NIOS Political Science 317 Solved Paper’ April 2013, NIOS Senior Secondary Solved Papers

NIOS Political Science 317 Solved Paper’ April 2013

NIOS Senior Secondary Solved Papers


1. Write the meaning of Political Science.                           2

Ans. Political Science is that part of social science which deals with the foundations of the state and the principles of the government. According to J W Garner, “Politics begins and ends with the state,”.

2. Mention any two points of distinction 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

3. Mention any two elements of Nationality.                2

Ans. Two elements of nationality are

a) Common Geography.

b) Common Race.

4. Explain the Preamble’s goal of liberty and equality.                          2

Ans. Liberty:- Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship

Equality:- Equality of status and opportunity.

5. Who are the members of the Electoral College that elect the President of India?                 2

Ans. The elected Member of Parliament one members of the Electoral College for Presidential election. As such, they participate in the election of the President of India. They elect the Vice-President. The Lok Sabha elects its Speaker and Deputy Speaker and the Rajya Sabha elects it Deputy Chairman.

6. Describe any two functions of the Parliament.                    2

Ans. Two functions of the parliament are as follows:-

1 .Legislative Function:- The Parliament makes laws on all subjects listed in the Union List. It can also makes laws on subjects listed under the Concurrent List. In case there is any conflict or overlapping in the provisions existing in the Union and State enactment, the Union law prevails. In cases when an emergency has been declared, the Union Parliament can also make laws on subjects that fall within the State List.

2. Financial Control:-  Union Parliament has exclusive powers to provide ways and means through which revenue has to be raised for public services. To that end it imposes taxes and also ensures that the money sanctioned for expenditure to various departments of the government has been spent for the authorized purposes.

7. What is meant by simple majority system of election?                  2

Ans. Simple majority may refer to :

a) Majority, a voting requirement of more than half of all ballots cast.

b) Plurality (voting), a voting requirement of more ballots cast for a proposition than for any other option.

c) First-past-the-post voting, shifts the winner of the election from an absolute majority outcome to a simple majority outcome.

8. What is good governance?                     2

Ans. In international development, good governance is a subjective term that describes how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in the preferred way. Governance is “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented.”

9. Write a short note on India and UN’s peace-keeping operations.                          2

Ans. Peace Keeping stands for prevention, containment and termination of hostilities between or within states through the non offensive activities of multinational forces of soldiers, police and civilian people sent unto the authority of the United Nations with the consent of the countries concerned. Peacekeeping nations changed in its scope and nature according to needs of a conflict situation.

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NIOS Secondary and Senior Secondary Solved Question Papers

10. What are the effects of imposition of President’s Rule in a State?                       5

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

11. Describe the legislative powers of State Governors.                      5

Ans. The Governor is an inseparable part of the State Legislature and as such he/she possesses cretin legislative powers as well.

(a) The Governor has the right to summon and prorogue the State Legislature. He/she can, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Ministers dissolve the State Legislative Assembly.

(b) He/she can address the session of the State Legislative Assembly or Joint Session of the two Houses of the Legislature. He can send messages to either or both Houses.

(c) He/she can nominate one member of the Anglo Indian Community to the State Legislative Assembly, if he/she is satisfied that after General Elections, the said community is not adequately represented in the Assembly.

(d) He/she nominates one-sixth members of the total strength of the Legislative Council if the same is existing in a State. Such nominated members are those who possess special knowledge in the field of literature, science, cooperative movement and social service.

12. Explain the meaning and significance of universal adult franchise.                   5

Ans. The right of the people to vote and elect their representatives is called franchise. The world franchise is derived from the French word ‘franc’ which means ‘free’. It means free exercise of the right to choose one’s representatives. Adult franchise means that the right to vote should be given to all adult citizens without the discrimination of caste, class, colour, religion or sex.

It is based on equality which is a basic principle of democracy. It demands that the right to vote should be equally available among all. To deny any class of persons from exercising this right is to violate their right to equality. In fact, the spirit of democracy can be maintained only if the people are given the right to vote without any discrimination. The exercise of right to vote adds to the individual’s self-respect, dignity, sense of responsibility, and political and civic education. As provided for , in the Constitution of the land, the citizens cast their votes at regular intervals to elect their representatives to the Parliament, to the Legislative Assemblies, and such other institutions as are essential organs of political power in a democracy. These institutions are called representative institutions precisely because they represent the will of the peoples.

13. Describe the role and importance of regional political parties.                       5

Ans. Though the regional parties operate within very limited area and pursue only limited objective, they have played significant role both in the State as well as national politics. The regional political parties formed governments in several states and tried to give concrete shape to their policies and programmes. Some of the important regional parties which formed governments in various states include DMK and AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, Asom Gana Parishad in Assam etc. the representatives of the regional parties focus the attention of the Parliament on issues in their region and try to influence the policies of the Government to promote their own interests.

But probably the greatest service rendered by the regional political parties is that they have focused the attention of the people in remote areas on various political and economic issues and contributed to their political awakening. Above all, the regional parties have been able to impress on the national political parties that they cannot put up with their attitude of indifference towards regional problems and have compelled them to take keen interest in the resolution of their problems.

14. Explain any five features of Human Rights.                     5

Ans. The following are the features of Human Rights:-

1. People have rights simply because they are human:- All people have the right to lead a dignified and human life, and work towards achieving this for all people. These rights cannot be denied on the basis of caste, colour, religion and gender.

2. Human rights are universal:- They take no account of nation, race, sex or colour. People of all nations, colour, race, religion have same rights everywhere. The developed and developing countries in all continents of the world must guarantee same rights to all their citizens.

3. Human rights treat all people as equal:- This follows the idea that “all human being are born free and equal in rights and dignity” and therefore deserve the same opportunities and treatment, whilst simultaneously respecting their different cultures and traditions, political persuasion, sexuality, social origin, status etc.

4. These rights belong primarily to individuals:- This means that they are concerned with the relationship between an individual and the state. Consequently, it is for the government to create a society where each individual can enjoy and freely exercise his or her rights to the full.

5. Human rights encompass the fundamental principles of humanity:- These rights are considered to be basic for the development of human personality and for the sake of human dignity. Examples of such rights are the right to life, freedom from slavery and freedom from torture.

15. What have been the major concerns of India’s foreign policy in the post-Cold War period?    5

Ans. The end of cold war in 1989 has brought about significant changes in the international scene and hence new policy problems for the various states in the developing world including India. The new situation is made by greater uncertainty and complexity.

a) For India, disintegration of the Soviet Union has meant uncertainty on several aspects viz., supply of weapons system, supply of spare parts, diplomatic support on Kashmir and other politico-strategic issues in and outside the United Nations and as a counter weight to US in South Asia.

b) Militancy in Kashmir has emerged as the for most challenge to our foreign policy. Pakistan and the Western countries blamed India for violating human rights and denial or rights to self determination. Gradually, India brought the situation under control.

c) Because of the Kashmir dispute, India’s relations with Pakistan sharply deteriorated. India accused Pakistan of fanning trouble through cross border terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of our country. India conducted nuclear weapon tests in 1998, followed by  Pakistan’s tests. Pakistan resorted to further mischief by secretly sending its soldiers into Kargil in order to cut off the Kashmir valley from the rest of India.

d) Spread of terrorism to corners beyond Kashmir is a challenge as well as opportunity for our foreign policy now a day. India is interested in forging anti-terrorism coalition with as many countries as possible.

16. Describe the nature of boundary dispute between India and China.                         5

Ans. The 1950s were marked by the boundary dispute between India and China, the flash point of which unfortunately caused a war between the two countries in 1962. China first started to claim large parts of Indian territory in North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh) and Ladakh by publishing maps in which these were shown as included in China. China continued extending its borders and also constructed a 110 mile long road across Aksai China area (Ladakh) of India in1956-57. In 1959, China put claim to some 51,000 sq. miles of Indian territory and also denied the validity of McMahon Line. By this time Tibet had been fully integrated into China, it was in a strong position at the India-China border with Chinese troops posted all along. While the two countries were in dispute over the McMahon line issue, China launched a massive attack on India in October 1962, in the NEFA as well as the Ladakh sector. After overrunning large areas of Indian territory, China announced a unilateral ceasefire after occupying huge territory of India 200 sq. miles in the North Eastern sector and 15,000 sq. miles in Ladakh.

17. Explain liberalism and point out its any two features.                     8

Ans. Liberalism is a theory of reforms, for it has stood for reforms in economic, social and political fields. It is a theory of liberty, individual liberty, individual autonomy, for it has argued in favour of the development of human personality. It is a theory of democracy, for it has favoured constitutional government, government based on the consent of the people rule of law, decentralization, free and fair elections. To conclude, we may highlight three aspects of liberalism which clearly help us in understanding its meanings : in social sphere, liberalism stands for secularism and a society that opposes, all kinds of social discrimination, in economic sphere, it favours a capitalistic economy, individual ownership of the means of production and maximum profit-earning motive, in political sphere it stands for a democratic polity, individual rights and liberties, responsive and responsible government, free and impartial judiciary and the like.  Features of Liberalism:

1. Individual Liberty:- Liberalism is essentially an ideology of liberty. Its love for individual liberty is unquestionable. It has become libertarianism. For the liberals, liberty is the very essence of human personality. It is a means to one’s development.

2. Individual-centred theory:- Liberalism advocates free-market economy, i.e. the capitalistic mode of economy. It believes in private property system, regarding property rights as sacrosanct, maximum profit as the only motive, capitalistic mode of production and distribution as the only essence, the market forces as the controlling means of economy.


Explain the distinction between State and Society.

Ans. The distinction between the state and the society can be explained as under:-

1. Strictly speaking, the state is a political organization; it is society politically organized. Society, on the other hand, is a social organization and has within it, all types of associations (social, economic, religious, political, cultural and the like).

2. In terms of origin, society is prior to the state. Society may be said to have been born the day the human life must have begun. But the state did not begin with the society,

3. Being prior to the state, society is clearly a natural and therefore, an instinctive institution. The state, on the other hand, is artificial, a created institution, it was made when it was needed.

4. The state exists for the society in the same way as a means exists for its end. The state is, therefore, a means and the society is an end.

5. The state is sovereign: no sovereignty means no state, the society is not sovereign, it exists without being sovereign.

6. The state has to have a definite territory. It is, therefore, a territorial organization in so far as it stays on the definite portion of territory: its territorial boundaries are fixed, definite and permanent. Society does have a territory but its territory is not permanent: its place of operation may extend or may get limited.

7. The state has general rules of conduct called the laws: the society, too, has general rules of conduct but they are called rituals, norms, habits and the like.

8. The state’s laws have a binding sanction. The violation of the laws of the state is followed by punishment physical or otherwise or both. The rules of the society, if violated, lead to social boycott, i.e. social exclusion.  

18. Examine the nature of Indian federal system.                            8

Ans. The framers of the Constitution have modified the true nature of Indian federation by incorporating certain non-features in it. These are:

a) Article I of the Constitution describes India as a ‘Union of States’, which implies two things: firstly, it is not the result of an agreement among the States and secondly, the States have no freedom to secede or separate from the Union. Besides, the Constitution of the Union and the States is a single framework from which neither can get out and within which they must function. The federation is a union because it is indestructible and helps to maintain the unity of the country.

b) The Centre appoints the Governors of the States and may take over the administration of the State on the recommendations of the Governor or otherwise. In other words, Governor is the agent of the Centre in the States. The working of Indian federal system clearly reveals that the Governor has acted more as centre’s representative than as the head of the State. This enables the Union government to exercise control over the State administration. The control of the Union over states after the imposition of National Emergency.

c) The equality of units in a federation is best guaranteed by their equal representation in the Uppers House of the federal legislature (Parliament). However, this is not applicable in case of Indian States. They have unequal representation in the Rajya Sabha.


 Explain the Right to Equality and highlight its importance.

Ans. Right to equality means that all citizens enjoy equal privileges and opportunities. It protects the citizens against any discrimination by the State on the basis of religion, caste, race, sex, or place of birth.

Importance of Right to Equality:-

1) Equality before law: Article 14 of the constitution guarantees that all citizens shall be equally protected by the 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

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

19. Analyse the role and functions of the Union Council of Ministers. Highlight the position of the Prime Minister.                    8

Ans. It has enormous powers and manifold responsibilities. All the executive powers of the President are exercised by the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet determines and formulates the internal and external policies of the country. It takes all major decisions regarding defence and security of the country. It has also to formulate policies so as to provide better living conditions for the people. Cabinet has control over national finance. The Cabinet is responsible for whole of the expenditure of the government as well for raising necessary revenues. It is the Cabinet that prepares the text of President’s address to the Parliament. The Cabinet is also responsible for the issuance of Ordinances by the President when the Parliament is not in session. The sessions of the Parliament are convened by the President on the advice of the Cabinet conveyed through the Prime Minister. The Cabinet prepares the agenda of the sessions of The Parliament.

Article 74 (1) of the Constitution states that there shall be a council of ministers with Prime Minister as its head to aid and advice the President who shall exercise his function in accordance with advice tendered. Thus the real power is vested in council of ministers with Prime Minister as its head.


Explain the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India.

Ans. The scope of powers of supreme Court to hear and decide cases is called its jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court has three types of jurisdictions namely original, appellate and advisory.

Original Jurisdiction:- There are certain cases which fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. It means that all such cases begin or originate in the Supreme Court, only.

1. (a) Disputes between the Government of India on the one side and one or more states on the other side.

(b) Disputes between the Government of India and one or more states on one side and one or more States on the other side.

2. The Supreme Court has been invested with special powers in the enforcement of Fundamental Rights. In this connection, it has the power to issue directions or writs.

CASES UNDER Public Interests Litigation (PIL) can also be heard directly. (This is an extra Constitutional practice, there is no mention of PIL in the Constitution).

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, 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. What is Communalism? What is its impact on Indian social and political systems?             8

Ans. Meaning of Communalism:- India is land of multiple faiths and religions leading often to violence and hatred among the people. Those who fan this religious violence do not consider religion as a moral order but use it as a means and weapon to pursue their political ambitions. Communalism essentially leads to violence as it is based on mutual religious hatred.

Impact on Indian social and political systems:- Some general factors are: First the class divisions of our society and the backwardness of our economy has resulted in uneven development of the economy. It is the upper classes of the less-developed communities that have also enjoyed the fruits of limited growth and hence it is they who have also enjoyed political power. Over a period of time some sections among this elite development a sense of rivalry vis-a-vis their counterparts in other communities. In order to draw support from the masses of their own community, these leaders have often encouraged communal feelings to strengthen their political support. Thus, the traditional beliefs of the society are perpetuated to the advantage of the elites. When they, many among communal people, feel insecure because of some adverse circumstances, they often tend to rely on religion, which make them vulnerable to political manipulation to inflame communal passions, sometimes leading to violence.

Communal violence also increases because communal parties carry on religious propaganda in an offensive manner, thereby creating ill-will among the members of the various communities. The political parties in India which adopt a communal attitude should be blamed for encouraging communal feelings which often cause communal violence.


What is environmental degradation? Describe any one problem of environmental degradation.

Ans. We use environmental resources in our day to day life. These resources are renewable and non-renewable resources like coal and petroleum, which are prone to depletion. All human activities have an impact on environment. But in the last two centuries or so, the human influence on environment has increased manifold due to the rapid population growth and the fast development in science and technology. These two are the major factors in reducing the quality of environment and causing its degradation.

Population Growth:- Population growth means more people to eat and breathe, and putting an excessive pressure on land and forest, and ultimately disturbing the ecological balance. Our growing population is putting pressure on land, leading to poor quality of productivity, deforestation (the loss of forest land so necessary for ecological balance and extinction of wild life leading to imbalance in the ecological order, loss of wild life heritage and ultimately dwindling of several species. The growing population is not only a problem for the natural environment, it is a problem for any other aspect of environment, say, for example social, economic, political etc.



(World Order and the United Nations)

21. What is the role of the Secretariat of the United Nations?                     2

Ans. The Secretariat is the United Nations’ executive arm. The Secretariat has an important role in setting the agenda for the UN’s deliberative and decision making bodies of the UN (the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and Security Council), and the implementation of the decision of these bodies.

22. Explain the composition and powers of the UN Security Council.                      5

Ans. The Security Council is the most powerful decision-making body of the United Nations. It has the main responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The Council is a contrast from the General Assembly in respect of both its composition and the decision-making procedure. Unlike the Assembly, the membership of the Council is limited to 15 counties only, out of which five are permanent members. These five countries are China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA.

The power and functions of the Security Council are limited to the task of maintenance of international peace and security. In case, a dispute arises between two or more countries the Council can make appropriate recommendations in the interest of peaceful settlement of the dispute. Nevertheless, these recommendations are not binding on the unwilling states. For example, on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, the Security Council resolutions are not legally binding on either India or Pakistan unless both countries willingly accept them.

23. Analyse the nature of the world order during the Cold War.                          8

Ans. Exchange of diplomats, rules regarding wars, postal communication, air and sea traffic, treatment of foreigners, exchange of currencies are part of international order. These and other aspects of international affairs are regulated through customs and traditions, and also by rules laid down in carious international agreements and treaties. It is also common that states having differences seek the help of another country or an international agency for reaching a compromise. The talks currently in progress between India and Pakistan mirror these features of the existing world order. That a world war has not taken place after 4945 speaks about the positive side of the world order.

Let us recognise that world order cannot be idealistic ignoring the realities completely. Political and other conditions continuously influence the nature of the world order at any time. The World order in turn evolves gradually in response to these developments by making necessary adjustments. The order does not completely break up to give place to a new order, it only makes changes as per the actual trends in the world. These changes may be good or bad, minor or major. In other world, major developments like the end of the Cold War necessitate change in the existing order, not change of the existing order.


Explain the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

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

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

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

3) to achieve international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural or humanitarian fields, and

4) 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.


(Administrative System in India)

24. Mention any two functions of the Cabinet Secretariat.                    2

Ans. Main Functions of Cabinet Secretariat are:-

(1) Cases involving Legislation including the issuing of ordinances. Addresses and messages of the President to the Parliament.

(2) Cases involving negotiation with foreign countries on treaties and agreements etc.

25. What are the functions of the Union Public Service Commission?                     5

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

a) 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.

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

c) To conduct examinations for appointment to All India services.

d) To advise on disciplinary matters affecting government servants.

e) 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.

26. Assess the functions and the role of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).                     8

Ans. The CVC receives complaints directly from the aggrieved party. It also gathers information about corruption and malpractices or misconduct from other sources such as press reports, audit objections, information through parliamentary debates and other forms etc. The complaints about Central Government employees received by the State Vigilance Commissions are forwarded by them to the CVC. On receiving complaints, the Commission may ask:

1) the concerned ministry/department to inquire into them;

2) the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to make an inquiry, and

3) the CBI direction to register a case and conduct an investigation. Prosecution, however, depends on the approval by the appropriate sanctioning authority.

The CVC has laid clown procedures to be followed by the administrative ministries/departments in case of complaints received by them. These complaints are to be dealt with by the ministries/departments concerned. The CVC may advise the ministries/departments in respect of all matters relating to integrity in administration. It may also call for reports, returns or statements from all ministries/departments so as to enable it, to exercise a general check and supervision over vigilance and anti-corruption work in the , ministries/departments. It can also take over under its direct control any complaint or case for further action.  


What is bureaucracy? Explain its role in the development administration.

Ans. The term ‘Bureaucracy’ lacks a definition that is universally accepted. Bureaucracy is sometimes used in a disparaging manner to mean unimaginative, rigid and inefficient government administrators. It is associated with red-tapism, delay and wastefulness.

Role of bureaucracy in the development administration:- Bureaucracy has become a universal phenomenon. It is a pre requisite of modernization of every society. Most developing countries are engaged in the process of nation building and bringing about rapid socio-economic development, i.e. providing social services such as health, education, infrastructure like roads, electricity, productive activities in agriculture, industry etc. the complex of such formidable activities connected with the development enterprise is essentially government’s responsibility.

Bureaucracy constitutes the apparatus and mechanism through which the state realizes its purposes. It has been rightly said that a country’s life is largely shaped by the quality of administration. A plan can succeed only if its administrative implications have been worked out in detail. Hence, a high degree of bureaucratic competence is essential to push through speedy development measures. In most developing countries, the problem. 


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