Types of Institutional Bodies in India | UPSC

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Every democratic nation requires some institutions to run it properly and on the lines of the Constitution of that nation. These institutions not only protect constitutional identity but these also prevent a country from any kind of illegal, illicit and unethical happenings. India also has many such institutions, some of them are more powerful and independent which functions to safeguard constitutional provisions, while some of them are preventing any kind of misuse of government offices by officials and ministers (including Prime Minister). (Also Read: All about the President of India)

There are mainly two types of institutional bodies in India:-

  1. Constitutional Bodies
  2. Non constitutional Bodies

Constitutional Bodies

Institutions which are established by the Constitution itself are known as Constitutional bodies. These have been described in the Constitution and does not require any legislation or executive action to establish these. Hence, Governments are bind to establish these institutions on conditions laid down in various Articles in the Constitution itself.

These institutions are supposed to function as a saviour of the constitution of India and India itself from any kind of  political differences and misconduct by politicians, people, and other institutions. some of them functions as executive while some functions as a judicial institutions while other function as regulatory and investigative bodies. 

There are total 10 constitutional Bodies are as functioning in India. 

  1. Election Commission 
  2. State Public Service Commission  
  3. State public Service commission 
  4. Fiance Commission 
  5. National commission for SCs 
  6. National commission for STs
  7. Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities
  8. Comptroller and Auditor General of India 
  9. Attorney General of India
  10. Advocate General of India
Let's discuss all above briefly:-

Election Commission 

Election Commission was established  by the Article 324 of the constitution. Hence, it is a constitutional Body. It's main function is to manage, conduct and audit the election process in the country. Besides that it also prepare Electoral Roll and issue Voter- I Cards. 

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

It is formed by Article (315-323) and it is also a permanent body. It's main function is to recruit All India Services officers as well other Central Government Services officers. It also helps government in the cadre management of officers appointed by itself.

State Public Service Commissions (SPSCs)

It is also mentioned under Article 315-323 and performs same work in states as UPSC performa at the Central level.

Finance Commission

It is formed by Article 280. It is formed by President after every 5 years to recommend the formulae for sharing the financial resources between Central and State governments which is earned by Government of India in form of revenue. It also perform any function as prescribed by the President of India.

National commission for SCs

It is established by Article 338 of the Constitution of India to inquire, investigate and monitor all matters related to the constitutional safeguards for the Scheduled Castes (SCs).

National commission for STs

Earlier Article 338 provided only one special officer for welfare of both SCs and STs. But by 65th Constitutional Amendment Act made a multi-member body. which was later separated by 89th amendment Act, 2003 into the separate Commissions for SCs and STs were formed and in this way National commission for SCs and STs were formed under Article 338-A.

Special Officer of Linguistic Minorities

It was established by 7th constitutional Amendment Act 1956, which inserted a new Article 350-B in Part-XVII. This officer is responsible to investigate and submit reports to the president of India in the matters of safeguarding provided for linguistic minorities.

Comptroller and Auditor General of India(CAG)

Article 148 of the Constitution of India provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) which has duty to audit all types of accounts & funds of India and state governments except with some exceptions like Prime Minister's Relief Fund. Besides these, it also audit some PSUs and PSBs and submits these audit reports ot President of India, who presents these reports in Parliament. 

Attorney General of India(AGI)

 He is the highest law officer in the country. He is appointed by the govt. as prescribed in Article 76. He represents Governments on legal matters. He has right to be audience in any court of India, to speak and take part in proceedings of both the houses of Parliament without a right to vote and he enjoys all immunities that are available to an MP.

Advocate General of India

Article 165 has provided for the office of the Advocate General of India. Which has similar duty in and powers in the State concerned, as the Attorney General of India has at Central level.

Non-Constitutional Bodies

These are those institutions which have no mention in constitution. These are  of further tow types:- 

  1. Statutory Bodies
  2. Non-Statutory Bodies

 Statutory Bodies 

These are those bodies, which are established by legislative action means these are formed by an act of the parliament. these bodies perform mainly vigilance and investigative functions.

There are 6 Statutory Bodies in India:-

  1. National Human Rights commission 
  2. State Human Rights Commission  
  3. Central Information Commission  
  4. State Information commission
  5. Central Vigilance Commission 
  6. Lokpal and Lokayuktas

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

 The NHRC was established in 1993 by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. It inquires any matters, which involve human rights violation after filling of a complaint or suo motto (itself without any complaint).

State Human Rights commissions (SHRCs)

It is also established by the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993, it performs similar functions in state sas NHRC does at Central level.

Central Information Commission(CIC)

This was established by the Right to Information Act 2005. It's main function is to inquire into matters in which Right to information of a citizen is denied due to any reason and during the inquiry it has powers of civil court.

State Information Commission(SIC)

It was also formed by hte Right to Information Act, 2005. It also performs same functions as Cin te state concerned as CIC perform at the National level. 

Central vigilance commission(CVC)

Earlier it was formed by an Executive resolution of the Government of India in 1964 to prevent corruption in the offices of the Central Government. It was also formed on the recommendation of Santhanam Committee. It got statutory status in 2003 by an Act of the Parliament. It inquires into  the matters of Corruptions in the offices of the Central Government with the help of CBI. CVC has suprentendence over CBI.

Lokpal and Lokayuktas

This was established by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act(2013).

Lokpal(at Central level) and Lokayuktas(in States) can inquire corruption cases on Group 'D', 'C', 'B' and 'A' level employees of Central and State Government as well as MLAs, MPs, Ministers and even Prime Minister of India. It enjoys suprintendence over CVC and CBI. And do not report to any department of Government of India

(in case of Lokpal) or State Government(in case of Lokayuktas) , hence these are independent institutions.

Non-statutory/Executive Body 

These are neither established by the constitution nor by an Act of Parliament, instead these are created through Executive resolution of the Government of India. 

There are only two such bodies in India:- 

  1. NITI Aayog
  2. Central Bureau of Investigation

NITI Aayog 

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog  was formed on 1st January 2015 by an executive resolution after scrapping off the Planning Commission on 13th August 2014. It is formed for doing all works of planning, development, policy thinking and monitoring the implementation of these plans and policies.

Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI)

CBI was established on the recommendation of the Santhanam Committee and by the Executive Resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1963. Later it was transferred to Ministry of Personnel and now it enjoy the status of attached office of Prime Minister's office (PMO) The Special Police Establishment(which was established to look into vigilance case in Central Government offices) setup in 1941 was also merged with the CBI.