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Indian and Russian Comparative Politics Essay

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Updated: Oct 7th, 2021

The Federal Democratic Republic of India and the Federal Republic of Russia both have an Executive as well as Legislative Branches

The Executive of both countries are similar in 3 ways. Firstly, it is split between the Head of State and Head of Government . Secondly, the President has the power to dissolve the Legislative Branch. Thirdly, the President is elected on basis of endorsement by the majority party in the Lower House of the Legislative Branch. The Legislative Branches of both nations are similar in 3 ways.

Firstly, they have two houses . Secondly, the representatives of the Lower House are elected directly by the people, while the members of the Upper House are regional officials indirectly elected. Lastly, the majority party in the Lower House is headed by the Prime Minister.

The similarities end here

The first difference is that the powers of the Legislatures of both countries are vastly different. The Russian Lower House is traditionally loyal to the Kremlin and enjoys little autonomy. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is the leader of the United Russia Party that holds a majority 315 of total 450 seats in the Lower House (Bennett). The powers and functions of the Prime Minister and Legislative Branch are limited to mainly official endorsement of Presidential decisions. For example, the Presidential nominations for judges at various levels of the judiciary are sent to Upper House for official confirmation, while Presidential nomination for the Chairman of the Central Bank is sent to the Lower House (Kremlin).

The Indian Lower House of Legislature is the core that handles administration supervision, budget allocation and discussion of matters such as public problems, development planning, global relationships and national strategies. While all legislation relating to the above must be approved by both Houses, the will of the Lower House prevails in nearly all legislative policies. Moreover, the Council of Ministers that includes the Prime Minister and Cabinet is subject to the authority of the Lower House (India.gov.in).

The second difference is that the Chief Executive of Russia is the President while the Chief Executive of India is the Prime Minister. While power in both nations is split between the Head of State and Head of Government , in case of Russia the bulk of such power rests with the President while in the case of India the bulk of such power rests with the Prime Minister. Power in Russia is mainly centralized in the President and Presidential Administration in the Kremlin. The Russian President and the Presidential Administration in the Kremlin directs matters of domestic and foreign policy (Bennett).

The Russian Constitution states: “The President of the Russian Federation shall ensure the concerted functioning and interaction of all bodies of state power.” The Russian President’s overall role is that of a guarantor of the Constitution and the entire network of Russian law. The President is responsible for the set up of a uniform and stable network of state power and its proper working of independent branches, one of which is the Legislature. The President has the power to suggest legislations, sign draft legislations into law , and veto laws passed by Russian constituent territories, thereby retaining supreme power in lawmaking (Kremlin.).

India has chosen to adopt the Westminster model of Constitutional Democracy under which role of the President is largely reduced to that of a ceremonial head of state. The Indian Prime Minister is the Chief Executive who is also the leader of the majority party or alliance in the Lower House. The Prime Minister is helped by the Council of Ministers that includes Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State with Independent Charge, Ministers of State who help Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers who all work on the principle of ‘collective responsibility.’ The Prime Minister supervises the working of all the Ministers thereby effectively overseeing the day-to-day functioning of the Union government in all matters relating to domestic and foreign policy (Pmindia.nic.in).

References used

Bennett, Andrew. “Russia.” Export Development Canada. 2008. Web.

“Parliament.” Government of India. 2005. Web.

“President of Russia: The Interaction of Power Branches.” The Kremlin. (N.d). Web.

“Prime Minister’s Office.” Prime Minister of India. (N.d). Web.

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