Federalism Class 10 Important Questions with Answers

Class 10 Civics Chapter 2 Federalism Important Questions and answers cover these topics and help students to understand the concepts better. Students can solve these for practice. They may come across some of these questions in the board exam.

Students can clear their doubts from the chapter by solving these CBSE Class 10 Civics Important Questions and prepare well for the board exams. The links to download the PDF version of these questions are given in a link in this article.

Class 10 Civics Chapter 2 Federalism Important Questions

1. Which state in India has its own Constitution? (2012)

Answer: Jammu and Kashmir

2. What is Rural local self government popularly known as? (2013)

Answer: Panchayati Raj

3. Which local body has a ‘Mayor’ as its head? (2014)

Answer: Head of Municipal Corporation is a Mayor.

4. What other factors besides politics keep the federations united? (2015)

Answer: Besides politics, other factors which keep the federations united are culture, ideology and history. Culture of trust, cooperation, mutual respect and restraint has also helped in the smooth functioning of nations.

5. What was the main objective of the Constitutional Amendment made in 1992 in India? (2015)

Answer: The main objective of the Constitutional Amendment in 1992 was to strengthen the three-tier system of governance, i.e., make the Panchayati Raj Institution and the urban local bodies more powerful and effective.

6. What status has been given to the ‘Hindi’ language by the Constitution of India? (2013)

Answer: Hindi has been given the status of ‘Official language’ by the Constitution of India.

7. Much of the official work in Indian States is done in which language? (2014)

Answer: Much of the official work in Indian States is done in the official language of the concerned state.

8. What is Federalism?

Answer: Federalism is a system of government in which the power is divided between a central authority and various constituent units of the country. This vertical division of power among different levels of governments is referred to as federalism. Federalism is one of the major forms of power-sharing in modem democracies.

9. Name the subject list from which both the Union and the State governments can make laws? (2017 D)

Answer: Concurrent List

10. Explain the vertical division of power by giving examples from India. (2013)

Answer: When power is shared among governments at different levels, i.e., the Union or the Central Government, the State Government and the Municipality and Panchayat at the lower level. This division of power involving higher and lower levels of government is called the vertical division of power.

Vertical division of power in India:

The Constitution declares India as a Union of States. Although the word ‘Federation’ is not used, the Indian Union is based on the principles of federation. The Constitution originally provided for a two-tier system of government, the Union Government or the Central Government representing Union of India and the State Governments.

A third-tier of federation was added in the form of Panchayats and Municipalities. As in any federation, these different tiers enjoy separate jurisdiction. The Constitution provides for a three-fold distribution of legislative powers between the Union Government and State Government. It contains three lists:

  1. Union List (97 Subjects)
  2. State List (66 Subjects)
  3. Concurrent List (47 Subjects)

11. Why is decentralisation favoured in democracy? Identify any two reasons. (2014)

Answer: Five advantages of decentralisation of power:

  1. When power is taken away from Central and State Governments and given to local governments, it is called decentralisation. The basic idea behind decentralisation is that there are a large number of problems and issues which are best settled at the local level. People have better knowledge of problems in their localities.
  2. They also have better ideas on where to spend money and how to manage things more efficiently.
  3. Besides, at the local level, it is possible for the people to directly participate in decision making. This helps to inculcate a habit of democratic participation.
  4. Local government is the best way to realise one important principle of democracy, namely local self-government.
  5. The need for decentralisation was recognised in our Constitution. A major step towards decentralisation was taken in 1992. The Constitution was amended to make the third tier of democracy more powerful and effective.

12. India comes under which type of federation and why? (2014)

Answer: India comes under ‘a holding together’ type federation. In this type of federation, a large country divides its power between the constituent States and the National government. There is one government for the entire country and the others are governments at the State level. Both Central and State Governments enjoy their power independent of the other.

The Central government tends to be more powerful vis-a-vis the states. Often different constituent units of the federation have unequal powers. For example, special powers have been granted to Jammu & Kashmir.

13. State two agreements through which federations have been formed. Give an example of each.

Answer: (i) ‘Coming together’ federations—This agreement induces independent states coming together on their own to form a bigger unit, so that by pooling sovereignty and retaining identity they can increase their security.
Examples are: USA, Switzerland and Australia. All the constituent states have equal power and are strong vis-a-vis the federal government.

(ii) ‘Holding together’ federations — In this agreement, a large country decides to divide its power between the constituent States and the national government. The Central Governments tend to be more powerful vis-a-vis the states. Often different constituent units of the federation have unequal powers. Some units are granted special powers, for example, India granted special powers to Jammu & Kashmir.
Other examples are Spain and Belgium.

14. Which five provisions of the constitutional amendment of 1992 really strengthened the third tier of democracy in India? Explain. (2015, 2013, 2012)

Answer: Major steps towards decentralisation and strengthening of third tier taken in 1992 were:

  1. Now it is constitutionally mandatory to hold regular elections to Local Government bodies.
  2. Seats are reserved in elected bodies for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes (OBCs).
  3. Atleast one-third of all positions and seats are reserved for women.
  4. An independent institution called the State Election Commission was created to conduct Panchayat and Municipal elections.
  5. The State Governments are required to share some powers and revenue with Local Government bodies.

15. Why has federalism succeeded in India? Which are the policies adopted by India that have ensured it? Explain. (2013, 2012)

Answer: Reasons for success of federalism in India are:

  1. Clearly laid out Constitutional Provisions providing a three-fold distribution of powers in the three lists—Union List, State List and Concurrent List—between the Union Government and State Governments.
  2. The nature of democratic politics in our country which ensures that the spirit of federalism, respect for diversity and desire for living together became a shared ideal.
  3. The creation of linguistic states. Boundaries of several old states of India were changed in order to create new states. This was done to ensure that people who spoke the same language lived in the same state. Later some states were created to recognise differences based on culture, ethnicity or geography.
    For example: Nagaland, Uttrakhand, Jharkhand, Telangana, etc.
  4. Restricting Centre-State relations. The constitutional arrangements for sharing power work depending on how the ruling parties and leaders follow these arrangements. For a long time, the same party ruled both at the Centre and in most of states. Post-1990 saw the rise of regional parties. Since no single party got a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, the national parties had to enter into an alliance which led to a new culture of power sharing and respect for autonomy of State Governments.

16. Explain any five features of federalism. (2015)

Answer: Features of federalism:

  1. There are two or more levels of government.
  2. Different levels of government govern the same citizens, where each level has its own jurisdiction in specific matters of legislation, taxation and administration.
  3. Existence and authority of each level of government is constitutionally governed.
  4. The fundamental provisions of the Constitution cannot be unilaterally changed. Such changes require the consent of both the levels of government.
  5. Courts have the power to interpret the Constitution and powers of the different levels of government. The highest court acts as the umpire if any dispute arises between different levels of governments.
  6. Sources of revenue for each level of government are specified to ensure its financial autonomy.
  7. Federal system has dual objectives. To safeguard and promote unity of the country, and to accommodate regional diversity.

17. Describe the three forms of power sharing among different organs of government in India. (2014)

Answer: The Constitution declared India as a Union of States based on the principles of federalism. The Constitution originally provided for a two-tier system of government, the Union or the Central Government representing Union of India and the State Governments. Later, a third tier was added in the form of Panchayats and Municipalities.

As in any federation, these different tiers enjoyed separate jurisdiction. The Constitution provided a three-fold distribution of legislative powers:

  1. Union List includes subjects of national importance, i.e., defence of the country, foreign affairs, banking, communications and currency.
  2. State List contains subjects of state and local importance, i.e., police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation.
  3. Concurrent List includes subjects of common interest to both the Union Government as well as the State Governments, i.e., education, forests, trade unions, marriages, adoption and succession.
    In case of dispute, law made by the Union Government shall prevail.
  4. Residuary—Subjects which do not fall in any of the three lists, i.e., computer software, etc. Union Government has the power to legislate such subjects.
    • As India is an example of ‘holding together’ federation, all states in the Indian Union do not have identical powers. Some states enjoy special status such as Jammu & Kashmir. There are some states too small to become independent like the Union Territories of Chandigarh and Lakshadweep.
    • This sharing of power between the Union Government and State Governments is basic to the structure of the Constitution. Any change to it, has to be passed by both the Houses of the Parliament with at least two-third majority.
    • The judiciary plays an important role in the implementation of constitutional procedures. In case of any dispute about division of powers, the High Courts and the Supreme Court make a decision.

18. Describe in brief the language policy of India?

Answer:

  1. Our Constitution did not give the status of national language to any one language.
  2. The formation of linguistic states united the country and made administration easier.
  3. The leaders of our country adopted a very cautious attitude in spreading the use of Hindi. Hindi was identified as official language.
  4. The banning of use of English for official purposes in 1965 took a violent form in Tamil Nadu. The Central Government responded by agreeing to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes.
  5. Promotion of Hindi is an official policy of the Government of India but it does not impose Hindi on states where people speak a different language.
  6. Besides Hindi, there are 21 other languages recognised as scheduled languages by the Constitution.
  7. This flexibility shown by Indian leaders helped our country avoid the situation that Sri Lanka finds itself in.

19. What were the major steps taken to make decentralisation more effective?
Or
What amendments were made in the Constitution in order to make the third tier of democracy (Local Government) more powerful and effective?

Answer: Major steps towards decentralisation taken in 1992 are:

  1. Now it is constitutionally mandatory to hold regular elections to Local Government bodies.
  2. Seats are reserved in elected bodies for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes (OBCs).
  3. Atleast one-third of all positions are reserved for women.
  4. The State Election Commission was created to conduct Panchayat and Municipal elections.
  5. The State Governments are required to share some powers and revenue with Local Government bodies.

20. Explain the structure of the new Panchayati Raj institutions, both in rural and urban areas.

Answer: Rural Local Government is known by the name of Panachayati Raj/ Democratic decentralization.

  • Each village or group of villages has a Gram Panchayat.
  • Panch, President or Sarpanch are directly elected by all the adult population of the village and is the decision-making body.
  • The Panchayat works under the supervision of Gram Sabha, with all the voters as its members.
  • The local structure goes up to the district level—a group of Gram Panchayats form a Panchayat Samiti or Block or Mandal.
  • All the Panchayat Samitis or Mandals together constitute the Zilla Parishad which consists of elected members.
  • Lok Sabha members, Local MLAs and officers are also members of the Zilla Parishad.
  • Its Chairperson is the political head of the Parishad.

Urban areas local bodies.

  • Municipalities are set up in towns.
  • Big cities are constituted into Municipal Corporations.
  • Both are controlled by elected bodies consisting of people’s representatives.
  • Municipal chairperson is the political head of the Municipality.
    The head of Municipal Corporation is an officer called the Mayor.

21. How is federal power sharing more effective today than in the early years? Explain. (2017 OD)
Answer:

  1. Federal power sharing is more effective because of the nature of democratic politics in India. It has ensured that the spirit of federalism, respect for diversity and desire for living together have become a shared ideal in our country.
  2. Federal power sharing has helped to inculcate a habit of democratic participation. Federal power sharing is the best way to realise one important principle of democracy, namely local self-government. Constitutional status for local government has helped to deepen democracy.
    • It has increased women’s representation and voice in democracy.
    • Federal power sharing has led to formation of linguistic states which has actually made the country more united. It has also made administration easier.
    • It reduces the power of the Central government and gives power to regional governments.
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