NCERT Class 8 Civics Chapter 1 - The Indian Constitution

Chapter 1 - The Indian Constitution

Question and Answers
Question 1: What is meant by the concept of separation of powers? 
Answer:
• According to the Constitution there are three organs of government. These are the legislature, executive and the judiciary.
• In order to prevent the misuse of power by any one branch of Government, the Constitution says that each of these organs should exercise different powers.
• Through this, each organ acts as a check on the other organs of Government and this ensures the balance of power between all three.

Question 2: Name the fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution.
Answer: The fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution include:
• Right to Equality: All persons are equal before the law. This means that all persons shall be equally protected by the laws of the country. It also states that no citizen can be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, caste or sex. Every person has access to all public places including playgrounds, hotels, shops etc. The State cannot discriminate against anyone in matters of employment. 
• Right to Freedom: This includes the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to form associations, the right to move freely and reside in any part of the country, and the right to practise any profession, occupation or business.
• Right against Exploitation: The Constitution prohibits trafficking, forced labour, and children working under 14 years of age.
• Right to Freedom of Religion: Religious freedom is provided to all citizens. Every person has the right to practise, profess and propagate the religion of their choice.
• Cultural and Educational Rights: The Constitution states that all minorities, religious or linguistic, can set up their own educational institutions in order to preserve and develop their own culture.
• Right to Constitutional Remedies: This allows citizens to move to the court if they believe that any of their Fundamental Rights have been violated by the State.

Question 3: What are the factors which the drafting committee took into consideration while drafting the Constitution?
Answer:
• The committee had to keep in mind that India was made up of several different communities who spoke different languages, belong to different religion and have distinct cultures.
• The partition of the country into India and Pakistan was imminent and some of the princely states remained undecided about the future.
• The social economic condition of the vast mass of people appeared dismal. 

Question 4: What do you mean by tyranny of majority?
Answer:
• The tyranny of majority refers to unhealthy situation, where a majority can continuously and forced decision that exclude minorities and go against their interest.
• Every society is prone to this tyranny of their majority. The constitution usually contains rules that ensure that minorities are not excluded from anything that is routinely available to the majority.
• Constitution is precisely to prevent this tyranny or domination by the majority of minority.

Question 5: Discuss the difference between the State and Government.
Answer:
• Government is responsible for administering and enforcing laws. The Government can change with elections.
• The State on the other hand refers to a political institution that represents a sovereign people who occupy a definite territory. The Government (or the executive) is one part of the State.
• Example: The Indian State, Nepali State

Question 6: Explain the functions of the organs of government.
Answer: According to the constitution, there are three organs of the government. These are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
• The legislature refers to our elected representatives.
• The executive is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government.
• The judiciary refers to the system of courts in the country.

Question 7: Write a brief note on the struggle for freedom in Nepal.
Answer:
• In Nepal there was a people's struggle in 1990 that established democracy that lasted for 12 year until 2002.
• In October 2002, King Gyanendra began taking over different aspects of the government with the army's assistance.
• In 2006 people's movement for democracy began gaining immense force. 
• In April 2006, the King restored the Third Parliament and asked the political parties to form a government.
• In 2008, Nepal became a democracy after abolishing the monarchy.

Question 8: What are the main features of 'Right to Equality'?
Answer:
•  All persons are equal before the law. This means that all persons shall be equally protected by the laws of the country.
• It also states that no citizen can be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, caste or sex.
• Every person has access to all public places including playgrounds, hotels, shops etc.
• The State cannot discriminate against anyone in matters of employment. 
• The practice of untouchability has also been abolished.

Question 9: Why does a democratic country need a constitution?
Answer:
• A Constitution helps serve as a set of rules and principles that all persons in a country can agree upon as the basis of the way in which they want the country to be governed.
• The constitution defines the nature of the country's political system.
• The constitution of lays down rules that guards against the misuse of authority by our political leaders.
• The constitution also ensure that a dominant group does not use its power against other less powerful people or group.
• The constitution helps to protect us against certain decisions that we might take that could have an adverse effect on the larger principles that the country believe in.

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