NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Political Science Chapter 1 - Constitution: Why and How?

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    79. Which of these is not a function of the constitution?

    (a) It gives a guarantee of the rights of the citizen.

    (b) It marks out different spheres of power for different branches of government.

    (c) It ensures that good people come to power.

    (d) It gives expression to some shared values.

    Ans. (c) It ensures that good people come to power.

    80. Which of the following is a good reason to conclude that the authority of the constitution is higher than that of the parliament?

    (a) The constitution was framed before the parliament came into being.

    (b) The constitution makers were more eminent leaders than the members of the parliament.

    (c) The constitution specifies how parliament is to be formed and what are its powers.

    (d) The constitution cannot be amended by the parliament.

    Ans. (c) The constitution specifies how parliament is to be formed and what are its powers.

    81. State whether the following statements about a constitution are True or False.

    (a) Constitutions are written documents about formation and power of the government.

    (b) Constitutions exist and are required only in democratic countries.

    (c) Constitution is a legal document that does not deal with ideals and values.

    (d) A constitution gives its citizens a new identity.

    Ans. (a) True

    (b) False

    (c) False

    (d) True

    82. State whether the following inferences about the making of the Indian Constitution are Correct or Incorrect. Give reasons to support your answer.

    (a) The Constituent Assembly did not represent the Indian people since it was not elected by all citizens.

    (b) Constitution making did not involve any major decision since there was a general consensus among the leaders at that time about its basic framework.

    (c) There was little originality in the Constitution, for much of it was borrowed from other countries.

    Ans. (a) This statement is incorrect:

    Since the Constituent Assembly was not elected by all citizens and it was formed on the recommendations of the Cabinet Mission
    still it represents Indian people because-

      • Each province and each Princely state or group of states were allotted seats proportion to their respective population which was fixed in the ratio of 1:10,00,000.
      • The seats in each Province were distributed among Muslims, Sikhs and general in proportion to their respective populations.
      • The members of the Provincial Legislative Assembly who were elected by the citizens, were elected the members of Constituent Assembly.

    (b) This statement is incorrect because the making of the constitution involved many debates and discussion on topics such as should India adopt a centralised or decentralised system of government. What should be the relations between the States and the Centre?

    The only provision of the Constitution passed without any debate was the introduction of universal suffrage.

    Each discussion must be based on reasoned argument to be made it a part of the constitution.

    (c) This statement is incorrect because:

      • Though we have borrowed a number of provisions from constitutions of different countries but it was not copied.
      • Each provision was well considered by the members of the Constituent Assembly.
      • Long debates and discussions also took place keeping in mind the problems and aspirations of the people.

    83. Give two examples each to support the following conclusions about the Indian Constitution:

    (a) The Constitution was made by credible leaders who commanded peoples’ respect.

    (b) The Constitution has distributed power in such a way as to make it difficult to subvert it.

    (c) The Constitution is the locus of people’s hopes and aspirations.

    Ans. (a) The constitution was made by credible leaders who commanded peoples’ respect can be understanding in the following point.

      • Members of each community in the Provincial Legislative Assembly elected their own representatives in Constituent Assembly which reflected all religions as
        well as sections of the society. There were also 28 members from the Scheduled Castes. The Provinces and Princely States were allotted seats in proportion
        to their population, approximately in the ratio of 1:10,00,000.
      • Members of the Constituent Assembly like Nehru, Patel, Rajendra Prasad and Ambedkar were also a part of the national movement and enjoyed credibility among masses.

    (b) The Constitution has distributed power in such a way as to make it difficult to subvert it.

      • Our Constitution has made institutional arrangements of government on the basis of checks and balances approach. If one of the institutions goes beyond its limitations, the other checks it.
      • The procedure for amendments is well elaborated in different Articles of the Constitution.

    (c) The constitution is the Locus of people’s hope and aspirations; this conclusion can be understand through the following points

      • Indian Constitution is formed on the basis of common goals of Indian people that were expressed during the nationalist movement. It was reflected in the Objectives Resolution that defined the aims of the assembly.
      • The Constitution provides institutional expression to ideas of equality, liberty, sovereignty, democracy and cosmopolitan identity.
      • The Constitution of India has incorporated some ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ enable the government to fulfil the aspirations of a society and create conditions for a just society.

    84. Why is it necessary for a country to have a clear demarcation of powers and responsibilities in the  constitution? What would happen in the absence of such a demarcation?

    Ans. It is necessary for a country to have clear demarcation of powers and responsibilities because:

    (a) It ensures that no single institution will try to dominate the other.

    (b) To provide the provision of checks and balances.

    (c) It shows how the government would be constituted and will have the power to make decisions.

    (d) It helps to lay down some limits on the powers of the government and citizens.

    In the absence of such a demarcation:

    (a) The institutions would not know their duties and responsibilities which could result conflicts among the institutions.

    (b) Every institution would try to hold maximum power which may even lead to violation of citizens’ rights.

    (c) There would be a problem to the citizens and laws will be proved to be unjust and unfair

    85. Why is it necessary for a constitution to place limitations on the rulers? Can there be a constitution that gives no power at all to the citizens?

    Ans. (a) It is necessary for a constitution to place limitations on the rulers otherwise they may turn to be a dictator or may form authoritarian government which may overlook the people’s interest. A constitution guards and controls the rulers.

    (b) No, there can not be a constitution that gives no power at all to the citizen.

    86. The Japanese Constitution was made when the US occupation army was still in control of Japan after its defeat in the Second World War. The Japanese constitution could not have had any provision that the US government did not like. Do you see any problem in this way of making the constitution? In which way was the Indian experience different from this?

    Ans. Constitution is not something which should be imposed by any foreign power rather it should be framed by the people of the country without any external pressure as it represents the goals and aspirations of the people. The Indian experience is very different from that of the Japanese, because Indian Constitution reflects the ideologies that were influenced by the nationalist ideologies. The Indian Constituent Assembly made sure that public or collective interest must be protected and not just their individual interest.

    87. Rajat asked his teacher this question: “ The constitution is a fifty year old and therefore outdated book. No one took my consent for implementing it. It is written in such tough language that I cannot understand it. Tell me why should I obey this document?” If you were the teacher, how would you answer Rajat?

    Ans. The constitution is not an outdated book as it accepts the changes which helps it to be updated.

    The following are the reasons:

    (a) The provision of constitutional amendment ensures that the changes are made from time to time and at the same time it is rigid so that no one alter it for their own interest.

    (b) It has vast size and ensures detail description of each law, policy or provision.

    (c) It is a body of fundamental principles according to which India is governed.

    (d) It provides democratic form of government in India.

    (e) It is laid down on the basic idea of equality, justice, secularism and fraternity.

    88. In a discussion on the experience of the working of our Constitution, three speakers took three different positions:

    (a) Harbans: The Indian Constitution has succeeded in giving us a framework of democratic government.

    (b) Neha: The Constitution made solemn promises of ensuring liberty, equality and fraternity. Since this has not happened, the Constitution has failed.

    (c) Nazima: The Constitution has not failed us. We have failed the Constitution.

    Do you agree with any of these positions? If yes, why? If not, what is your own position?

    Ans. (a) Harbans is correct. The constitution has succeeded in creating a framework of democratic government because people have choice while electing the government. At all levels of government elections are conducted regularly.

    (b) Neha is not correct. The inability to achieve these goals cannot be attributed to the constitution but rather to the individual shortcomings and weaknesses of the people. It must be also remembered that these goals are not a static but dynamic process since society is always evolving.

    (c) Nazima is correct. The constitution has not failed us. We have failed the constitution. Because we have not applied our complete efforts to fulfil the promises of our citizens as mentioned in constitution such as in Directive principle of State polices.

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