claim on the basis of its population.
    14. Whip : An important party official, entrusted with the responsibility of organising disciplined voting according to the party directions and ensuring attendance of the party members on a specific occasion.
    15. White Paper : A detailed policy statement issued by a government with regard to a matter of considerable public importance.
    16. Zero-based Budgeting : It is an improvement over the traditional budgeting and not a substitute of it. It examines critically regularly and systematically the assumptions of the traditional budget. The budgeted item is treated at each year at the Zero- base level as if it was non-existent in the past.
    17. Zero Hour : The period following the question hour. If generally begins at 12.00 noon and lasts till 1.00 p.m. Officially, it is used to raise various issues of public importance without priorly notifying the minister.




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