ISC Political Science Previous Year Question Paper 2018 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 [ ].

Part-I (20 Marks)
Answer all questions

Question 1.
Answer briefly each of the questions (i) to (x): [10 x 2]
(i) India is described as a federal state with subsidiary unitary features. Identify two of these unitary features.
(ii) What are conventions ?
(iii) Distinguish between direct and indirect elections.
(iv) Explain the composition of the U. S. Senate.
(v) State two legislative powers of the President of India.
(vi) What is meant by Judicial Review ?
(vii) What is the purpose of Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution ?
(viii) Mention any two words that were added to the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India.
(ix) What is meant by regionalism in the context of Indian Democracy ?
(x) With respect to the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India, what is the significance of the Eleventh Schedule ?
(i) The unitary features of Indian federal state are :

  • Strong center.
  • Absence of separate constitution for states.

(ii) Conventions form the wrap and woof of the British Constitution. Rules that are observed by various constituted parts though they are not written in any document having legal authority. These regulate working of all the offices and institutions of the constitution. They are backed by public opinion and their utility.

(iii) In direct elections people directly choose their representatives by casting their votes. For example, election for Lok Sabha. In indirect elections, the elected members cast their votes to select the candidates. For example, members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members and nominated members.

(iv) US senate consists of 2 senators from each state who serve the term for six years each, regardless of population of the state. As there are fifty US states, there are 100 senators in all.

(v) Two legislative powers of President of India are:

  • The President has the power to summon and prorogue the two Houses of Parliament. He can also dissolve the Lok Sabha.
  • The President can address each House separately or jointly.

(vi) Judicial Review allows Supreme Court to review all laws and regulations made by the legislature, thus entitling it with the role of interpreter and guardian of the constitution. If the judiciary finds any such law interfering or violating the fundamental rights, it can declare it unconstitutional (null and void).

(vii) The purpose of Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution is to establish social and economic democracy.

(viii) Two words which were added to the Preamble by the 42nd amendment to the Constitution of India are :

  • Socialist
  • Secular

(ix) Regionalism in context of Indian democracy means an ideology and political movement that seeks advancement of particular geographical regions which have distinct culture, language, identity and tradition.

(x) With respect to 73rd amendment to the constitution of India, the significance of the Eleventh Schedule is that, it lists the 29 subjects which falls under the jurisdiction of Panchayats.

Part—II (60 Marks)

Answer any three questions

Question 2.
(a) Explain three differences between parliamentary and presidential forms of govern-ment. [6]
(b) Explain four features of an Authoritarian State. [6]
Answer 2.
(a) Following are the differences between Parliamentary and Presidential forms of governments:

In the Parliamentary system of government there is a harmonious relationship between the legislative and executive body, whereas the functioning of judiciary is independent. However, in a Presidential form of government, the three organs of the government, i.e. executive, legislative and judiciary work independently of each other.

In a Parliamentary form of government, the executive power is divided into two parts, viz., the Head of the State (President) and the Head of the Government (Prime Minister). However, in a Presidential form of Govern¬ment, the President is the chief executive.

In a Parliamentary form of government, the executive body, i.e., the Council of Minis¬ters are accountable to the Parliament. However, there is no such accountability in the Presidential form of Government, i.e., the executive body is not accountable to the Parliament for its acts.

(b) Four features of an Authoritarian State are as follows:
Power is vested in one hand : One ruler or a small group of leaders have the real power. The authoritarian government can be formed by kings, emperors, a small group of aristocrats, military leaders, dictators and even presidents or prime ministers.

No say of citizens in decision making :
There can be elections of contract between the rulers and citizens but citizen don’t have any say in the way they are ruled out. The ruler chooses how to govern the people. Citizens don’t have any voice in decision making and have to obey the authoritarian ruler.

The title of ruler doesn’t indicate type of government : The leaders are usually from small group, like top military officials or aristocratic families. For example,countries like Myanmar, Cuba, China and Iran have authoritarian regime.

No freedom for citizens : The citizens don’t have any right like freedom of speech, press or religion and they have to submit to the desires of the ruler.

Question 3.
(a) Explain the following kinds of constitutions : [6]
(i) Written
(ii) Unwritten
(iii) Enacted
(iv) Evolved
(b) Is the distinction between a written constitution and an unwritten constitution a real one? Discuss. [6]
Answer 3.
(a) A written constitution is the one in which a document or a collection of documents contains the fundamental rules regarding the main organs and institutions of government. It is deliberately formulated and is consciously planned. It is formulated by conventions or constituent assembly. The constitution of India is designed and adopted by the constituent assembly.

An unwritten constitution evolves out of free documentation of rules and regulation. At first the rules are practised and become a part of the constitution. For example, constitution of Britain is an unwritten constitution. It is not described through any single document but contains many sources to describe it.

An enacted constitution emerges from deliberate human effort. It is formulated consciously by constituent assembly or by king, or a sovereign authority or Parliament. It is embodied in a document or in series of documents.

An evolved constitution is the one which has emerged over time. The rules have been added whenever need was felt. It is the result of accumulation of material which resulted in shaping the political institution. It is not made but has grown from past and is a collection and continuation of traditions, customs, usage and judicial decisions.

(b) A distinction between written and unwritten constitution is not systematic or concerete. There is neither any constitution which is wholly written nor the one which is completely unwritten. Every written constitution has some unwritten elements and every unwritten constitution has some written elements. For example, U.S.A. is a written constitution, but it is overlaid with conventions and traditions. The Constitution of America proposes an indirect election of the President, but presidential election has become direct. Moreover, theoretically the President of US is vested with executive power, but partially he is also a ‘Chief Legislator’. Even Indian gives discretion to the President and the Governor to appoint anyone as Prime Minister and Chief Minister, but convention has grown to select the leader of the majority party.

In fact, it is impossible to find an absolutely written or completely unwritten constitution. Since socio-economic life of society is dynamic, the constitution keeps on changing as per the changing needs of the society and mostly through convention instead of law. Similarly, the Constitution of England is an unwritten constitution. However, there are several written laws in it like Carta. The Magna 1215, The Petition of Rights 1628, The Bill of Rights 1689, The Habeas Corpus Act 1679, The Acts of Settlement 1701, Reforms Act of 1832, 1867, 1884, The Parliamentary Act of 1911, and The Crown Proceedings Act, 1947 etc.

Question 4.
(a) What is political party ? Explain four functions of political parties. [6]
(b) Explain two merits and two demerits of multi-party system. [6]
(a) Political party refers to a group of people who join together for contesting elections and for holding power in government. A political party has three components, viz the leaders, the active members and followers. Following are the functions of a political party :
It contests elections by putting up their candidates and on getting the majority forms the government. The political party which losses the election plays the role of Opposition and acts as watchdog to keep the party in power on track.

It provides access to government machi-nery and welfare scheme. The local party leaders act as a link between government and citizens and help in solving the problems of the people.

It helps in formulation of policies of administration based on their election mani-festo. The policies are formed keeping in mind the general welfare.

It helps in forming public opinion. Political parties come close with the public through rallies, meetings and conferences. It helps in making aware about the political, economic and social condition of the country.

(b) Merits of multi-party system are as follows :
It gives representation to various opinions and interests. It is in accordance with the principles of democracy as voters get ample choice to select their representatives.

There is no chance of cabinet dictatorship. Demerits of multi-party system are as follows:

  • It is chaotic due to presence of several parties. Government formed may or may not achieve majority because of the presence of multiple optional which results in weaker government.
  • It is considered to be a source of political instability.

Question 5.
(a) Explain three functions of the LokSabha. [6]
(b) Discuss the changing role of the Prime Minister of India in the coalition era. [6]
(a) The three functions of Lok Sabha are as follows:
The Legislative : All types of bills originate from Lok Sabha and if a bill is passed by Rajya Sabha, it has to come to Lok Sabha for approval. In case of disagreement between the two Houses, the Lok Sabha will prevail in the joint sitting with the Rajya Sabha as it has more members than Rajya Sabha.

Financial : The Money Bill can be introduced only in Lok Sabha. In case Rajya Sabha disagrees with Lok Sabha in relation with Money Bill, it is up to Lok Sabha to accept or reject the suggestion given by Rajya Sabha.

Control over Executive : The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to Lok Sabha, the Lower House of the Parliament. Hence, the government is accountable to the Lok Sabha for its acts. The Lok Sabha can force the Council of Ministers to resign by passing a vote of non-confidence against it. It can also exercise over the central executive through methods like questioning, cut-motions and debates, budget discussions, moving adjournment motions and call-attention motions, etc.

(b) A coalition government is the government formed by alliance of two or more parties, when no single party is able to prove clear cut majority. The changing role of Prime Minister in India in coalition era is as follows:

  • He is restrained to take any decision independently. There is political compulsion on him to accommodate interest of various parties which are the part of coalition government.
  • He has to listen to various point of views coming from the coalition partners.
  • While allocating the portfolios, he has to satisfy the desires of all the coalition partners.
  • He has to face the challenge of reaching a point of consensus while formulating the policies and plans, so that one feel offended or neglected.

Question 6.
(a) Distinguish between judicial activism and judicial restraint. . [6]
(b) Critically examine any three powers of the Supreme Court of the United States. [6]
Answer 6.
(a) Judicial activism and judicial restraint are two opposing approaches. It is related with judicial system of a country and it is a means to check against misuse of power of government or any constitutional body. The difference between the two is as follows;
Judicial activism refers to the interpretation of the Constitution to support current values and conditions. Conversely, judicial restraint delimits the powers of the judges to strike down a law.

In judicial restraint, the court should support every action of the Congress and the state legislatures unless it is found to be violating the Constitution of the country. In judicial restraint, the courts usually submit to inter-pretations of the Constitution by the Congress or any other constitutional body. In case of judicial activism, the judges have power to amend any injustice specifically when the other constitutional bodies do not act. Hence, judicial activism has a major role in formulating social policies pertaining to issues, such as protection of rights of an individual, public morality, civil rights and political unfairness.

Judicial restraint and judicial activism have different objectives. Judicial restraint helps to maintain a balance among the three organs of government, viz., judiciary, executive and legislative. The judges and the court are encouraged to review a current law instead of modifying it. The judicial activism gives them the power to overrule some previous acts or judgements. For example, the Supreme Court or an appelate court has power to reverse previously taken decisions if they were found to be faulty.

(b) The Supreme Court is the most powerful court of justice of the United States. It is considered to be the guardian of the Constitution and has a responsibility to assure individual rights and to maintain a “living Constitution”. This res¬ponsibility is supported by the power of judicial review. The court has power to tell the President if his actions are not in accordance with the Constitution. It also has a power to tell about a new law which violates the U.S. Constitution and cannot be a law. It can also tell the government of a state if one of its laws breaks a rule in the Constitution. The Supreme Court presides the judicial branch of the federal government. The judicial branch helps in . maintaining balance of federal power with the legislative branch who formulate the laws (Congress) and the executive branch (headed by the President).

However, the power of Supreme Court is limited by the other two branches of government. The President proposes justice to the court. The approval of the nominations should be supported by Senate. The Congress also has great power over the lower courts and district and appeals courts are created by Congress and can be abolished at will of Congress. The Supreme Court mainly act like a referee on a football field and the President, the Congress, the state police and other officials are the actual players. Some has power to pass laws and some to enforce laws, as directed by Constitution. However, Supreme Court acts as
a “referee”, points out when government officials step out-of-bounds.

Answer any two questions.

Question 7.
(a) Discuss any three salient features of the Constitution of India. [6]
(b) Explain any three rights conferred under the Right to Freedom of Religion in the Constitution of India. (Articles 25-28). [6]
Answer 7.
(a) The three salient features of Indian Constitution are :
Federalism : Federalism refers to a systern of government in which the power is divided between central and state government. The state government looks after maintenance of law and order in their respective states,while central government deals with the issues of national importance like defence and foreign affairs.

Parliamentary form of Government : India has a parliamentary form of government in which people elect their representatives, who are responsible for framing rules and regulations for entire country. The constitution has granted the principle of universal adult franchise where every citizen of India above 18 years has a right to vote, irrespective of religion, caste or gender. The parliament consist of elected members and is the supreme law-making body. _

Separation of Powers : There is division of power between three branches of Government, viz., legislature, executive and judiciary. There is balance of power among the three organs of the Government as these three exercise different powers and keep check on their respective organ. The legislature is
responsible for making the laws, the executive is for implementation of the laws and the judiciary for punishing those who violate the laws.

(b) Three rights conferred under the right to freedom of religion in Indian Constitution
(article 25-28) are as follows :

  • Article 25 allows freedom  of conscience and free profession, to practice and propagate one’s religion.
  • Article 26 allows freedom to manage one’s religious affairs.
  • Article 27 allows freedom of payment of taxes for promoting any specific religion.
  • Article 28 allows freedom to attend religious instructions or religious worship given in some educational institutions.

Question 8.
(a) Explain the Three-Tier system of Panchayati Raj under the 73rd Amendment to the Consti-tution of India. [6]
(b) Discuss three challenges faced by rural local self-government after the passage of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India. [6]
Answer 8.
(a) Under 73rd amendment the Panchayati raj system has the following three tier structure :
Gram Panchayat at village level : The gram panchayat is executive of Gram Sabha. The members of the Gram Panchayat are elected by the Gram Sabha. Every adult member of the village has right to vote in the panchayat elections. The Gram Panchayat has the following responsibilities :

  • To provide clean drinking water in the village and disinfecting the tanks, wells etc.
  • To improve sanitary conditions in the village.
  • To ensure better healthcare facilities for the village by opening dispensaries and hospitals.

2. Panchayat samiti at block level : The members of Panchayat Samiti or Block Development Committee are elected directly by the people through universal adult franchise. The ex-officio member of Panchayat Samiti are MLAs, MPs, SDMs and BDOs of the areas. Besides ex-officio members, the other are elected members. Some seats are kept reserved for SC and ST members. 30% seats are kept reserved for women candidates. The term of Block Samiti is five years. The functions of Block Samiti are as follows :

  • To look after the working of Gram Panchayat.
  • To promote scientific and modem agri-cultural practice in the area and to distribute fertilizers, high yield seeds and scientific equipment to the farmers.

3. Zilla Parishad at district level : The Chairman of Zilla Parishad is elected by the Chairman of Panchayat Samities in the district. The ex-officio members are MLAs, MPs, SDMs, Collector and Deputy Collector. For every state government, there is a financial commission to review the financial condition of these institutions and to review the allocation of funds and grant-in-aid. The functions of Zilla Parishad are as follows :

  • To co-ordinate the working of Gram Panchayats and Panchayat Samitis in the district.
  • To study the annual budget of the Panchayat Samiti and to approve it.

(b) The three challenges faced by rural Local Self¬Government after passage of 73rd amendment to constitution of India are as follows :
The decentralisation is observed in the Panchayat elections and people are partici-pating in it, in large numbers yet, the administrative and fiscal decentralisation has remained limited. The State Government failed to give up the control of administration and finance to the local bodies.

The Panchayat have not been granted the powers of revenue generation. Hence, their functional autonomy remained restricted. The Gram Sabha is also not given power to ensure greater participation of people and transparency in working of Panchayats.

The power given to State Election Commission also vary for every state. They should be given more powers related to panchayat elections, viz., number of constituencies, rotation of reservation seats in panchayat elections, finalisation of electoral rolls, etc. The recommendations given by state election commission are not also considered seriously.

Question 9.
(a) Explain the meaning of communalism and discuss its effects on the functioning of Indian democracy. [6]
(b) Discuss the role of caste in Indian politics. [6]
Answer 9.
(a) ‘Communalism’ refers to aggressive chauvinism based on religious identity. Chauvinism is an attitude which considers one’s own group as legitimate and worthy while others as inferior and illegitimate. In simple language, it is an aggressive political ideology linked to religion. Since, India is a multi-religion country, communalism is often used as a tool to serve the selfish motive of the politicians.

Communalism is a sensitive issue in context of India because it is a recurrent source of violence and tensions. Communal riots are conducted to safe the false pride of the respective communities. People got to the extent of looting, raping and massacring others in the name of violence. Some example of communalism riots are anti-Sikh riots of Delhi in 1984 under congress government and anti Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 under BJP government.

(b) The caste system plays a significant role in Indian politics. It helps in direction of political socialisation, political mobilisation and institu¬tionalisation. Various policies and programmes of political parties are made on the basis of caste. Even the positions within a political party is determined on the basis of caste. Caste play a vital role in elections as people select their candidates on the basis of caste.

Hence, caste is encashed by the leaders for vote bank. Caste also play the role of pressure group in the arena of politics, as political bargaining is also based on caste. The administration is also influenced by caste as appointments, postings and transfers are also influenced by caste. Even the officials also carry out their administrative decisions keeping in mind caste considerations.

ISC Class 12 Political Science Previous Year Question Papers

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