[Answered] What do you understand by delimitation? Highlight the significance and challenges associated with the delimitation process.

Introduction: Write about delimitation.
Body: Write the significance of delimitation process and also mention its challenges.
Conclusion: Write some suggestions.

Delimitation refers to the process of demarcation of the boundaries of parliamentary or assembly constituencies. This exercise is carried out after every census, by a Delimitation Commission, whose orders are legally binding and cannot be questioned before any court. Delimitation is also responsible for reservation of seats for SC and ST communities in state assembly or the Lok Sabha.

According to Article 82 of the Constitution, Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after Census that is held every 10 years. The delimitation process is a bureaucratic process and is important due to following reasons:

  • It makes sure that each constituency in a State shall be so delimited that the population of all constituencies shall, so far as practicable, be the same throughout the State.
  • To provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
  • Fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.
  • To follow the principle of “One Vote One Value”.

Challenges associated with the delimitation process:

  • States having more population gets more number of seats in Parliament. The southern states that promoted family planning faced the possibility of having their seats reduced.
  • The constitution has capped the number of Lok Shaba & Rajya Sabha seats to a maximum of 550 & 250 respectively and increasing populations are being represented by a single representative.
  • Another problem is the possibility of drawing boundaries of constituencies in such a manner as to favour a particular party or a candidate.
  • Delimitation was done in 2008 based on the 2001 census, although the overall number of seats in the Assemblies and Parliament set in 1971 was not modified.

national consensus exercise should be started to sort out issues much before 2026. The role of politicians in the delimitation process should be kept to the minimum, while greater role should be assigned to the public, by way of providing them suitable participation in the exercise.


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