Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 11 Political Science Chapter 14: Legislature at the Central and State Level. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.
The chapter provides an in-depth exploration of the legislative process at both the central and state levels in democratic countries, with a particular focus on India. It underscores the legislature’s role as the chief organ responsible for law-making and financial control, emphasizing that no taxes can be imposed without its sanction. It also highlights the legislature’s function as a platform for ventilating the grievances of the people, with discussion and debates serving as the primary methods for expressing feelings and demands.
It delves into the various mechanisms through which the legislature exercises control over the Executive, such as the Question Hour, Zero Hour, No-Confidence Motion, and others. The Question Hour, often the liveliest part of the sitting in both Houses, keeps the Ministers on their toes, serving as a valuable protection against governmental slackness and injustice. The Zero Hour, beginning at 12 o’clock soon after the Question Hour, allows members to raise all types of questions without any permission or prior notice.
It discusses the stages through which a Bill passes before it becomes an Act of Parliament. It further explores the relative strength of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, particularly in matters of Money Bills and control over the Executive. The Constitution recognizes the supremacy of the Lok Sabha in most matters, with the Rajya Sabha in a weaker position.
Textual questions and answers
A. Long answer questions
1. With reference to the composition and formation of the Rajya Sabha answer the following questions:
(a) What is the manner of election of its Members?
Answer: The representatives of each State in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of each State. The representatives of the Union Territories shall be chosen in such manner as Parliament may prescribe. The three representatives from Delhi are elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly.
(b) What are the qualifications of the Members of the Rajya Sabha?
Answer: In order to be chosen a member of the Rajya Sabha, a person must be a Citizen of India, must be not less than 30 years of age, and must possess such additional qualifications as may be prescribed by laws from time to time.
(c) What is the term or duration of this House?
Answer: The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution. Therefore, it is called the permanent House of the Parliament. It is a permanent body like the American Senate. One-third of its members retire at the end of every second year. New members are elected to fill the seats thus vacated. It means that the members of the Rajya Sabha have a six-year term.
2. Discuss the powers and functions of the Rajya Sabha.
Answer: The powers and functions of the Rajya Sabha may be considered under the following heads:
Legislative Powers: All bills, other than Money Bills, can originate in the Rajya Sabha. No bill can become a law unless agreed to by both the Houses. In case of disagreement, the President may summon both the Houses in a joint meeting. At the joint sitting questions are decided by a majority of the members of both Houses present and voting.
A Money Bill can originate in the Lok Sabha only. In financial matters the Rajya Sabha can only make recommendation or suggestions. The Lok Sabha may or may not accept any of the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha.
A Bill to amend the Constitution may originate in either House. A Bill amending the Constitution should be passed by each House of Parliament.
The Ministers stay in office as long as they command the confidence of the Lok Sabha. But the Rajya Sabha can exercise control over Council of Ministers by means of questions, discussion and debates. Moreover, ministers may be appointed from its members.
The Rajya Sabha holds significant powers in the Indian legislative system. It participates in the election of the President and the Vice-President, and plays a crucial role in the impeachment of the President and the removal of Judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts. The Rajya Sabha’s approval is necessary for the continuation of the Proclamation of Emergency. In India’s federal setup, the Rajya Sabha, recognized as a ‘Council of States’, adopts resolutions on matters of national interest and can create new All-India Services.
The Rajya Sabha is a permanent chamber, not subject to dissolution like the Lok Sabha, which allows it to play a major role during periods when the Lok Sabha is dissolved. This includes approving the proclamation of Emergency by the President and President’s Rule in a State. It is not merely a revisory body; many bills have been first introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The views expressed by its members, some of whom are elder statesmen and able parliamentarians, are given much weightage. The Rajya Sabha also deals initially with a majority of Private Bills, demonstrating its utility in the legislative process.
5. Discuss the procedure of law-making in the Union Parliament. (Or) Discuss the different stages through which a Bill passes before it becomes an Act of Parliament.
Answer: There are three stages through which a Bill has to pass. These stages are known as First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading.
First Reading: A Minister or member-in-charge of the Bill first seeks the leave of the House to introduce the Bill. No debate takes place at this stage. After the Bill has been introduced, the First Reading is deemed to be over.
Second Reading (Reference to a Committee): This is the consideration stage of the Bill. Reference to a Standing Committee is the usual practice in case of most Bills. At this stage Clause-by-Clause consideration of the Bill, as reported by the Committee, is done. When all the Clauses and amendments have been put to vote and disposed of, the Second Reading of the Bill is over.
Third Reading: The next stage is the Third Reading. The debate on the Bill now is of a restricted character. At this stage no amendment, except that which is purely formal or verbal, can be made. After the Bill is passed, it is sent to the other House.
Procedure in the Other House: After a Bill is transmitted to the Rajya Sabha, it goes through all the stages in that House as described above. If the Rajya Sabha passes the Bill, it is presented to the President for assent. But if the Bill passed by one House is amended by the other House, it goes back to the House where it originated. If the House originating the Bill does not agree to the amendments, it shall be deemed that the two Houses have finally disagreed.
Joint Sitting of Both Houses: In case of such disagreement the President may summon a joint sitting. A joint sitting is presided over by the Speaker, Lok Sabha. If at the joint sitting the Bill is passed by a majority of the members present and voting, it shall be deemed to have been passed by both Houses.
President’s Assent: When a Bill has been passed by both Houses, it is presented to the President for his assent. The President can assent or withhold the assent. President may also return a Bill, other than a Money Bill, with his recommendation. If the President gives assent, the Bill becomes an Act. If President withholds assent, there is an end to the Bill. If the President returns the Bill for reconsideration, the Houses must do so. When the Bill is passed again by them with or without an amendment, the President cannot withhold assent therefrom.
6. How is the State Legislative Assembly Constituted? With reference to the powers of the State Legislature answer the following questions:
Answer: The Legislative Assembly consists of members chosen by direct election on the basis of adult suffrage. The number of members shall not be more than 500 nor less than 60. There are some special provisions in respect of the States of Goa, Mizoram and Sikkim. If Governor is of the opinion that the Anglo-Indian Community needs representation, he may nominate one member of that Community to the Legislative Assembly of the State.
(a) What are its Legislative Powers?
Answer: The State Legislature has exclusive powers over the subjects mentioned in the State List. It has concurrent powers over those subjects which are mentioned in the Concurrent List. But if State Legislature has passed a law on a matter specified in the Concurrent List and Parliament also passes a law on the same subject, the State Law becomes inoperative.
(b) What are its Financial Powers?
Answer: The State Legislature exercises control over the State finances. The Legislature passes the State Budget. The Legislative Assembly alone has the power to originate Money Bills and its decision must prevail in all financial matters.
(c) How does it exercise control over the Executive?
Answer: The Ministers are responsible to the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly can pass a No-Confidence Motion against the Government. In case it does, the Government has to resign.
B. Short answer questions
7. Discuss the position and powers of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Answer: The powers and functions of the Speaker may be stated as follows:
The Speaker regulates debates and proceedings of the House. He/she decides who shall have the floor and all speeches and remarks are addressed to the Chair. The Speaker also decides the admissibility of the questions and all resolutions. If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker thereon shall be final. When the votes for and against a proposal are equal, the Speaker gives a Casting Vote. This vote decides whether or not the proposal will be passed.
The Speaker preserves order in the House. In case of grave disorder the Speaker may adjourn the House. If the Speaker is of the opinion that a word or words used in the debate are indecent or unparliamentary, he/she may expunge such words from the proceedings of the House.
The Speaker allows the admission of strangers and press correspondents to the galleries of the House. If Government claims that a particular document is secret, but the Committees insist on its production before them, the matter is referred to the Speaker for advice and his/her instructions are obeyed.
Under the Anti-Defection laws if there was a question as to whether a Member of Lok Sabha stood disqualified, the matter was referred for the decision of the Speaker.
The Speaker presides over the Joint Sitting of both Houses of Parliament. The Speaker also presides over the Conference of Presiding Officers of legislative bodies in India.
8. What is meant by Defection? What measures have been taken to prevent Defections?
Answer: Defection means “giving up the membership of that party to which a person belonged or on whose ticket he or she contested an election and joining another party or group”. Voting in the House against directions of the party also amounts to Defection.
The Anti-Defection Act was introduced to prevent such political defections. According to Anti-Defection Act, 1985, if a member belonging to any party gives up the membership of that party or votes against any direction issued by the Party to which he belongs, he shall be disqualified from being a member of the House.
9. There are several devices through which Parliament exercises control over the Executive (Union Council of Ministers). In this context refer to:
(a) The Question Hour
Answer: The Question Hour is often the liveliest part of the sitting in both Houses. The Question keeps the Ministers on their toes. It is a valuable protection against injustice and slackness on the part of the government.
(b) An Adjournment Motion
Answer: An Adjournment Motion proposes that the House should lay aside all other business and take up the consideration of “a matter of urgent public importance.” A Motion for Adjournment furnishes the opportunity to censure the acts of omission and commission of the Ministers.
(c) No-Confidence Motion
Answer: A Motion expressing No-Confidence in Government is moved by the Opposition. The House grants leave to move No-Confidence Motion only when it carries the support of at least 50 members. On conclusion of the debate, if the Motion is passed, the Government has to resign.
C. Very short answer questions
10. Mention the maximum number of members that the President can nominate to the Rajya Sabha. What type of persons should the nominated members be?
Answer: The President can nominate a maximum of 12 members to the Rajya Sabha. The nominated members should be persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.
11. How many Members may the President nominate to the Lok Sabha? Whom do the nominated members represent.
Answer: The President may nominate 2 members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community.
12. What qualifications should an individual have in order to be chosen a member of the Lok Sabha?
Answer: An individual should be a citizen of India, and must not be less than 25 years of age to be chosen a member of the Lok Sabha. They must also possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament.
13. What is the quorum to constitute a meeting of the Lok Sabha?
Answer: The quorum to constitute a meeting of the Lok Sabha is one-tenth of the total number of members of the House.
14. Mention the status and facilities enjoyed by the Leaders of Opposition in both Houses of Parliament.
Answer: The leaders of the largest among the opposition parties are recognised as Leaders of Opposition in both Houses. Besides such salary and allowances as are paid to other MPs, they get a fixed sumptuary allowance. They are also entitled to secretarial staff facilities and enjoy the same status and facilities as are enjoyed by a Union Cabinet Minister.
D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✔) the correct answer.
15. Which of the following rights is denied to Members of the Rajya Sabha?
Answer: (c) Right to move No-Confidence Motion in Union Council of Ministers.
16. Who presides over the Joint Sitting of both Houses of Parliament:
Answer: (d) Speaker of the Lok Sabha
17. Which of the following States of India does not have a bicameral legislature, i.e., the Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)?
Answer: (c) Madhya Pradesh
The Rajya Sabha has 12 Members nominated by the President from among persons having special knowledge in matters such as literature, science, art and social service. How can they really contribute to the proceedings of the House?
Additional/extra questions and answers
1. What are the primary roles of the Legislature in a democratic country?
Answer: The Legislature in a democratic country has two main roles. Firstly, it is the chief organ that makes laws and is the only body which can speak on behalf of the people as a whole. Secondly, it has a financial role, such as, no taxes can be imposed without the previous sanction of the Legislature. It also serves to ventilate the grievances of the people through discussions and debates.
2. What is the composition of the Union Parliament in India?
Answer: The Union Parliament in India consists of the President and two Houses, namely, the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). The Rajya Sabha is the Upper House and it represents the regional interests of the States. It consists of not more than 250 members, which are divided into two categories: nominated and elected. The nominated members, twelve in number, are nominated by the President from among persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters such as literature, science, art and social service. The rest are representatives of the States and the Union Territories, and are allocated seats on a population basis.
3. What is the role of the President in the Indian Parliament?
Answer: In the Indian parliamentary system, the President is a part of the Union Legislature, though he/she does not sit in Parliament. The President can address either House or both Houses and can send messages to the Parliament. Furthermore, a Bill passed by the Parliament cannot become law without the President’s assent, making him/her instrumental in the legislative process.
4. How are the members of Rajya Sabha nominated and elected?
Answer: The Rajya Sabha members fall into two categories: nominated and elected. The nominated members are twelve in number, chosen by the President from among persons having special knowledge or practical experience in subjects such as literature, science, art, and social service. The remainder are representatives of the States and the Union Territories, who are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of each State or chosen in a manner prescribed by Parliament, in the case of Union Territories.
5. Explain the basis of allocation of seats in Rajya Sabha.
Answer: The allocation of seats among the States and Union Territories in the Rajya Sabha is based on population, not equality. The principle of equal representation was considered undemocratic. So, States and Union Territories with larger populations have more representation. For example, Uttar Pradesh, being the most populous state, sends 31 members, while Punjab sends only 7 members. Smaller states like Goa, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland send only one representative each. The Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry send 3 and 1 members respectively.
78. How is the President of India elected?
Answer: The President of India is elected by the members of an Electoral College, which is comprised of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States. This method ensures a wide representation in the Presidential election, as it takes into account the political will of both the Centre and the States, thereby embodying the federal character of the Indian Constitution.
1. What are the two main functions of the Legislature in a democratic country?
A. Law-making, Foreign diplomacy B. Law-making, Financial roles C. Law-making, Judicial roles D. Judicial roles, Financial roles
Answer: B. Law-making, Financial roles
2. How many Houses make up the Union Parliament in India?
A. One B. Two C. Three D. Four
Answer: B. Two
3. Who nominates the twelve members of the Rajya Sabha?
A. Prime Minister B. Lok Sabha C. President D. Chief Justice
Answer: C. President
4. How many members does the Rajya Sabha consist of?
A. 200 B. 250 C. 300 D. 350
Answer: B. 250
5. What is the minimum age to be a member of the Rajya Sabha?
A. 25 B. 30 C. 35 D. 40
Answer: B. 30
106. Who is elected by an Electoral College composed of elected members of both Houses of Parliament and elected members of Legislative Assemblies?
A. The Prime Minister B. The President C. The Chief Justice D. The Governor
Answer: B. The President
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