Q1. Define the following:
(i) UAF: It stands for Universal Adult Franchise. In this principle, all adult citizens of the country have the right to vote.
(ii) Coalition Government: It refers to the alliance formed by political parties after elections when no party has been able to get the adequate seats to form a clear majority.
(iii) Executive: It is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing the laws and running the govt . They include CM, PM, Council of Minister.
(iv) Constituency: A state is divided into several parts. From each area a MD is elected to control that area.
(v) Opposition: The party which loses the election is called the opposition.
Q2. What role does the parliament play in the functioning of the government?
- The Parliament which is made up of all representatives controls and guides the government.
- The question of the hour is an important mechanism through which MPs can elicit information about the working of the government.
- The Parliament also has a significant role in law-making.
- The Rajya Sabha primarily functions as the representative of the states of India in the Parliament.
- The Rajya Sabha can also initiate legislation and a bill is required to pass through the Rajya Sabha in order to become a law. Therefore, it has an important role of reviewing and altering the laws initiated by the Lok Sabha.
Q3. How are the members of the Rajya Sabha elected?
Ans. The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative assemblies of various states. There are 233 elected members plus 12 members nominated by the President.
Q4. Why do you think reservation of Dalits and women is important in India?
- It has been observed that representative democracy cannot produce a perfect reflection of society.
- There is a realization that when interests and experiences separate us it is important to ensure that communities that have been historically marginalized are given adequate representation.
- Similarly, it has more recently been suggested that there should be reservation of seats for women.
- With this in mind, some seats are reserved in the Parliament for SCs and STs. This has been done so that the MPs elected from these constituencies will be familiar with and can represent Dalit and Adivasi interests in Parliament.
Q5. What role does the opposition party play in the healthy functioning of a democracy?
1. They question the ruling government and make them accountable to the public.
2. Their role is to ensure that the government should not take any step which is against the interest of the public.
3. Their duty is to check and ensure the action of the ruling party is for the benefit of the masses and to support the government in such things.
Q6. Give at least 2 arguments against representative democracy.
- Representative Democracy does not produce a perfect reflection of society as the interest and experiences separate the communities who have been given adequate representation.
- Representative democracy does not allow reservation in Parliament as after the elapse of sixty years of independence one-third reservation of women is still pending and only nine percent members are of Parliament even if half of the population is women.
Q7. Explain the basic idea behind the representative democracy?
Ans. A representative democracy is a system of government in which all eligible citizens vote on representatives to pass laws for them. All of these elected officials supposedly listen to the populace and do what's best for the nation, state or jurisdiction as a whole.
Q9. Why do you think the nationalist movement supported the idea that all the adults have a right to vote?
Ans. Our national movement supported the idea that all adults have a right to vote because in our struggle for independence people from all walks of life participated. They came from various backgrounds and were united in their aspirations for a free, equal and independent nation where decision making would be in the hands of the people. The only way in which this would be possible would be through elections- allowing common people a vantage point from where they can consent to and approve of a government that "they" have a right to choose.
Q10. Who is a Prime Minister and what role does he/she play in the functioning of the country?
- The Prime Minister is the leader of the ruling party in Lok Sabha
- From the MPs who belong to his/her party, the Prime Minister selects ministers to work with him/her to implement the decisions.
- These ministers then take charge of different areas of govt. functioning like health, education etc.
Q11. How can you say that composition of Indian parliament has changed recently?
The Parliament now has more and more people from different backgrounds. For e.g.:
- There are more rural members as also members from any regional parties.
- Groups and peoples that were till now unrepresented are beginning to get elected to parliament.
- There has also been an increase in the political participation from the Dalit and the backward states and the minorities.
- Similarly, it has more recently been suggested that there should be reserved seats for women.
- This issue is still being debated. 60 yrs ago only 4% of MPs were women and today it is above 9%. This is a small share when you consider the fact that half the population is women.
Q12. Explain the procedure of elections.
- People would elect their representatives to the parliament, then one group from these elected representatives forms the government.
- The Parliament which is made up of all representatives together controls and guides the Govt. In this sense people, through their chosen representatives form the Government.
- The country is divided into numerous constituencies. Each of these constituencies elects one person to the parliament. The candidates who contest elections usually belong to different political parties.