Institutions of Parliamentary Democracy

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Here are the solutions, questions, answers, and notes of chapter 14: Institutions of Parliamentary Democracy which is a part of social science class 9 syllabus of 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.

INTRODUCTION: 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 to governments- one at the state level, and another the centre. The government at the state level functions through the state legislative assemblies and are called MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly). The government at the Central level functions through two houses known as the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and are called MPs (Member 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 like the Prime Minister.

To keep the country functioning, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha from time to time introduce bills. These bills when 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 details about the various powers and functions of the different aspects of the government.

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I. Choose the correct answer.

1. Who appoints the Prime Minister?

Answer: (a) President

2. The Lok Sabha has a superior status because:

Answer: (a) It is directly elected by the people.

3. Which of the following statements is incorrect regarding a Money Bill?

Answer: (d) The government cannot spend a rupee without the sanction of the Lok Sabha.

4. The allocations of portfolios is done by:

Answer: (b) Prime Minister

5. Which House is also called the Lower House?

Answer: (c) Both of these

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

Answer: (a) Lok Sabha

7. An Ordinary Bill has to be passed by

Answer: (c) Both of these

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

Answer: (a) Speaker

II. 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. Why does the will of the Lok Sabha prevail in a Joint Session of the Parliament to solve an issue when there is a deadlock?

Answer: The will of Loksabha prevail in a joint session of the Parliament to solve an issue when there is deadlock because the Lok Sabha has more members than the Rajya Sabha.

4. 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.

III. 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 passing a new law on any other subject except finance. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have equal powers on an Ordinary Bill.

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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.

IV. 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 powers to amend the provisions laid down in the Constitution of India.
iv. The Parliament has the powers 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.

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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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