Chapter 2 Federalism Important Questions Class 10 Political Science can help to strengthen your problem-solving skills. It will help test your knowledge and understanding of the chapter and can point out any areas that you may need to pay more attention to.
Chapter 2 Class 10 Political Science Extra Questions will help them to better prepare for the exam. It will also give students an idea of the type of questions they may encounter in the exam.
Chapter 2 Federalism Important Questions and Answers Class 10 Political Science
Chapter 2 Federalism Very Short Answer Questions (1 Mark)
1. What was the main objective of the Constitutional Amendment made in 1992 in India?
The main objective of the Constitutional Amendment in 1992 was to strengthen the three-tier system of governance, i.e., make the Panchayati Raj Institution and the urban local bodies more powerful and effective.
2. What is ‘Federalism”?
A system of government in which the power is divided between a central authority and various constituent units of the country.
3. What is Federal system of Government?
In a Federal system, the Central Government cannot order the state government to do something. State Government has powers of its own for which it is not answerable to the Central Government.
4. What form of government was existing in Sri Lanka?
A unitary system where the national government has all the powers.
5. What is Rural local self government popularly known as?
6. What does Jurisdiction’ mean?
The area over which government has legal authority, whether geographical boundaries or certain kinds of subjects.
7. What is ‘coming together federation’?
When independent states come together on their own, form a bigger unit, so that by pooling sovereignty and retaining identity, they can increase their security.
8. Which local body has a ‘Mayor’ as its head?
Head of Municipal Corporation is a Mayor.
9. What are the dual objectives of a federal system?
To safeguard and promote unity of the country and at the same time accommodate regional diversity.
10. Name the subject list from which both the Union and the State governments can make laws?
11. What are residuary Subjects?
Subjects which do not fall into any of the three lists like computer software and its related issues.
12. What is the role of judiciary in power sharing arrangement?
Overseeing the implementation of constitutional provisions and procedures.
13. What are the examples of coming together federation?
USA, Switzerland and Australia.
14. What are the examples of holding together federation?
India, Spain and Belgium.
15. What is the basic idea behind decentralisation?
There are a large number of problems and issues which are best settled at the local level.
16. What is a Panchayat Samiti?
A few Gram Panchayats are grouped together to form a Panchayat Samiti or a Block.
17. What is a Zila Parishad?
All the Panchayat Samitis or mandals in a district together constitute the Zila Parishad.
Chapter 2 Federalism Short Answer Questions (3 Marks)
1. Seats are reserved for women in the local self-government. Seeing the position of women in India as well as the corruption in politics, how far do you think this reservation will help?
The reservation of seats for women is an important step towards improving India’s democracy. However, given India’s structure of power and corruption, women’s involvement in elections remains extremely difficult. However, now that seats have been allotted for them, at least some women will come up to vote in the elections.
2. Why is it very difficult to make changes in the power-sharing arrangement between the Union Government and State Governments? Explain with examples.
It is difficult to reform the power-sharing system between the Union and state governments. The changes cannot be made by Parliament alone. Any proposal must first be accepted by both chambers of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Any choice must be approved by at least two-thirds of the voting population. The proposed amendment must then be approved by at least half of the state legislatures.
3. What are the three-fold distribution of legislative powers provided in the Indian Constitution between the Union Government and State Governments?
(i) Union List includes subjects of national importance such as defence of the country, foreign affairs, banking, communications and currency. The Union Government alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the Union List.
(ii) State List contains subjects of State and local importance such as police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation. The State Governments alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the State List.
(iii) Concurrent List includes subjects of common interest to both the Union Government as well as the State Governments, such as education, forest, trade unions, marriage, adoption and succession. Both the Union as well as the State Governments can make laws on the subjects mentioned in this list. If their laws conflict with each other, the law made by the Union Government will prevail.
4. Why the exact balance of power between the central and State Governments does vary from one federation to other federations? Explain with example.
(i) Coming together Federation: In this type of federation independent units come together on their own to form a union or federation. Their main aim is to form a bigger unit, so that by pooling sovereignty and retaining their identity they can increase their security. Federations of USA, Switzerland and Australia are examples.
(ii) Holding Together Federations: Under this type of federation, the federal government decides to divide its power between the constituent states and the national government. In this, type of government the central government tends to be more powerful vis-a-vis states. Holding together sometimes gives unequal power to constitute states. Some states are granted special powers. India, Spain and Belgium federations are the examples of Holding Together Federations.
5. Which are the units of Indian Union that enjoy little power? Why?
(i) The Union Territories do not have the powers of the state. The Central government has special power in running these territories.
(ii) These are areas which are too small to become an independent state but which could not be merged with any of the existing states.
(iii) These are areas like Chandigarh, Lakshadweep or Capital City of Delhi, etc.
6. Critically examine the concept of Decentralization in India.
The need of decentralization is very much recognized in Indian constitution and various attempts have been made to decentralize power to village and towns. Panchayats in villages and municipalities in towns have been set up in all the states of the country.
(i) But in all practical the concept of decentralization is not very much applied in all the state.
(ii) The local bodies are directly under the control of state government.
(iii) The elections to these local bodies are not held regularly.
(iv) Local governments do not have any powers or resources of their own, like Agriculture and
7. Explain the vertical division of power by giving examples from India.
When power is shared among governments at different levels, i.e., the Union or the Central Government, the State Government and the Municipality and Panchayat at the lower level. This division of power involving higher and lower levels of government is called the vertical division of power.
Vertical division of power in India:
The Constitution declares India as a Union of States. Although the word ‘Federation’ is not used, the Indian Union is based on the principles of federation. The Constitution originally provided for a two-tier system of government, the Union Government or the Central Government representing Union of India and the State Governments.
A third-tier of federation was added in the form of Panchayats and Municipalities. As in any federation, these different tiers enjoy separate jurisdiction. The Constitution provides for a three-fold distribution of legislative powers between the Union Government and State Government. It contains three lists:
(i) Union List (97 Subjects)
(ii) State List (66 Subjects)
(iii) Concurrent List (47 Subjects)
8. India comes under which type of federation and why?
India comes under ‘a holding together’ type federation. In this type of federation, a large country divides its power between the constituent States and the National government. There is one government for the entire country and the others are governments at the State level. Both Central and State Governments enjoy their power independent of the other.
The Central government tends to be more powerful vis-a-vis the states. Often different constituent units of the federation have unequal powers. For example, special powers have been granted to Jammu & Kashmir.
9. What is the condition for making any change in the basic structure of the Constitution?
(i) The sharing of power between the Union Government and the State Governments is basic to the structure of the Constitution.
(ii) It is not easy to make changes to this power sharing arrangement. The Union Parliament cannot on its own change this arrangement.
(iii) Any change to it has to be first passed by both the houses of Parliament with at least two-third majority. Then it has to be ratified by the legislatures of at least half of the total States.
10. ‘The creation of the linguistic states was the first and major test for democratic politics in our country’. Explain the statement.
(i) In 1947, the boundaries of several old states of India were changed in order to create new states. This was done to ensure that people who spoke the same language lived in the same State.
(ii) Some states were created not on the basis of language but to recognize differences based on culture, ethnicity or geography. These include states like Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.
(iii) When the demand for the states on the basis of language was raised, some national leaders feared that it would lead to the disintegration of the country. The central government resisted the idea of linguistic states for some time.
(iv) But the creation of linguistic states has actually made the country more united and it also made the administration easier.
11. ‘Promotion of Hindi continues to be the official policy of the Government of India’. Explain the statement.
(i) According to the Constitution, the use of English for official purposes was to stop in 1965. However, many non- Hindi speaking states demanded that the use of English continue. So, the Central Government responded by agreeing to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes
(ii) However, the promotion of Hindi continues to be the official policy of the Government of India. Promotion does not mean that the Central Government can impose Hindi on states where people speak a different language.
(iii) The flexibility shown by Indian political leaders helped our country avoid the kind of situation that Sri Lanka finds itself in.
12. What is the rationale for decentralisation of power that resulted in a third-tier government called local government in India in 1992?
(i) Most of the Federal governments have two tiers of governments. But a vast country like India cannot be run only through these two-tiers.
(ii) Many states in India are as large as independent countries of Europe. In terms of population, Uttar Pradesh is bigger than Russia; Maharashtra is about as big as Germany.
(iii) Many of these states are internally diverse. Thus, federal power sharing in India needed another tier of government, below that of the State governments that is local self-governments.
Chapter 2 Federalism Long Answer Questions (5 Marks)
1. Describe the key features of Federalism/ Federal state.
(i) There are two or more levels of government.
(ii) Different tiers of government govern the same citizens, but each tier has its own jurisdiction in specific matters of legislation, taxation and administration.
(iii) The jurisdictions of the respective levels or tiers of government are specified in the constitution.
(iv) The fundamental provisions of the Constitution cannot be unilaterally changed by one level of government. Such changes require the consent of both levels of government.
(v) Courts have the power to interpret the Constitution and the powers of different levels of government. The highest court acts as an umpire if disputes arise between different levels of government in the exercise of their respective powers.
(vi) Sources of revenue for each level of government are clearly specified to ensure its financial autonomy.
2. ‘The Constitution of India declared India as a Union of states…. the Indian Union is based on the principles of federalism’. Justify the statement.
(i) India has a three-tier system of government: The central, the state and the local self-government.
(ii) There is a clear division of legislative powers in the constitution among these levels of Government such as the Union list, the State list and the Concurrent list.
(iii) The Union Parliament cannot make changes in the basic structure of the constitution. Any amendment needs two third majority in the Parliament and also must be ratified by at least half of the states.
(iv) Judiciary plays an important role in overseeing the implementation of constitutional provisions and procedures. In case of any dispute about the division of powers between the central government and the state governments, the High Courts and the Supreme Court make a decision.
(v) Both the levels of governments have the power to raise resources by levying taxes in order to carry on various responsibilities.
3. What policies strengthened the federalism of India?
(i) Linguistic States: Since 1947 many changes have been done in the political map of India. Many old states have vanished and many new states have been created. Areas, boundaries and names of the states have been changed. In 1947, the boundaries of several old states of India were changed in order to create new states. This was done to ensure that people who spoke the same language lived in the same state. Some states were created to recognize differences based on culture, ethnicity or geography.
(ii) Language policy of India: The constitution of India does not give the status of national language to any of the language. Though Hindi was identified as the official language but the central government has not imposed Hindi on states where people speak a different language. Besides Hindi there are twenty one other languages recognized as Scheduled languages by the constitution. Most of the states have their own official languages which are used in the offices. Since independence Indian Leaders have adopted a very cautious attitude in spreading the use of Hindi. According to constitution the use of English for official purposes was to stop in 1965 which was not liked by some of the states. So the central government responded by agreeing to continue the use of English along with Hindi as official language.
(iii) Centre-state relations in India: Earlier in India for a long time, the same party ruled both at centre and state. This meant the state government did not exercise their rights as autonomous federal units. As and when ruling party at state level was different, the parties that ruled at the Central tried to undermine the powers. But after 1990 significant changes occurred. There was rise of regional political parties in many states of the country. This was also the beginning of the era of coalition governments at the centre.
4. Explain the structure of the new Panchayati Raj institutions, both in rural and urban areas.
Rural Local Government is known by the name of Panachayati Raj/ Democratic decentralization.
(i) Each village or group of villages has a Gram Panchayat.
(ii) Panch, President or Sarpanch are directly elected by all the adult population of the village and is the decision-making body.
(iii) The Panchayat works under the supervision of Gram Sabha, with all the voters as its members.
(iv) The local structure goes up to the district level—a group of Gram Panchayats form a Panchayat Samiti or Block or Mandal.
(v) All the Panchayat Samitis or Mandals together constitute the Zilla Parishad which consists of elected members.
(vi) Lok Sabha members, Local MLAs and officers are also members of the Zilla Parishad.
(vii) Its Chairperson is the political head of the Parishad.
Urban areas local bodies:
(i) Municipalities are set up in towns.
(ii) Big cities are constituted into Municipal Corporations.
(iii) Both are controlled by elected bodies consisting of people’s representatives. Municipal chairperson is the political head of the Municipality.
(iv) The head of Municipal Corporation is an officer called the Mayor.