Here is an essay on the ‘Executive’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on the ‘Executive’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on the Executive
- Essay on the Definition of Executive
- Essay on the Different Forms of Executive
- Essay on the Functions of Executive
- Essay on the Principal Requisites in the Organisation of the Executive in a Democracy
- Essay on the Public Service
Essay # 1. Definition of the Executive:
The term “executive” means that branch of the government which executes or implements the will of the state. In a democratic government, the laws represent the will of the people and there the executive department must exist to give them effect according to the judgment of the judiciary.
In its wide amplitude, the executive includes all those agencies and officials who are directly concerned with the implementation of the day-to-day administration of the country. Put in the narrow sense, the executive includes the principal functionaries of the state except those who are included in the legislature and the judiciary.
This is nicely stated by Herman Finer:
“The executive is the residuary legatee in a government after other claimants like the parliament and all law courts have taken their share.”
Essay # 2. Different Forms of the Executive:
There are three forms of the executive, namely nominal executive, political executive and permanent executive. The scope of the executive will be better known by distinguishing among these three forms of executive.
We shall discuss them one-by-one:
1. Nominal Executive:
Nominal executive is one that possesses all powers in law, but does not make any use of that power which is discharged in effect by another person or body called the real executive. He is the head of the state like the King or Queen of England. He is also likened to the President of India. In England, as also in India, all government actions are done in the name of the Queen or the President who is the nominal executive. Behind the nominal executive there is a real executive which is the council of ministers.
Although in the language of the constitution the President is the constitutional head, in reality he is just a rubber stamp. The nominal executive may be directly or indirectly elected. He may be nominated or have a hereditary title. The President of India is indirectly elected. The Governor-General of Canada and Australia are nominated by the British Queen. The Queen of England or her successor gets the throne as a birth right.
2. Political Executive:
The political executive is the real executive as distinguished from the nominal executive. In India the council of ministers is the political executive and its members are chosen by the President. Same is the case in England. In the USA the President is the political executive, there being no nominal executive in the USA.
He is elected directly by the people. In the USSR and Switzerland the political executive is elected by the legislature. Whatever may be the mode of appointment, the political executive is the real executive. He formulates and directs the policy of the state and controls the administration.
Kinds of Political Executive:
Political executive may be either parliamentary or presidential depending upon whether the political executive is responsible to the legislature or not. The parliamentary executive is responsible to the legislature. It remains in power so long as it enjoys the confidence of the legislature. The presidential executive has practically nothing to do with the legislature. It cannot be outvoted except by the difficult procedure of impeachment.
Again, the political executive may be single or plural. If the executive authority is vested in a single person as in the case of the President of the USA, it is a case of single executive. If the executive power lies in a number of persons, it is a plural executive. In Switzerland there is a Federal Council of seven members and in the former USSR there was a Presidium of thirty-three members. Thus we find plural executive in both Switzerland and the defunct USSR.
3. Permanent Executive:
This kind of executive is also called permanent civil service or public administration. This type of executive consists of a vast body of officials who hold a permanent tenure but abstain from any active participation in political life. The change of the government does not affect their services.
They are ordinarily recruited into service on the basis of merit in a competitive examination. They enter the service at a prescribed age and retire on attaining the age of superannuation. They are organised into several departments under the charge of a political minister.
Essay # 3. Functions of the Executive:
The dominant function of the executive is to execute or enforce the laws of the state. In a modern state the functions of the executive are enormous. Since a modern state is a positive state it is imperative that all the needs of the people and their aspirations are to be met by the executive. The result is that the functions of the executive are ever-increasing. We may now go to discuss the various functions of the executive.
1. Maintenance of Law and Order and Administrative Functions:
The primary job of the executive is to maintain law and order. For that purpose the executive is to rely on an administrative staff to control, direct and superintendent the public administration. It is the executive that determines the organisation, recruitment and training of the administrative staff. It explains to them the policy of the government and provides them with powers and responsibilities. It is apparent that the executive is to detail a police force under the command of the administrative wing.
2. Military Functions:
It is common knowledge that the defence of the country against foreign aggression is a basic function of the executive. The executive appoints the top army, air and naval staff and allocates funds and purchase defence equipment from friendly countries. The executive is to build-up arms in the frontier and keep a vigil over the border.
3. Diplomatic Functions:
A modern state cannot be an island to live a hermit’s life. A world-wide function is a necessity for any modern state. So the executive of a modern state must have diplomatic relations with each other. So foreign policy is an important function of the executive. Thus every executive is endowed with treaty-making powers. His routine includes visiting4hc foreign countries on a goodwill mission and also to receive the dignitaries of the foreign countries as visitors in his own country.
4. Public Utility and Social Services:
The executive is not only to maintain public utility services but some public welfare works also. Thus railways, posts and telephones, irrigations, etc. are some of the important public utility services of the executive. In the list of the social services will come education, public health and labour welfare measures.
5. Financial Administration and Planned Economy:
The executive regulates the financial business of this country in the form of what is called the budget. It is on this chessboard that income and expenditure of the country is regulated. But a present government is to think of long-term measures like the Five-Year-Plan for boosting the national economy. So planning the economy is another function of the executive of a modern state.
6. Emergency Functions:
When an extraordinary situation arises the executive can switch on the red light and declare national, constitutional and financial emergency and thereby suspend some of the provisions of the constitution and curtail the fundamental rights. The national emergency may be necessary to meet a situation that may take the form of an armed rebellion or foreign aggression.
The constitutional emergency may be necessary for a situation when the administration cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. In the first case, the fundamental rights can be suspended. In the second case, the President will take over the administration of the province. There is a third type of emergency called the financial emergency. It is a financial crisis, to meet which the executive may make a cut in the salary of the public servants.
7. Legislative and Judicial Functions of the Executive:
Whatever functions we have so long narrated above are the executive functions of the executive. But the executive may overstep its executive field and travel into other’s sphere of action like legislative and judicial.
(a) Legislative functions of the executive:
The following are some of the legislative functions done by the executive:
(i) In the parliamentary form of government all bills are introduced by the executive, usually by a minister. This is a major legislative function of the executive.
(ii) When the legislature is not in session the chief of the executive can promulgate ordinances which are also the laws of the land.
(iii) The chief executive head summons and prorogues the legislature. He can and does dissolve the lower house before the expiry of its turn.
(iv) When a bill is passed by the legislature, it must go to the chief executive who may accept it or reject it. It will not become law until it is assented by the chief executive.
(b) Judicial functions of the executive:
The following are some of the judicial functions performed by the executive:
(i) The chief executive can play the role of a judge by granting pardon to the criminals and amnesty to political offenders. In case of death sentence appeal lies to the head of the executive.
(ii) The executive appoints the judges and the judicial commissions.
Essay # 4. Principal Requisites in the Organisation of the Executive in a Democracy:
There are various factors that go to determine the efficiency of the executive. They are mainly four, namely the mode of choice, terms of office, nature of powers and character, i.e., whether singular or plural.
1. Mode of Choice:
The following are the four modes of choosing the executive:
In the first mode, the head of the executive is just a hereditary person having only nominal powers. Although this method did not find favour with most of the countries of the world, it is most popular in England. The western democratic countries consider a hereditary monarchy an obnoxious element in a democratic body.
In the second method, the head of the executive is directly elected by the people. The President of Germany under the Whimper Constitution was directly elected. Although the system is in keeping with the democratic spirit, the argument against this system is that it makes the highest executive a plaything in the hands of the illiterate and unintelligent masses. The majority opinion tilts in favour of not directly electing the highest executive.
Electing the highest executive by the legislature is recommended as the third method. This practice is in vogue in Switzerland and the former USSR. This method finds favour with Sir John Stuart Mill since it involves the participation of the elected representatives who have better credibility and efficiency in the art of choosing the best candidate than the masses who possess neither the intelligence nor the competence to choose a candidate for so important an office.
But the minus side of this system is that it violates the principle of separation of powers by degenerating the chief executive as a handiwork of the legislature or a puppet in the hands of the legislature.
The last method of electing the chief executive is by way of an indirect election by the people. This is the system in India. This method is recommended widely by the constitutional experts on the ground that it leads to the choice of the right person without any violence or tension associated with an election.
2. Terms of Office:
There is no uniform tenure for the office of the, highest executive all over the world. It varies from state to state. But the range is between two years and seven years. The disadvantage of the short term is that it cannot take in hand long-term plans. If the term is a long one, the flaw is that one can hide the abuses. So the consensus is that the term of office should not be too short or too long. A four years’ term is the most widely recommended one.
3. Nature of Powers:
The executive has to maintain internal peace and order and at the same time to defend the country against any possible foreign aggression. It is, therefore, but natural that the executive must have wide powers to tackle both the hazards. According to Alexander Hamilton, a weak executive is bound to make the government weak.
France suffered badly in 1791-1792 because of the weak executive. But too much of power is likely to abuse the system as it happened in Germany under Hitler. The best method is controlling the executive by the legislature as it obtains in India.
4. Nature of Singular and Plural Executive:
There should be a kind of unity of organisation for the purpose of ensuring efficiency in the administration. The executive is to be so organised that it can work as a single unit, and not impeded by the division of it. So we arc to accept singular executive and discard plural executive.
Essay # 5. The Public Service:
There can be no two opinions that in all democratic countries, be it presidential or parliamentary, the ultimate responsibility for the administration of the country lies with the representatives of the people chosen at the periodical elections. But the administration of the country is a huge affair involving a large number of man-power.
Now, can the entire population engaged in the administration of the country be directly elected by the mass people in periodical elections? The answer must be in the negative. It is neither possible to elect the administrative staff nor is it desirable to frequently change the administrative machinery. This will make the government machinery unworkable.
Then how to tide over this problem? There is a solution of this problem by dividing the executive department into two kinds, namely the political executive and the civil services. While the political executive consists of the ministers in the parliamentary government, it is the President in the presidential government. Both have a short tenure of office.
The political executive in a parliamentary system depends on the will of the legislature and the political executive in the presidential system has usually a tenure of four years. But no government or administration can be circumscribed to some periodical limits. On the other hand, it must have a continuous flow. This can be done and ensured by a permanent body called the civil services.
Recruitment of the Civil Services:
The modes of recruitment to the civil services are two. Nomination by the political executive is one of them. The other mode is selecting the cream of the young people through a competitive examination. The system of nomination was the only method of recruitment in the USA until 1883.
The President would pack up the civil services by men of his own party. The American public opinion was very much against this political jobbery since this method of nomination is neither just nor impartial. So came the system of recruitment through a competitive examination. To do away with the elements of nepotism and
This act of 1883 came to abolish the system of nomination, which got the nickname of “spoil system”. In India the civil services were recruited during the British regime in London on the basis of competitive examinations. After independence, the Union Public Service Commission screens the fleet of the administrators.
Role of the Civil Services:
The permanent civil service is also called the permanent executive or public administration. It consists of a vast body of officials who do not take any active part in politics. They rather hold office under a system of permanent tenure which has got nothing to do with the fortunes of the political parties. The change of government has no bearing on their services. They are recruited into the service on the basis of merits or efficiency, determined usually by some system of competitive examination.
They enter into service at a prescribed age limit after passing some competitive examinations. They get promotions and finally retire from service on attaining the prescribed age limit. They are organised into various departments, each of which is placed under the charge of a political minister who is vested with the power of directing and controlling the policy of the department.
Since the public servants are very intelligent and experienced persons they keep the ministers informed of the prospect of new measures. In the words of Harold J. Laski- “It is his business to tell the minister what in his judgment are the probable consequences of any policy, for which the minister proposes to be responsible.” According to Herman Finer, while other executives rule, the civil services administer. So the civil services occupy a high place in the government.
While the ministers lay down the broad principles of the policy of the government, it is the civil service that implements it. It is not that in the making of the policies of the government the civil services have no role. As a matter of fact, the civil services influence the policy-making process too. All ministers have to accept the suggestions offered by the senior members of the public administration.
Again, the civil services exercise some kind of delegated legislative functions in the sense that all laws cannot be passed by the legislature and some are to be left to be drafted by the permanent civil executive. This is called the rule-making powers. These rules play the same role as the acts of the legislature.
It is also to be noticed that the civil services occupy the positions of the judges in statutory tribunals like the Revenue Board, Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Tribunals, etc. For these myriad functions, Max Weber called the civil services as the “core of the modern state”.
Civil Services not Responsible to Public Opinion:
The civil staff in the government who run the administration are variously called the civil services, the public administration and the bureaucracy. They have no contact with the people. They are apt to red-tapism and strong formalities. They are caught in the cobweb of customs and precedents. Therefore, their outlook is conservative. The pomp and grandeur and the routine-work create wastage of public money. What is worst confounded is that they keep a white-collar distance from the general public.
The disadvantage of bureaucracy is somewhat removed by the fact that the political executive, who are the bosses of the permanent civil services, keep close contact with the public. But this cannot remove the wide gap effectively. According to Harold J. Laski, every department of the government should have an advisory body associated with it. It will be the function of this body to render wise counsel to the department. This advisory body will coordinate the department and the public.