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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the roles and significance of statutory, regulatory, and quasi-judicial bodies in governance, with examples, highlighting their impact on public administration. (250 Words)

    30 Apr, 2024 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance


    • Briefly introduce the need for statutory, regulatory, and quasi-judicial bodies in a democracy.
    • Discuss the roles and significance of statutory, regulatory, and quasi-judicial bodies in governance
    • Highlight their impact on public administration.
    • Conclude Suitably.


    Effective democracy hinges on well-structured governance machinery. In India, beyond the legislature, executive, and judiciary, a network of statutory, regulatory, and quasi-judicial bodies plays a crucial role in shaping public administration, safeguarding citizens' rights, and maintaining checks and balances within the system.


    Statutory Bodies:

    • Role: They are established by an act of Parliament or state legislatures and derive their authority from the respective acts.
      • These bodies are entrusted with specific functions and responsibilities, and their powers are clearly defined within the legal framework.
    • Significance: They bring specialised expertise to public administration, improve efficiency, and ensure adherence to legislative intent.
    • Example:
      • Reserve Bank of India (Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934)
      • Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) (Cinematograph Act, 1952)
      • National Human Rights Commission (Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993)

    Regulatory Bodies:

    • Role: These bodies are often subsets of statutory bodies tasked with formulating regulations and overseeing their implementation within a particular sector. They can impose penalties for non-compliance.
    • Significance: Regulatory bodies ensure a level playing field, protect consumer interests, and promote sectoral growth.
    • Example:
      • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulates the telecommunications sector, prescribing tariffs and ensuring fair competition.
      • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulates food safety and quality standards.

    Quasi-Judicial Bodies:

    • Role: These bodies combine features of both executive and judicial branches. They adjudicate disputes arising from the application of laws and regulations, often following simplified procedures compared to regular courts.
    • Significance: They provide faster and more accessible avenues for dispute resolution, decongesting regular courts and ensuring quicker justice.
    • Examples:
      • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) adjudicates environmental disputes, while the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission addresses consumer grievances.

    Impact on Public Administration:

    • Enhanced Expertise and Informed Decision-Making: These bodies leverage specialised knowledge to tackle complex issues, enabling data-driven decisions within public administration.
      • For instance, the World Bank has kept India's growth forecast at 6.3% for FY24. The RBI uses these data-driven strategies to regulate interest rates, aiming to control inflation and promote economic growth.
    • Streamlined Processes and Improved Service Delivery: Statutory and regulatory bodies establish clear guidelines and procedures, leading to measurable improvements in service delivery by government agencies.
      • Example: FSSAI has recently clarified that the term 'Health Drink' is not defined or standardised anywhere under the FSS Act 2006
    • Fostering Accountability and Compliance: Regulatory bodies set standards, enforce compliance, and hold stakeholders accountable for their actions, demonstrably improving ethical practices.
    • Promoting Transparency and Citizen Centricity: Quasi-judicial bodies provide accessible platforms for citizens to address grievances, leading to a more transparent and responsive public administration system.
      • Following a massive fire at Delhi's Ghazipur landfill, the National Green Tribunal took suo motu cognizance and referred to dump sites in cities as "time bombs."
    • Adaptability and Addressing Emerging Challenges: These bodies can adapt and evolve regulations to address new challenges and technological advancements, demonstrably tackling emerging issues.
      • SEBI’s recent regulations for algorithmic trading are a data-driven response to a new challenge.


    In rapidly evolving circumstances, the roles of statutory, regulatory, and quasi-judicial bodies transcend mere governance; they represent the cornerstone of a progressive society. These bodies not only enforce laws but also shape the future by fostering innovation, ensuring accountability, and protecting fundamental rights.

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