ISC Political Science Previous Year Question Paper 2011 Solved for Class 12

Maximum Marks: 80
Time allowed: Three hours

  • Candidates are allowed additional 15 minutes for only reading the paper. They must NOT start writing during this time.
  • Answer Question 1 (Compulsory) from Part I and five questions from Part II, choosing two questions from Section A, two questions from Section B and one question from either Section A or Section B.
  • The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].


Question 1.
(i) Name the six forms of Aristotle’s classification of states.
(ii) How is the role of the executive defined and limited in a Liberal Democracy?
(iii) Why is the existence of a Supreme Court a necessity in a federation ?
(iv) What is meant by Cabinet Dictatorship ? Which type of government would you associate it with ?
(v) Enumerate two important factors that have led to a centralizing tendency in the contemporary federations.
(vi) State two reasons why the British cons-titution has been classified as unwritten.What is Delegated Legislation ?
(vii) What is Delegated Legislation ?
(viii) What are the two methods of election ? Explain each briefly.
(ix) Mention the main bases for the formation of political parties.
(x) Why is the Bureaucracy viewed as neut¬ral ?
(xi) What is the difference between a real and a nominal executive ?
(xii) Does the Indian Constitution strictly follow the Theory of Separation of Powers ? Explain briefly.
(xiii) What is a Jury System ?
(xiv) What is Casteism ?
(xv) Suggest two measures for dealing with the problem of communalism in India.
(iii) A federation necessarily requires a strong and impartial judiciary which is protecting the supremacy of the constitution. The method of ensuring this is judicial review as a power.

Working of a federation always involves the possibility of deputes of jurisdiction between center and state for the purpose of resolving this, a strong judiciary is needed.

(v) (a) The role of the central government as a coordinating agency among state governments has made it stronger.
(b) The central government has control over the vitally important areas like- defense, foreign affairs and international trade.

(viii) The two types of elections are Direct election and Indirect election. Direct election is a democratic system wherein the people elect their representatives through free and fair direct election and by casting their votes, for example, in the Indian system. Indirect election is the system in . which people elect their representatives indirectly through an electoral college. For example, the election of the American President.

(xi) The difference between real and nominal executive is evident in parliamentary system of government. Nominal executive only has power the name, decisions are taken in his name, but he was no say in the same, while rest executive holds all the power of taking decisions.

(xiv) Caste determines social and political life of India. Caste determines the nature, organi-zation and working of political groups, bureaucracies and all political structures and it is the biggest challenge to democracy.

(xv) Reforms in the education system and proper use of mass media to spread awareness are two ways to deal with the problem of communalism.

Answer two questions

Question 2.
(a) Discuss JA.R. Marriot’s classification of the forms of government. [8]
(b) Distinguish between the features of the political systems of USA and UK, based on Leacock’s classificatory scheme. [6]

Question 3.
(a) Examine the essential features of a Unitary System of government. State four advantages and four disadvantages of such a system. [8]
(b) Distinguish between a Federation and a Confederation. [6]
(a) Features of a Unitary Government are as follows:
A single central all powerful government : All the powers are vested with one single central government whose authority is supreme over all the parts and people of the state.

Local governments exist at the will of the central government: The local governments are created and vested with powers, by the central government. They work as administrative units of the central government and operate as the central government directs.

Constitution can be written or unwritten : Since there is no division of powers and all the powers belong to the central government, there is no special need for a written constitution. But it may be written or unwritten in accordance with the wishes of the people.

Flexibility of constitution and administration : The central government alone has the power to amend the constitution and in this sense the constitution is always flexible.

Single uniform administration : The existence of an all powerful central government exercising power over all the people and places leads to single stable administration for the whole state.


  1. It is simple, less expensive and is ideally suitable for small states 2. It is a source of strong, all powerful government.
  2. It ensures single uniform administration for the whole of the state.
  3. Suitable for meeting emergencies because being an all powerful government, the central government can take all necessary decisions quickly.


  1. Possibility of a central dictatorship and avoidance of local areas.
  2. Central government often behaves inefficiently because of being over-burdened with all the work.
  3. Being located at the center and faced with pressing national problems, it very often fails to satisfy local needs.
  4. Unitary government is suitable only for small and homogeneous states.

Question 4.
(a) Would it be correct to classify Constitutions into rigid and flexible type’s in absolute terms? Argue your case with relevant examples from UK, USA and India. [8]
(b) State six essential qualities of a good Constitution. [6]
(a) Rigid Constitution refers to constitutions which can’t be amended or repealed like ordinary laws. In case it needs formal procedures for amendment it is formal constitution. It can’t be amended by ordinary legislature through ordinary legislative procedures. It also involves a strick distinction between ordinary laws and constitutional laws as constitutional laws are considered to be superior to ordinary laws.

US Constitution is considered to be a rigid constitution as it has undergone just 27 amendments during the past 220 years. It is possible to pass ordinary law in US by simple majority of the Congress. However, the amendment of constitutional law is possible through 2/3rd majority or Congress and 3/4th of the states.

Flexible constitution is the one which can by ordinary legislative through ordinary legislative procedure. It treats constitutional laws and ordinary laws as same. It is possible to make ‘ constitutional amendment through simple majority of the legislature.

A typical example of flexible constitution is that of UK. The British Parliament can pass, amend or repeal any constitutional law through legislative process as both constitutional laws and ordinary laws are considered as equal. Indian constitution maintains a balance bet¬ween flexibility and rigidity as it is neither too rigid nor too flexible. For amending the laws. the constitution is divided into following :

  1. Some provisions of the constitution can be amended by simple majority in Parliament, (flexible)
  2. Some provisions can be amended by 2/3rd majority in Parliament and approved by at least 50% states, (rigid)
  3. The remaining provisions can be amended by 2/3rd majority in Parliament, (rigid)

Question 5.
(a) Explain the system of Proportional Representation with reference to the two schemes Single Transferable Vote System and the List System. [8]
(b) What is bi-party system ? Examine the merits and demerits of this system. [6]
(b) When a state has only two major political parties in the political system, it is said to have the bi-party or the dual party system. In bi¬party system the party which gets majority in the elections, forms the government and the other party assumes the role of opposition party. In bi-party system, there is a distinct polarization of opinion on different issues. Merits of Bi-party System :

Following are the merits of a bi-party system :

  1. Bi-party system is the essence of a successful parliamentary democracy. It ensures a strong and stable government.
  2. The opposition under the dual-party system is more responsible and dignified.
  3. The bi-party system offers a clear-cut alternative to the voters as they have to choose one out of two parties.
  4. Formation of governments is simple and easy under the dual-party system.
  5. It is easy to fix responsibility for failure of national policy in a bi-party system.

Demerits of the Bi-party System :

  1. The bi-party system splits the nation into two irreconcilable camps.
  2. Under the bi-party system the majority party in the legislature might have been elected with minority of votes and thus, the minority may rule in the name of majority.
  3. The bi-party system undermines the prestige of the legislature and-results to cabinet dictatorship.
  4. The bi-party system leads to despotism of the majority which rides rough-shod over the wishes of the minorities.

Question 6.
(a) Make a comparative study of the composition and powers of the US Senate and the Indian Rajya Sabha. [8]
(b) State six limitations imposed on the Sovereignty of the British Parliament. [6]
(a) Composition : There are 100 members in the Senate, while there are 250 members in the Rajya Sabha. In the Senate, majority of its members (51) constitute the quorum for its meetings, in Rajya Sabha 1/10th of the members constitute the quorum. Tenure of member of both Senate and Rajya Sabha is six years.

Powers : Senate is the strongest upper house in the world and has power of making laws and passing of bills. It has the power to change and modify money bills. While Rajya Sabha has equal powers as the lower house but loses out in a conflict and it has the power to delay money bill passed by Lok Sabha, for a maximum period of 14 days. Senate has the power to ratify treaties and appointment made by the President. Senate plays an effective role in impeaching the President. Rajya Sabha plays an important role in changing the boundries of a state and along with the Lok Sabha, it can impeach the President on charges of violation of the constitution

Question 7.
(a) Discuss the powers of the Executive in modern democratic political systems. [8]
(b) Examine the powers and functions of the President of USA. [6]
(a) The Executive enjoys vast powers in the modern systems :
Enforcement of. laws : Executive has the . power to enforce laws, as formulated by the legislature, and to maintain law and order in the state. Whenever a breach of law takes place, it is the responsibility of the executive to plug the breach and bring to book the offenders.

Appointment making powers : Executive has the power to appoint the members of the civil services. This is mostly done on the recommendation of a statutory services recruitment commission.

Treaty making powers : Executive has the power to decide as to which treaties are to be signed and with which other countries. The executive negotiates the treaties in accordance with the procedure defined by international law.

Defense powers : The chief executive of the state is also the supreme commander of the armed forces of the state. A minister always heads the defense department and executive has the right to declare war upon an enemy of the state.

Law making under the system of delegated legislation : Under this system, the legislature, because of its limitations, delegates a large amount of its law-making powers to the executive. Most of the bills passed by the legislature are passed in a skeleton form and the details are to be filled in by the executive through delegated legislation.

Power of appointing the judges : In almost all democratic systems, the chief executive has the power to appoint judges. Under the system of administrative adjudication, the executive agencies have the power to hear and decide cases involving administrative activity.

(b) Powers of the President of USA :

  1. Foremost power of the President is to enforce the federal laws and maintaining order throughout the USA.
  2. The President can nominate and with the consent of the Senate shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and judges of the Supreme Court.
  3. President has almost unhindered authority to remove persons, he disapproves of as executive members.
  4. The President has the power to make treaties with other states but all such treaties have to be got approved from the Senate with a 2/3rd majority of the members present and voting in the Senate.
  5. President is the commander in chief of the armed forces, so he is authorized to take all necessary measures for the defense of the country.

Functions of the President of USA :

  1. He functions as the head of state and performs all such ceremonial functions which are performed by heads of states of all other countries.
  2. All executive functions are taken by him or under his authority.
  3. He formulates the policies of the administration and secures their execution by his secretaries.
  4. He accredits American ambassadors to other countries and accepts the credentials of the ambassadors of other countries to the USA.
  5. President not only formulates foreign policy but also conducts foreign relations of the USA.

Question 8.
(a) Discuss the functions of the Judiciary in the modern political systems. [8]
(b) Compare the Judicial Systems in India, USA and UK. [6]
(a) The judiciary interprets the constitution and safeguards the rights of the people.

The primary function of the judiciary is to hear and decide disputes. In accordance with the recognized procedure, the courts determine the facts of a case.

The judiciary interprets laws and applies them to specific cases that come before it.

The judiciary acts as the guardian of the constitution in a federal government. Consti-tution in a federation is the supreme law of the land.

It is the guardian of civil liberties of the people. It protects individual liberty and also protects people against an arbitrary action of the government.

By interpretation and expansion of existing laws and by deciding cases on the basis of equity for future judicial guidance and reference, the judges create new laws.

In some countries, the courts give advisory opinions when requested to do so, by the executive.

The Supreme Court and High Courts are also empowered to appoint their local officials and subordinate staff. This is an administrative function of the judiciary.

Question 9.
(a) What is Communalism ? State any six causes of communalism in India. [8]
(b) Define Separatism. Suggest four possible ways to combat separatism. [6]
(a) There are various causes for the rise of communalism in India:

A Legacy of Past: Communal politics had played its nasty game during the immediate past of independent India. The partition of India was the ultimate outcome of the politics of the British government. Despite the emergence of Pakistan, a large number of Muslims are staying in India. India has adopted the principles of secularism and equality of the people. But communalism as a legacy of past, is continuing and expreshing itself in various form.

Presence of Communal Parties : Religion in India has become an important agency of political socialisation and it is also reflected in the ideology of a number of politial parties. A number of communal and sectarian political parties and organisations are present in India. Same political leaders preach communalism to attain their political goal.

Poverty : Mass poverty and unemploy-ment create a sense of frustration among the people. It generates backwardness, illetracy, ignorance, etc. The unemployed people are easily trapped by religious fundamentalists and fanatics. Such people are used to cause communal riots.

Communalism of Politics : Electoral politics in India has become competitive. Different political parties are not hesitating to use any means for electoral victory. They even create communal tensions and try to take politcal advantage out of it. Concessions are granted to various minority groups for appeasing them.

Cross-Border Factors : Communal tensions in India are sometimes highly intensified due to the rule of two neighbouring theocratic countries. These countries try to create communal problems in the border states. For example; the communal problems of Punjab and Nammu & Kashmir are caused due to
provocation of Pakistan.

The Social Causes : The two major communities, the Hindus and Muslims in India continue tobe suspicious of each other. The Muslims complain of the threat of Hindu cultural invasion and have become more assertive of their rights. Another cause is conversion of religion which creates negative reactions.

ISC Class 12 Political Science Previous Year Question Papers

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