2021 GS2 Answer

Q. Do Department -related Parliamentary Standing Committees keep the administration on its toes and inspire reverence for parliamentary control? Evaluate the working of such committees with suitable examples.

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees (DRPSCs)

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees (DRPSCs) are permanent committees of the Indian Parliament that are responsible for examining and scrutinizing the functioning of various ministries and departments of the government.

There are 24 DRPSCs, each of which is assigned a specific ministry or department to scrutinize.

DRPSCs have the power to summon officials and experts, examine records and documents, and make recommendations to improve the functioning of the ministry or department under their purview.

II. DRPSCs and Accountability

DRPSCs play a crucial role in ensuring accountability of the administration to Parliament.

  • The committees have the power to scrutinize the performance of the ministries and departments, and hold them accountable for any lapses or shortcomings in their functioning.
  • DRPSCs also have the power to make recommendations to improve the functioning of the ministries and departments, and to ensure that they are following the policies and programs approved by Parliament.

III. Effectiveness of DRPSCs

The effectiveness of DRPSCs in keeping the administration accountable and inspiring reverence for parliamentary control is mixed.

  • DRPSCs have been successful in bringing to light various issues and problems related to the functioning of ministries and departments, and in making recommendations to address these issues.
  • DRPSCs have also been successful in ensuring that the ministries and departments are following the policies and programs approved by Parliament.
  • However, the implementation of the recommendations made by DRPSCs has been slow and uneven.
  • DRPSCs have also been criticized for not being able to effectively hold the administration accountable for lapses and shortcomings in their functioning.

IV. Examples of DRPSCs in Action

  • The DRPSC on Home Affairs has been instrumental in scrutinizing the functioning of the Ministry of Home Affairs, especially in relation to issues such as internal security, law and order, and police reforms.
  • The DRPSC on External Affairs has played a crucial role in examining the country’s foreign policy and ensuring that the Ministry of External Affairs is following the policies approved by Parliament.
  • The DRPSC on Health and Family Welfare has been active in examining the functioning of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, especially in relation to issues such as public health, healthcare delivery, and medical education.

V. Conclusion

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees (DRPSCs) play a crucial role in ensuring accountability of the administration to Parliament and in inspiring reverence for parliamentary control.

While DRPSCs have been successful in bringing to light various issues and making recommendations to address them, their effectiveness in holding the administration accountable has been mixed.

The implementation of the recommendations made by DRPSCs has been slow and uneven, and there have been criticisms of their inability to effectively hold the administration accountable for lapses and shortcomings in their functioning.

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