NCERT Class 8 Civics Chapter 3 - Why do we need a Parliament?

Chapter 3 - Why do we need a Parliament?

Question and Answers
Question 1: What are the major functions of the parliament?
Answer:
The major functions of the parliament are:
• To select the National Government
• To control, guide and inform the government
• Law-Making

Question 2: Enlist the components of Indian Parliament.
Answer:

• The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India.
• It is a bicameral legislature composed of the President of India and the two houses.
• The Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People).

Question 3: Write a short note on Lok Sabha.
Answer:

• One of the most important functions of the Lok Sabha is to select the executive. The executive is a group of persons who work together to implement the laws made by the Parliament.
• The Prime Minister of India is the leader of the ruling party in the Lok Sabha.
• Lok Sabha (House of the People), with a total membership of 545
• (543 elected + 2 nominated Anglo-Indian), is presided over by the Speaker.

Question 4: What is ‘Question Hour’ in Parliament?
Or
How does the Parliament control the executive?
Answer:

• The Parliament, while in session, begins with a question hour. The question hour is an important mechanism through which MPs can elicit information about the working of the government.
• This is a very important way through which the Parliament controls the executive.
• By asking questions the government is alerted to its shortcomings, and also comes to know the opinion of the people through their representatives in the Parliament, i.e. the MPs.

Question 5: What are reserved constituencies? What is the purpose behind such constituencies?
Answer:
Reserved constituencies are those constituencies in which seats are reserved for SCs and STs on the basis of their population. This has been done so that the MPs elected from these constituencies will be familiar with and can represent Dalit and Adivasi interests in Parliament.

Question 6: What is coalition government?
Answer:

• Often times in the recent past it has been difficult for a single political party to get the majority that is required to form the government.
• It refers to the alliance formed by political parties after elections when no party has been able to get adequate seats to form a clear majority.  
• They then join together with different political parties who are interested in similar concerns to form which is known as a coalition government.

Question 7: Write a short note on Rajya Sabha.
Answer:

• The Rajya Sabha functions primarily as the representative of the states of India in the Parliament.
• The Rajya Sabha can also initiate legislation and a bill is required to pass through the Rajya Sabha in order to become a law.
• It, therefore, has an important role of reviewing and altering the laws initiated by the Lok Sabha.
• The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of various states.
• There are 233 elected members plus 12 members nominated by the President.

Question 8: How are the representatives elected to the Parliament in India?
Answer:

• The Parliament in our system has immense powers because it is the representative of the people.
• Elections to the Parliament are held in a similar manner as they are for the state legislature.
• The Lok Sabha is usually elected once every five years. The country is divided into numerous constituencies.
• Each of these constituencies elects one person to the Parliament. The candidates who contest elections usually belong to different political parties.
• Once elected, these candidates become Members of Parliament or MPs. These MPs together make up the Parliament.

Question 9: Write few points of difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Answer:

• Lok Sabha
→ Called as House of People
→ It can be dissolved
→ Eligible voters can elect their representative by way of direct elections
→ Lok Sabha is headed by the Speaker
→ The strength of the lower house is 552
→ Lok Sabha has the power of money bill and can reject it
→ The minimum age to become a member is 25 years
→ President can nominate 2 members from Anglo-Indian Community if they are not adequately represented
→ Universal Adult Franchise is the method of election used

• Rajya Sabha
→ Called as Council of States
→ It cannot be dissolved so is a permanent body.
→ Composed of indirectly elected representatives by the elected representatives of the Assemblies of States and Union Territories
→ Vice President is the Chairman of Rajya Sabha
→ The strength of the upper house is 250
→ Rajya Sabha has the power to protect the states’ rights against the Union but cannot reject a money bill
→ The minimum age to qualify as a member is 30 years.
→ President nominates 12 members possessing special knowledge and practical experience in Arts, Literature, Science, Social Service
→ Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferable Vote is the election method used

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