India Government, Indian Democracy

The (Indian) Union Government or the Central Government (as opposed to State Governments) governs the union of 28 states and 7 Union Territories (UTs). This union is the Republic of India. The seat of the government is the Indian Capital - New Delhi.

The government has three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Indian President is the head of the state and exercises his or her power directly or through officers subordinate to him. Lok Sabha the lower house and Rajya Sabha, the upper house, form the legislative branch.The Supreme Court, 21 High Courts, and many civil, criminal and family courts at the district level form the Judiciary.

The Civil Procedure Code, the Indian Penal Code, and the Criminal Procedure Code laid down by parliamentary legislation form the basic Civil and Criminal laws. Just like the central government, state governments too consist of the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches. The legal system is based on the English Common and Statutory Law. International Court of Justice jurisdiction is accepted by India, with some reservations. The Panchayat Raj system for local governance has been institutionalized by the 73rd and 74th constiturional amendments.

India is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic. Sovereign means an independent nation. Socialist implies social and economic equality for all Indian citizens. This guarantees equal opportunity and equal social status. The government attempts to reduce economic inequality by reducing concentration of wealth. Secular implies freedom to choose your religion. The state gives every citizen the right to practice and propogate a religion of his choice. The state treats all religions as equal and there is no official state religion. Democratic means the government is a democratically elected.

Indian has a Parliamentary form of government. The constitutional head of the Indian Executive is the President. The council of the Parliament consists of the President, the Upper House - the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the Lower house, the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Lok Sabha Members - Members of Parliament or MPs - are democratically elected. A Council of Ministers selected by the Prime Minister, with the Prime Minister as the head advise the President, who exercises his functions in accordance with the advice. The Prime Minister with the Ministers are the real executive power and the President is more of a ceremonial role.

Each state has a similar structure, with the Governor of the state reporting to the president acting on his behalf and a state Legislative Assembly which consists of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). MLAs like the MPs are democratically elected representives. A council of ministers with the Chief Minister as the head of the Legislative Assembly, advice the Governor in discharging executive functions.

Legislative powers are distributed between Parliament (Central Government) and State legislatures (State Government) as per the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.

Union Territories are centrally administered.