CBSE Social Sciences Civics Class 10 Federalism LAQ
Q.1. Explain the major key features of federalism.
Describe any four features of the federalism. [CBSE 2011, 14]
Ans. (i) Two or more levels of government :
Federalism is a system of government in which the governmental power is divided between a central authority and its various constituent units. Usually, a federation has two levels of government. One is the government for the entire country, and the other governments at the state or provincial level. ,
(ii) Same Citizens Separate jurisdiction : Different tiers of the government govern the same citizens, but each tier has its own jurisdiction in specific matters of legislation, taxation and administration.
(iii) Superiority of Constitution : The jurisdictions of the respective levels or tiers of the government are specified in the Constitution. So the existence and authority of each tier of the government are constitutionally safeguarded. ‘
(iv) Rigid Constitution : The fundamental provisions of the Constitution cannot be unilaterally changed by one level of the government. Such changes require the consent of the both the levels of the government.
(v) Supreme authority of the courts : Courts have the power to interpret the Constitution, and the powers of different levels of the government. The highest court acts as an umpire in case of disputes arising between different levels of the government in the exercise of their respective powers, (of) Dual objectives : The federal system,
thus has dual objectives : to safeguard and promote the unity of the country, while at the same time, to accommodate the regional diversity.
Q.2.Distinguish between the Coming Together Federations and the Holding Together Federations. [CBSE 2012, 14J]
Q.3. ‘India is a federal country.’ Explain by giving examples.[CBSE Sept. 2012, 2013]
Explain the three fold distribution of legislative powers between the Union Government and the State Governments.
Mention any five main features which make India a federal country. [CBSE 2013]
Ans. (i) Division of powers : The Constitution demarcates the powers of the central and the state governments into different lists of subjects. There are three lists :
(i) Union List.
(ii) State List.
(iii) Concurrent List.
(ii) Three-tier system : As discussed earlier, under a federal government different tiers of the government govern the same citizens. This is true for India. In India, we have a three-tier system of government, i.e.,
• Union Government
• State Government
• Local Self-Government.
(iii) Not equal powers to all administrative units : Most of the federations that are formed by ‘holding together’ do not give equal powers to its constituent units. Thus, all states in the Indian Union do not have identical powers. Some states enjoy a special status. Jammu and Kashmir has its own Constitution. Many provisions of the Indian Constitution are not applicable to this state without the permission of the state assembly.
(iv) Consent of both the levels of the government : Under a federal government, the fundamental provisions cannot be unilaterally changed by one level of the government, and the same is true for India. The Parliament cannot on its own change the fundamental structure of the Constitution.
implementation of constitutional provisions and procedures. The same is true for India. In case of any dispute about the division of powers, the High Courts and the Supreme Court take a decision.
(vi) Separate sources of income : A clear mention regarding the financial powers of the centre and the states has been made in the Indian Constitution. Income tax, excise duty, corporation tax, etc., are levied and collected by the central government, whereas land revenue, stamp duty, building tax, etc., come under the state government.
Q.4. How is federalism practised in India ? Explain.
‘The real success of federalism in India can be attributed to the nature of democratic politics in India.’ Explain.
Ans. (i) Linguistic States : After independence, in 1950, the boundaries of several old states were changed in order to create new states. This was done to ensure that the people who spoke the same language, share common culture, ethnicity or geography could live in the same state.
(ii) Language Policy : The Indian Constitution did not give the status of national language to any one of the languages. Though Hindi was identified as the optional language, but the central government has not imposed Hindi on states where people speak a different language. Besides Hindi, there are 22 other languages recognised as Scheduled Languages by the Indian Constitution.
(iii) Centre-State relations : Improving the Centre-State relations is one more way in which federalism has been strengthened in practice. Though Indian Constitution has demarcated the powers of the Union and the state governments but still the Union government can have influence over the state in many ways.
In the past, the Central government has often misused the Constitution to dismiss the state governments that were controlled by
rival parties. This undermined the spirit of federalism, and that of democracy.
The judiciary has played a major role in improving the autonomy of the state governments because many a time, it has rescued state governments which were dismissed in an arbitrary manner.
Q.5. “The creation of linguistic states was the first and major test for democratic politics in our country.” Justify this statement. [CBSE 2011, 14]
Ans. In 1947, the boundaries of several old States of India were changed in order to create new States. This was done to ensure that people who spoke the same language lived in the same State. Some States were created not on the basis of language but to recognize differences based on culture, ethnicity or geography. These include States like Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. When the demand for the formation of States on the basis of language was raised, some national leaders feared that it would lead to the disintegration of the country. The Central Government resisted linguistic States for some time. But the experience has shown that the formation of linguistic States has actually made the country more united. It has also made administration easier.
Q.6. Explain how law making powers are shared between centre and states in India ? Mention three subjects each of Ans. Union List and State List. [CBSE 2013]
Describe the division of power between the central and the state governments in India. [CBSE 2011]
How are the powers divided between the states and centre ? Explain with examples.
Ans. Union List includes subjects of national importance such as defence of the country, foreign affairs, banking, communications and currency. They are included in this list because we need a uniform policy on these matters throughout the country. The Union Government alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the Union List.
State List contains subjects of State and local importance such as police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation. The State Governments alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the State List. Concurrent List includes subjects of common interest to both the Union Government as well as the State Governments, such as education, forest, trade unions, marriage, adoption and succession.
Both the Union as well as the State Governments can make laws on the subjects mentioned in this list. If their laws conflict with each other, the law made by the Union Government will prevail.
(i) Under a federal government, the fundamental provisions cannot be unilaterally changed by one level of the government and the same is true for India,
(ii) The Parliament cannot on its own change the fundamental structure of the Constitution. Any change in it has to be first passed by both Houses of the Parliament with at least two-third majority. Then it has to be ratified by the legislatures of at least half of the total states.
Q.7. Distinguish between the Union List and the Concurrent List.
Q.8. ‘Most federations that are formed by ‘holding together’ do not give equal power to its constituent units.’ Is it true for India ? Explain.
“Holding together federations” do not give equal power to its constituent units. Explain the statement with the help of examples in context to India. [CBSE 2012]
Ans. Yes, the above statement is true for India.
(i) All states in the Indian Union do not have identical powers. Some states enjoy a special status. Jammu and Kashmir has its own Constitution. Many provisions of the Indian Constitution are not applicable to this state without the permission of the state assembly. Indians who are not permanent residents of this state cannot buy land or house here.
(ii) Similar special provisions exist for Assam and the hill states of North-East India.
(iii) There are some units of Indian Union which enjoy very little power. These are areas which are too small to become an independent state but which could not be merged with any of the existing states. These areas, like Chandigarh, or Lakshadweep or the capital city of Delhi, are called the Union Territories. These territories do not have the powers of a state. The central government has special powers in running these areas.
Q.9. Why were the linguistic states created? What are their advantages ? [CBSE 2008 (Compt)]
Ans. (i) Common Language: Many states were created on the basis of language to ensure that people who speak the same language lived in the same state.
(ii) Common culture, ethnicity or geography: Some States were created not on the basis of language but to recognise differences based on culture, ethnicity or geography. These include States like Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.
• The experience has shown that the formation of linguistic States has actually made the country, more united. It has also made administration easier.
Q.10. Explain the language policy of Indian Federal. How is it different from Sri Lanka ?
Write any four characteristics of language policy of India. [CBSE 2011]
Describe in brief the language policy of India. [CBSE 2010]
Ans. (i) No National Language: Our Constitution did not give the status of national language to any one language. Hindi was identified as the official language. But Hindi is the mother tongue of only about 40 per cent of Indians. Therefore, there were many safeguards to protect other languages.
(ii) Scheduled Languages: Besides Hindi, there are 22 other languages recognised as Scheduled Languages by the Constitution. A candidate in an examination conducted for the Central Government positions may opt to take the examination in any of these languages. States too have their own official languages. Much of the government work takes place in the official language of the concerned State.
(iii) Spread of Hindi with cautious approach: Unlike Sri Lanka, the leaders of our country adopted a very cautious attitude in spreading the use of Hindi. According to the Constitution, the use of English for official purposes was to stop in 1965. However, many non-Hindi-speaking States demanded that the use of English continue. In Tamil Nadu, this movement took a violent form. The Central Government responded by agreeing to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes. Promotion of Hindi continues to be the official policy of the Government of India. Promotion does not mean that the Central Government can impose Hindi on States where people speak a different language.
(iv) Language policy of Sri Lanka: In 1956, an Act was passed by the Sri Lankan government to recognise Sinhala as the only official language whereas in case of India the government agreed to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes.
Q.11. ‘Restructuring the Centre-State relations is an important way in which the Indian Federalism has been strengthened in practice.’ Explain.
Ans. (i) After 90s, many regional political parties have emerged in many states of the country.
(ii) The regional parties are playing a very vital role in forming the Union government.
(iii) The judiciary has played a major role in improving the autonomy of the state governments because many a time, it has rescued the state governments which were dismissed in an arbitrary manner.
Q.12. Why does the exact balance of power between the Centre and the State Governments vary from one Federation to another ? Explain with two examples. [CBSE 2008(D)]
Ans. The exact balance of power between the central and the state government depends mainly on the historical context in which the federation was formed. There, are two kinds of routes through which federations have been formed :
(i) Coming Together Federations
(ii) Holding Together Federations
[Refer Q. 2, Long Answer Type Questions]
Q.13. Point out one feature in the practice of federalism in India that is similar to any one feature that is different from that of Belgium.
Ans. One similar feature of Federalism between India and Belgium : India and Belgium are both holding together federations where the Central Governments tend to be more powerful vis-a-vis the states.
One different feature of Federalism between India and Belgium : In Belgium, there are three Ans. kinds of government – government at the centre, government at the state level and third kind of government is the community government. The community government has the power regarding cultural, educational and language related issues.
But in India, there is no third kind of government, there is no community government.
Q.14. What is decentralisation ? What is the importance or need for decentralisation ? [CBSE Sept. 2010, 14]
“Do you take decentralisation as a mean to minimise the conflicts ?” Give your view point. [CBSE 2014]
Ans. When power is taken away from the Central and State governments, and given to the Local governments, it is called decentralisation.
(i) The basic idea behind decentralisation is that there are a large number of problems and issues which are best settled at the local level. People have a better knowledge of problems in their localities. They also have better ideas on where to spend money, and how to manage things more efficiently.
(ii) At the local level, it is possible for the people to directly participate in decision, making. This helps to inculcate a habit of democratic participation. Basically the local government is the best way to realise one important principle of democracy, namely the Local Self-Government.
Q.15. Name the three tier government system in India. What steps have been taken by the government to make the third tier more powerful and effective ? [CBSE 2008(0)]
How has the third tier of government in our country been made more effective and powerful by the Constitutional Amendment of 1992 ? [CBSE Sept. 2010]
Explain any four provisions that have been made towards decentralisation in India after the constitutional amendment in 1992. [CBSE Sept. 2010, 2011, 2012]
Ans. Three tier system :
1. Union Government
2. State Governments
3. Local Governments.
• Now, it is constitutionally mandatory to hold regular elections to the local government bodies.
• Seats are reserved in the elected bodies and the executive heads of these institutions for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Backward Classes.
• At least one-third of all positions are reserved for women.
• An independent institution called the State Election Commission has been created in each state to conduct free and fair elections for the panchayat and the municipalities.
• The State governments are required to share some powers and revenue with the Local government bodies. The nature of sharing varies from state to state.
Q.16. Explain the advantages of decentrali¬sation. [CBSE Sept. 2010, 14]
Explain any four features of the third tier of government. [CBSE Sept. 2011]
Explain how the federal experiment has been successful in the matter of formation of states in India. [CBSE Sept. 2010]
Give two arguments in favour of decentralisation of powers to local governments. Give two provisions under the amendment of 1992 which empowers local governments in India. [CBSE Sept. 2011]
Assess the need for local government. [CBSE 2012, 14]
Ans. (i) Locals have better knowledge : The basic idea behind decentralisation is that there are a large number of problems and issues which are best settled at the local level. People have better knowledge of problems in their localities. They also have better ideas on where to spend money, and how to manage things more efficiently.
(if) Direct participation of the people : Decentralisation makes it possible for the people to directly participate in decision making. This helps to inculcate a habit of democratic participation. The Local government is the best way to realise one important principle of democracy, namely the Local Self-Government.
(iii) Foundation of democracy : Local governments are most important in a democratic system. These are training schools for local citizens and local leadership. These provide political education. The people get familiar about the electoral process, and the proper use of their vote, which is the very foundation of democracy.
(iv) Reduction of burden of the Central Government : It reduces the burden of the Central or State governments. These can concentrate on matters of national or state importance in a better way. In this way, the Local Self-Government ensures efficiency everywhere, at all the three levels of today’s governance. Indian leaders have recognised the need for decentralisation.
(v) Women empowerment : At least one-third of all positions are reserved for women in all the local bodies. This has lead to women empowerment.