Imagine there is a chaotic situation on the main road that crosses your area, as people are not following the traffic rules and regulations, which are implemented. Now, the question arises why rules and regulations are important. These rules and regulations should be implemented by someone, like the traffic Police, who is actually the authority with a certain amount of power in that locality. Here, the traffic Police is the agent of the government to maintain law and order on the road. So, the traffic Police, on behalf of the government, takes care of the situation.
The government is a political body which administers a state/country. The functions of a government are:
To maintain law and order in the country,
To formulate policies for the country and
To work for the welfare of its people
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FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
Different countries adopt different methods of functioning. They have different forms of governments which govern them depending on their policies, development aspect, political issues, etc. the various types of government existing in the system are:
The word Democracy has been derived from two Greek words, demos, meaning ‘people’ and Kratos, meaning ‘authority of the people’. A Democratic government follows the principle, ‘Of the People, By the people and for the people’. The government is elected by people who vote for them. Therefore, it is a direct choice of the public. In a democracy, the citizens have the right to participate in the process of the government. Everyone is equal before the law. The government is accountable to the people.
In an autocracy, the powers are concentrated in the hands of a certain few. These can be a group of people, an individual, a particular class or a political party. The authority who exercises the power cannot be questioned. The people do not have the freedom to choose their representatives which, in turn, becomes an oppressive form of governance. Military rule is an example of autocracy, where the power is concentrated in the hands of the military officer who determines the functioning of the state. North Korea and Fiji are examples of countries under military rule.
In a parliamentary system, the Executive and Legislature work in coordination with each other, i.e., the powers of both the organs are mixed. Another feature of a parliamentary government is that the head of the state is different from the head of the government. In a parliamentary setup, the head of the government is the leader of the political party which has gained a majority in the legislature. At times, when a single party cannot muster up the desired majority, a number of parties come together to form a coalition government. India and Great Britain are the best examples of a parliamentary form of government.
In a presidential form of government, the executive and legislature are independent of each other. This is called the separation of powers. Unlike a parliamentary government, where the head of the government is responsible to the parliament, the elected president is neither responsible to the parliament nor he/she is a mother of the parliament. The United States of America is an ideal example of a presidential form of government.
The parliamentary system exists in both republics and monarchies. It is made up of politicians from different political parties. Here the government is comprised of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers.
When a single central government looks after the whole nation, it is known as a unitary form of government. In a unitary form of government,
the central government performs the duties of both the executive and the legislature. China is an example of such a kind of government.
In a federal government, the powers are divided in a tiered structure, i.e., it is divided between the centre and the states. In such a situation, the laws passed by a central government is applied throughout the country and the laws passed by a state government is applied only to the state.
FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN INDIA
After studying all these types of governments, can you guess which form of government do we follow? We, in India, follow the Democratic form of government. We have a government ‘Of the People, By the People, For the People.’ Our Constitution, as well as our Government, ensures various rights and freedoms. There is transparency in our system. In order to run the country smoothly, India has a federal structure of government. There are various levels and organs of the government.
THREE -LEVELS OF THE GOVERNMENT
India is a very big country. It is very difficult to manage and govern such a huge country through a centralised authority. So, in order to administer it efficiently, there are three levels–
Local, state and national levels.
The village or town is administered by the government at the local level.
The state-level looks after an entire state.
The National level is responsible for the administration of the entire country.
Each country has its own system of government. In our country, the Executive, Legislature and judiciary look after the working of the government. The executive governs the country. The Legislature makes the laws and the judiciary ensures that the laws are applied fairly. These, in a nutshell, are the three organs of the government.