Policies and policy makers are the determinants of development or progress of any country. This implies that poor policies force a country or countries into economical and social turmoil. It is a fact that good leaders are determined by the initiation and the implementation of policies and hence the development realized. This paper analyzes the political institutions and policymaking of India and Russia. The paper will also compare and contrast these institutions of both countries and the influence of the executive and the legislative in policymaking in respective countries. Evaluating the Impact of Institution on Public Policy India is a very vast country with populations reaching over one billion. It has a very diverse history before and after independence. This history has had fundamental influence in all economical and social policies of her citizens and policies are the lifeline of social and economic status of any country as (Ramsay and Draper…117-119) notes that, “the quality of life of people in a country depend on the institutions of parliament and the executive which are mandated to make and implement policies”. All policies or many of them go through several stages before they are implemented and more so they are solely depended on parties and their leaders whereby leaders of vision implement policies which work. Moreover, many of the policies are determined by the strength of the ruling party, which means a party with a majority in parliament makes it easy for policies to sail through. But the implementation of policies in India has been hindered by its social strata.The social differences have led to many social tensions which have been accelerated by globalization and the International monetary Fund and World Bank. From the policy making point of view, poor people in India are becoming poorer and poorer. Comparatively, Russia’s policy making is not so different or unique from her neighbor India. Russia is also a very fast country even though it has been affected by disintegration before and after the cold war. After the fall of communism which dictated its policies on people, the multiparty system was ushered in and it has not started working well so far. However, the economical and social policies are made, shaped and implemented by ruling parties through the members of parliament or the legislative assembly. But the executive led by the president has much influence in Russia's policies right from social policies to foreign policy. This is why every presidential election causes jitters on who will enter the Kremlin. In India, parliament is the highest legislative body of this country which comprises of the President and two houses. These houses are the Council of States that is typically known as Rajya Sabha and House of the People known as Lok Sabha. The president has supreme powers to dissolve either houses and this has been in the constitution from the time it came into force in beginning of 1950. This constitution clearly outlines the obligations of its citizens to the state and vice versa.
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Parliament is the body that makes policies but gets guidelines from the constitution. However, in India there are various policies which include the main ones as the economical policies, foreign policy and development policy. In the economical policy, India has a five year plan which they copied from Russia by then the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic). History plays a key role here as the five year plan was introduced by Nehru Gandhi for the purpose of economic policies. During the introduction of this system of the 5-year plan, Nehru combined socialism and capitalism and tried to introduce social democratic in the India sub continent. Nehru policies were the best at that time even though some critics were against these policies especially the economic policies. But these economic policies have been in use or force until early 1990s. In Russia there are two branches of the legislature that are concerned with policy making and implementation. These are the Duma Council and the legislative committees. The legislative committees have a wider influence and they do lobbying to influence other members to accept and implement policies. Party forces also to n extend determine the way policies are made in Russia even though there is an argument that party cohesion in Russia is yet very weak compared to other nations neighboring Russia. Unlike India where the party leader has a lot of influence in policy making, Russia’s policy making and implementation depends on presidential strategy and inter party arrangements. However, there are disparities in the policymaking in both countries that count on the progress and success of social and economic policies. For instance, India policy making depends on the strength of the leader and party while in Russia the president is very influential even though is passes through many steps as India. The other difference is in the implementation level whereby in India the social strata affects and delays implementation while in Russia the implementation level is a little organized since the fall of communism. In Russia the one significant prove of presidential powers that influences policy making is through the way he picks successors which is solely vested on the president’s freedom to choose the next president to continue with the predecessor’s policies and their making. Policy making in both countries go through a legislative process but with differences of influence of political figures in various stages. Russia change of policy has been greatly influenced by the fall of communism and the opening of democratic space. However many parliamentarians spend most of the time commentating on parties unlike India where after elections they embark on policy making and implementation even though it faces challenges on implementation. India and Russia have some connection between them simply like the policy of 5-year plan that work in both countries although India borrowed this system from Russia which was called Piatiletka.
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