Test: Polity NCERT Based Test - 1 (May 08, 2021)


25 Questions MCQ Test UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 Mock Test Series | Test: Polity NCERT Based Test - 1 (May 08, 2021)


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QUESTION: 1

The Constitution limits the power of the Government by means of:
1. Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression.
2. Right to Constitutional Remedies.

Which of the above statements is/are correct? 

Solution:
  • Both statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Constitutions limit the power of government in many ways

  • The most common way of limiting the power of government is to specify certain fundamental rights that all of us possess as citizens and which no government can violate. Citizens will be protected from being arrested arbitrarily and for no reason. This is one basic limitation upon the power of government. 

Right to Constitutional Remedies 

  • Right to freedom of speech and expression has established media as the fourth pillar of democracy and ensured a check on government.
QUESTION: 2

The idea of “Welfare State” in the Indian Constitution is enshrined in its

Solution:

B is the correct option.The Directive Principles of State Policy, enshrined in Part IV of the Indian Constitution reflects that India is a welfare state. Seats are reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in government jobs, educational institutions, Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha.

QUESTION: 3

A citizen acquiring citizenship through naturalization

Solution:

A person can acquire citizenship of India through naturalization if he/she A. belongs to the country where the citizens of India are allowed to become subjects or citizens of that country by naturalisations B. renounces the citizenship of his/her country and intimates the renunciation to the government of India. C. has been residing in India or serving the government for 12 months before the date of making application for naturalization. D. Possess good character. (e) intends to reside in India or to serve under the government of India after Naturalisation.

QUESTION: 4

A candidate desires to get elected to the municipal council of his city. The validity of his nomination would depend upon the important condition, among others, that;

Solution:
QUESTION: 5

Consider the following statements regarding the Parliamentary Committees:
1. Standing Committees supervise the work of various departments, their budget, expenditure and bills that come up in the house relating to the department.  
2. Joint Parliamentary Committees (JPCs) can be set up for the purpose of investigating financial irregularities.
3. Members of JPCs are selected from both the houses of the Parliament.

Which of the above statements are correct?

Solution:
  • All statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Parliament

  • The Parliament is the legislative organ of the Union government.
  • Articles 79 to 122 in Part V of the Constitution deal with the organisation, composition, duration, officers, procedures, privileges, and powers of the Parliament.

Parliamentary committees

  • A signific ant feature of the legislative process is the appointment of committees for various legislative purposes.
  • These committees play a vital role not merely in law making, but also in the day to day business of the House.
  • Broadly, parliamentary committees are of two kinds—Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees.  The former are permanent (constituted every year or periodically) and work on a continuous basis, while the latter are temporary and cease to exist on completion of the task assigned to them.

Standing Committees

  • Standing Committees supervise the work of various departments, their budget, their expenditure and bills that come up in the house relating to the department.
  • On the basis of the nature of functions performed by them, standing committees can be classifie d into the following six categories:
  • Financial Committees
    (i) Public Accounts Committee
    (ii) Estimates Committee
    (iii) Committee on Public Undertakings
  • Departmental Standing Committees (24)
  • Committees to Inquire
  • Committees to Scrutinise and Control
  • Committees Relating to the Day-to-Day Business of the House
  • House-Keeping Committees or Service Committees 

Ad Hoc Committees

  • Ad hoc committees can be divided into two categories, that is, Inquiry Committees and Advisory Committees.
  • Inquiry Committees are constituted from time to time, either by the two Houses on a motion adopted in that behalf, or by the Speaker / Chairman, to inquire into and report on specific subjects. For example:
    (i) Committee on the Conduct of Certain Members during President’Address
    (ii) Committee on Draft Five-Year Plan
    (iii) Railway Convention Committee etc

Advisory Committees 

  • It includes select or joint committees on bills, which are appointed to consider and report on particular bills.
  • These committees are distinguishable from the other ad hoc committees in as much as they are concerned with bills and the procedure to be followed by them is laid down in the Rules of Procedure and the Directions by the Speaker / Chairman.

Joint Parliamentary Committees 

  • Joint Parliamentary Committees (JPCs) can be set up for the purpose of discussing a particular bill, like the joint committee to discuss bill, or for the purpose of investigating financial irregularities.
  • Members of the committee are selected from both Houses.
QUESTION: 6

Regarding Constitutional Amendments
1. The provision of Joint sitting is not available
2. They become operatives from the date both Houses have passed the bills
3. The President’s assent to a constitutional amendment is obligatory.
4. Parliament may amend any part of the Constitution according to the procedure laid down in Art 368.

Choose the correct answers from the code below

Solution:

All three statements are true except 2. The twenty third constitutional amendment Enables Parliament to dilute Fundamental Rights through Amendments of the Constitution, and empowers it to amend any provision of the Constitution. Also makes it obligatory for the President to give his assent, when a Constitution Amendment Bill is presented to him.

QUESTION: 7

Which writ is issued to a detaining authority?

Solution:

By Habeas Corpus writ the Supreme Court or High Court can cause any person who has been detained or imprisoned (this means a violation of his fundamental rights to liberty) to be physically brought before the court. The court then examines the reason for his detention and if there is no legal justification of his detention, he can be set free.

QUESTION: 8

With reference to Article 20 of the Constitution of India, consider the following statements:
1. Both civil and criminal laws cannot be applied retrospectively.
2. The protection against self-incrimination extends to both criminal and civil proceedings.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The law is not the same in respect of criminal cases. Retrospective effect is not allowed in criminal law. Article 20 of the Constitution specifically bars it.

Article 20(3) reads: “No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” It closely follows the wording of the Fifth Amendment to the American Constitution, which likewise provides that “[no person] shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”

QUESTION: 9

With reference to powers of the President of India, consider the following statements:
1. He has the power to summon both the Houses of the Parliament.
2. He has veto power by which he can withhold assent to Bills passed by the Parliament.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Both statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Powers and Position of the President 

  • As the Head of the Executive, the President is conferred with a wide variety of powers which are provided to him by the Constitution. The powers of the President can be classified into several categories:

Executive Powers

  • All the actions and decisions of the Government are taken in the name of the President
  • Power to make appointments: The President has the power to appoint many constitutional officers and the members of the Union Government. They include:
    (i) The Prime Minister
    (ii) Chief Justice of India
    (iii) Attorney General of India
    (iv) Comptroller and Auditor General of India
    (v) Governors of States
    (vi) Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission
    (vii) Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
    (viii) Administrators of Union Territories
  • Powers relating to the Council of Ministers: The President has to exercise his executive powers on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. Hence, he is subjected to some limitations in exercising powers. But he has the power to send back the recommendations of the council for reconsideration. The council may or may not accept such a recommendation. So, the President while being the Executive head in name, the actual power resides with the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. 

Legislative Powers

  • Assent of the President: For any bill to get the sanction of law, it has to receive the assent of the President. Thus only when the President gives his assent to a bill which has been passed by both the Houses of Parliament, the bill can become a valid law. This means that the President is an integral part of the Parliament in India.
  • Power to Summon and Prorogue both the houses: The President has the power to summon either or both the Houses. The President also has the power to dissolve the House of People in some cases. The President also possesses the power to summon a joint sitting of the house in cases of a deadlock in which both houses sit together and the conflict is resolved.
  • Power to Promulgate Ordinance: Under Article 123 of the Constitution, when the Parliament is not in session and there is an urgency, the President has the power to issue an ordinance and such an ordinance has the force of law. This ordinance remains valid for six weeks from the date when the Legislature resumes its session. The effect of the ordinance is the same as the Act of Legislature and thus the President is entrusted with great legislative power.
  • Nominating Members to Parliament: The President has the power to nominate 2 members of the Anglo-Indian community in the House of People if he thinks that they are not represented properly. He also has the power to nominate 12 members in the Council of States from the field of Arts, Literature, Science, Social Science, etc.

Judicial Powers

  • Under Article 72 of the Constitution. the President has the power to give reprieves, pardons, respites, remission, and commutation of sentence.

Military Powers

  • Head of the Armed Forces: Under Article 53, the supreme command of the armed forces of the country is vested in the President. Thus, the President has the power to declare war with any other country and also the power to conclude peace. This is done under the regulation of Parliament.

Discretionary Powers

  • There are at least three situations where the President can exercise the powers using his or her own discretion. 
  • The President can send back the advice given by the Council of Ministers and ask the Council to reconsider the decision. In doing this, the President acts on his (or her) own discretion. When the President thinks that the advice has certain flaws or legal lacunae, or that it is not in the best interests of the country, the President can ask the Council to reconsider the decision. However, the Council can still send back the same advice and the President would then be bound by that advice.
  • The President also has veto power by which he can withhold to give assent to Bills (other than Money Bill) passed by the Parliament. Every bill passed by the Parliament goes to the President for his assent before it becomes a law. However, there is no mention in the Constitution about the time limit within which the President must send the bill back for reconsideration. This means that the President can just keep the bill pending with him without any time limit. This is sometimes referred to as ‘pocket veto’.
  • The third kind of discretion arises more out of political circumstances. President can act on his discretion when, after an election, no leader has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha. 
  • If two or three leaders claim that they have the support of the majority in the house, the President has to decide whom to appoint as the Prime Minister. In such a situation, the President has to use his own discretion in judging who really may have the support of the majority and form the government.
QUESTION: 10

The function of the Pro-tem speaker is to -

Solution:

The Pro-tem speaker is appointed by the President from amongst the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha. He conducts the oath to all the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha and conducts the election of the Speaker.

QUESTION: 11

Which one of the Parliamentary committees in India is a ‘watchdog’ on departmental expenditure and irregularities?

Solution:

This Committee on Public Accounts is consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of the Rajya Sabha are associated with it. A Minister is not eligible for the election in this committee. The term of the committee is one year. The main duty of the Committee is to ascertain whether the money granted by Parliament has been spent by the Government “within the scope of the Demand”. The Appropriation Accounts of the Government of India and the Audit Reports presented by the CAG mainly forms the basis for the examination of this committee

QUESTION: 12

Consider the following statements regarding reorganization of the states:
1. An Indian territory can be ceded to a foreign country by an executive action.
2. A boundary dispute settlement between India and another country does not require constitutional amendment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Supreme Court held that the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state (under Article 3) does not cover cession of Indian territory to a foreign country. Hence, Indian territory can be ceded to a foreign state only by amending the Constitution under Article 368. Consequently, the 9th Constitutional Amendment Act (1960) was enacted to transfer the said territory to Pakistan.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court in 1969 ruled that, settlement of a boundary dispute between India and another country does not require a constitutional amendment. It can be done by executive action as it does not involve cession of Indian Territory to a foreign country.

QUESTION: 13

Consider the following:
“An order is served to four newsreaders of a television channel that they would no longer read the news on screen. They are all women. The reason given is that they are above the age of forty-five. Two male newsreaders above the same age are not barred from presenting the news”.

Which of the following Fundamental Rights is violated in the above given situation?

Solution:
  • Option (a) is correct: Article 15 provides that the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

Supplementary notes:

Right to Equality (Article 14 – Article 18)

  • Equality before the law and equal protection of laws (Article 14)
  • Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (Article 15)
  • Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16)
  • Abolition of untouchability and prohibition of its practice (Article 17)
  • Abolition of titles except military and academic (Article 18)

Article 15

  • Article 15 provides that the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • The two crucial words in this provision are ‘discrimination’ and ‘only’. The word ‘discrimination’ means ‘to make an adverse distinction with regard to’ or ‘to distinguish unfavourably from others’. The use of the word ‘only’ connotes that discrimination on other grounds is not prohibited. 
  • The second provision of Article 15 says that no citizen shall be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth with regard to 
    (i) Access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment
    (ii) The use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, road and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly by State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public. 
  • This provision prohibits discrimination both by the State and private individuals, while the former provision prohibits discrimination only by the State.

Article 17

  • Article 17 abolishes ‘untouchability’ and forbids its practice in any form.
  • The term ‘untouchability’ has not been defined either in the Constitution or in the Protection of Civil Rights Act (1955).
  • It refers to the social disabilities imposed on certain classes of persons by reason of their birth in certain castes. Hence, it does not cover the social boycott of a few individuals or their exclusion from religious services, etc.

Article 18

  • Article 18 abolishes titles and makes four provisions:
    (i) It prohibits the state from conferring any title (except military or academic distinction) on anybody, whether a citizen or a foreigner. 
    (ii) It prohibits a citizen of India from accepting any title from any foreign state.
    (iii) A foreigner holding any office of profit or trust under the state cannot accept any title from any foreign state without the consent of the president. 
    (iv) No citizen or foreigner holding any office of profit or trust under the State is to accept any present, emolument or office from or under any foreign State without the consent of the president.
  • 1996, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the National Awards like Bharat Ratna. They are not violative of Article 18 as the theory of equality does not mandate that merit should not be recognized.

Right against Exploitation (Articles 23– 24) 

  • Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labor (Article 23)
  • Prohibition of employment of children in factories (Article 24)

Article 23

  • Article 23 prohibits traffic in human beings, begar (forced labor) and other similar forms of forced labor. 
  • Any contravention of this provision shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law. 
  • This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens. 
  • It protects the individual not only against the State but also against private persons.
QUESTION: 14

Which of the following is NOT applicable regarding the purpose of CUT Motion?

Solution:

Cut Motion is a veto power given to the members of the Lok Sabha to oppose a demand in the financial bills discussed by the government. This can turn into an effective tool to check the strength of the government. If a cut motion is adopted by the House and the government does not have the numbers, it is obliged to resign.

QUESTION: 15

The Preamble enshrines certain ideals that were first spelt out in

Solution:
QUESTION: 16

Which of the following is/are correct regarding Governor’s discretionary powers?
1) He/She can use it to dissolve legislative assembly.
2) He/She can use it to dismiss the Chief Minister.
3) He/She can use it to appoint Cabinet Secretary of a state.

Choose from the given code.

Solution:

Discretionary powers of the governor are:

1. Reservation of a bill for the consideration of the president.

2. Recommendation for the imposition of the President’s Rule in the state.

3. While exercising his functions as the administrator of an adjoining union territory (in case of additional charge).

a) Determining the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration.

b) Seeking information from the chief minister with regard to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.

c) Appointment of chief minister when no party has a clear-cut majority in the state legislative assembly or when the chief minister in office dies suddenly and there is no obvious successor.

d) Dismissal of the council of ministers when it cannot prove the confidence of the state legislative assembly.

e) Dissolution of the state legislative assembly if the council of ministers has lost its majority.
Expressly conferred by the Constitution

QUESTION: 17

Consider the following statements regarding the basic structure of the Indian Constitution:
1. In Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court gave the concept of the basic structure of the Constitution.
2. Parliament can violate the basic structure through constitutional amendment.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Parliament cannot violate the basic structure of Indian Constitution (even through constitutional amendment).

Supplementary notes:

Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution

  • In 1973, the Supreme Court gave a decision that has become very important in regulating the relations between the Parliament and the Judiciary since then. This case is famous as the Kesavananda Bharati case. In this case, the Court ruled that there is a basic structure of the Constitution.
  • It has set specific  limits to the Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution.
  • Nobody, not even the Parliament (through amendment) can violate the basic structure.
QUESTION: 18

Some of the Fundamental Rights are not available to the members of the Armed Forces. Who reserves the right to decide the same?

Solution:

Parliament is empowered to make a law determining “to what extent any of the rights shall, in their application to A . the members of the armed forces or B . the members of the armed forces charged with the maintenance of the law and order”, be restricted or abrogated so as to ensure the proper discharge of their duties. They need to maintain discipline and that is what this article demands.

QUESTION: 19

No bill seeking to impose restrictions on inter-state trade can be introduced in a State Legislature:

Solution:

The Governor of a state may reserve any bill for the consideration of the President. Bills relating to subjects like the compulsory acquisition of property, measures affecting powers and position of High Courts and the imposition of taxes on storage, distribution and sale of water and electricity in Inter-State River or river valley development project should be necessarily reserved.

QUESTION: 20

Which of the following has been adopted from Westminster system of government in Indian Constitution?
1) Parliamentary form of Government
2) Fundamental Rights
3) Federal Structure
4) Judicial Independence

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government modeled after that which developed in the United Kingdom. From Westminster system, India has adopted Parliamentary government, Rule of Law, legislative procedure, single citizenship, cabinet system, prerogative writs, parliamentary privileges and bicameralism.

US Constitution: Fundamental rights, independence of judiciary, judicial review, impeachment of the president, removal of Supreme Court and high court judges and post of vice-president.

Canadian Constitution: Federation with a strong Centre, vesting of residuary powers in the Centre, appointment of state governors by the Centre, and advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

QUESTION: 21

Consider the following statements regarding the removal process of the Election Commissioners:
1. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from his office in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.
2. Any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner cannot be removed from the office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Both statements are  correct

Supplementary notes:

Election Commission of India (ECI)

  • It is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
  • Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc of the commission and the member.

Structure of the ECI

  • Originally, it had only one Election Commissioner but after the Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989, it has been made a multi-member body.
  • Presently, it consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
  • At the state level, it is assisted by Chief Electoral Officer, who is an IAS rank Officer.

Appointment and tenure

  • The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
  • They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.

The procedure of Removal

  • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a Supreme Court judge for by Parliament.
  • Judges of High Courts and Supreme Court, CEC, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘proven misbehavior or incapacity’.
  • Removal requires a special majority of 2/3rd members present and voting supported by more than 50% of the total strength of the house.
  • Any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
QUESTION: 22

Consider the following statements regarding the instruments used by the Parliament to control the Executive:
1. In the Zero Hour, ministers are bound to reply the questions asked by members.
2. Half-an–hour discussions are done on the matters of public importance.
3. Preparation and presentation of budget for the approval of the legislature is constitutional obligation of the government.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: In Zero Hour, members are free to raise any matter that they think is important (though the ministers are not bound to reply).

Supplementary notes:

Parliament

  • The Parliament is the legislative organ of the Union government.
  • Articles 79 to 122 in Part V of the Constitution deal with the organisation, composition, duration, officers, procedures, privileges, and powers of the Parliament.

How does the Parliament control the Executive?

  • In a Parliamentary democracy, the Executive is drawn from the party or a coalition of parties that has a majority in Lok Sabha.
  • It is not difficult for the Executive to exercise unlimited and arbitrary powers with the support of the majority party.
  • In such a situation, Parliamentary democracy may slip into Cabinet dictatorship, where the Cabinet leads and the House merely follows.
  • Only if the Parliament is active and vigilant, can it keep regular and effective check on the Executive.
  • There are many ways in which the Legislature can control the Executive. 

The legislature does this through the use of a variety of devices:
(i) Deliberation and Discussion
(ii) Approval or Refusal of laws
(iii) Financial Control
(iv) Motions

Deliberation and discussion: 

  • During the law making process, members of the legislature get an opportunity to deliberate on the policy direction of the executive and the ways in which policies are implemented.
  • Apart from deliberating on bills, control may also be exercised during the general discussions in the House.
  • The Question Hour, is held every day during the sessions of Parliament, where Ministers have to respond to searching questions raised by the members. The question hour is the most effective method of keeping vigil on the executive and the administrative agencies of the government. This gives the members an opportunity to criticise the government, and represent the problems of their constituencies. 
  • In Zero Hour, members are free to raise any matter that they think is important (though the ministers are not bound to reply),
  • Half-an-hour discussion on matters of public importance, adjournment motion etc. are some instruments of exercising control.

Approval and Ratification of laws: 

  • Parliamentary control is also exercised through its power of ratification.
  • A bill can become a law only with the approval of the Parliament.
  • A government that has the majority support may not find it difficult to get the approval of the Legislature. 

Financial Control: 

  • Financial resources to implement the programmes of the government are granted through the budget.
  • Preparation and presentation of budget for the approval of the legislature is constitutional obligation of the government.
  • This obligation allows the legislature to exercise control over the purse strings of the government.
  • The legislature may refuse to grant resources to the government. This seldom happens because the government ordinarily enjoys support of the majority in the parliamentary system.
  • Nevertheless, before granting money the Lok Sabha can discuss the reasons for which the government requires money.
  • It can enquire into cases of misuse of funds on the basis of the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Public Accounts committees.

Motions: 

  • No discussion on a matter of general public importance can take place except on a motion made with the consent of the presiding officer.
  • The House expresses its decisions or opinions on various issues through the adoption or rejection of motions moved by either ministers or private members.

No Confidence Motion:

  • The most powerful weapon that enables the Parliament to ensure executive accountability is the no-confidence motion.
  • As long as the government has the support of its party or coalition of parties that have a majority in the Lok Sabha, the power of the House to dismiss the government is fictional rather than real.
  • However, after 1989, several governments have lost the confidence of the Lok Sabha because they failed to retain the support of their coalition partners.
  • Thus, the Parliament can effectively control the executive and ensure a more responsive government.
QUESTION: 23

Which of the following provisions under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution is incorrect?

Solution:
  • All statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Protection of Life and Personal Liberty (Article 21)

  • The foremost right among rights to freedom is the right to life and personal liberty.
  • No citizen can be denied his or her life except by procedure as laid down under the law.
  • Similarly, no one can be denied his/her personal liberty. That means no one can be arrested without being told the grounds for such an arrest.
  • If arrested, the person has the right to defend himself by a lawyer of his choice.
  • It is mandatory for the police to take that person to the nearest magistrate within 24 hours.
  • The magistrate, who is not part of the police, will decide whether the arrest is justified or not.
  • This right is not just confined to a guarantee against taking away of an individual’s life but has wider application.
  • Various judgments of the Supreme Court have expanded the scope of this right.
  • The Supreme Court has ruled that this right also includes the right to live with human dignity, free from exploitation.
  • The court has held that right to shelter and livelihood is also included in the right to life because no person can live without the means of living, that is, the means of livelihood.

Right to Education (Article 21 A)

  • Article 21 A declares that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such a manner as the State may determine.
  • This provision was added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002.
QUESTION: 24

Consider the following statements regarding the Universal Adult Franchise as given in the Constitution of India:
1. It means that the Right to Vote should be given to all adult citizens without discrimination of caste, class, color, religion or sex.
2. It is inconsistent with the principle of equality.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The concept of Universal Adult Franchise is consistent with the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

Supplementary notes:

Adult Franchise

  • The right of the people to vote and elect their representatives is called franchise. Adult franchise means that the right to vote should be given to all adult citizens without the discrimination of caste, class, color, religion or sex.
  • According to Article 326 of the Constitution of India, the elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage; that is to say, every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than eighteen years of age on such date as may be fixed in that behalf by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature and is not otherwise disqualifi ed under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.
  • One of the important decisions of the framers of the Indian Constitution was to guarantee every adult citizen in India, the right to vote. Till 1989, an adult Indian meant an Indian citizen above the age of 21. The 61st amendment to the Constitution in 1989 reduced the eligibility age to 18.
  • Adult Franchise ensures that all citizens are able to participate in the process of selecting their representative. This is consistent with the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

Right to Contest

  • What is true of the right to vote is also true of the right to contest the election. All citizens have the right to stand for election and become the representative of the people. However, there are different minimum age requirements for contesting elections.
  • For example, in order to stand for Lok Sabha or Assembly election, a candidate must be at least 25 years old.
  • Also, there is a legal provision that a person who has undergone imprisonment for two or more years for some offense is disqualified from contesting elections. 
  • But there are no restrictions of income, education or class or gender on the right to contest elections. In this sense, our system of election is open to all citizens.
QUESTION: 25

Consider the following statements regarding the Anti-Defection Law in India:
1. 52nd Amendment was related to the antidefection law.
2. 91st Amendment was related to the antidefection law.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Both statements are correct

Supplementary notes:

Amendment to the Constitution

  • The makers of the Constitution were aware of the fact that there may be some faults or mistakes in the Constitution; they knew that the Constitution could not be totally free of errors.
  • Whenever such mistakes would come to light, they wanted the Constitution to be easily amended and to be able to get rid of these mistakes.
  • The procedure for the amendment of the Constitution is laid down in Article 368.
  • A large group of amendments has been made as a result of the consensus among the political parties.
  • This consensus made it necessary that some changes had to be made in order to reflect the prevailing political philosophy and aspirations of society.
  • In fact, many of the amendments of the post1984 period are instances of this trend.
  • Even during coalition governments, this period saw amendments as it was based on an evolving consensus on certain issues.
  • Starting with the anti-defection amendment (52nd amendment), this period saw a series of amendments in spite of the political turbulence.
  • Apart from the anti-defection amendments (52nd and 91st), these amendments include the amendment bringing down the minimum age for voting from 21 to 18 years, the 73rd and the 74th amendments, etc. 

Anti-Defection Law 

  • The anti-defection law sought to prevent such political defections which may be due to reward of office or other similar considerations.
  • The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985. It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.