ISC Political Science Previous Year Question Paper 2012 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.
Answer briefly each of the questions (i) to (xv): [15 x 2]
(i) What was the basis of Plato’s classification of States ?
(ii) What is the meaning of social and economic checks and balances in a liberal democracy?
(iii) Give one example each of a unitary state which is democratic, and one which is a totalitarian communist state.
(iv) What is Unitary Federalism ?
(v) Mention two demerits of a written constitution.
(vi) What is the role of civil servants in policy formation ?
(vii) What is meant by single member constituency ?
(viii) Explain the second ballot system.
(ix) What is a reserved constituency in the Indian electoral system ?
(x) With whom are the residuary powers vested in :
(a) U.S.A.
(b) India?
(xi) List two ways in which the Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.
(xii) Define senatorial courtesy.
(xiii) Mention the basic difference between the position of the British Speaker and his American counterpart.
(xiv) What is the mode of appointment of judges in the apex courts of:
(a) India (b) U.K.?
(xv) Suggest any two measures to eradicate economic inequality.
(ii) In a Liberal Democracy, there are social and economic checks and balances on the activities of government. Characterized by the active existence and activities of a large number of social and economic associations/ interest groups of the people which enjoy a large amount of autonomy, therse groups play a vital role in the political process. The bulk of economic decisions in liberal democracy is not taken by the government alone. The interest groups play a vital role in it. The duty of the government is to harmonies and coordinate social and economic relations and to impose and coerce only in the last resort.

(iii) The example of a unitary and democratic state is United Kingdom. The example of a totalitarian communist state is China.

(iv) Unitary federalism means a federation with increasing powers of union government vis – a – vis states.

(v) Two demerits of written constitution :
(a) It does not keep pace with changing conditions.
(b) It is not suitable to face emergencies.

(vi) The civil servants provide necessary information and advice to political executive in policy formulation.

(x) In USA, residuary powers are vested in the states. In India, residuary powers are vested, in the union government.

(xi) Lok Sabha is more powerful than Rajya Sabha in following two areas :

  • No-confidence motion against council of ministers is passed only in Lok Sabha.
  • A Money Bill can be introduced in Lok Sabha only.

Answer two questions

Question 2.
(a) Explain Aristotle’s classification of States and critically evaluate it. [8]
(b) No rule is better than self-rule. In the light of the statement, discuss any six merits of Liberal Democracy. [6]
(b) Self rule means rule by the persons who are selected on the consent of ruled. No rule is better than self rule because it provides best opportunities for the development of persona¬lities of people, effective participation of people in the government process and more effective channels of political education. Self rule is the chief characteristics of liberal democracy. Merits of Liberal Democracy : Liberal Democracy is characterized by representative government, provision for civil liberties and limited scope of the government.
Six main merits of liberal democracy are given below:

  1. It provides for the rule of people and a representative and responsible government.
  2. It promotes the interest of common man. It provides various social, economic and political benefits to all citizens.
  3. It provides for a secure and stable government with no chance for revolutions and violent means.
  4. It treats all people as equal partners and participants in the government. Equality is the cornerstone of liberal democracy.
  5. It provides for effective channels for popular participation and political education to people.
  6. It prevents the arbitrary and despotico rule as rulers are changed after regular interval through periodic election.

Question 3.
(a) Define Federation and explain its four merits and four demerits. [8]
(b) Give any six salient features of a parliamentary system of government. [6]
(a) Federation is a form of government where ruling powers are divided between the union or central government and the state or provincial governments. The division of powers is effected through the constitution. According to Garner, federal government can be defined as a system of central and local (provincial) governments, combined under common sovereignty, both the central and local governments being supreme within definite spheres, marked out for them by the general constitution or by the act of parliament which creates the system.
Merits of Federation : A federation is opposite to unitary government. It has the following merits :

Suitable for big states : Big states cannot be ruled from a single center. Hence federal governments are best suited for big states to ensure effective rule.

Division of work : A federation works on the basis of division of work and responsibilities between the union and provincial governments. Hence both governments are able to concentrate on the designated functions.

Truly Democratic : A federal state is truly democratic as it decentralizes political authority, checks arbitrariness of central government and provides more opportunity for political participation and political education.

Society is federal : According to Laski, since society is federal in nature, the federation is the natural form of government.

Demerits of federation : A federal state displays the following demerits :

Division of power is a source of weakness : A federation is based on the principle of division of powers between the central and state governments. This leads to the weakness of both the governments as none of them is in the control of all powers.

Division of responsibility : A federal environment also divides responsibility between the central and state governments. The division of responsibility undermines effective administration and creates problem of coordination.

Conflict between center and states : In federal state the division of power leads to strain between central and state governments. This may result in serious conflicts between the two.

Not suitable for emergencies : A federal system is also not suitable to face emergencies as due to lack of coordination, the decision making is delayed.

(b) Six salient features of parliamentary form of government : Governments are classified as parliamentary and presidential on the basis of relationship between executive and legislature. If executive is responsible to the popular house of legislature, it is known as parliamentary form of government. If executive is not responsible to the legislature, it is known as presidential form of government.
Following are the salient features of parliamentary form of government:

Responsibility of executive to legislature : In parliamentary system, executive (council of ministers) is responsible to the power house of legislature. That means the legislature may pass a no-confidence motion any time to remove the executive.

Close relation between executive and legislature : In parliamentary system, there is close relation between the executive (council of ministers) and legislature (parliament) as the members of council of ministers are required to be the members of legislature and they participate in the meetings of legislature.

Indeterminate term of executive : In parliamentary system the term of office of executive is not fixed as it can be removed by legislature any time before its normal term by passing a no-confidence motion.

Collective responsibility : In parliamentary system, the members of executive are collectively responsible to legislature. It means that if a no-confidence motion is passed against a single member of council of ministers, the entire executive has to go.

Difference between real and nominal executive : In parliamentary system, there are two types of executive e.g^one nominal and another real. In India, the president is nominal executive and the council of ministers is the real executive, which exercises all powers in practical.

Strong position of Prime Minister : In parliamentary system, the executive or council of ministers is headed by the Prime Minister, who presides over the meetings of council of ministers and plays key role in the appointment and removal of members of council of ministers.

Question 4.
(a) What is a Constitution? Explain the role of conventions with two examples each from the written Constitutions of U.S. and India and two examples from the unwritten Constitution of U.K. [8]
(b) What are rigid and flexible Constitutions ? Discuss any two merits and any two demerits of a flexible Constitution. [6]
(b) The distinction between the rigid and flexible constitutions is based on the distinction between the law-making procedure and constitution amendment procedure. If constitution amendment procedure is distinct and difficult in comparison to law-making procedure, the constitution is said to be rigid, as in U.S.A. On the other hand, if a country follows the same procedure for law making and constitution amendment, it is said to be a flexible constitution, as is the case in U.K.

Two Merits of Flexible Constitution : The two merits of flexible constitution are :

  1. The flexible constitution is suitable to emergency conditions as it can be easily changed.
  2. It keeps pace with the changing conditions and adapts to new situations.

Two Demerits of Flexible Constitution :
A flexible constitution is a source of inconsistency in governance, as it enables the government in power to give it desired content and directions.

Flexible constitution is not suitable in a federal polity because in a federation, there is a division of power between the union and states. A rigid constitution is required to maintain this division of power.

Answer three questions

Question 5.
(a) Explain the limitations of the theory of Separation of Powers. [8]
(b) Discuss three advantages and three dis-advantages of functional representation. [6]

Question 6.
(a) Discuss the powers of the British House of Commons. [8]
(b) Give six factors responsible for the legislatures becoming mere talking shops in the developing countries. [6]

Question 7.
(a) Compare the powers and functions of the President of U.SA. and the Prime Minister of India. [8]
(b) Distinguish between the permanent and the political executive. [6]
(a) Head of the State : The US President is both the Head of the State and Head of the Government, whereas the Indian President is only the head of the State. President of the US is the real executive. Indian President like the British monarch is only a titular head.

Term of office : American President holds the office for four years and he can seek re-election only once, while the Indian President holds the office for five years and is eligible for re-election any number of times. Responsibility to legislature : The US President is not part of any legislature and is not responsible to the legislatures. In India, the Parliament includes the President and the two Houses-Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Removal process : Both the American and Indian Presidents can only be removed from the office through impeachment. In India either House can initiate impeachment proceedings against the President and with the concurrence of the other House can impeach the President. In US the power to impeach solely lies with the Senate (Upper House).

Emergency powers : Indian President wields huge powers during emergency situations. He can proclaim both external and internal emergencies. Indian President can declare emergency in a state, dissolve state legislature and dismiss the state council of ministers. During financial emergency, he has the power to reduce the salaries of all the government officials including that of the Supreme Court and High Court judges. He has a formidable list of executive, financial and legislative powers which he can exercise on the advice of the cabinet during emergency.

Independence of office : The Indian President needs to act as per the advice of the Council of Ministers (CoM) while discharging his duties. The CoM takes all the decisions pertaining to the affairs of the country and executes them under the President’s name.

Int he US, the members of the cabinet are not members of the Congress and are not responsible to it. The cabinet members are appointed by the President and they are liable to be dismissed by the President. The American President has the power to deter-mine the policy of his government independently without external interference.

Veto power : Indian President has comparatively lesser veto power than the President of US. The President of US can veto a bill passed by the Congress. He needs to sign the bill if it is once again passed by two-thirds majority of both the Houses.

The Indian President on the other hand, can send the bill for reconsideration only once. If the bill is passed again even by a simple majority in the Parliament he is obliged to sign the bill.

Pocket veto : US President can exercise his pocket veto power by not signing the bill for 10 days if he knows the session of the Congress will end within 10 days. In such cases the bill dies.

Indian President can keep the bill for indefinite period as there is no constitutionally prescribed time limit to give his assent. The President can use his pocket veto if the fall of the government appears imminent. However, he has to act as per the advice of the new government and cannot take his own decision if the current government falls. Pocket veto was first exercised by the President Giani Zail Singh with respect to the Indian Postal Bill which was passed by the Rajiv Gandhi government. Subsequently, the new government withdrew the bill in 1980.

State bills : Certain state bills need the previous consent of the President and he possess absolute veto power with respect to some types of state bills. The US President does not have such powers.

Dissolving the legislature : The Indian President can dissolve the Parliament while the US President does not have such powers.

(b) Distinction between the permanent and political executive : The executive branch in a modem state has two branches. the political executive and the permanent executive. The political executive consists of ministers and permanent executive consists of civil servants. Both together carry out the functions of executive branch of government. Following are the main distinctions between the political executive and permanent executive.

Political and non-political character : The political executive consists of ministers, which belong to a political party and are committed to the policies and ideology of their political party. On the other hand, the members of permanent executive the civil servants are politically neutral. Political neutrality is the basic tenet of civil servants.

Policy formulation is done by political executive : The final authority to formulate policies lies with the political executive. The civil servants provide information as well as advice and assist political executive in policy formulation.

Political executive is responsible to people : Political executive is responsible to people through their representative bodies. On the other hand civil servants are not directly responsible to people. In fact, they are responsible to political executive.

Political executive consists of Amateurs, Civil servants are experts : The members of political executive are not trained people. They are members of political parties. On the other hand, civil servants are specially trained people to perform their administrative duties. Short tenure vs. long and fixed tenure : The members of political executive have a short tenure of four to five years. On the other hand, members of permanent executive have long tenure. They pursue their profession on permanent basis.

Question 8.
(a) Discuss the conditions essential to ensure the independence of judiciary. [8]
(b) Explain the original, appellate and advisory functions of the Supreme Court of India. [6]
(b) Supreme Court of India : India has adopted integrated structure of judiciary in which Supreme Court is placed at the apex, High Courts at the middle and district courts at the bottom. Indian Supreme Court has following types of jurisdiction :

Original jurisdiction : The original jurisdiction of the court is mainly concerned with its federal functions. Under original jurisdiction the disputes between the center and states or between the states are first brought before the court, which has the final authority to pass judgement on them. Also, the cases involving the violation of fundamental rights are also placed under the original jurisdiction of Supreme Court.

Appellate jurisdiction : Under appellate jurisdiction the Supreme Court entertains three kinds of appeals against the decisions of the High Courts.
First – constitutional appeals, which involve the substantial question of law which requires the interpretation of constitution.

Second – civil appeals, which are related to cases involving substantial question of law of public importance.

Third – is the criminal appeals which are brought before the Supreme Court under the following circumstances,

  • If the District Court has acquitted an accused and High Court has reversed the order and has awarded death sentence,
  • If the High Court has remanded a case from the lower court and has awarded death sentence to the accused.

Advisory jurisdiction : The President of India may ask the Supreme Court to tender advice on any legal question of public importance. The court may or may not tender such advice. On the other hand, if such advice is tendered the President is not bound to follow such advice.

Question 9.
(a) Discuss measures that should be taken to meet the challenge of political violence in India. [8]
(b) Give any six factors responsible for regional imbalances in India. [6]
(a) The measures to meet the challenges of political violence in India : Political violence as an organized activity takes different forms in India, like caste violence, mass movement, election violence, terrorism, separatist violence or communal violence. The following measures are suggested to check the political violence in India:
1. Developing a psychology of peace and non-violence through the formal and non- formal means of political socialization.
2. Poverty, non-employment, communalism and ignorance should be eliminated from the society as these evils are sources of political violence in India.
3. There should be a code of conduct for political parties to follow peaceful and constitutional methods.
4. People should be mobilized by civil society organizations against all forms of political violence.
5. There should be effective check on political corruption as it is the root cause of political violence.
6. Peaceful means of conflict resolution must be made comprehensive, popular and efficient.
7. The law and order machinery particularly the police administration must be made transparent, efficient, responsible and accountable.
8. Vocationalisation of education, and right to work should be implemented as it would lead to gainful employment of youth.

ISC Class 12 Political Science Previous Year Question Papers

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