The Indian Constitution - Solutions

CBSE Class–VIII Social Science
NCERT Solution
Political Science Chapter 1
The Indian Constitution

1. Why does a democratic country need a Constitution?
Ans. A democratic country needs Constitution because it serves several purposes, which are mentioned below:
  1. It serves as an asset of rules and principles on the basis on which the country has to be governed.
  2. The nature of a country’s political system is defined by the Constitution.
  3. Many important guidelines are laid out in the constitution that govern decision making within various societies of the country.
  4. Many ideals are laid out in the constitution that forms the basis of the kind of country that its citizens aspire to live in.
  5. It provides rules to safeguard the interests of less powerful people or groups by any dominant group. It protects minorities against wrongful decisions of majorities.
  6. Rules guarding against the misuse of power by any political leader are laid down in the constitution.
  7. It also protects citizens against any decisions that may not be in their interests in future.

2. Look at the wordings of the two documents given below. The first column is from the 1990 Nepal Constitution. The second column is from the more recent interim Constitution of Nepal.
1990 Constitution of Nepal
Part 7: Executive
2007 Interim Constitution
Part 5: Executive
Article 35: Executive Power: The executive power of the Kingdom of Nepal shall be exercised exclusively by His Majesty.
Article 37: Executive Power: The executive power of Nepal shall, pursuant to this Constitution and other laws, be vested in the Council of Ministers.
The executive functions of Nepal shall be taken in the name of the Prime Minister.
What is the difference in who exercises 'Executive Power' in the above two Constitutions of Nepal? Keeping this in mind, why do you think Nepal needs a new Constitution today?
Ans. The difference in who exercises "Executive Power" in the given two Constitutions of Nepal is that in the 1990 Constitution, this power was vested in the King, while in the 2007 Interim Constitution of Nepal, "Executive Power" changed hands to being vested only in the Council of Ministers, thereby making Nepal a democracy from being a monarchy.
Nepal needs a new Constitution today because it is no longer a monarchy. The older Constitution vested power in the King, but when the country is now a democracy, a new Constitution is needed to reflect the "democratic" ideals of Nepal that the people's movement desired and fought for. In order to achieve this, all its constitutive rules must be changed to smoothly transition towards a democratic environment. The executive powers need to be in the hands of the Council of Ministers who will be elected by the people of Nepal. In addition, the previous Constitution did not reflect the ideals of the country or what the people of that country believed in.

3. What would happen if there were no restrictions on the power of elected representatives?
Ans. If there were no restrictions on the power of elected representatives, then there would be the possibility that the leaders might misuse their authorities. The leaders might misuse the powers given to them. This may lead to gross injustice. There will be injustice and discrimination amongst the people and this may lead to a huge loss of that is resulting in the slow development of that area. The Constitution provides safeguards against this misuse of power by our political leaders. Many of the safeguards are contained in the Section on Fundamental Rights. The Indian Constitution guarantees the right to equality to all persons and says that no citizen can be discriminated against on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender, and place of birth.

4. In each of the following situations, identify the minority. Write one reason why you think it is important to respect the views of the minority in each of these situations.
(a) In a school with 30 teachers, 20 of them are male.
(b) In a city, 5 percent of the population are Buddhists.
(c) In a factory mess for all employees, 80 percent are vegetarians.
(d) In a class of 50 students, 40 belong to more well-off families.

  1. Female teachers are in minority. The female teachers must be allowed space to voice their opinion so that their efforts at teaching are not hindered by their minority status. It is important to cater even to the female teacher methods of teaching.
  2. Buddhists are in minority. Every individual has the right to follow the religion of his/her choice. People of other faith must respect the religion other than their own. They have the full right to practice their religion.
  3. Non-vegetarians are in minority. Food choice is a personal wish, so each individual should have the freedom to eat what he/she wants. They have the rights to have the food of their choice.
  4. Underprivileged are in minority. Citizens cannot be discriminated on the basis of their birth so their views have to be respected. Everyone should avail the opportunity to develop their talents.

5. The column on the left lists some of the key features of the Indian Constitution. In the other column write two sentences, in your own words, on why you think this feature is important:
Key FeatureSignificance
Separation of Powers
Fundamental Rights
Parliamentary Form of Government.
Ans. Key features
Sr. No.Key FeatureSignificance
  • Federalism refers to the existence of more than one level of government in the country. 
  • Distribution of power makes the progress of a country fast. It ensures national unity and at the same time allows for individual progress.
  • A federal government allows the Centre to hold supreme power but its constituent states have some power as well so that the states can make decisions for their territories.
2.Separation of Powers.
  •  According to the Constitution, the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary are the three separate powers. All three organs exercise different powers.
  • Each organ acts as a check on the other organs of the state and this ensures the balance of power between the three.
  • This serves two purposes: firstly, tyrannical use of power is avoided since power is not vested in any single authority.
  • Secondly, the three organs of power also work as a check on each other, thereby maintaining a good balance of power.
3.Fundamental Rights.
  • Fundamental rights are important because they conform to a humane society.
  • Fundamental  Rights protect citizens against the absolute exercise of power by the state. They  also protect minorities against misuse of power
  • These rights are essential for an individual to develop his/her personality and live with dignity.
  • They also protect citizens against arbitrary and absolute use of power by the State. Every citizen must be in a position to claim those rights.
  • These rights must be binding upon every authority that has got the power to make laws.
4.Parliamentary Form of Government.
  • It upholds universal adult franchise. It provides an opportunity for every citizen to elects his representatives.
  • This form of government is more democratic and less tyrannical.
  • This entails the fact that the people of a country play a direct role in electing their representatives to run the state as well as the nation.
  • Every citizen can contest in elections irrespective of religion, caste, gender, or social background.