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Political Executive – Definition, Functions, Characteristics, Examples

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  • Last Updated : 04 Jul, 2022
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The Executive is one of the most crucial branches of government, and it is impossible for a government to function without it. It is responsible for putting into effect all of the laws and policies enacted by Parliament or the Legislative Assemblies. It also carries out the government’s different programs and projects. Prime Minister and President, Chief Minister, and Governor, IAS, IPS, and IFS, to name a few. 

Political Executive

Executives are those who make day-to-day choices on behalf of the people but do not have ultimate authority. They are known as executives because they are in charge of carrying out the government’s policies. The following are the characteristics of Political Executives:

  • They are the people’s elected representatives.
  • They are both the nominal and actual leaders of the country.
  • They are elected by the population of the country and obtain their authority from them.
  • They are only elected for a set amount of time, usually five years.
  • They’ll have to contest elections again in five years.
  • They must answer to the public.
  • Any choice made by the Political Executives may be criticized by the general public.
  • They are thought to be quite powerful.
  • They carry out the policies or legislation passed by the nation’s Parliament.
  • The Executive also maintains an eye on the legislatures. 

Political and Permanent Executive

The executive in a democratic democracy is divided into two divisions. They are :

  1. Political Executive: They are chosen by the people for a set period of time. They make significant decisions. This group includes political leaders. They wield greater authority than the permanent executive. This is because the political administration is chosen by the people, and the people’s will is ultimate in a democracy. They must account to the people for all of the implications of their decisions. They can seek input from the permanent executive and then decide on the policy’s overarching framework and objectives. 
  2. Permanent Executive: They are assigned to a specific task for a specific amount of time. Civil servants are those who work in the government as permanent executives. Even if the ruling party changes, they remain in power. They work under the direction of the political executive and assist them with day-to-day administration. They are better educated and knowledgeable about the field of ministry. For example, the finance ministry’s advisors are more knowledgeable in economics than the finance minister. However, the finance minister’s choice will be final. 

Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

  1. Prime Minister: The Prime Minister is the head of government and is in charge of all government functions. Prime Minister, the President picks the leader of the majority party or coalition of parties with a majority in the Lok Sabha. If no single party receives a majority, the President picks the person who is most likely to receive a majority vote. The term of the Prime Minister is not set; as long as he is the head of the majority or coalition party, he remains in power. 
  2. Council of Ministers: It is the official term for the group of ministers that comprises all of them. It normally consists of 60 to 80 ministers of various positions.  The Ministerial Council is formed up of:
  • Cabinet Ministers are top-ranking members of the ruling party or parties in control of the major ministries. The Council of Ministers’ inner ring is termed as Cabinet. It is made up of roughly 25 ministers. 
  • Minister of State in charge of a minor ministry with an independent charge. They only attend Cabinet meetings if they have been invited directly.
  • Ministers of State who are linked to Cabinet Ministers are expected to help them. 

Powers of the Prime Minister

  1. The Prime Minister can appoint ministers as long as they are members of Parliament. 
  2. In Cabinet sessions, he chairs and makes the majority of the decisions.
  3. In the event of a conflict between departments, he organizes the work of various departments, and his decisions are final.
  4. He has overall responsibility for many ministries, and all ministers report to him.
  5. To the ministers, he allocates and redistributes work.
  6. He also has the power to dismiss ministers from their positions. The entire cabinet resigns when the Prime Minister resigns. 

The President

 The President, also known as the nominal or de jure head of the Indian State, is regarded to be the country’s leader. The Presidency is the highest office in the country, and the President is known as the country’s first citizen. The President is addressed in Articles 52 through 62 of the Indian Constitution. The Union’s Executive Committee is the President’s member. The people do not elect by the President directly. A candidate for President must earn a majority of votes from Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Legislative Assemblies in order to win the election (MLAs). 

 All governmental operations are carried out in the president’s name. In the name of the President, all legislation and important policy decisions are made.  Significant appointments are made in name of President. These include the appointment of the Chief Justice of India,  In the name of the president, all international treaties and agreements are signed.  The President of India is the highest commander of the country’s armed forces.  The President has emergency powers, which allow him to respond with a life-threatening issue. For example, the power to declare an emergency or the President’s rule and the issuance of an ordinance. 

President’s Powers are Restricted

The President can only execute all of his powers on the advice of the Council of Ministers.  The President has the authority to request that the Council of Ministers reconsider its recommendation. If the same advise is given again, he or she is obligated to follow it. Only once the President approves ;a bill enacted by Parliament does it become law. If the President so desires, he or she might postpone the vote and send the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration.  He/she must, however, sign the bill if Parliament adopts it again.


In all democracies, an assembly of elected representatives wields Supreme Political Authority on behalf of the people. Parliament is the name given to such a national assembly of elected members in India. It is known as the Legislature or Legislative Assembly at the state level. In other terms, Parliament is a body of people elected by the people of a country on a regular basis, either directly (via direct elections) or indirectly (through indirect elections) (through indirect elections).All of the government’s decisions are debated in Parliament before they are implemented. Only after the approval of the Parliament can decisions be enacted. 

 Two Houses of Parliament

In modern democracies, the Parliament performs a crucial function. The role and powers of Parliament in large countries have been separated into two components. They’re referred to as Chambers or Houses.

  • Lok Sabha (People’s House) and Lower Chamber are the two houses or chambers. It is typically directly chosen by the people and wields actual power on their behalf. The Lok Sabha, or Lower House, is made up of people’s elected representatives. A majority of Lok Sabha members must vote in favor of the Prime Minister.
  • The Upper Chamber is known as the Rajya Sabha (Council of States).It is indirectly elected and serves a variety of purposes, such as representing the interests of various states, regions, or federal entities. The Rajya Sabha, or Upper House, represents the states and union territories’ interests. Despite not being a member of either house, the President of India is a member of Parliament. As a result, all laws passed by the houses become effective only when the President has given his assent. 


The judiciary is the arm of government in charge of interpreting the law, settling disputes, and ensuring that all citizens are treated fairly. The Constitution has a number of clauses that ensure the judiciary’s independence is preserved and protected. The Supreme Court is followed by high courts, which is followed by district and subordinate courts. The lesser courts work directly under the supervision of the higher courts. 
 According to the Indian constitution, the supreme court is the final court of appeal. As a result, India’s chief justice, along with 30 other justices, has advisory jurisdiction. Each state should have its own high court, according to India’s constitution. The Mumbai High Court is India’s oldest high court.  The population distribution of the district and state determines the establishment of district courts. It is responsible for the district’s civil and criminal proceedings.

Role of Judiciary

  • Dispute Resolution: The court system provides a means for resolving issues between citizens, citizens and the government, state governments, and the federal government.
  • Judicial Review :As the last interpreter of the Constitution, the judiciary has the right to overturn specific legislation passed by Parliament if it considers they violate the Constitution’s fundamental framework. This is referred to as judicial review. Maintaining the Rule of Law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights: Any Indian citizen can file a complaint with the Supreme Court or a High Court if they believe their Fundamental Rights have been infringed.

Sample Questions

Question1: Explain the “Indra Sawhney and others against Union of India” case, as well as the key reforms that resulted from it.


Some individuals and organizations filed the Indra Sawhney and others against Union of India case in response to government decisions on the SEBC’s 27 percent quota. The most significant revision was the Supreme Court’s modification of the initial decree, declaring that well-to-do members of the backward classes should be barred from benefiting from the reserve.

As a result, on September 8, 1993, the Department of Personnel and Training issued another Office Memorandum. 

Question 2: Give three key distinctions between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.


There are some distinctions between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

                                                  Lok SabhaRajya Sabha
The people elect members of the Lok Sabha directly.Members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the members of the Legislative Assemblies in an indirect election.
The Lok Sabha has a total of 552 members, with the President nominating two of them.The Rajya Sabha can have a maximum of 250 members, with the President nominating 12 of them.
The Lok Sabha has a 5-year term. Before the end of the term, the House can be dissolved.Members of the Rajya Sabha have a six-year term, however one-third of them leave every two years.
It can’t be dissolved because it’s a permanent house.

Question 3: What is the point of all this debate and discussion in Parliament if we already know that the ruling party’s point of view would prevail? 


In Parliament, the ruling party’s point of view is dominant, but we should have debates and discussions since this helps to highlight the positive and negative aspects of the matter at hand.Positive features may be adopted by the ruling party, while undesirable aspects may be deleted even if the law is not amended in its whole. Debate and discussion in Parliament are required to provide information to the public on a specific topic for a decision that will be made by the ruling party. Furthermore, it is unclear whether the ruling party is open to fresh ideas and discussions that could influence it to embrace new policies.
As a result, democracy requires open debate and discussion.  

Question 4: Make a distinction between political and permanent executives.


Political executives differ from permanent executives in this way-

                                      Political Executives                   Permanent Executives
1- They are elected by the people (voters) for a particular length of time.1-It is appointed for a long period of time.
2-Political executives are political leaders.2-Permanent executives are civil servants.
3-Political leaders must answer to the people.3- Permanent government-accountable executives 

Question 5: Name three of the President of India’s legislative powers.


The President of India has three legislative powers: 

  • The President is not a member of either house of Parliament. He or she is, nonetheless, an important component of the legislative process. She or he has a significant impact on the creation of laws.
  • The President has the authority to call a special session of the Lok Sabha. She/he has the power to call a joint session of both chambers of Parliament.
  • The President has the authority to transmit communications to either chamber of Parliament, whether it is about a pending law or something else.

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