Extra Question for Practise For Working of Institutions Chapter 5.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1. State how the delays and complications introduced by the institutions are very useful in a democracy. [Important]
Ans. Working with institutions involve rules and regulations, meetings, committees and routines, often leading to delays and complications. But some of these delays are very useful as they provide an opportunity for a wider set of people to be consulted in any decision. They make it difficult to rush through a bad decision.
Q.2. Even though civil servants are far more educated and have expert knowledge on various subjects, why does the ultimate power to decide matters lie with the ministers?
Ans. A minister is elected by the people and thus empowered to exercise the will of the people on their behalf. She is finally answerable to the people for all the consequences of her/his decision. The Minister is not expected to be an expert in the technical matters of her or his ministry. The civil servants, though far more educated, work under these ministers, and the final decisions are taken by the ministers.
Q.3. Who appoints the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, and on what basis? Ans. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President. But he cannot appoint anyone he likes. He appoints the leader of the majority party or the coalition of the parties that commands a majority in the Lok Sabha, as Prime Minister. In case no single party or alliance gets a majority, the President appoints the person most likely to secure a majority support.
Q.4. In which way do the cabinet ministers exercise more powers than the other ministers?
Ans. Cabinet ministers are the top-level leaders of the ruling party or parties, and are in charge of the major ministries. Ministers of state with independent charge are on the other hand usually in-charge of smaller ministeries. The decisions are taken in cabinet meetings and the other ministers have to follow these decisions. They attend the cabinet meeting only if they are invited.
Q.5. How has the rise of coalition politics imposed constraints on the power of the Prime Minister?
Ans. The Prime Minister of a coalition government cannot take decisions as he likes. He has to accommodate different groups and factions in his party as well as among alliance partners. He also has need to the views and positions of the coalition partners and other parties, on whose support the survival of the government depends.
Q.6. Why is an independent and powerful judiciary considered essential for democracies?
Ans. Independence of the judiciary is essential in a democracy so that it does not act under the control and direction of the legislature or the executive. The judges do not act according to the wishes of the government, i.e. the party in power. Indian Judiciary is powerful in the sense that it can declare only law invalid if it is against the constitution. Thus Indian judiciary acts as a guardian of the Fundamental Rights which is essential for a democracy.
Q.7. What is the procedure for the removal of the judges?
Ans. The procedure to remove a judge is called impeachment. An impeachment motion is passed separately by two thirds members of the two Houses of the Parliament. Thus the judges who are appointed by the President cannot be removed by the President alone. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have to pass a resolution by two-thirds majority to remove a judge.
Q.8. Discuss the powers and functions of the Parliament. [CBSE 2010]
Ans. Parliament is the final authority for making laws in the country. It can also change laws and make new ones in their place. It exercises contral over those who run the government. In India this contral is direct and full. If also controls all the money that the government has. It is the highest forum of discussion and debate on public issues and national policies.
Q.9. Explain the composition of the council of ministers. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. After the appointment of the Prime Minister, the President appoints other ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. The ministers are usually from the party or the coalition that has the majority in the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister is free to choose ministers as long as they are members of parliament. Council of ministers is the official name for the body that includes all the ministers. It usually has 60 to 80 ministers of different rank.
Q.10. Write about the process of appointment and removal of a judge of Supreme Court.
Ans. The judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In practice the senior judges of the Supreme Court select the new judges of the Supreme Court. A judge can be removed only by an impeachment motion passed separately by two-third members of the two houses of the Parliament.
Q.12. Under what condition can a state of emergency be declared in India? Explain.
Ans. A state of emergency can be declared under the following conditions:
(i) Increase of external aggression or armed rebellion;
(ii) It the government machinery of a state breaks down;
(iii) If there is a threat to the financial stability of the country. Under these circumstances the President can impose a state of emergency and this is called President rule.
Q.13. Which house of the parliament is more powerful in India and why? Give any four reasons of it. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Rajya Sabha is called the Upper House but that does not mean that it is more powerful than Lok Sabha. Our constitution does not give Rajya Sabha same special powers over the states. But on most matters the Lok Sabha exercises supreme power.
(i) Any ordinary law needs to be passed by both Houses. The final decision is taken in a joint session but as number of Lok Sabha members is greater, the view of the Lok Sabha prevails.
(ii) Lok Sabha exercises more power in money matters. Once the Lok Sabha passes the budget the Rajya Sabha cannot reject it. It can hold it only for 14 days.
(iii) Lok Sabha controls the council of ministers. A person who enjoys the support of the majority members in the Lok Sabha is appointed the Prime Minister.
(iv) If majority members of the Lok Sabha say they have no confidence in the council of ministers all ministers including the Prime Minister have to quit.
Q.14. Why are political institutions important? Give any three points. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Governing a country involves various activities. For attending to all these activities/tasks several arrangements are made. Such arrangements are called institutions. A democracy works well when these Institutions perform these functions.
(i) The Prime Minister and the cabinet are institutions.
(ii) The civil servants working together are responsible for taking steps to implement the ministers decisions.
(iii) Supreme Court is an institution where disputes between citizens are finally settled.
Q.15. Give three differences between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. [2011 (T-2)] Ans. Members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people. Lok Sabha exercises the real power on behalf of the people. Rajya Sabha is elected indirectly and performs some special functions. Like looking after the interests of various states, regions or federal units. In some ways Lok Sabha is more important as it has more members and in any decision making, its opinion prevails – it controls council of ministers.
Q.16. What is the tenure of the President in India? Mention the qualifications for President of India. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. The President in India is the head of the state. He has 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. The President exercises all his powers on the advice of the council of ministers. His tenure is for five years.
Q.17. Under what circumstances does the President exercise his discretion in the appointment of the Prime Minister? Who appoints the other ministers? [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. When a party or coalition of parties secures a clear majority in the elections, the President has to appoint the leader of the majority party or the coalition that enjoys majority support in the Lok Sabha. When no party or coalition gets a majority in the Lok Sabha President exercises his/her discretion and appoints a leader who in his/her opinion can muster majority support in the Lok Sabha within a specified time.
Q.18. What is a coalition government? Why the Prime Minister of a coalition government
cannot take decisions as he likes? [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. The rise of coalition politics has imposed certain constraints on the power of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister of a coalition government cannot take decision as he likes. He has to accommodate different groups and factions in his party as well as among alliance partners. He also has to heed to the views and positions of the coalition partners and other parties on whose support the survival of the government depends.
Q.19. What are the powers of the Prime Minister? Describe any three. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. As the head of the government the Prime Minister has wide-ranging powers.
(i) He chairs cabinet meetings
(ii) He coordinates the work of different Departments.
(iii) He exercises general supervision of different ministries. He can and does dismiss ministers. When the Prime Minister quits the entire ministry quits.
Q.20. ‘‘Parliament is the supreme legislature of India.’’ Justify the statement. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. In all democracies, an assembly of elected representatives exercises supreme political authority on behalf of the people. In India, such a national assembly of elected representatives is called Parliament. At the state level, it is called Legislature or Legislative Assembly. Parliament is the final authority for making laws in any country. Parliaments all over the would can make new laws, change existing laws or abolish existing laws and make new ones in their place.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
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? Ans. (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.
Ans. (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
• Between citizens of the country;
• between citizens and government;
• between two or more state governments;
• between governments at the union and state level.
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? [CBSE 2010]
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? [CBSE 2010]
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.
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.
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.