Q.1. What was the reaction of the people to the implementation of Mandal Commission Report?
Ans. The implementation of the Mandal Commission Report led to widespread protests and counterprotests, some of which were violent. People reacted strongly because this decision affected thousands of job opportunities. Some felt that job reservations were essential to cope up with the inequalities among people of different castes in India. Others felt that this was unfair as it would deny equality of opportunity to people who did not belong to the backward communities. They would be denied jobs even if they were more qualified.
Q.2. Write about some of the activities involved in governing a country.
Ans. Governing a country involves various activities. For example, the government is responsible for ensuring security to the citizens and providing facilities for education and health to all. It collects taxes and spends the money thus raised on administration, defence and development programmes. It formulates and implements several welfare schemes. Some persons have to take decisions on how to go about these activities. Others have to implement these decisions. It is also important that these activities keep taking place even if the persons in key positions change.
Q.3. In which ways does the Parliament exercise political authority on behalf of the people?
(i) Parliament can make new laws, change existing laws, or abolish existing laws and make new ones in their place.
(ii) Those who run the government can take decisions only so long as they enjoy support of the Parliament.
(iii) Parliament controls all the money that government has. Public money can be spent only when the Parliament sanctions it.
(iv) Parliament is the highest forum of discussion and debate on public issues and national policy.
Q.4. Describe the ways in which Lok Sabha is more powerful than Rajya Sabha. [Important]
(i) An ordinary law has to pass through both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. In case of differences, a joint session is held. Since Lok Sabha has larger number of members will prevail.
(ii) Lok Sabha exercises more powers in money matters. Once it passes the budget or the money bills, the Rajya cannot reject it. It can delay it by 14 days or suggest changes in it. The Lok Sabha may or may not accept these changes.
(iii) Lok Sabha controls the Council of Ministers. If the majority of Lok Sabha members say they have no confidence in the Council of Ministers, all ministers including the Prime Minister, have to quit. Rajya Sabha does not have this power.
Q.5. How can you say that the President occupies the position of a nominal head of the State?
Ans. The President is not elected directly by the people. She or he can never claim the kind of direct popular mandate that the Prime Minister can. This ensures that she or he remains only a nominal executive. The Constitution gives vast powers to the President. But the latter exercises them only on the advice of the Council of Ministers. The President can ask the Council of Ministers to reconsider its advice. But if the same advice is given again, she or he is bound to act according to it. Similarly, when a bill comes to the President for signatures she or he can return it to the Parliament with her or his advice but when the bill comes for her signatures again, she or he has to sign it, whether the Parliament agrees to her / his advice or not.
Q.6. What are the powers of the Supreme Court?
Ans. The Supreme Court controls the judicial administration of the country. Its decisions are binding on all other courts of the country. It can take up any dispute
It is the highest court of appeal in civil and criminal cases. It can hear appeals against the decisions of the High Courts. The Supreme Court has the power to interpret the Constitution of the country. It can determine the constitutional validity of any law. This is known as judicial review.
Q.7. Write any three powers of the Prime Minister?
Ans. The Prime Minister is the most important political institution in the country. He/ She has wide ranging powers.
(i) He chairs cabinet meetings.
(ii) His decisions are final in case of disagreement between departments.
(iii) He distributes and redistributes work to ministers. He also has power to dismiss ministers.
When the Prime Minister quits, the entire ministry quits. Thus within the cabinet the Prime Minister is the most powerful so much so that parliamentary democracies are sometimes seen as prime ministerial form of government.
Q.8. Write two ways in which it can be proved that the President does not have any real powers. What can the President really do on his/her own?
Ans. In our political system the head of the state exercises only nominal powers. The President of India is like the Queen of Britain whose functions are to a large extent ceremonial. The President supervises the overall functioning of all the political institutions in the country so that they operate in harmony to achieve the objectives of the state. The President represents the entire nation but can never claim the kind of direct popular mandate that the Prime Minister can. The same is true of his powers. All government activities do take place in the name of the President. All laws and major decisions of the government are issued in his name, all international treaties and agreements are made in his name but the President exercises these powers only on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
Q.9. Explain the difference between Political Executive and Permanent Executive. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. In a democratic country two types of executives are there. ‘‘One that is elected by the people for a specific period, it is called the political executive. Political leaders who take big decisions fall into this category. In the second category people are appointed on a long-term basis. This is called the permanent executive or civil services. Persons working in civil services are called civil servants. They remain in office even when the ruling changes. These officers work under political executive.
Q.10. In what ways does the Parliament exercise political authority? Explain. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Parliament is the final authority for making laws in any country. This task of law making or legislation is so crucial that these assemblies are called legislatures. Parliaments all over the world exercise some control over these who run the government. In some countries like Inida this control is direct and full. Those who run the government can take decisions only, so long as they enjoy support of the Parliament. Parliaments control all the money that governments have. Parliament is the highest forum of discussion.
Q.11. Describe any four constitutional provisions for making judiciary independent. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Independence of the judiciary means that it is not under the control of the legislature or the executive. The judges do not act on the direction of the government or according to the wishes of the party in power. There is very little scope for the ruling party to interfere.
(i) The appointment of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts is done by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
(ii) Once a person is appointed as judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court, it is impossible to removed him.
(iii) The judiciary in India is one of the most powerful in the world. The Supreme Court and the High Courts have the power to interpret the constitution of the country.
(iv) They can declare invalid any law of the legislative or the actions of the executive whether at the Union level or at the State level.
Q.12. How is the judicial system organised in India? Mention its major function. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. An independent and powerful judiciary is considered essential for democracies. All the courts at different levels in a country put together are called the judiciary. The Indian judiciary consists of a Supreme Court for the entire nation, High Courts in the states, district courts and the courts at the local level. India has an integrated judiciary. It means the Supreme Court controls the judicial administration in the country. Its decisions are binding on all other courts of the country. It is the highest court of appeal in civil and criminal cases.
Q.13. Why is the Prime Minister the most powerful man in the government? Explain. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. The Prime Minister has wide-ranging powers as head of the government. He chairs cabinet meetings, coordinates the work of different departments. His decisions are final. All ministers work under him/his leadership. He distributes and redistributes work to the ministers. He also has the power to dismiss them and when he quits the entire ministry quits. The Prime Minister controls the cabinet and the Parliament through the party.