NCERT Class 8 Civics Chapter 10 - Law and Social Justice

Chapter 10 - Law and Social Justice

Question 1: What are the advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India?
Answer:

• One reason why foreign companies come to India is for cheap labour.
• Wages that the companies pay to workers, like in the U.S.A., are far higher than what they have to pay to workers in poorer countries like India.
• For lower pay, companies can get longer hours of work.
• Additional expenses such as for housing facilities for workers are also fewer. Thus, companies can save costs and earn higher profits.

Question 2: Do you think the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy got justice? Discuss.
Answer:
The victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy got some monetary compensation, but not the justice. It was caused due to the gross neglect of safety measures by the factory management. The government represented the victims in a civil case against UC. It filed a $3 billion compensation case in 1985, but accepted a lowly $470 million. Survivors appealed against the settlement but the Supreme Court ruled that the settlement amount would stand. Today, people are still fighting for justice: for safe drinking water, for health-care facilities and jobs for the people poisoned by UC. They also demand that Anderson, the UC chairman who faces criminal charges, be prosecuted. Hence, the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy didn’t get justice.

Question 3: What do we mean when we speak of law enforcement? Who is responsible for enforcement? Why is enforcement so important?
Answer:
Law enforcement means the implementation of law. Merely making laws is not enough. The government has to ensure that these laws are implemented. This means that the law must be enforced. Enforcement becomes even more important when the law seeks to protect the weak from the strong. For instance, to ensure that every worker gets fair wages, the government has to regularly inspect work sites and punish those who violate the law. When workers are poor or powerless, the fear of losing future earnings or facing reprisals often forces them to accept low wages. Employers know this well and use their power to pay workers less than the fair wage. In such cases, it is crucial that laws are enforced.

Question 4: How can laws ensure that markets work in a manner that is fair? Give two examples to support your answer.
Answer:
Laws ensure that markets work in a manner that is fair by protecting the people from unfair practices. Example:
• Right against Exploitation says that no one can be forced to work for low wages or under bondage.
• No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mines or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
The government has also passed laws to make sure that essential products such as kerosene, food grains etc. don’t cost much so that poor people can easily afford these goods.

Question 5: Write a paragraph on the various roles of the government that you have read about in this unit.
Answer:
The various roles of the government are
• They have to provide public facilities including healthcare, sanitization, water supply etc. and ensure that they are not overtaken by the private companies.
• Enforcing laws like Prevention of Child Labour, No Exploitation etc.
• Fixing minimum wages for the workers and revising it periodically
• Enforcing laws regarding the safety at workspace, safety of environment etc.
• Protecting the interests of consumers against overpricing and standard products.
• Punishing the organisation which don’t follow the policies of the government.

Question 6: What are the sources of environmental pollution in your area? Discuss with respect to a) air; b) water and c) soil. What are the steps being taken to reduce the pollution? Can you suggest some other measures?
Answer:
Sources of environmental pollution are
• Major source of air pollution is smoke from vehicles like cars, buses, bikes etc. that run on petrol and diesel.
• Major source of water pollution is garbage from houses, factories etc.
• Major source of soil pollution is dumbing of plastic or polythene bags in soil.
Steps taken to reduce pollution are
• To avoid air pollution from vehicles, the government has forced the people to get their car certified in the form of Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUC) and to use CNG vehicles.
• To avoid water pollution from factories, the government has forced the companies to dispose the garbage safely. It has also taken strict actions against the companies who violate the environmental laws.
• To avoid soil pollution, the government has imposed a ban on plastic and polythene bags. It has also taken measures to use only cloth bags.
No law or rule can be useful until every citizen takes the responsibility to clean the environment.
Some other measures to be taken are
• We should use carpooling, avoid bursting crackers, use of fans instead of air conditioners.
• We should not litter the garbage here and there; dispose it in dustbin.
• We should avoid using plastic; if we have plastic bags, we have to reuse it.

Question 7: How was environment treated earlier? What has been the change in perception? Discuss.
Answer:
Earlier the environment was treated as a 'free' entity and any industry or an individual could pollute the air and water without any restrictions. Whether it was rivers, air, and groundwater - the environment was being polluted as there were no laws for these. In the recent years, the Bhopal gas tragedy has brought the issue of environment to the front. Now the view of the people has completely changed and they have understood that the environment is something which the next generation will share. There has been an increasing awareness among all that a clean environment is a public facility that cannot be destroyed merely for industrial development. The courts also gave a number of judgments upholding the right to a healthy environment as intrinsic to the Fundamental Right to life.

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