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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology Chapter wise
Q1. Interest groups are part and parcel of a functioning democracy. Discuss.
Answer: Pressure groups or interest groups are organised and unorganised groups which try to influence governmental policies. They try to protect the interests of their members at different levels. They are the part and parcel of a functioning democracy in the following ways:
- These interest groups start campaigning on any particular issue so that public support can be gained. They take the help of mass media so that the public could pay more attention to them.
- They generally call for a strike, march or protest and try to disrupt the governmental programmes. They often call for strikes and dharnas to raise their voice.
- Generally, business groups form a lobby of the people with common objectives. so that the government could be pressurised to change its policies.
- These groups publish newspapers and control them to propagate about their interests among masses.
Q2. Read the snippets from the debates held in the Constituent Assembly. Identify the interest groups. Discuss what kind of interest groups exist in contemporary India. How do they function?
Answer: Snippets from the debates
- K.T. Shah said that the right to use full employment could and should be made real by a categorical obligation on the part of the state to provide useful work to every citizen who was able and qualified.
- B. Das spoke against classifying the functions of the government as justifiable and non-justifiable. “I think it is the primary duty of Government to remove hunger and render social justice to every citizen and to secure social security … “. The teeming millions do not find any hope that the Union Constitution … will ensure them freedom from hunger, will secure them social justice, will ensure them a minimum standard of living and a minimum standard of public health”.
Ambedkar’s answer was as follows:
- “The Draft Constitution as framed only provides a machinery for the government of the country. It is not a controversy to install any particular party in power as has done in some countries. Who should be in power is left to be determined by the people, as it must be, if the system is to satisfy the tests of democracy.
- On land reform Nehru said, that social forces were such that law could not stand in the way of reforms, interesting reflection on the dynamic between the two. “If law and Parliament do not fit themselves into the changing picture, they cannot control the situation”.
- On the protection of the tribal people and their interests, leaders like Jaipal Singh were assured by Nehru in the following words during the Constituent Assembly debates: “It is our intention and our fixed desire to help them as possible; in as efficient a way as possible to protect them from possibly their rapacious neighbours occasionally and to make them advance”.
- Even as the Constituent Assembly adopted the title Directive Principles of State Policy to the rights that courts could not enforce, additional principles were added with unanimous acceptance. These included K. Santhanam’s clause that the state shall organise village panchayats and endow them with the powers and authority to be effective units of local self government.
- T.A. Ramalingam Chettiar added the clause for promotion of cottage industries on co-operative lines in rural areas. Veteran parliamentarian Thakurdas Bhargava added that the state should organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modem lines.
- Interest groups are people outside the government who support the political parties to gain favours from them when they are in power. These are private organisation formed to influence public policy. They are non political groups whose main aim is to uphold their own interest.
- Political parties are not political parties. In India interest groups adopt two methods i.e. to influence the legislative committees and to help people at the time of natural calamity.
Q3. Create a ‘phad’ or a scroll with your own mandate when standing for school election. (This could be done in small group of 5, like a panchayat).
- Pictorial pictures on the ‘phad’, accompanied with folk music were useful tools to convey the message for able governance and participation. This innovative method of story telling was very effective in bringing awareness to unlettered women.
- Most importantly the campaign conveyed the message, that it was not enough to merely vote, or to stand for election, or to win. But important to know why one is voting for a particular person, what are the traits to look for, and what does he or she stand for .
- The value for integrity is also emphasised through the story and song media of the ‘phad’.
‘Phad’ for school election can have the following mandate:
Creating awareness about the school election.
Why it is necessary not just to vote but stand for election or win.
Why the student should know why one is voting for a candidate.
The traits of a good leader and what the leader stands for.
Q4. Have you heard of Bal Panchayats and Mazdoor Kissan Sanghathan? If not, find out and write a note about them in about 200 words.
Answer: Yes, we have heard about Bal Panchayats and Mazdoor Kisan Sangathan and their description is given ahead:
(i) Bal Panchayat. They were the representatives of different classes elected as Panchs and one representative, i.e., the Head was elected as Sarpanch. They were assigned the work of finding problems of the school so that they could be discussed in their monthly meeting with the Principal Sir and other teachers.
During the morning assembly all the students were asked to share their problems, if any, with their respective representatives. After a very short span of time, the Principal became aware of the problems of the students through the representatives, i.e., the Bal Panchayat. Their problems were discussed in the meeting and suggestions were given. In this way, Bal Panchayat did a very commendable job in removing the problems of the students.
(ii) Kisan Sangathan. Our country is basically an agricultural country where around 70% of the total population is engaged directly or indirectly with agriculture related occupations. In this type of agricultural country, Kisan Sangathans are necessary which work for the benefits of farmers.
Their position is very strong in agriculture dominated states like, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, etc. They even influence the polity of their respective states. These Sangathans bring but the problems of farmers in front of the government and pressurise the government to solve the problems of the farmers. In this way these Kisan Sangathans act as pressure groups or interest groups.
Q5. The 73rd amendment has been monumental in bringing a voice to the people in the Villages. Discuss.
- The 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution ensured the reservation of one third of the total seats for women in all elected offices of local bodies in both the rural and urban areas. Out of this, 17 per cent seats are reserved for women belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes.
- This amendment is significant as for the first time it brought women into elected bodies which also bestowed on them decision making powers. One third of the seats in local bodies, gram panchayats, village panchayats, municipalities, city corporations and district boards are reserved for women.
- The 1993-94 elections, soon after the 73rd amendment brought in 800,000 women into the political processes in a single election. That was a big step indeed in enfranchising women. A constitutional amendment prescribed a three-tier system of local self-governance for the entire country, effective since 1992-93.
Main features of the Act:
- Recognition to Panchayats, as institutions of self government.
- Panchayat’s power and responsibilities to prepare a plan for economic development and social justice.
- Establishment of the 3 tier system of strong Panchayats at village, block and district levels for all states having a population of over 20 lakhs.
- The Act provides guidelines for the structure powers and functions, finance and elections and reservation of seats for the weaker sections of the given area.
Q6. Write an essay on the ways that the Indian Constitution touches peoples’ everyday life, drawing upon different examples.
Answer: (i) The Indian Constitution gave the right of equality to all of its citizens that every one is equal before law. No discrimination shall take place with any one on the basis of his race, colour, caste, creed, etc. It has brought the status of lower castes equal to the status of higher castes.
(ii) The Indian Constitution has given certain fundamental rights which every one enjoys and which are necessary to live a better life. These are given to all irrespective of their castes or creed. In this way people of lower castes can live a better life than before and this is because of our Constitution.
(iii) Our Constitution has made our country a democratic country. It means that there is no place for autocratic rule and people enjoy the top most authority by electing their ruler. So the power rests in the hands of people and touches the everyday life of the people.
(iv) India is a country where a number of religions exist. It was very much necessary to avert any religious clashes among them. That is why Indian Constitution has made our country a secular country which means that the state does not have any religion. It means that equal status is given to all the religions.
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