Is India in the hands of the Eligible ones? – The need for Political Eligibility Test
December 14, 2020
Have we ever thought, why we, the candidates need to give an Eligibility Test aka- Entrance Exam, for getting admission into a professional degree college? Why aren’t we selected on the basis of our junior and senior college marks ONLY? That is because it is not possible for anybody to savvy the actual erudition that one has for a particular field. One can only get to know our parameters of knowledge about a field once we are questioned about it. Similarly, this same pattern needs to be adopted by the Government of India for the Elected Representatives in the Indian political framework via Political Eligibility Test, but India lacks in the commencement of such a political test due to the Democratic System in India where People of India have the right to elect and choose their representatives who then form and run the government.
Therefore, the focal point of this article emphasizes the need to implement P.E.T in order to increase the efficiency of administration and quality of elected representatives in the Indian political arena since the entire functioning process of the country and its states wholly depends upon its political framework.
Political Eligibility Test – Need of the Hour?
Is it possible for the citizens to have faith in their political leaders without them having no accurate proof of their educational qualification? How will one know if these unlettered ministers would provide safety to ourselves and our future, the equal rights, the needs, that every citizen deserves? Let’s take a ceaseless example here: Girls and Women get raped, eve – teased, molested, every single day, and still there is no fear of law in the eyes of therapists and the criminals. Why is that? The point that is supposed to be noted here is the ruthlessness and apathy of the Government hitherto towards the legislation of stringent laws, safety of women and the decelerate way of taking actions.
The fact that many officials lack the understanding, knowledge, and the situation after the whole circumstance, either leads to a partial conclusion or no conclusion with no justice provided. During the process of adopting Democracy, the makers of the Constitution of India were more focused on what will be good for the people and less focused on analyzing whether India was even ready for such a system to persist or not. Voting admissible leaders for the country will not only bring strict laws but also disciplinary rules and values along with it.
India follows the principle of ‘Universal Adult Franchise’ and the whole procedure of elections is carried out by a separate body i.e.- the Election Commission of India (ECI). Therefore, here, ECI will play a vital role by looking after the implementation process of the P.E.T by beginning the election process in advance in order to accommodate this new feature in its framework.
Political Eligibility Test (P.E.T) is considered to be unconstitutional as it is dissonant towards the civil and political rights of people’s voting. This proposed policy will therefore need aforethought to effectuate and will accommodate for certain Indian and international legislations such as-
Accurate decisions and solutions not passed according to what the situation or the problem demands.
Helter-skelter in the execution of plans.
Lack of representation.
More solicitude for the present and the future seat than the duty and the responsibility that is to be accomplished, etc.
The P.E.T test would involve not only a series of questions but also simulation tests that would determine the efficiency of the candidate in handling grievances, executing ideas, framing solutions, and passing competent laws.
The purpose of such textual questions would operate the general logic of the representatives and will provide them a chance to prove themselves as potential leaders. The test will follow the following pattern of questions-
Psychological Analysis It is one of the subjects that need to be addressed in the test to discover the mind of the candidate.
Decision-making and Leadership Test This will establish whether the candidate is potential enough to rule and utilize its power in a just manner and how will he/she make decisions in a state of affairs. The state does not need just any leaders, but stalwart and vigilant leaders.
Criminal Background The Supreme Court of India ruled that the candidates who conceal their criminal background while filing nomination papers run the risk of being disqualified under Section 8A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. To which, Section 33A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, lays down that the candidates must give full information of the pending criminal cases against them for over 6 months prior to the filing of nominations to which the offense attracts imprisonment for 2 years or more.
Knowledge of Constituency It should be mandated for all the political nominees to know and understand what constituency exactly is. Constituencies constantly undergo changes. Representatives must know the people they are targeting, community life, and its physical environment.
The success of this enhanced system can also set a global precedent for other developing nations, providing them with a new, refined form of governance and development. It can set our nation’s simulacrum as the unparalleled one by being an epitome.
In the much-celebrated case of Javed & Ors. Vs. State of Haryana & Ors. On 30th July 2003, where the Supreme Court of India laid down that the right to contest an election is neither a fundamental right nor a common law right. It is a right conferred by a Statute. Hence, imposing restrictions by way of the P.E.T would not amount to an infringement of the fundamental rights of a person.
Education is not selective; it is cardinal and is supposed to be gained by all and not neglected. Ministers and Politicians are the souls of the country and if they are competent enough, only then will the country lead towards progress.
Leaders are those invincible pillars that lead and make the country a potent one; and if these pillars themselves are empty- headed, it makes the country set foot in a vulnerable position.
As per my opinion, this advanced policy will not only upsurge the legislation but will also bring about a substantial change in the economic development and the social life of the state.
Editor’s Note – The representatives of any country in the form of Ministers and Politicians are the souls of the country, and so it should be ensured that they are competent enough to lead the country towards progress and development in all aspects so that the country would not be left in a vulnerable position. This article highlights the importance of introducing a Political Eligibility Test (P.E.T) in the Indian political framework. The author has explained the consequences faced due to nescient officials and why P.E.T is the need of the hour.
Further, the author has also provided a basic framework of the P.E.T and the broad area of questions that should be included in it in order to test the eligibility of any candidate. The author has substantiated the validity of P.E.T with relevant case laws as well. The author concludes by saying that this policy will help in improving the economic development and social life of the nation as a whole.