Institutions of Parliamentary Democracy: NBSE class 9 Social Science

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Here are the notes, questions, solutions, textual answers, pdf, and extras for Chapter 14: Institutions of Parliamentary Democracy, which is a part of the social science class 9 syllabus for students studying under the Nagaland Board of School Education. However, these notes should be used only for references and additions/modifications should be made as per the requirements.


In this chapter, you learn about a democratic government, particularly in the context of the Indian Parliament in a detailed manner. Running a country involves various activities like ensuring security, providing facilities for education and health, building infrastructure etc. To carry out these activities we need a government. A government has three organs: Legislature, executive, and the judiciary.

In a federal democracy like India, we have two governments: one at the state level, and another at the centre. The government at the state level functions through the state legislative assemblies and their members are called MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly). The government at the central level functions through two houses known as the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, and their members are called MPs (Members of Parliament). The MPs and MLAs are elected by the people of the country and the states. The president, however, is elected by the MPs and MLAs and not directly by the people of the country. Though the president is the head of the country, he/she does not have the powers of the Prime Minister.

To keep the country functioning, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha introduce bills from time to time. These bills, when they are approved by the two houses, are signed by the president of India. Once the bills are passed and signed, they become laws. In this chapter, you will learn in detail about the various powers and functions of the different aspects of the government.

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Textual questions and answers

Choose the correct answer

1. Who appoints the Prime Minister?

A. President B. Speaker C. Chief Justice D. Vice President

Answer: A. President

2. The allocation of portfolios is done by

A. President B. Prime Minister C. Speaker of the Lok Sabha D. None of these

Answer: B. Prime Minister

3. Which House is also called the Lower House?

A. Lok Sabha B. Rajya Sabha C. Both of these D. None of these

Answer: A. Lok Sabha

4. Which of the following has superior powers regarding a Money Bill?

A. Lok Sabha B. Rajya Sabha C. President D. None of these

Answer: A. Lok Sabha

5. An Ordinary Bill has to be passed by

A. Lok Sabha B. Rajya Sabha C. Both of these D. Speaker of Lok Sabha

Answer: C. Both of these

6. Who presides over the joint session of both the Houses?

A. Speaker B. President C. Vice President D. Prime Minister

Answer: A. Speaker

7. There are two statements marked as Assertion (A) and Reason (R). Mark your answer as per the codes provided below:

Assertion (A): The Prime Minister is appointed by the President.
Reason (R): The President can act only in accordance with the advice rendered by the Prime Minister.

A. Both (A) and (R) are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A)
B. Both (A) and (R) are true but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A)
C. (A) is correct but (R) is wrong
D. (A) is wrong but (R) is correct

Answer: B. Both (A) and (R) are true but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A)

8. Which of the following is not one of the powers of the officials working from the above depicted building?

A. To elect the President and Vice President B. To pass a new law C. To appoint the Chief Justice of India D. To amend the existing laws

Answer: C. To appoint the Chief Justice of India

Very short answer questions

1. What are the two Houses of Parliament?

Answer: The two houses of Parliament are the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

2. Give one reason why Lok Sabha is given a superior status by our constitution.

Answer: Our Constitution has given a superior status to the Lok Sabha since it is directly elected by the people

3. Give one proof to show that the Lok Sabha and the Rajya do not have equal powers in the passing of the Budget.

Answer: In financial matters, the Lok Sabha has more powers. Once the Lok Sabha passes a budget, the Rajya Sabha cannot reject it.

Short answer type questions

1. Explain the difference:
(i) The powers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. [HOTS]

Answer: (i) The powers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha differs in the following aspects:

i. If there is a difference of opinion when an ordinary law has to be passed, the view of Lok Sabha prevails.
ii. Once the Lok Sabha passes a budget, the Rajya Sabha cannot reject it.
iii. The moment Lok Sabha passes the “No Confidence Motion” all ministers including the Prime Minister have to quit. The Rajya Sabha does not have this power.

(ii) A Money Bill and an Ordinary Bill

Answer: A Money Bill concerns the finances of a country. Only the Lok Sabha can sanction any expenditure by the Government. All money bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha cannot reject any Money Bill passed by the Lok Sabha.

On the other hand, an Ordinary Bill is one that asks for a change in law or passes a new law on any other subject except finance. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have equal powers on an Ordinary Bill.

2. Describe the powers and functions of the Council of Ministers.

Answer: The Council of Ministers comprises three categories: Ministers of Cabinet Rank, Minister of State and Deputy Ministers. The latter two assist the Cabinet Ministers in the affairs of their departments. The Cabinet plays an important role in the determination of national policies. The Cabinet discusses all sorts of problems under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is responsible for the execution of the national policies through the executive wing of the government as well as approves the Bills before introducing it to the Parliament.

3. How is the President of India elected? [HOTS]

Answer: The President is elected by an Electoral College which consists of the following:

i. Elected members of both Houses of Parliament.
ii. All elected members of all the Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) of the states.
iii. The votes of MPs and MLAs. Their votes have different values depending on how many people they represent.

4. Describe the power and functions of the president.

Answer: The powers and functions of the President include:

i. The President is the highest political executive but has only nominal powers.
ii. The President supervises the overall functioning of all the political institutions in the country.
iii. The President can never claim the kind of direct popular mandate that the Prime minister can.

Long answer type questions

1. ‘The most powerful office in the Central Government is that of the Prime Minister.’ Discuss

Answer: If the cabinet is the most powerful institution in India, within the cabinet, it is the Prime Minister who is the most powerful. The powers of the Indian Prime Minister can be summed up as follows:

i. The Prime Minister is the real executive of the government. He chooses his ministers and he can dismiss them if desired.
ii. The allocation of portfolios is done by the Prime Minister.
iii. The Prime Minister acts as a bridge between the President and the Council of Ministers.
iv. The Prime Minister acts as the chief spokesperson of the government on the floor of the House.
v. The Prime Minister also functions as the ex-officio chairperson of the Planning Commission.

2. Discuss the powers and functions of the Parliament.

Answer: The powers and functions of the Parliament include:

i. It legislates on matters that fall within the Central List.
ii. The income and expenditure to be incurred by the Central Government are approved and controlled by the Union Parliament.
iii. The Parliament alone has the power to amend the provisions laid down in the Constitution of India.
iv. The Parliament has the power to impeach the President and the judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
v. The Parliament approves proclamations made by the President during the period of emergency.
vi. The Parliament exercises control over the executive.

3. Explain how an Ordinary Bill becomes a law.

Answer: After an Ordinary Bill is presented in either of the two Houses, it has to undergo three readings in each of House before it becomes an act.

First Reading: The Bill is introduced when the Minister in charge of the Bill, rises in the Question Hour and says, “Sir, I introduce the Bill.”
Second Reading: It is given a detailed examination and studied clause by clause. Amendments can be moved at this stage.
Third Reading: Now the bill is to be voted upon. A simple majority of members present is required to pass an ordinary bill. Then the bill is sent to the other house. Here again, it goes through the three stages and then passes.

If there is a deadlock, then a joint session of both the Houses is held, presided over by the Speaker. When the Bill is passed, the Bill is sent to the President for his assent. If the President gives his assent the Bill becomes an Act. If the President returns the Bill to the Houses, and if they pass it again, the President has to sign the Bill.

4. Discuss the ‘collective responsibility’ of the council of ministers.

Answer: “Collective responsibility” means that the ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. The Council of Ministers can continue in office only as long as it has the support of the majority of members of the Lok Sabha. Every minister is individually responsible for what happens in the ministry under his/her charge. There have been occasions when a minister has owned responsibility for something going wrong in his ministry and resigned.

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