NCERT Solutions for Class 12: Ch 2 The End of Bipolarity Political Science

Exercises

1. Which among the following statements that describe the nature of Soviet economy is wrong?
(a) Socialism was the dominant ideology.
(b) State ownership/control existed over the factors of production.
(c) People enjoyed economic freedom.
(d) Every aspect of the economy was planned and contained by the state.

Answer

(c) People enjoyed economic freedom.

2. Arrange the following in chronological order:
(a) Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
(b) Fall of the Berlin Wall
(c) Disintegration of Soviet Union
(d) Russian Revolution

Answer

(d) Russian Revolution (1917)
(a) Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979)
(b) Fall of the Berlin Wall (Nov 1989)
(c) Disintegration of Soviet Union

3. Which among the following is NOT an outcome of the disintegration of the USSR?
(a) End of the ideological war between the US and USSR
(b) Birth of CIS
(c) Change in the balance of power in the world order
(d) Crises in the Middle East

Answer

(d) Crises in the Middle East

4. Match the following:

i. Mikhail Gorbachev a. Successor of USSR
ii. Shock Therapy b. Military pact
iii. Russia c. Introduced reforms
iv. Boris Yeltsin d. Economic model
v. Warsaw  e. President of Russia

Answer

i. Mikhail Gorbachev c. Introduced reforms 
ii. Shock Therapy d. Economic model
iii. Russia a. Successor of USSR
iv. Boris Yeltsin e. President of Russia
v. Warsaw b. Military pact

5. Fill in the blanks:

(a) The Soviet Political System was based on __________ ideology.
► socialist

(b) _________ was the military alliance started by the USSR.
► Warsaw Pact

(c) _________party dominated the Soviet Union’s political system.
► Communist

(d) _________initiated the reforms in the USSR in 1985.
► Gorbachev

(e) The fall of the _________ symbolised the end of the Cold War.
► Berlin wall

6. Mention any three features that distinguish the Soviet economy from that of a capitalist country like the US.

Answer

The three features that distinguish the Soviet economy from that of a capitalist country like the US were:
• Soviet economy had a complex communications network, vast energy resources including oil, iron and steel, machinery production, and a transport sector that connected its remotest areas with efficiency.
• Soviet Union had a domestic consumer industry that produced everything from pins to cars, though their quality did not match that of the Western capitalist countries.
• The Soviet state ensured a minimum standard of living for all citizens, and the government subsidised basic necessities including health, education, childcare and other welfare schemes.

7. What were the factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR?

Answer

Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union in 1985. He was forced to initiate the reforms in the USSR due to following reasons:
• To keep the USSR abreast of information and technological revolutions at par the West.
• To normalise the relations with that of the West.
• To democratise the Soviet System.
• To loosen the administrative system which exempted ordinary people from the privileges.

8. What were the major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India?

Answer

The major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India were:
• It meant the end of Cold War confrontations. The ideological dispute over whether the socialist system would beat the capitalist system was not an issue any more. The end of the confrontation led an end to arms race and a possible new peace.

• The disintegration of the Soviet Union led to emergence of multipolar system. The end of the Cold War left open only two possibilities: either the remaining superpower would dominate and create a
unipolar system, or different countries or groups of countries could become important players in
the international system, thereby bringing in a multipolar system where no one power could
dominate. As it turned out, the US became the sole superpower thus, the capitalist economy was now the dominant economic system internationally. Institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund became powerful advisors to all these countries since they gave them loans for their transitions to capitalism. Politically, the notion of liberal democracy emerged as the best way to organise political life.

• The end of the Soviet bloc meant the emergence of many new countries. All these countries had
their own independent aspirations and choices. Some of them, especially the Baltic and east European states, wanted to join the European Union and become part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

• The Central Asian countries wanted to take advantage of their geographical location and continue their close ties with Russia and also to establish ties with the West, the US, China and others. Thus, the international system saw many new players emerge, each with its own identity, interests, and economic and political difficulties.

9. What was Shock Therapy? Was this the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism?

Answer

Shock Therapy was a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system. This transformation system was influenced by the world bank and the IMF in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe. Though it varies in intensity and speed amongst the former second world countries but its direction and features were quite similar.
This was not the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism due to following limitations:
• Russia, the large state controlled industrial complex lost about 90 per cent of its industries through sales to private individuals and companies.
• It created “the largest garage sale in history” which led virtual disappearance of entire industries for the restructuring was carried out by market forces in place of government owned policies. Hence, industries were undervalued and sold at throwaway prices.
• It systematically destroyed old system of social welfare.
• The value of ‘ruble’, the Russian currency, declined dramatically due to high rate of inflation and real GDP of Russia also declined between 1989 to 1999.
• The withdrawal of government subsidies pushed large sections of society into poverty and it emerged mafia to start controlling many economic activities.
• Privatisation led to new disparities which divided Russia between rich and poor people creating economic inequality.
• Hence, Shock Therapy brought ruin to economies and disaster upon the people of entire region.

10. Write an essay for or against the following proposition. “With the disintegration of the second world, India should change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with the US rather than with traditional friends like Russia”.

Answer

India should not change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with US, but India is required to maintain healthy relations with Russia because Indo-Russian relations are embedded in a history of trust and common interests and are matched by popular perceptions.

Russia and India share a vision of a multipolar world order i.e. co-existence of several world powers internationally, collective security, greater regionalism, democratisation with the decision-making through bodies like the UN. More than 80 bilateral agreements have been experienced between India and Russia as a part of the Indo- Russia Strategic Agreement of 2001.

India has been benefitted from its relationship on the issues like Kashmir, energy supplies, sharing information on international terrorism, access to Central Asia and balancing its relation with China. Russia is also important for India’s nuclear energy plane and assisting India’s space industry by giving cryogenic rocket to India whenever needed. Co-operation with Russia and its republics like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan in the form of partnership and investment in oil fields has also benefitted India.

Russia is also benefitted from India on ground of the second largest arms market for Russia. Indian military gets most of its hardware from Russia. Russia and India have collaborated on various scientific projects also.
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