B-1 Ch-1 Cold War - Solutions

 CBSE Class 12 Political Science

(Contemporary World Politics)
NCERT Solutions
Chapter-1 The Cold War Era

Q1. Which among the following statements about the Cold War is wrong?

  1. It was a competition between the US and Soviet Union and their respective allies.
  2. It was an ideological war between the superpowers.
  3. It triggered off an arms race.
  4. The US and USSR were engaged in direct wars.

Ans. (d) The US and USSR were engaged in direct wars.

Q2. Which among the following statements does not reflect the objectives of NAM?

  1. Enabling newly decolonised countries to pursue independent policies.
  2. No to joining any military alliances.
  3. Following a policy of neutrality on global issues.
  4. Focus on the elimination of global economic inequalities.

Ans. (c) Following a policy of neutrality on global issues.

Q3. Mark correct or wrong against each of the following statement that describes the features of military alliances formed by the superpowers.

  1. Member countries of the alliance are to provide bases in their respective lands for superpowers.
  2. Member countries to support the superpower both in terms of ideology and military strategy.
  3. When a nation attacks any member countries.
  4. Superpowers assist all the member countries to develop their own nuclear weapons.

Ans. (a) True (b) True (c) True (d) False

Q4. Here is a list of countries. Write against each of these blocs they belonged to during the Cold War.

  1. Poland
  2. France
  3. Japan
  4. Nigeria
  5. North Korea
  6. Sri Lanka

Ans. (a) Poland- Eastern Alliance (Warsaw Pact)
(b) France- Western Alliance (NATO)
(c) Japan- Western Alliance (NATO)
(d) Nigeria- NAM
(e) North Korea- Eastern Alliance (Warsaw Pact)
(f) Sri Lanka- NAM

Q5. The Cold War produced an arms race as well as arms control. What were the reasons for both these developments?

Ans. The Cold War produced an arms race as well as arms control. The following were the reasons for both these developments:

  • Cuban Missile Crisis engaged both the superpowers in the development of nuclear weapons to influence the world.
  • The World War ended when the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, causing Japan to surrender. The US action was intended to stop the Soviet Union from making military and political gains in Asia.
  • Both the powers were not ready to initiate war as they knew that destruction from these will not justify any gain for them.
  • Both superpowers were to be rational and responsible for being restraint and avoiding the risk of another World War to ensure human survival.
  • Hence, both the superpowers decided to limit certain kinds of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons by signing within a decade i.e. Limited Test Ban Treaty, Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty etc.

Q6. Why did the superpowers have military alliances with smaller countries? Give reasons.

Ans. The smaller states were helpful for the superpowers in gaining access to:

  1. Vital Resources, such as oil and minerals.
  2. Territory, from where the superpowers could launch their weapons and troops.
  3. The location from where they could spy on each other.
  4. Economic support, in that many small allies together could help pay for military expenses.

They were also important for ideological reasons. The loyalty of allies suggested that the superpowers were winning the war of ideas as well, that liberal democracy and capitalism were better than socialism and communism, or vice versa.

Q7. Sometimes it is said that the Cold War was a simple struggle for power and that ideology had nothing to do with it. Do you agree with this? Give one example to support your position.

Ans. The Cold War was said to be a simple struggle for power and that ideology had nothing to do with it because:

  1. The Cold War also led to several shooting wars, but it is important to note that these crises and wars did not lead to another world war.
  2. The two superpowers were poised for direct confrontations in Korea (1950-53), Berlin (1958-62), the Congo (early 1960s) and in several other places. Areas where the crisis and war occurred or threatened to occur between the alliance systems but did not cross certain limits.
  3. A great many lives were lost in some of these areas like Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan but the world was spread a nuclear war and global hostilities.
  4. Sometimes, countries outside the two blocs, for example, the non-aligned countries, played a role in reducing Cold War conflicts and averting some grave crises.
  5. By and large, it was the realisation on a superpower’s part that war, by all means, should be avoided that made them exercise restraint and behave more responsibly in international affairs. As the Cold War rolled from one arena to another, the logic of restraint was increasingly evident.

Q8. What was India’s foreign policy towards the US and USSR during the Cold War era? Do you think that this policy helped India’s interests?


  1. As a leader of NAM, India’s Foreign policy towards the US and USSR was two-fold:
    •  At one level, it took particular care in staying away from the two alliances.
    • Second, it raised its voice against the newly decolonised countries becoming part of these alliances.
  2. India’s policy was neither negative nor passive. As Nehru reminded the world, non- alignment was not a policy of ‘fleeing away’.
  3. On the contrary, India was in favour of actively intervening in world affairs to soften Cold War rivalries. India tried to reduce the differences and rivalries between the alliances from escalating into a full-scale war.
  4. Indian diplomats and leaders were often used to communicate and mediate between Cold war rivals such as in the Korea War in the early 1950s.

A non-aligned posture also served India’s interests very directly, in at least two ways: First, Non-alignment allowed India to take international decisions and stances that served its interests rather than served the interests of the superpowers and their allies.
Second, India was able to balance one superpower against the other. If India felt ignored or unduly pressurised by one superpower, it could tilt towards other superpowers. Neither alliance system could take India for granted or bully it.

Q9. NAM was considered a ‘third’ option’ by third world countries! How did this option benefit their growth during the peak of the Cold War?

Ans. NAM was considered a 'third option' by third world countries due to the following reasons:

  1. Non-alignment offered the newly decolonised countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America a third option - not to join either alliance.
  2. A majority of NAM members were categorized as the Least development countries(LDCs) - was to be more developed economically and to lift their people out of poverty.
  3. The idea of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) originated with this realization. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought out a report in 1972 entitled Towards a New Trade Policy for Development. The report proposed a reform of the global trading system so as to:
  • Give the LDCs control over their own natural resources exploited by the developed Western countries.
  • Obtain access to Western markets so that the LDCs could sell their products and, therefore, make trade more beneficial for poorer countries.
  • Reduce the cost of technology from Western countries.
  • Provide the LDCs with a greater role in international economic institutions.

Q10. What do you think about the statements that NAM has become irrelevant today? Give reasons to support your opinion.


What is the relevance of the non-aligned movement after the end of the Cold War?

Ans. The nature of non aligned changed to give greater importance to economic issues. In 1961, at the first summit in Belgrade, economic issues had not been very important.

  • By the mid-1970s, NAM had become an economic pressure group. By the late 1980s, however, the NIEO initiative had faded, mainly because of the stiff opposition from the developed countries who acted as a crore of India’s foreign policy lost some of its earlier relevance.
  • Though non-alignment contained some core values and enduring ideas. It was based on a recognition that decolonised states shared a historical affiliation and can become a powerful force if they come together, as very small and poor countries need not become a follower of any big powers instead they could pursue an independent foreign policy also.
  • In nutshell, it can be concluded that NAM has not lost its relevance. It has stood the test of adverse circumstances. It has served an important purpose of protecting and preserving the interests of third world countries.
  • However, non- alignment contained some core values and enduring ideas. It was based on a recognition that decolonised states share a historical affiliation and can become a powerful force if they come together.
  • It meant that the poor and often very small countries of the world need not become followers of any of the big powers, that they could pursue an independent foreign policy.
  • It was also based on a resolve to democratise the international system by thinking about an alternative world order to redress existing inequities.
  • These core ideas remain relevant even after the Cold War ended.