Power Sharing Mechanisms in Democracy

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Here you will find all the questions, solutions, answers, and notes of chapter 12 Power Sharing Mechanisms in Democracy of Social Science for class 10 students studying under Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE). However, the study materials should be used only for references and nothing more. The notes can be modified/changed according to needs.

Federalism is a system of government in which power is constitutionally divided between the national or central government and various regional units. Each government is autonomous. Federalism allows two sets of identities; people belong to the region as well as the country. For example, one can be an Assamese as well as an Indian. The national government in a federation holds powers related to common national interests like Defence, Foreign policy, Finance, etc. The provincial or state governments hold powers related to regional interests like law and order. The central and state governments have independent, distinct and exclusive powers. Thus, we conclude that vertical division of power sharing is most commonly referred to as federalism.

Under the unitary system, real and effective powers are in the hands of the national or union government. The centre can transfer some of its powers to regional levels on its own. The central government can pass orders to the provincial or regional governments which are subordinate to it. But in a federal system, the regional governments are not subordinate to the centre; hence, it cannot pass orders to them. State or regional governments are not answerable to the central government. Both the set of governments are separately answerable to their respective legislatures or to the people.

Multiple Choice Questions

1.Which form of power sharing is most commonly referred to as federalism?

Answer: (c) Division of power among various communities

2. When was the report of the States Reorganisation Commission implemented?

Answer: (a) 1956

3. The Gram Sabha supervises the functioning of

Answer: (b) Gram Panchayat

4. The rights of the Adivasis are protected by a separate Act passed in

Answer: (d) 1996

5. The Concurrent List has

Answer: (a) 47 subjects

II. Very Short Answer questions

1.Name three Indian states which have been created in 2000.

Answer: The three states Indian that which have been created in 2000 are Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand.

2. What was the main objective of Sarkaria Commission?

Answer: The main objective of the Sarkaria Commission was to examine the relationships between the state and the central government and the state governments and the powers they share.

3. Name the apex court of India.

Answer: The apex court in India is the Supreme Court of India.

4. Name a state which enjoys special powers in Indian federal set-up.

Answer: A state which enjoys special powers in Indian federal set-up is Jammu & Kashmir.

5. What is the popular name of rural local government?

Answer: The popular name of rural local government is Panchayati Raj.

III. Short Answer Questions

1.Which countries follow ‘coming together’, style of federalism?

Answer: A few countries which follow the ‘coming together’ style of federation are USA, Switzerland, and Australia.

2. Name the two amendments which gave legal status to local self-government in India.

Answer: The 73rd and 74th amendments gave legal status to local self-government in India.

3. What do you understand by the term ‘holding together’ federation?

Answer: When a big country decides to distribute power between the centre and states or constituent units this is called ‘holding together’ federations. E.g., India, Spain, and Belgium.

4. Name the court which solves the disputes arising between central government and various state governments.

Answer: The Supreme Court of India solves the disputes arising between central government and various state governments.

IV. Long Answer Questions

1.Differentiate between a federal and a unitary form of the government? Give an example.

Answer: Federal form of government is a system of government in which power is constitutionally divided
between the national or central government and various regional units. Each government is autonomous. Federalism allows two sets of identities; people belong to the region as well as the country. For example, one can be an Assamese as well as an Indian.

Under the unitarY sYstem, real and effective powers are in the hands of the national or union government. The centre can transfer some of its powers to regional levels on its own. The central government can pass orders to the provincial or regional governments which are subordinate to it. Example China, France, etc.

2. Mention any four factors behind the decentralisation of power in India.

Answer: Four factors behind the decentralisation of power in India are:

i. Several states of India are bigger than independent countries of Europe For the sake of efficiency in administration, a state had to give some of the powers to local self-governments.

ii. A large number of issues and problems are best settled at the local level because these may be different in different localities of the same state.

iii. People at the local level have a better knowledge of problems and solutions at the local level.

iv. If local people directly participate in the processes of governance, democracy is strengthened at the grassroots level.

3. List the main features of 73rd Amendment Act.

Answer: The main features of 73rd Amendment Act are:

i. All states have a uniform three-tier Panchayati Raj structure. At the base is the ‘Gram Panchayat,’ the middle level is referred to as Panchayat Samiti and at the apex is the ‘Zila Parishad’ covering the whole district.

ii. A few Gram Panchayats are grouped together to form what is called a Panchayat Samiti. Its members are elected by all the panchayat members in that area.

iii. There is also a provision for the mandatory creation of Gram Sabhas. A Gram Sabha comprises all the adult members registered as voters in the PanchaYat area.

iv. Each village or a group of villages has a Gram Panchayat. This is a council consisting of panchas and a sarpanch. They are elected by all adult population in a village

v. The Gram Sabha supervises the functioning of Gram Panchayat. It approves the budget of Gram Panchayat and reviews its performance.

4. Explain the threefold distribution of legislative power between the Union Government and the State Governments.

Answer: The Constitution of India provides for a three-fold distribution of legislative powers. lt contains three lists : (i) Union List (ii) State List (iii) Concurrent List.

Union List: The Union government alone can make laws on the subjects in the list. For example, defence, foreign policy, atomic energy, banking, post and telegraph.

State List: The State governments alone can make laws on the subjects contained in the list. For example, police, local government, trade and commerce within the state.

Concurrent List: On the subjects in this list both the Union and State governments can make laws. For example criminal and civil procedure, marriage and divorce, education, economic planning, trade union, etc.

5. Mention two major objectives of a federal government.

Answer: The two main objectives of a federal government are :

(i) To safeguard and promote the unity and integrity of a country: Federal governments are prominent in countries with a large population and diverse communities which can lead to dissatisfaction among the different constituents of the country. A federal government therefore tries to maintain unity among the different communities by way of power sharing and establishing local governments.

(ii) To accommodate regional diversity: A federal government promotes regional diversity as a way to stay united despite differences as a way forward. It is very critical in the context of a culturally, racially, regionally, and linguistically diverse country like India where accepting and respecting different ideas is the only way out.

6, Describe any four features of federalism.

Answer: Four features of federalism are:

i. There are two or more tiers or levels of government.

ii. Various levels of government rule or administer the same citizens but each level has its own jurisdiction in specific matters of administration, taxation, and legislation.

iii. The Constitution guarantees the existence and authority of each tier of government. Powers and functions of various levels of governments are clearly stated in the Constitution.

iv. Amendment or modification of basic features of the Constitution cannot be done by any level unilaterally. It requires legal consent of both the levels of government.

7. What makes India a federation? [HOTS]

Answer: The constitution declares India as a union of States. Although it did not use or specified the word federation, the Indian union is based on the principle of federalism. We find that most of the features of federalism mentioned apply to the Indian Constitution. Originally, the constitution provided for two sets of government: One at the centre and other at the state level. Later on, a third tier government in the form of Panchayat and municipalities were added. The constitution has made clear-cut provisions for the subjects on which the central and the state governments can make laws. This clearly states the division of powers between the centre and the state governments. They come under different lists of subjects and are called the union list, the state list, and the concurrent list.

8. Mention the power and functions of a panchayat.

Answer: The main powers of the panchayat are:

i. The maintenance, the repair, the construction, the protection of public properties.
ii. The control and administration of the gram panchayat’s funds.
iii. The imposition, assessment, and collection of taxes.
iv. The removal of encroachment of public streets and places.
v. The supply of drinking water, disinfecting the sources of of supply and storage of water.

9. Describe any four measures taken to decentralise power in India.

Answer: Four measures taken to decentralise power in India are:

i. The first step taken to decentralize power in India was the adoption of a federal system of government right after independence which defines the power sharing between the central government and the state governments.

ii. A Community Development Programme was initiated at first in 1952. Then a three-tier Panchayati Raj system of local government was started in the rural areas.

iii. In the beginning, these local bodies did not have enough powers and functions to look after the local development. Subsequently, the 73rd and 74th amendments were passed by the Parliament in 1992 to give more powers to the local governments.

iv. The 73rd Amendment referred to rural local governments (referred to as Panchayati Raj institutions or PRls) while the 74th amendment made provisions for urban local governments (Nagarpalikas). They came into force in 1993.

10. Mention any four features of local self-government.

Answer: Four features of local self-government are:

i. It is now constitutionally mandatory to hold regular elections to local government bodies.

ii. Seats are reserved in the elected bodies and executive heads of these institutions for weaker sections of society such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes.

iii. About one-third of all states are reserved for women.

iv. An independent institution called the State Election Commission has been created in each state to conduct panchayat and municipal elections.

Get notes of other chapters of NBSE class 10 social science.


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