India’s Structure

Indian Political System

India is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary form of Government. The Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th November 1950. The Constitution advocated the trinity of justice, liberty and equality for all the citizens. The Constitution was framed keeping in mind the socioeconomic progress of the country. India follows a parliamentary form of democracy and the government is federal in structure.

In Indian political system, the President is the constitutional head of the executive of the Union of India. The real executive power is with the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. According to the Article 74(1) of the constitution, the Council of Ministers under the leadership of the Prime Minister is responsible to aid and assist the President in exercising the Presidents function. The Council of ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha, the House of People. In states the Governor is the representative of the President, though the real executive power is with the Chief Minister along with his Council of Ministers.

For a given state the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible for the elected legislative assembly of the state. The Constitution administrates the sharing of legislative power between Parliament and the State Legislatures. The Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution.

President of India
The President of India is the constitutional head of India and is the supreme commander of the nation’s armed forces. The President is elected by members of an Electoral College consisting of elected members of both the Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the states, with suitable weightage given to each vote. His term of office is for five years. Among other powers, the President can proclaim an emergency in the country if he is satisfied that the security of the country or of any part of its territory is threatened by the following situations. A war or external aggression, an armed rebellion within the country and collapse of state machinery in terms of economic and political crisis. Hence when there is a failure of the constitutional machinery in a state, the President can assume all or any of the functions of the government of that state.

The Vice-President of India is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament. The method of electing the Vice President is the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. He like the President holds office for five years. The Vice-President also happens to be Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and presides over its proceedings.

Council of Ministers
The Council Of Ministers is the supreme governing body in the country and is selected from the elected members of the Union Government. The Council of Ministers comprises of Cabinet Ministers, Minister of States and Deputy Ministers. Prime Minister heads the Council of Ministers and communicates all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation to the President. Generally, each department has an officer designated as secretary to the Government of India to advise the Ministers on policy matters and general administration. The Cabinet Secretariat has an important harmonizing role in decision making at the highest level and operates under the bearing of the Prime Minister.

The Parliament is the legislative arm of the Union. It consists of the President, Rajya Sabha or the Upper House and Lok Sabha or the Lower House. All bills to be made into law require the consent of both the houses of parliament. However, in case of money bills, the Lok Sabha is the supreme authority.

Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha consists of not more than 250 members. Of these, 233 represent states and union territories and 12 members are nominated by the President. Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect. Members to the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of Legislative Assemblies of the concerned states. The members of the Upper House put forth the interests of their respective state in the Parliament. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution in contrast to the Lok Sabha and one third of its members retire every second year.

Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of universal adult franchise. As of today, the Lok Sabha consists of 545 members with two members nominated by the President to stand for the Anglo-Indian Community. Unless dissolved under circumstances like failure of the leading party to prove clear majority or a no-confidence motion, the term of the Lok Sabha is for five years.

State Governments
The system of government in states closely resembles that of the Union. In the states as well there are two major governing bodies – the legislative assembly and the legislative council. For the Legislative assembly direct elections are held and the political party receiving the majority votes forms the Government in the state. There are 28 states and seven Union territories in the country. Union Territories are administered by the President through a Governor or administrator appointed by him. Till 1 February 1992, the Union Territory of Delhi was governed by the Central government through an Administrator appointed by the President of India. Through a Constitutional amendment in Parliament, the Union Territory of Delhi is called the National Capital Territory of Delhi from 1 February 1992 onwards. General elections to the Legislative assembly of the National Capital Territory were held in November 1993. Since then after every five years the state underwent general elections maintaining the democratic process in Delhi.

Political Parties In India
In India a recognized political party is categorized either as a National Party or a State Party. If a political party is recognized in four or more states and is either the ruling party or is in the opposition in these states, it is considered as a National Party. The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) are the prominent National Parties in the Country. Some of these parties have existed before the independence of the country while few of these emerged after political dynamism flourished in the country in post independent years.

Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Bihar, Maharashtra Gomantak Party in Goa, National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim League in Kerala, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Akali Dal in Punjab, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and All-India Forward Block in West Bengal are the prominent state parties which are the major political players in their respective states. In fact in most of the states where the regional parties have come to the fore understanding the nuisance of their respective state better, there the scope of National parties emerging victorious is barely present.

India Political Map

Primary subdivisions:

India is divided into 28 states and seven union territories.

Division Typ Dist Population Area(km.²) Area(mi.²) Capital
Andaman and Nicobar Islands u 2 356152 8249 3185 Port Blair
Andhra Pradesh s 23 76210007 275068 106204 Hyderabad
Arunachal Pradesh s 15 1097968 83743 32333 Itanagar
Assam s 23 26655528 78438 30285 Dispur
Bihar s 37 82998509 99200 38301 Patna
Chandigarh u 1 900635 114 44 Chandigarh
Chhattisgarh s 16 20833803 135194 52199 Raipur
Dadra and Nagar Haveli u 1 220490 491 190 Silvassa
Daman and Diu u 2 158204 112 43 Daman
Delhi u 1 13850507 1483 573 Delhi
Goa s 2 1347668 3702 1429 Panaji
Gujarat s 25 50671017 196024 75685 Gandhinagar
Haryana s 19 21144564 44212 17070 Chandigarh
Himachal Pradesh s 12 6077900 55673 21495 Shimla
Jammu and Kashmir s 14 10143700 222236 85806 Srinagar, Jammu
Jharkhand s 18 26945829 74677 28833 Ranchi
Karnataka s 27 52850562 191791 74051 Bangalore
Kerala s 14 31841374 38863 15005 Thiruvananthapuram
Lakshadweep u 1 60650 32 12 Kavaratti
Madhya Pradesh s 48 60348023 308252 119016 Bhopal
Maharashtra s 35 96878627 307690 118800 Mumbai
Manipur s 9 2166788 22327 8621 Imphal
Meghalaya s 7 2318822 22429 8660 Shillong
Mizoram s 8 888573 21081 8139 Aizawl
Nagaland s 8 1990036 16579 6401 Kohima
Orissa s 30 36804660 155707 60119 Bhubaneswar
Puducherry u 4 974345 492 190 Puducherry
Punjab s 17 24358999 50362 19445 Chandigarh
Rajasthan s 32 56507188 342239 132139 Jaipur
Sikkim s 4 540851 7096 2740 Gangtok
Tamil Nadu s 30 62405679 130058 50216 Chennai
Tripura s 4 3199203 10486 4049 Agartala
Uttarakhand s 13 8489349 51125 19739 Dehradun
Uttar Pradesh s 70 166197921 243286 93934 Lucknow
West Bengal s 19 80176197 88752 34267 Kolkata
35 divisions

591 1028610328 3287263 1269218

Andaman and Nicobar Islands IN.AN AN IN01 AN AN 744
Andhra Pradesh IN.AP AP IN02 AP AP 50-53
Arunachal Pradesh IN.AR AR IN30 AR AR 790-792
Assam IN.AS AS IN03 AS AS 78
Bihar IN.BR BR IN34 BR BR 80-85
Chandigarh IN.CH CH IN05 CHD CH 16
Chhattisgarh IN.CT CT IN37 CG 49
Dadra and Nagar Haveli IN.DN DN IN06 DNH DN 396
Daman and Diu IN.DD DD IN32 DD DD 396
Delhi IN.DL DL IN07 DEL DL 11
Goa IN.GA GA IN33 GOA GA 403
Gujarat IN.GJ GJ IN09 GUJ GJ 36-39
Haryana IN.HR HR IN10 HR HR 12/13/10
Himachal Pradesh IN.HP HP IN11 HP HP 17
Jammu and Kashmir IN.JK JK IN12 JK JK 18-19
Jharkhand IN.JH JH IN38 JH 814-835
Karnataka IN.KA KA IN19 KRN KA 56-59
Kerala IN.KL KL IN13 KER KL 67-69
Lakshadweep IN.LD LD IN14 LKP LD 673
Madhya Pradesh IN.MP MP IN35 MP MP 45-48
Maharashtra IN.MH MH IN16 MAH MH 40-44
Manipur IN.MN MN IN17 MNP MN 795-796
Meghalaya IN.ML ML IN18 MEG ML 793-794
Mizoram IN.MZ MZ IN31 MIZ MZ 796
Nagaland IN.NL NL IN20 NLD NL 797-798
Orissa IN.OR OR IN21 OR OR 75-77
Puducherry IN.PY PY IN22 PDY PY 605
Punjab IN.PB PB IN23 PU PB 14-15
Rajasthan IN.RJ RJ IN24 RAJ RJ 30-34
Sikkim IN.SK SK IN29 SKM SK 737
Tamil Nadu IN.TN TN IN25 TN TN 60-64
Tripura IN.TR TR IN26 TRP TR 799
Uttarakhand IN.UT UL IN39 UA 246-263
Uttar Pradesh IN.UP UP IN36 UP UP 20-28
West Bengal IN.WB WB IN28 WB WB 70-74
35 divisions
  • Typ: These divisions are 28 states (s) and 7 union territories (u).
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: State codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix “IN-” to the code (ex: IN-UL
    represents Uttarakhand).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • SC: State codes used by the Census of India.
  • UPU: “Postal addressing systems” is a document available online from the Universal Postal Union. Its entry
    for India has a list of states and codes. The codes are presumably official postal abbreviations for the states.
  • Veh: Vehicle codes (first two characters on license plates).
  • Dist: Number of districts in each division.
  • Population: 2001-03-01 census, final figures.
  • Area: Jammu and Kashmir includes areas claimed by Pakistan and China.
  • PIN: Indian postal codes (postal index numbers) are six digits. They are sometimes written with a space
    between the third and fourth digits. The first three digits generally determine a district. Ranges listed here
    are the first two or three digits of the PIN. The newly formed states don’t have well-defined ranges of PINs.
  • Capital: Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu the winter capital, of Jammu and Kashmir.