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What are parliamentary committees? How do they ensure legislatures and executive’s efficiency and accountability? Explain.

Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

2. What are parliamentary committees? How do they ensure legislatures and executive’s efficiency and accountability? Explain.  (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article highlights the need to rethink the tenurial prescription for reconstitution of Department-related Standing Committees.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward, discuss what parliamentary committees are and explain in what way they ensure legislatures and executive’s efficiency and accountability.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

It is a permanent and regular committee which is constituted from time to time according to the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).

Body:

In the answer body explain in what way these committees play important role in ensuring legislature and executive efficiency and accountability in following ways – The deliberations and scrutiny by committees ensure that Parliament is able to fulfill some of its constitutional obligations in a politically charged environment. They also help in obtaining public feedback and building political consensus on contentious issues. They help develop expertise in subjects, and enable consultation with independent experts and stakeholders. The committees perform their functions without the cloud of political positioning and populist opinion etc. They increase the efficiency and expertise of Parliament. Their reports allow for informed debate in Parliament.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Parliamentary committees increase the efficiency, expertise of Parliament and act as check and balance which must be constituted at the earliest.