ICSE students should refer to The Union Executive ICSE Class 10 Civics notes provided below. These revision notes have been prepared based on the latest ICSE Class 10 Civics Books for the current academic year. Revising notes prior to the exams is really important to get excellent marks in Civics Class 10 exams. Also, refer to ICSE Class 10 Civics solutions to understand all chapters properly.
ICSE Class 10 History and Civics The Union Executive
Students can refer to the quick revision notes prepared for Chapter The Union Executive in Class 10 ICSE. These notes will be really helpful for the students giving the History and Civics exam in ICSE Class 10. Our teachers have prepared these concept notes based on the latest ICSE syllabus and ICSE books issued for the current academic year.
The Union Executive ICSE Class 10 History
Know the terms
➢ Impeachment : Removal from office by a special trial conducted by the Parliament for violation of the Constitution is termed Impeachment.
➢ Ordinance : A Presidential decree having the authority of law.
➢ Office of Profit : An office whose holder is entitled to certain powers such as executive, administrative, financial or judicial.
➢ Ex-Officio : By virtue of holding an office.
➢ Presidential Address : A formal statement of policy or opinion by the President to the people.
➢ Electoral College : Body comprising of elected members of the State Legislature and the Parliament that elects the President.
➢ Contingency Fund : Fund place at the disposal of the executive to meet unforeseen expenditure.
➢ Council of Ministers : Official name for the body that includes all the Ministers.
➢ Cabinet : Top level leaders in charge of major Ministries. Form the inner ring of the Council of Ministers.
➢ Collective Responsibility – Responsibility of the Cabinet to the Parliament for administration.
➢ Censure Motion – A motion moved against the government censuring its policy in some direction or against an individual minister or ministers of the government.
➢ Cut Motion – A proposal mode formally in an assembly for reduction of expenditure.
The President of India
1. The President of India is the highest executive head of the Indian Union.
2. In a Parliamentary democracy, the President as the head of the state enjoys only nominal powers. He is bound to follow the advice given by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
3. A person seeking to contest the election to become a President :
(i) must be an Indian citizen.
(ii) must not below 35 years of age.
(iii) must not hold any office of profit under the government.
(iv) should be qualified to become a member of the Lok Sabha.
4. The President, Vice-President, Ministers, Governors, MPs or MLAs are eligible to contest the Presidential election.
5. The President is elected indirectly by the members of an Electoral College consisting of :
(i) the elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament.
(ii) the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States including National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry.
6. Reason for Indirect Election : The President is elected indirectly in India as we have a Parliamentary form of Government. Here the President is the nominal head.
It would be an anomaly, if the President is elected directly by people as he does not enjoy real powers. It might create an imbalance between the President and the Prime Minister, who has the real authority.
The inclusion of members of Legislative Assembly in the Electoral College makes the President, the elected representative of the whole nation. A clear voice would be given to the state as well, by this process.
An indirect election protects the President to become a nominee of the ruling party at the Centre. Indirect election of the President also ensures that it is an election conducted with dignity as it should be. Indirect election also saves time, money and energy.
Here is how the weightage of voters in the Presidential election is calculated :
Nominated members are not eligible to vote in the Presidential election.
7. The elected President is administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice of India.
8. The President may resign before the completion of his/her term. In that case, he can submit his resignation to the Vice-President of India. The vacant seat of the President must be filled within 6 months.
9. The President can be impeached and removed from office for violation of the Constitution by the process of impeachment.
(i) Charges can be introduced in either House of the Parliament. A 14 days notice should be given to the President in writing signed by at least one–fourth of the total members of the House that framed the charges.
(ii) After the lapse of 14 days, a resolution is moved which is to be passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total strength of the House.
(iii) The resolution then moves to the other House, which should investigate the charges during the process. The impeachment has the right to appear and to represent himself in such investigation. If the resolution is passed by the second House by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House (investigating), the President will stand impeached and removed from office.
10. Powers of the President :
(a) Executive Powers
(i) The President is the executive head of the country and executive authority rests in him.
(ii) He appoints the Prime Minister and on his advice appoints the Council of Ministers, the Governors of the States, the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the Chairman of the UPSC, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Chiefs of all the Armed Forces.
(iii) Union Territories and Border Areas’ administration is the responsibility of the President.
(b) Legislative Power
(i) The President can summon, prorogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha or even call a joint session of the Parliament.
(ii) After the general elections, The President addresses the joint session of a new Parliament and the first session of every year and outlines the government’s national and international policies.
(iii) Money Bills are introduced with the prior consent of the President, so he has to give his assent when these come to him.
(iv) A Bill becomes a law after it gets the assent from the President. He/She may send it back with some recommendations, but the second time the President has to give his/her assent.
(v) The President issues ordinance during the recess of the Parliament. They are like temporary laws which have to be ratified by the Parliament.
(c) Financial Powers
(i) The Money Bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha with the prior consent of the President.
(ii) The President sets up a Finance Commission once every five years to recommend the distribution of revenues between the Centre and the States.
(iii) The President of India has a Contingency Fund from where he can give a grant.
(d) Judicial Powers
(i) The President can pardon, remit or suspend a sentence or punishment.
(ii) No criminal suit can be initiated against the President during his/her tenure of office and he/she is not answerable before any Court of Law for exercising his/her powers and the duties of his/her office.
(e) Military Powers
(i) He/She is the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces of India and appoints the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
(ii) The President has the power to declare war or peace on the advice of the Council of Ministers
(f) Diplomatic Powers
(i) The President represents India in the world. He/She signs treaties and agreements which are ratified by the Parliament.
(ii) He/She appoints as well as receives the Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Diplomats to and from foreign nations.
(g) Discretionary Powers
(i) When no party gains majority of the Lok Sabha, the President using his/her discretionary power appoints the Prime Minister.
(ii) After the vote of no-confidence is passed against the prevailing government, the President may dissolve the Parliament or ask the leader of another party to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
(iii) He/She can also dismiss ministers in case, the Council of Ministers loses the confidence of the House but refuses to resign.
(h) Emergency Powers
The President can proclaim a state of emergency in the following cases :
(i) National Emergency (Article 352)
• The President, if satisfied that the security of the nation is threatened by war or external aggression or an armed rebellion, he/she can issue the proclamation of National Emergency.
• Every such proclamation must be approved by the Parliament within 1 month by a special majority. Once passed, it remains operational for 6 months. Beyond that it has to be passed again by the Parliament.
• During the proclamation, Fundamental Rights are suspended (Except those under Article 20 and 21), the Constitution assumes unitary role and grants Parliament the powers to make laws on 66 subjects of State Lists. And many of the powers of the states are curtailed.
• Also the country has to lose its federal spirit, as the states, under an emergency, are obliged to carry out the instructions of the Centre.
• The financial provisions of the Constitution are also suspended.
• The Lok Sabha, under such circumstances, can be extended for a period of one year.
(ii) President Rule (Article 356 or)
President’s Rule or Emergency in a state due to constitutional break down is proclaimed either on the advice of the Governor or otherwise.
(a) This is proclaimed for six months at a time maximum up to three years.
(b) The Governor acts in accordance with the direction of the President.
(c) The State Council of Ministers and the Vidhan Sabha may be dissolved.
(d) The annual state budget is passed by the Parliament.
(iii) Financial Emergency (Article 360)
• If a situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or credit of the nation is threatened; the President can declare Financial Emergency.
• The President may appoint a Finance Commission to suggest methods to get out of the financial crisis, he/she may reduce salaries and allowances of all or any class of persons including the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
• He/She can also issue instructions to the States in regard to the utilisation of funds in the manner he/she may deem fit or may order the State to submit Money Bills to him/her for his/her assent.
• Position of the President -as Nominal Head – The Parliament has all the powers listed above but the Constitution has clearly stated that the President shall act in accordance with the advice given by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
1. Article 63 of the Constitution of India provides for a Vice – President of the Indian Union.
2. The Vice-President of India is elected by the members of the Electoral College, according to a system of proportional representation by a single transferable vote.
3. A person standing for election to the Vice – President must
(i) be a citizen of India.
(ii) not be less than 35 years of the age.
(iii) be qualified for election as a member of Rajya Sabha.
(iv) not hold any office of profit under the Government of India.
4. An Electoral College for the election of the Vice-President consists of members of both the Houses of the Parliament. The nomination should be proposed by at least 20 electors and another 20 electors as seconders. The President of India administers the oath of office of Vice-President.
5. The Vice-President is elected for 5 years. He is eligible for re-election as well as he may resign before the expiry of his term.
6. The Vice-President can be removed from office by a resolution passed by a majority in the Rajya Sabha and accepted by the Lok Sabha.
7. Powers and functions :
(i) The Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The Vice-President of India performs similar functions in the Rajya Sabha as the Speaker in the Lok Sabha.
(ii) When the President cannot discharge his duties, the Vice-President officiate in his place.
(iii) If for any reason the office of the President falls vacant then the Vice-President can officiate for 6 months within which time fresh elections for the post of the President must take place.
(iv) During this period when he/she is acting as President, he/she cannot discharge or perform duties of the office of Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
The Prime Minister and The Council of Ministers
(a) The Prime Minister :
1. The Constitution of India provides for a Council of Ministers, with the Prime Minister as its head.
2. The Prime Minister is the head of the Central Government. Though all the executive powers of Central Government is formally vested in the President of India yet those powers are actuality exercised by the Council of Ministers under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
3. The term of office of the Prime Minister is 5 years. However, the President may dismiss him before if he/she loses the majority support in the Lok Sabha.
4. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and other ministries are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
5. Position and Powers of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister with the backing of the majority party or groups in the Parliament is the real executive head of the nation.
(i) Prime Minister and the President : The Prime Minister is the Chief Advisor of the President. He conveys Cabinet’s decisions to him, advises on summoning the Parliament and appointing or removing of high official and commissions.
(ii) Prime Minister and the Cabinet : The Prime Minster is the head of the Union Council of Ministers, he appoints and removes Ministers, calls meetings of Cabinet, allots portfolios, co-ordinates all departments, presides over Cabinet meetings.
The Prime Ministers is the Chief Coordinator between various ministers on policy issues.
(iii) Prime Minister and the Parliament : The Prime Minister is the leader of the Lok Sabha and the Chief spokesperson of the Government in the Parliament. He/she makes policy statements, defends his government and its policies and makes a concluding speech. He has vast legislative and financial powers.
(iv) Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs : The Prime Minister represents India in foreign conferences, makes agreements with foreign countries and receives foreign dignitaries.
(v) Prime Minister as the leader of the Nation : The Prime Minister represents the nation. He decides the kinds of relations India would have with other countries. He fries to protect the interest of the country in international forums. He is the ex-officio Chairman of the NITI (National Institute of Transformation India) Ayog and he is also the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission.
(vi) Check on authority of the Prime Minister : The Parliament keeps an effective check on the power of the Prime Minister. The Parliament exercises control over the Prime Minister through Question-Hour, Calling Attention Motion, No-Confidence Motion and other discussions.
(b) The Council of Ministers :
6. The Council of Ministers consists of all the three categories of ministers –
(i) Cabinet Ministers
(ii) Ministers of State
(iii) Deputy Ministers.
7. Only the Members of Parliament are appointed as ministers. However, if a non-member is appointed, he/she must be nominated or elected to the Parliament within six months of appointment or he/she will have to resign from the post.
8. After appointment, the ministers take an oath of secrecy and allegiance to the Indian Constitution administered by the President.
9. Though the ministers are elected for 5 years, they hold office only till the Lok Sabha has confidence in them and have majority support.
10. The ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha and each minister is individually responsible for the President.
(c) The Cabinet :
11. The Cabinet is a smaller but important body consisting of 15-20 ministers, who are senior leaders of the ruling party, and are included in the Council of Ministers. They hold important portfolios and decide major policies of the Government.
12. The Prime Minister selects his trustworthy colleagues and advice the President to appoint them as Cabinet Ministers.
13. The Cabinet takes important decisions. They together determine the policies and programme of the government.
14. Functions and Powers of the Cabinet :
(i) Administrative and the Coordinating – The policy of the government is framed by the Cabinet and implemented by the ministers. The Cabinet coordinates the working of various departments for the smooth implementation of government policies. All major appointments are decided by the Cabinet and appointed by the President.
(ii) Legislative – The Cabinet advises the President about issuing Ordinances, about summoning the Parliament. It prepares the President’s address which declare the government’s policy. Most of the bills introduced in the Parliament are prepared, introduced and piloted through the Parliament by the Cabinet. It is the Cabinet which takes the initiative whenever the Constitution needs to be amended.
(iii) Financial –The Finance Minister prepares the Annual Budget containing estimate of income and expenditure of the ensuing year. The Cabinet is responsible for the expenditure of the government, for the presenting the demand for grants and also for raising necessary income of various means.
(iv) Diplomatic – The foreign policy is determined by the Cabinet. It helps choose our Ambassadors.
(v) The Cabinet’s written decision is necessary for even the imposition of General Emergency by the President.
(vi) The President’s Rule in a state is imposed only after the Cabinet’s sanction.
15. Distinction between the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers :
16. Position of the Prime Minister : He/She is the pivot of the whole system. The real position of the Prime Minister depends upon his/her own position in his party and that of his/her party in Coalition parties. He/She has vast power but there are several checks upon him/her. So, he/she cannot become a dictator.
Know the terms
➢Council of Ministers : Official name for the body that includes all the ministers. ¾ ¾Cabinet : Top level leaders in charge of major ministries. They form the inner ring of the Council of Ministers. ¾ ¾Collective Responsibility : Responsibility of the Cabinet to the Parliament for administration.