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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.

19-September-2023

Q1) Evaluate the role and effectiveness of the Standing Committees in the Indian Parliament. What are the major challenges faced by these committees in fulfilling their responsibilities?

Answer:

Standing Committees in the Indian Parliament are specialized committees responsible for examining and scrutinizing specific areas of legislation and government functioning. Examples include the Standing Committee on Finance, External Affairs, Transport, Tourism, and Culture etc.

Role and Effectiveness of the Standing Committees:

  • Legislative Scrutiny: Standing Committees in the Indian Parliament play a crucial role in scrutinizing bills and legislation. For example, the Standing Committee on Agriculture examines agricultural policies, evaluates their impact on farmers, and suggests reforms to improve the sector.
  • Expert Inputs: These committees consist of members with specialized knowledge and expertise. For instance, the Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth, and Sports examines educational policies, consults with experts in the field, and proposes measures to enhance the quality of education.
  • Oversight and Accountability: Standing Committees hold the government accountable by conducting inquiries and investigations. The Standing Committee on Home Affairs, for instance, examines issues related to national security, border management, and law and order, ensuring effective oversight of these critical areas.
  • Policy Recommendations: Standing Committees make recommendations that shape legislative outcomes. The Standing Committee on Labour and Employment, for example, examines labor-related bills, seeks inputs from workers’ unions and industry representatives, and suggests amendments to protect workers’ rights and promote industrial growth.

Challenges:

  • Time Constraints: Committees have limited time to examine bills and conduct thorough discussions due to the heavy legislative workload.
  • Lack of Resources: Committees often face resource constraints, including staff, budget, and research support, which can hinder their ability to conduct in-depth analysis.
  • Political Influence: Political interference and party dynamics can influence committee proceedings and limit their independence in decision-making.
  • Limited Implementation Power: Committees make recommendations, but their ability to ensure the implementation of their suggestions can be limited, as the final decision-making power lies with the Parliament or the government.
  • Inadequate Stakeholder Participation: Limited engagement of stakeholders, including experts, civil society organizations, and affected individuals, can undermine the inclusivity and effectiveness of committee proceedings.

Way Forward

  • Strengthen Committee Resources: including finance, staff, and technology, to enhance standing committees’ capacity.
  • Enhance Collaboration: between committees, ministries, and stakeholders, implementing recommendations from commissions like the second ARC.
  • Prioritize and implement committee recommendations: including those from the Law Commission, to enhance accountability and governance.
  • Periodic Review and Evaluation: Regularly assess standing committees to enhance their effectiveness.

Conclusion

By incorporating feedback and lessons learned, these committees can adapt to evolving needs, enhance their efficiency, and maintain their relevance in a dynamic legislative environment.

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