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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.


Q1. Though the Governor and President have independent powers in terms of discretion but the Governor holds a broader area in this context. Discuss.

Discretionary Power is defined as that authority of the executive, whether in matters of substance or of procedure or both, which is free to exercise among various alternatives, and take a reasonable decision. Both President and Governor enjoy the discretionary power to make choices in the interest of the nation and protect democracy.

Discretionary powers of President:

President enjoys situational discretion that is not directly mentioned in the constitution and depends upon the situation-

  • With regards to Veto power – Both suspensive and pocket veto are used by the president as per his own discretion, eg Giani Zail Singh used pocket veto over the Indian post amendment bill.
  • The President seeks information from the Prime Minister- Regarding administrative affairs, the president enjoys this power under article 78.
  • Case of no sitting of both houses of Parliament – President can summon both houses of parliament to ensure that six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session, this is covered under article 85.
  • Case of No Confidence motion with council of ministers – President calls to decide whether to dissolve Lok Sabha or not when Council of ministers loses majority in Lok Sabha.
  • Prime Minister Appointment: President appoints PM when no party is in clear majority or when there is a state of turmoil (in case of caretaker government).

Discretionary Powers of Governor:

Governor enjoys two types of discretionary power, i.e., Constitutional discretion and situational discretion. Constitutional Discretion: These are mentioned in the constitution of India which is making the governors’ ambit broaden.

  • Reservation of a bill – The Bills introduced in the legislative assemblies are reserved for the President’s consideration.
  • President Rule in State- Recommendation for implementing President’s Rule in the state, when found that state is not adhering to constitutional ideals.
  • In relation to Union Territory – While performing his duties as the administrator of a neighbouring union territory in case of additional charge.
  • In relation to Tribal Areas – Determining the amount payable to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty from mineral exploration licenses by the governments of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Administrative affairs – Seeking information from the chief minister about state administrative and legislative matters.

Situational Discretion: These powers are exercised by governor as per situation and these are hidden discretion derived from the juncture of a prevailing political situation

  • Appointment of a chief minister – When no party has a clear majority in the state legislative assembly or when the current chief minister dies unexpectedly and there is no obvious successor.
  • Dismissal of the council of ministers or State legislative assembly-When it is unable to demonstrate the confidence of the state legislative assembly.
  • Special Power of governor – Governor is charged with specific duties that must be carried out in accordance with the President’s directives, e.g. during formation of separate development boards for Vidarbha and Marathwada, in Maharashtra.
  • Discretion: No where in the Indian constitution, discretion is defined, so it’s all upon the governor while taking any decisions under his ambit.


The discretionary power was given to the executives to maintain the political order and stability and must be exercised in a manner which upholds democratic principles. Subsequently the President and Governor are assigned with the task of protecting and defending the Indian constitution in a law-abiding manner.

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Q2 . Examine India’s evolving role in global geopolitics through its participation in forums like BRICS and SCO. Assess the challenges posed by emerging geopolitical dynamics and the potential implications of India’s choices on its pursuit of an equitable global governance order.

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Q3. Explain the constitutional provisions governing the summoning of Legislative Assemblies in Indian states. Discuss the roles of the Governor and the Chief Minister in this process and the importance of regular sessions for effective democratic governance.

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Q4. Examine the complexities of interstate river disputes in India. Evaluate the effectiveness of mechanisms like river water management authorities and the role of the Supreme Court in resolving such disputes. Suggest measures to prevent and address these conflicts for sustainable and equitable water sharing among states.

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