NCERT Textbook - What is Government? Class 6 Notes | EduRev

Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters

Created by: Rohini Seth

Class 6 : NCERT Textbook - What is Government? Class 6 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Chapter 3
What is
Government?
very country needs a government
to make decisions and get things
done.  These can be decisions about
where to build roads and schools, or
how to reduce the price of onions
when they get too expensive or ways
to increase the supply of electricity.
The government also takes action on
many social issues, for example it has
several programmes to help the poor.
It does other important things such as
running postal and railway services.
You must have heard the word 'government'
mentioned several times.  In this chapter you
will learn about what a government is and the
important role it plays in our lives. What do
governments do? How do they decide what to
do? What is the difference between different
types of governments such as monarchies and
democracies? Read more and find out…. 
Look at the newspaper headlines above
and list the different kinds of activities
that the government is reported to be
doing in these newspaper headlines.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Isn't this a wide range of activities?  
What do you think government is?
Discuss in class.
E
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


Chapter 3
What is
Government?
very country needs a government
to make decisions and get things
done.  These can be decisions about
where to build roads and schools, or
how to reduce the price of onions
when they get too expensive or ways
to increase the supply of electricity.
The government also takes action on
many social issues, for example it has
several programmes to help the poor.
It does other important things such as
running postal and railway services.
You must have heard the word 'government'
mentioned several times.  In this chapter you
will learn about what a government is and the
important role it plays in our lives. What do
governments do? How do they decide what to
do? What is the difference between different
types of governments such as monarchies and
democracies? Read more and find out…. 
Look at the newspaper headlines above
and list the different kinds of activities
that the government is reported to be
doing in these newspaper headlines.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Isn't this a wide range of activities?  
What do you think government is?
Discuss in class.
E
© NCERT
not to be republished
The government also has the job of
protecting the boundaries of the
country and maintaining peaceful
relations with other countries.  It is
responsible for ensuring that all its
citizens have enough to eat and have
good health facilities. When there are
natural disasters like the tsunami or
an earthquake it is the government
that mainly organises aid and
assistance for the affected people. If
there is a dispute or if someone has
committed a crime you find people in
a court. Courts are also part of the
government.
Perhaps you are wondering how
governments manage to do all this.
And why it is necessary for them to do
so. When human beings live and work
together, there needs to be some
amount of organisation so that
decisions can be made.
Some rules have to be made that
apply to everyone. For example, there
is a need to control resources and
protect the territory of a country, so
people can feel secure.  Governments
do this on behalf of their people by
exercising leadership, taking
decisions and implementing these
among all the people living in their
territory.
Levels of Government
Now that you know that the
government is responsible for so
Can you list three things that
the government does which
have not been mentioned.
1.
2.
3.
Some examples of
institutions that are
part of the government:
The Supreme Court,
The Indian Railways
and Bharat Petroleum.
28 / Social and Political Life
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


Chapter 3
What is
Government?
very country needs a government
to make decisions and get things
done.  These can be decisions about
where to build roads and schools, or
how to reduce the price of onions
when they get too expensive or ways
to increase the supply of electricity.
The government also takes action on
many social issues, for example it has
several programmes to help the poor.
It does other important things such as
running postal and railway services.
You must have heard the word 'government'
mentioned several times.  In this chapter you
will learn about what a government is and the
important role it plays in our lives. What do
governments do? How do they decide what to
do? What is the difference between different
types of governments such as monarchies and
democracies? Read more and find out…. 
Look at the newspaper headlines above
and list the different kinds of activities
that the government is reported to be
doing in these newspaper headlines.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Isn't this a wide range of activities?  
What do you think government is?
Discuss in class.
E
© NCERT
not to be republished
The government also has the job of
protecting the boundaries of the
country and maintaining peaceful
relations with other countries.  It is
responsible for ensuring that all its
citizens have enough to eat and have
good health facilities. When there are
natural disasters like the tsunami or
an earthquake it is the government
that mainly organises aid and
assistance for the affected people. If
there is a dispute or if someone has
committed a crime you find people in
a court. Courts are also part of the
government.
Perhaps you are wondering how
governments manage to do all this.
And why it is necessary for them to do
so. When human beings live and work
together, there needs to be some
amount of organisation so that
decisions can be made.
Some rules have to be made that
apply to everyone. For example, there
is a need to control resources and
protect the territory of a country, so
people can feel secure.  Governments
do this on behalf of their people by
exercising leadership, taking
decisions and implementing these
among all the people living in their
territory.
Levels of Government
Now that you know that the
government is responsible for so
Can you list three things that
the government does which
have not been mentioned.
1.
2.
3.
Some examples of
institutions that are
part of the government:
The Supreme Court,
The Indian Railways
and Bharat Petroleum.
28 / Social and Political Life
© NCERT
not to be republished
many different things, can you think
of how it manages to do all this? The
government works at different levels:
at the local level, at the level of the
state and at the national level. The
local level means in your village, town
or locality, the state level would mean
that which covers an entire state like
Haryana or Assam and the national
level relates to the entire country.
Later in this book, you will read about
how local level government functions,
and when you go into the next few
classes you will learn about how
governments function at the state and
central levels.
What is Government? / 29
Delhi
National level
State level
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


Chapter 3
What is
Government?
very country needs a government
to make decisions and get things
done.  These can be decisions about
where to build roads and schools, or
how to reduce the price of onions
when they get too expensive or ways
to increase the supply of electricity.
The government also takes action on
many social issues, for example it has
several programmes to help the poor.
It does other important things such as
running postal and railway services.
You must have heard the word 'government'
mentioned several times.  In this chapter you
will learn about what a government is and the
important role it plays in our lives. What do
governments do? How do they decide what to
do? What is the difference between different
types of governments such as monarchies and
democracies? Read more and find out…. 
Look at the newspaper headlines above
and list the different kinds of activities
that the government is reported to be
doing in these newspaper headlines.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Isn't this a wide range of activities?  
What do you think government is?
Discuss in class.
E
© NCERT
not to be republished
The government also has the job of
protecting the boundaries of the
country and maintaining peaceful
relations with other countries.  It is
responsible for ensuring that all its
citizens have enough to eat and have
good health facilities. When there are
natural disasters like the tsunami or
an earthquake it is the government
that mainly organises aid and
assistance for the affected people. If
there is a dispute or if someone has
committed a crime you find people in
a court. Courts are also part of the
government.
Perhaps you are wondering how
governments manage to do all this.
And why it is necessary for them to do
so. When human beings live and work
together, there needs to be some
amount of organisation so that
decisions can be made.
Some rules have to be made that
apply to everyone. For example, there
is a need to control resources and
protect the territory of a country, so
people can feel secure.  Governments
do this on behalf of their people by
exercising leadership, taking
decisions and implementing these
among all the people living in their
territory.
Levels of Government
Now that you know that the
government is responsible for so
Can you list three things that
the government does which
have not been mentioned.
1.
2.
3.
Some examples of
institutions that are
part of the government:
The Supreme Court,
The Indian Railways
and Bharat Petroleum.
28 / Social and Political Life
© NCERT
not to be republished
many different things, can you think
of how it manages to do all this? The
government works at different levels:
at the local level, at the level of the
state and at the national level. The
local level means in your village, town
or locality, the state level would mean
that which covers an entire state like
Haryana or Assam and the national
level relates to the entire country.
Later in this book, you will read about
how local level government functions,
and when you go into the next few
classes you will learn about how
governments function at the state and
central levels.
What is Government? / 29
Delhi
National level
State level
© NCERT
not to be republished
30 / Social and Political Life
District level
 The decision of the Indian government to maintain
peaceful relations with Russia.
 The decision of the West Bengal Government on
whether to have Board exam in Class 8 for all
government schools.
 Introduction of two new train connections between
Jammu and Bhubaneswar.
 The decision to locate a common well in a
particular area of the village.
 Decision to construct a big children's park in
Patna.
 The decision of the Haryana government to provide
free electricity for all farmers.
 Introduction of a new 1000 rupee note.
Exercise: Look at the statements in the column on the left. Can
you identify which level they belong to? Place tick marks against
the level you consider most appropriate.
Local State Central
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


Chapter 3
What is
Government?
very country needs a government
to make decisions and get things
done.  These can be decisions about
where to build roads and schools, or
how to reduce the price of onions
when they get too expensive or ways
to increase the supply of electricity.
The government also takes action on
many social issues, for example it has
several programmes to help the poor.
It does other important things such as
running postal and railway services.
You must have heard the word 'government'
mentioned several times.  In this chapter you
will learn about what a government is and the
important role it plays in our lives. What do
governments do? How do they decide what to
do? What is the difference between different
types of governments such as monarchies and
democracies? Read more and find out…. 
Look at the newspaper headlines above
and list the different kinds of activities
that the government is reported to be
doing in these newspaper headlines.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Isn't this a wide range of activities?  
What do you think government is?
Discuss in class.
E
© NCERT
not to be republished
The government also has the job of
protecting the boundaries of the
country and maintaining peaceful
relations with other countries.  It is
responsible for ensuring that all its
citizens have enough to eat and have
good health facilities. When there are
natural disasters like the tsunami or
an earthquake it is the government
that mainly organises aid and
assistance for the affected people. If
there is a dispute or if someone has
committed a crime you find people in
a court. Courts are also part of the
government.
Perhaps you are wondering how
governments manage to do all this.
And why it is necessary for them to do
so. When human beings live and work
together, there needs to be some
amount of organisation so that
decisions can be made.
Some rules have to be made that
apply to everyone. For example, there
is a need to control resources and
protect the territory of a country, so
people can feel secure.  Governments
do this on behalf of their people by
exercising leadership, taking
decisions and implementing these
among all the people living in their
territory.
Levels of Government
Now that you know that the
government is responsible for so
Can you list three things that
the government does which
have not been mentioned.
1.
2.
3.
Some examples of
institutions that are
part of the government:
The Supreme Court,
The Indian Railways
and Bharat Petroleum.
28 / Social and Political Life
© NCERT
not to be republished
many different things, can you think
of how it manages to do all this? The
government works at different levels:
at the local level, at the level of the
state and at the national level. The
local level means in your village, town
or locality, the state level would mean
that which covers an entire state like
Haryana or Assam and the national
level relates to the entire country.
Later in this book, you will read about
how local level government functions,
and when you go into the next few
classes you will learn about how
governments function at the state and
central levels.
What is Government? / 29
Delhi
National level
State level
© NCERT
not to be republished
30 / Social and Political Life
District level
 The decision of the Indian government to maintain
peaceful relations with Russia.
 The decision of the West Bengal Government on
whether to have Board exam in Class 8 for all
government schools.
 Introduction of two new train connections between
Jammu and Bhubaneswar.
 The decision to locate a common well in a
particular area of the village.
 Decision to construct a big children's park in
Patna.
 The decision of the Haryana government to provide
free electricity for all farmers.
 Introduction of a new 1000 rupee note.
Exercise: Look at the statements in the column on the left. Can
you identify which level they belong to? Place tick marks against
the level you consider most appropriate.
Local State Central
© NCERT
not to be republished
What is Government? / 31
Laws and the Government
The government makes laws and
everyone who lives in the country has
to follow these. This is the only way
governments can function. Just like
the government has the power to
make decisions, similarly it has the
power to enforce its decisions.  For
example, there is a  law that says that
all persons driving a motor vehicle
must have a licence. Any person
caught driving a vehicle without a
licence can either be jailed or fined a
large sum of money.  Without these
laws the government's power to make
decisions is not of much use.
In addition to any actions that
governments can take, there are also
steps that people can take if they feel
that a particular law is not being
followed. If a person feels, for
example, that they were not hired for
a job because of their religion or caste,
he or she may approach the court and
claim that the law is not being
followed. The court can then give
orders about what should be done.
Types of Government
Who gives the government this power
to make decisions and enforce laws? 
The answer to this question
depends on the type of government
there is in a country.  In a democracy
it is the people who give the
government this power.  They do this
through elections in which they vote
for particular persons and elect them.
Once elected, these persons form the
government.  In a democracy the
government has to explain its actions
and defend its decisions to the people.  
Another form of government is
monarchy.  The monarch (king or
queen) has the power to make
decisions and run the government.
The monarch may have a small group
of people to discuss matters with, but
the final decision-making power
remains with the monarch. Unlike in
a democracy, kings and queens do not
have to explain their actions or defend
the decisions they take.
Discuss
Think of an example of another
law. Why do you think it is
important that people abide by
this law?
© NCERT
not to be republished
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