Political Science (317) - Oct' 2015 | NIOS SENIOR SECONDARY Solved Papers

Time: 3 Hours
Maximum Marks: 100

Note : (i) This Question Paper consists of two Sections, viz., ‘A’ and ‘B’.

(ii) All questions from Section ‘A’ are to be attempted.

(iii) Section ‘B’ has two options. Candidates are required to attempt questions from one option only.

(iv) Marks of each question are indicated against it.


1.       Distinguish between Political Science and Politics. 2

Ans.:- Some scholars define Politics to be “the science and art of government.” But this is only a part of the total explanation of the subject of Political. Science, Now-a-day the term Politics is used to mean the problems of the citizens interacting with the instrument of political power in one form or the other.

2.       Mention four essential elements of the State. 2

Ans.:- Four elements of the State are:-

a.       Population

b.      Territory

c.       Government

d.      Sovereignty.

3.       Point out any two distinctions between State and other Associations. 2

Ans.:- State as an association is different from other associations:-

1.       All the associations, including even the state, consist of people. But while the membership of the state is compulsory, that of the other associations is voluntary.

2.       A person is member of one state at one time, he/she cannot be a member of two or three states at the same time. But a person may be, a member of numerous associations at the same time.

4. Highlight India as a Parliamentary Democracy. 2

Ans.:-  India has a parliamentary form of democracy. This has been adopted from the British system. In a parliamentary democracy there is a close relationship between the legislature and the executive. The cabinet is selected from among the members of legislature. This cabinet is responsible to the latter.

4.       What is meant by individual responsibility? 2

Ans.:- Individual responsibility is enforced when an action taken by a Minister without the concurrence of the Cabinet, or the Prime Minister, is criticised and not approved by the Parliament.

5.       How is the Rajya Sabha constituted? 2

Ans.:- Legislative Assemblies elect the members of the Rajya Sabha on the basis of proportional representation through the single transferable vote system. But all the States do not send equal number of members to the Rajya Sabha. Their representation is decided on the basis of population of respective States.

7. Explain the simple majority system. 2

Ans.:-  Simple Majority System means that in case of a single-member constituency, the person or the candidate getting the highest number of votes is declared elected. The result is decided by the majority of votes secured by a candidate.

1.       What is meant by good governance? 2

ans.:- In modern times, good governance implies enlightened citizenship as well as accountable and constitutional government. Good governance is also a key developmental concept today. The debate only relates to the question of how to bring about development.

2.       State the concept of Panchsheel as a component of Foreign Policy of India. 2

Ans.:- India’s desired peaceful and friendly relations with all countries, particularly the big powers and the neighbouring nations, while signing an agreement with China, on April 28, 1954, India advocated adherence to ficve guiding principles known as Panchsheel for the conduct of bilitral.

3.       What are the consequences of the imposition of constitutional emergency in a State? 5

Ans.:- The declaration of emergency due to the breakdown of Constitutional machinery in a State has the following effects:

a.       The President can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the State Government or he may vest all or        any of those functions with the Governor or any other executive authority.

b.      The President may dissolve the State Legislative Assembly or put it under suspension. He may authorise the Parliament to make laws on behalf of the State Legislature.

c.       The President can make any other incidental or consequential provision necessary to give effect of the object of proclamation.

4.       What are the powers of State Governor? 5

Ans.:- The powers of State Governor:-

a.       Executive Powers:- All the executive functions in the State are carried on in the name of the Governor. He/she not only appoints the Chief Minister but on his/her advice appoints the members of the Council of Ministers.

b.      Legislative Powers:- The Governor is an inseparable part of the State Legislature and as such he/she possesses certain legislative powers as well. The Governor has the right to summon and prorogue the State Legislature. He/she, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Ministers dissolve the State Legislative Assembly.

c.       Financial Powers:- No money bill can be introduced in the State Legislative Assembly without the prior permission of the Governor. The annual and supplementary budgets are introduced in the Assembly in the name of the Governor.

d.      Power of Pardon:- The Governor possesses the power to grant pardon reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted by the Courts of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.

e.      Discretionary Powers:- The Governor is aided and advised by the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. These powers are enjoyed by him/her as the Head of State. There are a few more powers which he/she possesses as the representative of the Central or Union Government.  

5.       Explain the composition of the Election Commission of India, its tenure and method of removal of its members. 5

Ans.:- Composition:- The Election Commission of the Chief Election Commissioner and such other Election commissioners as may be decided by the President from time to time.

Tenure and Removal:- Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners are appointed for a term of six years, or till the age of 65 whichever is earlier. It is important that Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners should be free from all political interferences. Therefore, even if they are appointed by the President, they cannot be removed by him. And no changes can be brought in the conditions of service and the tenure of office after their appointment. The Chief Election Commissioner cannot be removed from office, except on the grounds and in the manner on which the Supreme Court Judge can be removed. However, since the other Election Commissioners and the Regional Election Commissioners work under the Chief Commissioner, they may be removed by the President on his recommendations.

6.       Explain the meaning and characteristics of public opinion. 5

Ans.:- Public opinion is an organised and considered opinion of a section or many sections of the people on any public issue or concern. It is genuinely both public and opinion. It is neither a propaganda nor a public relations exercise.

The following are the characteristics of public opinion

a.       Public opinion is not the unanimous opinion but there is a general agreement on the issue.

b.      It may change with the circumstances, time and new information.

c.       Public opinion is not always related to political matters. It may even be formulated on economic, social and cultural matters.

d.      Public opinion is logical and considered view of a section of society. Public opinion is subject to process of modifications, consolidation and clarification unit it takes a definite shape.

7.       Discuss the role of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs). 5

Ans.:- Voluntary organizations, which are also called non-governmental organizations, all over the world have begun to support and promote human rights in all societies. The actions of international non-governmental like the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch, and organizations like the People’s Union for Civil Liberties with regard to massive human rights violations in the former Yugoslavia (Kosovo, Bosnia etc.), Rwanda, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Gujarat in India, and the number of other places of conflict are obvious examples of this concern. The activities of such organizations are coordinated at the international level through the Human Rights Commission established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946.


8.       Discuss India’s contribution to the efforts of UN for disarmament. 5

Ans.:- India was among the original members of the United Nations that signed the Declaration by United Nations at Washington, D.C. on 1944 October and also participated in the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco from 25 April to 26 June 1945. As a founding member of the United Nations, India strongly supports the purposes and principles of the UN and has made significant contributions in implementing the goals of the Charter, and the evolution of the UN’s specialised programmes and agencies.

India has been a member of the UN Security Council for seven terms (a total of 14 years), India is a member of G4, group of nations who back each other in seeking a permanent seat on the Security Council and advocate in favour of the reformation of the UNSC. India is also part of the G-77.

India is a charter member of the United Nations and participates in all of its specialised agencies and organizations. India has contributed troops to United Nations peacekeeping efforts in Korea, the Congo in its earlier years and in Somalia, Angola, Haiti, Liberis, Lebanon and Rwanda in recent years, and more recently in the South Sudan conflict.


9.       Explain briefly Indo-Pakistan relations. 5

Ans.:- India and Pakistan:- No two countries in the world have so much in common as India and Pakistan. Yet they have perpetually been in a state of undeclared war with varying degree of intensity. Pakistan’s aggression in Kargil (1999) brought the two countries even on the verge of a nuclear confrontation. The legacy of suspicion and mistrust predates the partition of India in 1947. During the freedom struggle the Muslim League, under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah propounded the two-nation theory, in support of a separate Muslim state. Jinnah insisted that since Hindus and Muslims were two communities, two separate states must be constituted for the two communities. The Indian National Congress (INC)’s long rejection of and reluctant acceptance of partition gave room for suspicion in Pakistan that India would try to undo the partition and divide Pakistan. Moreover, Pakistan was concerned at the possibility of India’s domination in the region and its inability to match India’s power all by itself. Pakistan developed a perception that it is an incomplete state without Kashmir being incorporated into it. On the other hand, India perceives Kashmir’s accession and integration into India as an essential element of its secular and federal democratic structure.

10.   Explain Marxism. Describe its main postulates. 8

Ans.:- Marxism is the political philosophy of the working class as liberalism is the political philosophy of the capitalist class. It is a theory of social change: why social changes take place and how do these changes come into effect? The social changes take place because of the material factors and through a method called ‘dialectical materialistic’ method.

Marxism is based on certain assumptions/postulates. These are:

a.       Nothing happens in the world on its own; there is always a cause-effect relationship in what we see around. The relations of production (i.e., material relations among the people), as the basis of society, provide the cause while the productive forces constitute the effect.

b.      The real development is always the material development (i.e., the economic development). The progressive development of productive forces indicates the progressive level of development.

c.       The material (i.e. economic) factor is the dominant factor in both individual life and social life.

d.      Human being is born at a particular stage of social/material development, i.e., born in a social setting which exists independent of him. But being an active being, human being makes his own social setting. Marx had said, human beings are born in history but they make history.

e.      Social classes, especially the opposing classes, through their struggle and following the process of revolution, move in the forward direction. That is why the Marxists say that every subsequent society is better than the preceding so9ciety.


Highlight the distinction between nation and nationality.

Ans.:- The distinction between the nation and nationality is a thin one. Which can be summed up as follows:

1.       Nationality is a cultural term. It is a psychological, which is generated in a group of people having geographical unity and who belong  to a common race, common history, religion, customs and traditions, economic interests and common hopes and aspirations. The people of a nationality must have a sense of unity. They must feel that they have something in common which differentiates them from other people. But nation is a people organised, a people united.

2.       Nationality is basically a cultural term, it is ‘political’ only incidentally as Hayes tells us. Nation is basically a political term, cultural only incidentally. This, however, does not mean that nationality is not political and nation is not cultural/concepts.

3.       The evolution of the state has shown that there may be states with more than one nationalities and there may be nationalities spread over more than one states. The former USSR, as a state, had a considerable number of nationalities, the Korean nationality, to take another example, is spread over two states. Thus a state may or may not co-exit with nationality.

4.       Nation and nationality are distinct terms in yet another sense. Some use the term ‘nationality’ to signify the principle or characteristic that creates a nation. This means that nationality precedes nation.  In terms of origin, therefore, they are not at par. The Jewish nationality created the Jewish nation.

5.       If we use the term ‘nation’ to mean a population of the same race, language and tradition, inhabiting the same territory and constituting the larger part of its population, we may, and in fact, have the Britishers as the nation. If on the other hand, we use the term ‘nationality’ to mean one of the several distinct ethnic groups scattered over an area and forming but a comparatively a smaller part of its population, we may, and in fact, have the Welsh nationality; the latter as a nationality becomes a part of the British nation.

11.   Discuss the Right to Equality. 8

Ans.:- Right to equality is an important right provided for in Articles 14,15,16,17 and 18 of the constitution. It is the principal foundation of all other rights and liberties, and guarantees the following:

Equality before law: Article 14 of the constitution guarantees that all citizens shall be equally protected bythe laws of the country. It means that the Sate cannot discriminate any of the Indian citizens on the basis of their caste, creed, colour, gender, religion or place of birth.

Social equality and equal access to public areas: Article 15 of the constitution states that no person shall be discriminated on the basis of caste, colour, language etc. Every person shall have equal access to public places like public parks, museums, wells, and temples etc.

Equality in matters of public employment: Article 16 of the constitution lays down that the state cannot discriminate against anyone in the matters of employment. All citizens can apply for government jobs.

Abolition of untouchability: Article 17 of the constitution abolishes the practice of untouchability. Practice of untouchability is an offence and anyone doing so is punishable by law.

Article 18 of the constitution prohibits the State from conferring any titles. Citizens of India cannot accept     titles from a foreign State.


Explain the legislative and administrative relations between the Union and the States.

Ans.:- Legislative Relations:- Regarding legislative relations, there is a threefold division of powers in the Constitution. We have followed a system in which there are two lists of legislative powers, one for the Centre and the other for the State, known as the Union List and the State List, respectively. An additional list called the Concurrent List has also been added.

The Union List which consists of 97 subjects of national interest is the largest of the three lists. Some of the important subjects included in this list are: Defence, Railways, Post and Telegraph, Income Tax, Custom Duties, etc. The Parliament has the exclusive power to enact laws on the subjects included in the union List for the entire country.

Administrative Relations:- The Union Government can issue directions to the States to ensure compliance with the laws of the Parliament for construction and maintenance of means of communications, declared to be of national and military importance, and  also on the measures for the protection of Railways. In addition to all this, the Parliament can alone adjudicate on inter-state river disputes. Also, a provision has been made for constituting an Inter-State Council to advise the president on inter-state disputes.


12.   Discuss the executive and legislative powers of the President of India. Is he/she bound by the advice of Council of Ministers? 8

Ans.:- Executive Powers:- The President is head of State and executive powers of the Union have been vested in him. The President is empowered to exercise these powers either directly or through officers subordinate to him which means through the Prime minister and Council of Ministers also. His executive powers are, the President appoints the Chief Justice and other judge of the Supreme Court and High Courts. However, in all judicial appointments, the Chief Justice of India is consulted. Besides may be deemed necessary. While appointing Chief Justice and justices of High Courts the President has to consult the State Governor also. In the appointment of High Court judges, the president also consults the Chief Justice of the State. But now in accordance with the 1993 decision of the Supreme Court as re-interpreted in 1999, the President is bound by the recommendations of a panel of senior most judges of the Supreme Court in matters of all judicial appointments. The President appoints the Attorney General, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners, the Chairman and Members of Union Public Service Commission.

Legislative Powers:- The President being an integral part of Parliament enjoys many legislative powers. These powers are, The President summons, and prorogues the Houses of Parliament. He may summon the Parliament at least twice a year, and the gap between two sessions cannot be more than six months. The President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha even before the expiry of its term on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. In normal course he/she dissolves Lok Sabha after five years. The President nominates twelve members to Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge in the field of literature, science, art and social service. The President may also nominate two members of Anglo=Indian community to the Lok Sabha in case that community is not adequately represented in the House. The President can call a joint sitting of the two Houses of  Parliament in case of a disagreement between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on a non-money bill.   


Explain the structure of the Supreme Court of India. Discuss its appellate and advisory jurisdictions.

Ans.:- The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial court and the final court of appeal under the Constitution of India, the highest constitutional court, with the power of judicial review. Consisting of the Chief Justice of India and a maximum of 33 judges, it has extensive powers in the form of original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions.

Appellate Jurisdiction:- The power of a superior/higher court to hear and decide appeals against the judgment of a lower court is called appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has vast appellate jurisdiction. It hears appeals against the judgment of the High Courts. Thus, it is the highest and the final Court of Appeal. If one of the parties to a dispute is not satisfied with the decision of the High Court, one can go to the Supreme Court and file an appeal. The appeals can be filled in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional cases.

Advisory Jurisdiction:- This power implies Court’s right to give advice, if sought. Under advisory jurisdiction, the President of India may refer any question of law or public importance to Supreme Court for its advice. But the Supreme Court is not bound to give advice. In case, the advice or the opinion of the Court is sent to the President, he may or may not accept it. The advice of the Court is not binding on the President. So far, whenever the Court has given its advice, the President has always accepted it. The Court refused to give its advice on the question whether a temple existed at the spot, where Babri Masjid was built at Ayodhya.

 20. Discuss the role of caste in Indian politics. 8

Ans.:- Caste began to play an important role after independence as its involvement in politics increased. The fact that it existed as easily identifiable social cluster of people made it an easy object of political mobilization by political parties in their quest for political support and votes. While the political parties sought to exploit caste for its own electoral purposes, caste groups by making politics their sphere of activity got a chance to assert their identity and bargain for benefits and position in society. Thus, caste and politics interaction has been a two-way process.

In politicizing the castes, the caste associations played a crucial role. Caste associations were quasi-voluntary associations in the sense that its membership was open only to the individuals of the caste community. These associations sere formed to secure economic benefits or educational openings or for more clearly political purpose of uniting to fight the hegemony of the upper castes. In either case, involvement in politics was considered necessary for securing the specific purpose for which they were formed. Thus, once formed on the basis of caste identity, caste associations went on to acquire non-caste functions.

In electoral politics the role of the caste in politics has become powerful. This can be seen at all levels of the political process of the country. Al political parties tend to give party ticket to candidates for contesting elections form amongst the numerically or otherwise dominant caste in every constituency. Major caste groups get representation in the council of ministers. Be it elections, political appointments or even formation of political poarties, caste has been the major consideration.



(World Order and the United Nations)

21. What is meant by World Order? 2

Ans.:- Analytically, world order refers to the arrangement of power and authority that provides the framework for the conduct of diplomacy and world politics on a global scale.


22.   Highlight the purposes and principles of the United Nations. 5

Ans.:- Purposes and Principles of the United Nations:-

a.       to maintain international peace and security through collective measures for suppression of aggression and through peaceful settlement of disputes;

b.      to develop friendly relations among countries based on full respect for the principle of equality and self-determination;

c.       to achieve international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural or humanitarian fields, and

d.      to encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In pursuit of the above objectives, both the United Nations and its member states are required to adhere to a set of important guiding principles. The foremost among them is the principle of equality among countries whether big or small, strong or weak. The United Nations will not interfere in the domestic matters of the member countries.

23.   Examine the composition and role of the UN Security Council. 8

Ans.:- The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the United Nations Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security.

It is for the Security Council to determine when and where a UN peace operation should be deployed.

The Security Council responds to crises around the world on a case-by-case basis and it has a range of options at its disposal. It takes many different factors into account when considering the establishment of new peace operation, including :

. Whether there is a ceasefire in place and the parties have committed themselves to a peace process intended to reach a political settlement;

Whether a clear political goal exists and whether it can be reflected in the mandate;

Whether a precise mandate for a UN operation can be formulated;

Whether the safety and security of UN personnel can be reasonably ensured, including in particular whether reasonable guarantees can be obtained from the main parties or factions regarding the safety and security of UN personnel.

The Security Council establishes a peace operation by adopting a Security Council resolution. The resolution sets out that mission’s mandate and size.

The Security Council monitors the work of UN peace operations on an ongoing basis, including through periodic reports from the Secretary-General and by holding dedicated Security Council sessions to discuss the work of specific operations.

The Security Council can vote to extend, amend or end mission mandates as it deems appropriate.


Examine the major initiatives of United Nations for socioeconomic development.

Ans.:- Starting from 1960, many of the colonies emerged as independent countries and gained membership of the United Nations. With the help of their growing majority in the United Nations they were able to create new agencies. The United Nations launched the First Development Decade. In 1960s international institutional like the UN Development programme. UN Industrial Development Organisation, International DEVELOPMENT Association were get up in 1960s.

At the initiative of developing countries United Nations Conference on Trade and Development  (UNCTAD) was formed in 1964 to promote international trade for the benefit of developing countries. It has served the developing countries in many ways.

UNCTAD has provided significant support to efforts by developing counties to expand trade and economic cooperation among themselves at the regional and sub regional levels. It has also promoted technical assistance.

In UNCTAD a group of developing countries was formed. This group now consists of 132 countries. It has represented unity and solidarity among developing countries

Also UNCTAD made efforts to ensure preferential treatment and tariff concessions in the developed countries for the items promised by the developing countries, financing of research and development activities, official development assistance for low-income countries and debt relief.

The UNCTAD and UN General Assembly went a step further and questioned the unjust international economic order. To protect the economic interests of the developing countries, the UN gave a call in 1974 for establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO), welded to the ideals of equity and justice for all nations, rich and poor.


21. What is meant by committed bureaucracy? 2

Ans.:- Committed means dedicated towards a particular cause or work. In a democratic set-up, parliamentarians are elected by the citizens and they are responsible for making laws and policies, while bureaucrats are responsible for implementation of the same laws and policies.

22. Mention any five functions of the Union Public Service Commission. 5

Ans.:- The functions of the UPSC as described in the Constitution are:

1.       To advise the government on all matters relating to the methods of recruitment and norms to be followed in making appointments to civil services either directly or by promotion.

2.       To advise on the suitability of candidates for appointment, promotion and transfer.

3.       To conduct examinations for appointment to All India services.

4.       To advise on disciplinary matters affecting government servants.

5.       To advise on claims of legal proceedings instituted against a government servant and on the claims in respect of injuries sustained by a government  servant while on duty.

1.       What are the instruments of redressal of grievances? 8

Ans.:- Indian Instrumentation:-

1.       In India, it has been observed by many committees and commissions that special machinery should be set up to deal with public complaints against the administration. Various institutions exist to redress public grievances. Many kinds of administrative tribunals have been set up to provide cheap and speedy justice to the complainant. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Labour Tribunal etc, are instances of this type of institution.

2.       Secondly, Parliamentary procedure provides for opportunities to raise questions in Parliament by the elected representatives concerning their constituencies. Also, there is a Parliamentary Committee called the Committee on Petitions. A citizen may submit petitions to secure redress against an act of injustice. So, even though a distant body, Parliament or State Legislature can take up the cause of an aggrieved citizen.

3.       Thirdly, under the provisions of the Public Servants (Enquiries) Act, departmental as well as public agencies can be instituted against a public servant for  his misconduct. Not day-to-day dealing but more serious matter of maladministration come under the purview of this Act.

4.       Fourthly, complaint forums have been set up at different levels to deal with public complaints. For example in a public bus or in a railway station, there are complaint boxes to receive complaints from public. Consumers’ Fora are now available to deal with complaints against any suppler of goods and services such as telephone services. Within large public organization such as Railways and Telecommunication etc. there are complaint cells to deal with public complaints.


Discuss the organisation of Cabinet Secretariat. Mention its any four functions.

Ans.:- Organization of the Cabinet Secretariat:- The Cabinet Secretariat was created in 1947, another administrative machinery of the centre is Cabinet Secretariat, it can be understood in terms of organisation and function. It is headed politically, by the Prime Minister and administratively, by the Cabinet Secretary.

Today, the Cabinet Secretariat has three wings- Civil Wing, Military Wing and Intelligence Wing. In 1988, the Directorate of Public Grievances was set up as its organ.

The Cabinet Secretariat has subject related advisors to the Prime Minister. Main Functions of Cabinet Secretariat are:

a.       Cases involving Legislation including the issuing of ordinances. Addresses and messages of the President to the Parliament.

b.      Cases involving negotiation with foreign countries on treaties and agreements etc.

c.       Proposals for sending delegations of persons abroad in any capacity.

d.      Proposals to appoint public committees of enquiry and consideration of reports of such enquiries.


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