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Suggestions for Delimitation Exercise

  • 12 Dec 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Pranab Mukherjee Foundation (PMF), a non governmental institution, has made suggestions for the next delimitation exercise.

  • Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country to represent changes in population.

Key Points

  • Suggestions: The next delimitation exercise should be a two­ step process:
    • A Delimitation Commission should be set up to draw the boundaries as per the 2031 Census and recommend the reorganisation of States based on population.
    • A State Reorganisation Act should be brought to give effect to the Delimitation Commissions’ recommendations “by splitting States into smaller ones”.
  • Current Scenario:
    • The 84th Amendment to the Constitution in 2002 had put a freeze on the delimitation of Lok Sabha and State Assembly constituencies till the first Census after 2026.
    • The current boundaries were drawn on the basis of the 2001 Census, the number of Lok Sabha seats and State Assembly seats remained frozen on the basis of the 1971 Census.
    • The population according to the last census preceding the freeze was 50 crore, which in 50 years has grown to 130 crore, causing a massive asymmetry in the political representation in the country.

Delimitation Commission

  • The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.
  • Composition:
    • Retired Supreme Court judge
    • Chief Election Commissioner
    • Respective State Election Commissioners
  • Functions:
    • To determine the number and boundaries of constituencies to make the population of all constituencies nearly equal.
    • To identify seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, wherever their population is relatively large.
  • Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
  • The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.
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