NCERT Solutions for Class 11th: Ch 5 Legislature Political Science

1. Alok thinks that a country needs an efficient government that looks after the welfare of the people. So, if we simply elected our Prime Minister and Ministers and left to them the task of government, we will not need a legislature. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer

I do not agree with Alok because leaving the whole task of government with Prime Minister and Ministers would hamper the essence of democracy. The task of the legislature includes law making. It is a complex process that requires the opinion of all sections of society. A legislature is required for this purpose. The legislature helps people to hold the council of ministers accountable, In the absence of legislature, council of ministers would become unresponsive to the people's hopes and aspiration.

2. A class was debating the merits of a bicameral system. The following points were made during the discussion. Read the arguments and say if you agree or disagree with each of them, giving reasons.
• Neha said that bicameral legislature does not serve any purpose.
• Shama argued that experts should be nominated in the second chamber.
• Tridib said that if a country is not a federation, then there is no need to have a second chamber.

Answer

• I do not agree with Neha. Bicameral legislature is necessary for a democratic country with large population and much diversity. Bicameral legislature helps in providing due representation to all sections of the society as well as the monopoly of either the chamber can be approached as ‘check and balance’.

• I agree with Shama that experts should be nominated into the second chamber as they can provide inputs on subjects that require technical knowledge and give rational suggestions for policy making.

• I do not agree with Tridib as federalism is not a pre-condition for having bicameral legislature.Even in a Unitary state, a second chamber is required. The second chamber is essential to serve as a check on hasty and unwise legislation passed by the lower chamber.

3. Why can the Lok Sabha control the executive more effectively than the Rajya Sabha can?

Answer

Lok Sabha exercises control over the executive more effectively than Rajya Sabha because it is a directly elected body. The Council of Ministers is responsible to Lok Sabha and not the Rajya Sabha.

• The Lok Sabha has the power to make laws, ask questions and amend the Constitution.

• The Lok Sabha can remove the government by expressing no-confidence but Rajya Sabha cannot remove any government.

• Lok Sabha has crucial power in controlling the finances as it can reject money bill but Rajya Sabha cannot reject the money bill.

4. Rather than effective control of the executive, the Lok Sabha is a platform for the expression of popular sentiments and people’s expectations. Do you agree? Give reasons.

Answer

I agree with the statement that rather than effective control of the executive, the Lok Sabha is a platform for the expression of popular sentiments and people's expectations. The representatives of the people express the difficulties of the people of their constituencies. They draw the attention of the Government towards the grievances of the people. A debate on a particular bill takes place and opens the path for its modifications, etc. if required. The Parliament enjoys the powers to frame laws on the subjects given in the union list and concurrent list if required.

5. The following are some proposals for making the Parliament more effective. State if you agree or disagree with each of them and give your reasons. Explain what would be the effect if these suggestions were accepted.
• Parliament should work for longer period.
• Attendance should be made compulsory for members of Parliament.
• Speakers should be empowered to penalise members for interrupting the proceedings of the House.

Answer

• I agree with the above proposal that parliament should work for a longer period. There are a large number of issues that require debate and legislation and these are delayed sometimes because the parliament is not in session. To overcome this, the parliament needs to work for a longer time.

• I agree with this proposal as compulsory attendance would lead to presence of members for crucial decisions that require the support of majority. It would also encourage presentation of views across the political spectrum.

• I agree with this proposal as penalising members for interrupting the proceedings of house would lead to less wastage of time. This would also lead to less wastage of the tax payers' money that is incurred to run the parliament.

6. Arif wanted to know that if ministers propose most of the important bills and if the majority party often gets the government bills passed, what is the role of the Parliament in the law making process? What answer would you give him?

Answer

Parliament is an important component of the law making process even though most of the important bills are proposed by ministers because the provisions of the proposed law are required to be debated and these debates can only be conducted in parliament. The opposition also participates in the framing of laws by suggesting changes and thus, it is necessary for legislative procedure to take place in parliament. If, there are differences between the two houses, a joint session of parliament resolves the issues.

7. Which of the following statements you agree with the most? Give your reasons.
• Legislators must be free to join any party they want.
• Anti-defection law has contributed to the domination of the party leaders over the legislators.
• Defection is always for selfish purposes and therefore, a legislator who wants to join another party must be disqualified from being a minister for the next two years.

Answer

I agree with the statement that defection is generally for selfish purposes. Hence a legislator who wants to join another party must be disqualified from being a minister for the next two years. Under 91st Amendment, if it is proved that a member has defected, then such member loses his membership of the House.

8. Dolly and Sudha are debating about the efficiency and effectiveness of the Parliament in recent times. Dolly believed that the decline of Indian Parliament is evident in the less time spent on debate and discussion and increase in the disturbances of the functioning of the House and walkouts etc. Sudha contends that the fall of different governments on the floor of Lok Sabha is a proof of its vibrancy. What other arguments can you provide to support or oppose the positions of Dolly and Sudha?

Answer

Both the statement made by Dolly and Sudha are correct upto some extent. The time spent on debates has decreased and on many occasions, entire sessions of parliament have passed without discussions due to disruption by one party or the other. This has somewhat hindered the law-making process as many progressive legislations have been pending for a long period of time. However, the effectiveness of Parliament as an institution is undiminished as it remains the supreme law making body in the country.

The fall of different governments on the floor of the Lok Sabha reminds us that no government can afford to take its existence for granted. It has to be accountable for its actions. A government cannot survive by acting against the wishes of the majority of elected representatives. This has checked the large concentration of power in the Council of Ministers.

9. Arrange the different stages of passing of a bill into a law in their correct sequence:.
• A resolution is passed to admit the bill for discussion
• The bill is referred to the President of India – write what happens next if s/he does not sign it
• The bill is referred to other House and is passed
• The bill is passed in the house in which it was proposed
• The bill is read clause by clause and each is voted upon
• The bill is referred to the subcommittee – the committee makes some changes and sends it back to the house for discussion
• The concerned minister proposes the need for a bill
• Legislative department in ministry of law, drafts a bill.

Answer

1. The concerned minister proposes the need for a bill
2. A resolution is passed to admit the bill for discussion
3. Legislative department in ministry of law, drafts a bill
4. The bill is referred to the subcommittee - the committee makes some changes and sends it back to the house for discussion
5. The bill is read clause by clause and each is voted upon
6. The bill is passed in the house in which it was proposed
7. The bill is referred to other House and is passed
8. The bill is referred to the President of India

10. How has the system of parliamentary committee affected the overseeing and appraisal of legislation by the Parliament?

Answer

• The system of parliamentary committee has influenced the overseeing and appraisal of legislation by the Parliament as most of decisions regarding the technical points of legislation are referred to these committees. The Parliament rarely rejects any of the suggestions made by the committee.

• These committees have reduced the burden of Parliament as they gather whole information on the bill and can ask any member to appear before it. After that committee sends its report, the Parliament debates on it as well as provide some necessary recommendations and approve it. This has diluted the Parliament's appraisal of legislations to a large extent.
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