Parliament voted on the Demands for Grants for the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 02, 2012. During the debate, MPs expressed concern over the status of police forces in different States of the country. They emphasised the need to augment the capability of police forces. Though ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects, the union government provides assistance to States for strengthening their forces. For instance, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been implementing a non-plan scheme for ‘Modernization of Police Forces’ since 1969-70. Under the scheme assistance is provided in the form of grants-in-aid towards construction of secure police stations, outposts, for purchase of vehicles, equipment etc. (To know more about the scheme, see an earlier blog post on the issue.) At the all India level, the sanctioned strength of State Police equals 20.6 lakh personnel. Though there exist wide variations across States, at an average this amounts to 174 police personnel per lakh population. However, the actual ratio is much lower because of high vacancies in the police forces. At the aggregate level, 24% positions are vacant. The table below provides data on the strength of state police forces as in Jan, 2011
|State||Sanctioned strength||Sanctioned policemen/ lakh of population||Vacancy|
|Jammu & Kashmir||77,464||575||6%|
|Daman & Diu||281||140||6%|
Source: Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 90, 13th March, 2012 and Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 1042, March 20, 2012
Discussion on the first no-confidence motion of the 17th Lok Sabha began today. No-confidence motions and confidence motions are trust votes, used to test or demonstrate the support of Lok Sabha for the government in power. Article 75(3) of the Constitution states that the government is collectively responsible to Lok Sabha. This means that the government must always enjoy the support of a majority of the members of Lok Sabha. Trust votes are used to examine this support. The government resigns if a majority of members support a no-confidence motion, or reject a confidence motion.
So far, 28 no-confidence motions (including the one being discussed today) and 11 confidence motions have been discussed. Over the years, the number of such motions has reduced. The mid-1960s and mid-1970s saw more no-confidence motions, whereas the 1990s saw more confidence motions.
Figure 1: Trust votes in Parliament
Note: *Term shorter than 5 years; **6-year term.
Source: Statistical Handbook 2021, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; PRS.
The no-confidence motion being discussed today was moved on July 26, 2023. A motion of no-confidence is moved with the support of at least 50 members. The Speaker has the discretion to allot time for discussion of the motion. The Rules of Procedure state that the motion must be discussed within 10 days of being introduced. This year, the no-confidence motion was discussed 13 calendar days after introduction. Since the introduction of the no-confidence motion on July 26, 12 Bills have been introduced and 18 Bills have been passed by Lok Sabha. In the past, on four occasions, the discussion on no-confidence motions began seven days after their introduction. On these occasions, Bills and other important issues were debated before the discussion on the no-confidence motion began.
Figure 2: Members rise in support of the motion of no-confidence in Lok Sabha