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Working of Institutions - Major Policy Decisions

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Working of Institutions - Major Policy Decisions - Lesson Summary

In a democratic government, the decision making power is divided in three separate branches – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.

The legislature makes the laws, the executive implements them, and the judiciary resolves disputes that arise out of major policy decisions. It consists of an assembly of the people’s representatives with the power to enact laws for a country.

The executive is a group of persons with the authority to initiate major policies, make decisions and implement them on the basis of constitutional laws. The judiciary is an institution that administers justice and resolves legal disputes. All the courts in the country are collectively called the judiciary. Any major policy decision is conveyed through a Government Order. A government order is also called an office memorandum.

The Second Backward Classes Commission in India was established in 1979 by the Janata Party government under the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai. It was popularly known as the Mandal Commission.

As per the Mandal Commission recommendations a government order announced that 27% of vacancies in civil posts and services under the Government of India would be reserved for Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC). The reservations issue was strongly protested by the people stating that this largely affected everyone’s job opportunities.

Some people felt that reservations were necessary to balance the inequality among people of different castes in India. Others felt that reservations were unfair and would deny equal opportunities to those who did not belong to backward communities. These cases were grouped together and called the Indira Sawhney and others versus the Union of India case.

The Supreme Court ordered that the well-to-do persons from backward classes be excluded from receiving the benefits of reservation. Thus, the issue was resolved and a modified Office Memorandum was issued.

The Prime Minister and the cabinet make all the important policy decisions as he is the head of the government, unlike the President who is the head of the state. The civil servants are responsible for taking steps to implement the policy decisions effectively. The Supreme Court resolves the disputes between the citizens and the government.

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