UPPCS Mains- 2018 answer writing practice
What are departmental related standing committee and state it importance? Discuss the various issues faced by them. (200 words)
विभागीय संबंधित स्थायी समिति क्या होती है और इसका क्या महत्व है? उनके सामने आने वाले विभिन्न मुद्दों पर चर्चा करें। (200 शब्द)
Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs) were set up in 1993 in pursuance of recommendations of the Rules Committee. Also deemed as ‘Mini-Parliaments’, there are 24 DRSCs with 31 members (21 from Lok Sabha, 10 from Rajya Sabha) that cover all the ministries/departments of the Central Government.
Importance of DRSCs:
· Financial accountability: They consider the demands for grants of concerned ministries/departments before they are discussed and voted in the Lok Sabha thereby assisting the Parliament in debating the budget more effectively.
· Detailed Scrutiny: They make Parliamentary control over the Executive more detailed, continuous and comprehensive. They examine bills and long-term policy documents and annual reports of ministries and departments.
· Developing consensus: Their proceedings are devoid of any party bias and they facilitate opportunities to the opposition parties and Rajya Sabha members to exercise financial scrutiny or build consensus on various issues.
· Engagement with different stakeholders: They can avail of expert opinion or public opinion to make their reports. Further, committee members can focus on specific areas and build expertise to scrutinize issues thoroughly.
· Check on hasty measures: Their working ensures a check on populist and hasty measures.
· Knowledge repository: They act as a huge reservoir of information, which enlighten MPs and contribute ideas to strengthen the parliamentary system and improve governance.
The issues they face include:
· At times bills are passed without being referred to the Committees. For example, the Lok Sabha passed the GST bill without referring it to the DRSC.
· The DRSC does not always invite experts while scrutinizing bills. For example, the DRSC that examined the Right to Education Bill, 2008 did not invite any expert.
· The Committees lack internal expertise without a dedicated research staff.
· They lack transparency as they meet behind closed doors and only publish the final report.
· There is no mechanism for a regular assessment of the performance of the committees.
· Even though anti-defection law does not apply to these mini-legislatures, on some issues of public interest, some issues, and members have started taking strict party lines in committee meetings.
· At time’s reports of the committees are not taken up for discussion in Parliament as its recommendations are non-binding in nature.
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