Title: The aftermath of a nasty election

Issue: Role of civil society

Syllabus: General Studies-II - Indian Polity and Constitution - Executive, Pressure Groups

Context: India managed to conduct elections successfully. It saw a record turn-out due to enthusiastic voters. However, some believe the future of Indian democracy faces many challenges.


1)      challenges that Indian democracy faces for its future well-being are:

  • Erosion of credibility and effectiveness of Indian parliament: Debates in the parliament are based to further political interests rather based on nation’s interests. Example: Frequent disruptions
  • There has been a growing distrust between parties in power and opposition parties on many critical issues, particularly, foreign policy
  • In the economy sector, there has been a rise in populist measures. Such as: Cash transfers, loan waivers etc. This shows the inability of the parties to bring long-term sustainable reforms in the country
  • Political discourse has led to dangerous levels of polarization in the economy. it has made people react to issues emotionally rather than logically.

2)      What is needed?

  • There is an urgent need of constructive debate in the economy
  • Dissent should be respected even if someone is against it
  • Checks and balances should be instituted in autonomous institutions to insulate them from any political interference
  • The polarization of the media on political lines and the loss of neutrality should be addressed immediately

3)      What civil society can do in this regard? It can drive participative democracy in our society. A vigilant and demanding civil society that ensures restoration of the primacy of national interests can safeguard future of Indian democracy. all sections of the society, i.e, from Industrialists to scientists to common people should be part of such organizations.

Takeaway point: A conscious and committed civil society can create a favorable environment which could address many challenges the Indian democracy faces now.


Keywords: 'Indian democracy' 'Participative democracy 'Civil society'

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions ? Analyse. (200 words) 10 marks 2014
2 Pressure group politics is sometimes seen as the informal face of politics. With regards to the above, assess the structure and functioning of pressure groups in India. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
3 The exercise of executive clemency is not a privilege but is based on several principles, and discretion has to be exercised in public considerations. Analyze this statement in the context of the judicial powers of the President of India. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2011
4 Pressure group are an anonymous empire and are an unofficial Government. Do you agree with above statement. Substantiate with reasons? 20 2009
5 Pressure groups and political parties share an intimate and inconclusive relationship. They work closely and are not the same. Analyse how political parties and pressure groups are different from each other? 20 2009
6 Pressure groups mushroomed in India but quality of work did not improve. Discuss the reasons for the rise in pressure groups and their failure to make impact in India. 20 2009
7 Pressure groups in India are not matured but they are too diverse. Analyse the characteristics of pressure groups in India? 20 2009
8 Functioning of pressure groups differ widely in India and western countries. Analyse 20 2009
9 Bring out the aberrations of the parliamentary system of government in India. (250 words) 2001
10 The office of the president of India was designed in the British mode, With this background consider the modification of the executive powers of the president by the 42 nd amendment, 1976 and the 44th amendment 1979 to the constitution of India. Comment on the changes. 1982
11 Describe briefly the legislative and executive powers of the President of India. Have there been any changes during the last decade? Offer your comments. 1981