Class 8 Civics Chapter 3 Why do We Need a Parliament Important Questions and Answers

CBSE Class 8 Civics Chapter 3 Why do We Need a Parliament Important Questions cover the major concepts of the chapter. Solving answers of these important questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising the questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

CBSE Class 8 Civics Chapter 3 Why do We Need a Parliament Important Questions PDF

Very Short Answer Type Questions

1. What is the advantage of the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)? [V. Imp.]
Answer:
 Cutting of trees has been stopped.

2. Name the two Houses of the Parliament.
Answer:
 The Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

3. What is the term or tenure of the Lok Sabha?
Answer:
The tenure of the Lok Sabha is 5 years.

4. What makes the Indian Parliament powerful?
Answer:
 It is the representative of the people.

5. What do you mean by the executive? [Imp.]
Answer:
 The executive is a group of persons who work together to implement the laws made by the Parliament.

6. Who is the leader of the ruling party in the Lok Sabha? [V. Imp.]
Answer: 
The Prime Minister is the leader of the ruling party in the Lok Sabha.

7. Name the ministries which are housed in the North Block?
Answer:
 The Minister of Finance and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

8. Who nominates the 12 members of the Rajya Sabha? [Imp.]
Answer: 
The President of India nominates the 12 members of the Rajya Sabha.

9. How is the question hour an important mechanism?
Answer: 
It is through this mechanism that MPs can elicit information about the working of the government.

10.What has been done to give adequate representation to the communities that have been historically marginalised? [V. Imp.]
Answer: 
Some seats are reserved in the Parliament for people belonging to SC and ST category.

Short Answer Type Questions

1: What are the basic ideals of a democracy?

Answer: The basic ideals of democracy are:

  • The participation of the citizens in the government’s decision- making.
  • The need for the government to have the consent of its citizens in all major issues taken by it.

2: What is the purpose of a Parliament?
Answer: The Parliament enables citizens of India to participate in decision making and control the government.

3: What was the main principle of the Indian constitution?
Answer: The main principle of the Indian constitution was Universal adult franchise. All adults in free India could vote and participate in decision- making.

4: How can all the citizens participate in the decision–making process of the government?

Answer: In a democracy general elections are held and all adults have a right to vote. The citizens elect a few people to represent them in the Parliament. The Parliament is made up of all these representatives. These representatives are known as Members of the Parliament. One group, from among these elected representatives forms the government. It is through these representatives that the citizens take part in the decision-making of the government.

5: Who designed the Parliament house in India?
Answer: The Parliament house in India was designed by the British architect Herbert Baker.

6: What is an EVM?

Answer: An EVM is an Electronic Voting Machine used for elections in India. Indian voting machines use a two-piece system with a balloting unit presenting the voter with a button for each choice connected by a cable to an electronic ballot box.

7: What is a constituency?
Answer: The country is divided into many areas for election purposes. Each area is called a constituency. A representative is elected from each constituency to serve in the legislative body.

8: Mention the 2 houses of the Indian Parliament.
Answer: The 2 Houses of the Indian Parliament are
(i) The Rajya Sabha
(ii) The Lok Sabha

9: What are the three major duties of the Parliament?

Answer: The three major duties of the Parliament are…

  • To Select the National Government
  • To Control, Guide and Inform the Government
  • Law-Making

10: How is a National government selected?

Answer: After the Lok Sabha elections, a list is prepared showing how many MPs belonging to each political party have won the elections. The Political party which has the majority of MPs will form the National government.
A majority Party should have at least 272 MPs, that is, more than half of the total number of MPs in the Lok Sabha.

11. How do the individuals give approval to the government? [V. Imp.]

Answer: One way of giving approval to the government is through election’s. People would elect their representatives to the Parliament. Then one group from among these elected representatives forms the government. The Parliament, which is made up of all representatives together, controls and guides the government. Thus, people, through their chosen representatives form the government and also control it.

12: Use the term ‘Constituency’ and ‘Represent’ to explain who an MLA is and how the person gets elected?

Answer: An MLA is the Member of Legislative Assembly. Each state is divided into different ‘Constituencies’. The MLA is the elected member who represents a particular constituency.

13. How are the members of the Rajya Sabha elected? 

Answer: 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. 

14. Under what circumstances is the coalition government formed? Or Write a note on the coalition government. [V. Imp.]

Answer: The coalition government is a phenomenon of the recent past. At times it so happens that one political party does not get a clear majority that is required to form the government. In such circumstances a group of political parties come together to form a government. These political parties are usually interested in similar concerns. The government formed by these parties is popularly known as the coalition government.

15. Explain the basic idea behind the representative democracy? 

Answer: representative democracy is a system of government in which all eligible citizens vote on representatives to pass laws for them. All of these elected officials supposedly listen to the populace and do what’s best for the nation, state or jurisdiction as a whole. 

Long Answer Type Questions

1. How is the national government formed?

Answer: After the Lok Sabha elections are declared, a list is prepared showing how many MPs belong to each political party. For a political party to form the government, they must have a majority of elected MPs. The total membership of the Lok Sabha is 545, in which 543 are elected members while 2 are nominated. Thus, a party should have at least half the number i.e., 272 members or more to have a majority. The opposition in Parliament is formed by all the political parties that oppose the majority party or coalition formed. The largest amongst these parties is 
known as the Opposition party.

2. Write a brief note on the Rajya Sabha.

Answer: The Rajya Sabha is also called the Council of States. The Rajya Sabha functions primarily as the representative of the states of India in the Parliament. It can also initiate legislation and a bill is required to pass through the Rajya Sabha in order to become a law. In this way, it plays an important role of reviewing and altering, if alterations are required, 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. The total strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245, in which 233 members are elected while 12 members are nominated by the President. The Rajya Sabha is chaired by the Vice-President of India.

3. What is meant by the Opposition parties? What role do they play in the government? [Imp.]

Answer: After election results are declared, the leader of the party with clear majority of elected members form a government. The other political parties form the opposition. The largest amongst these parties is known as the Opposition party.

The Opposition parties play a crucial role in the healthy functioning of a democracy. They keep a check on the government by highlighting its drawbacks in various policies and programmes. They also mobilise popular support for their own policies.

4. Discuss the role and functions of the Parliament?

 Answer: The parliament is the most important institution in a democracy. It performs the following role and functions:
(i) The Lok Sabha selects the executive, which is a group of persons who work together to implement the laws made by the Parliament.
(ii) The Parliament controls, guides and informs the government. The question hour with which the Parliament in session begins, 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.
The government gets valuable feedback and is kept on its toes by the questions asked by the MPs. In addition, in all matters dealing with finances, the Parliament’s approval is crucial for the government. This is one of the several ways in which the Parliament controls, guides and informs the government.
(iii) The Parliament makes law for the entire country.

5: Why do you think our national movement supported the idea that all adults have a right to vote? 

Answer: Under colonial rule, the people had lived in fear of the British govt. & did not agree with many of the decisions that they took.

  • But they faced great danger if they tried to criticised these decisions.
  • The freedom movement changed this situation & the nationalists began to openly criticise the British govt & make demands.
  • They demanded that there be elected members in the legislature with a right to discuss the budget & ask questions.

That is why nationalist movement supported the idea of universal adult franchise, so that the people can take part in the decision making of the country.

6: Discuss with your teacher the difference between a State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) and the Parliament (Lok Sabha)

Answer: 

Parliament (Lok Sabha)State Legislature Assembly (Rajya Sabha)
The Members of Lok Sabha are directly elected by the peopleThe members of Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by members of various legislative assemblies
There are 542 members & 2 are nominated by the PresidentThere are 245 members, out of which 12 are nominated by the President
Its term is for 5 yearsIt’s term is for 6 years
Lok Sabha can be dissolved by the President That is why, it is known as the Temporary HouseIt cannot be dissolved because it is a Permanent House & 2/3 of its members retire after every two Years & new members join in their place
Vidhan Sabha (State Legislative Assembly)Parliament (Lok Sabha)
Vidhan Sabha is the lower house of the stateLok Sabha is known as lower house of the Parliament
The members of Vidhan Sabha are known as MLAsThe members of Lok Sabha are known as MPs

7: From the list below, identify the work of a State government and that of a Central government?

Answer: 

  1. The decision of the Indian Govt. to maintain peaceful relations with China. (Central Govt.)
  2. The decision of the Madhya Pradesh govt. to discontinue Board exams in Class VIII for all schools under this Board. (State Govt.)
  3. Introduction of a new train connection between Ajmer & Mysore (Central govt.)
  4. Introduction of a new 1,000 rupee note (central Govt.)

8: Why do we have a system where the representatives are elected for a fixed period and not for life?

Answer: We have a system where the representatives are elected for a fixed period & not for life. This is because –

  1. So that the elected representative may not become strong & try to misuse their powers.
  2. If we will choose a representative for lifetime, it will be against the democracy.

9: Describe the ways other than participating in elections to express approval or disapproval of the actions of government.

Answer: People participate in ways other than participating in elections & not just through elections to express approval or disapproval of the actions of govt. Three ways in which they do so are

  1. For the election of MLA, the area is divided into various constituencies of a state.
  2. Elections are held on the basis of Universal Adult Franchise.
  3. From every constituency, one MLA is elected.

10. Define the following:

Answer: (i) UAF: It stands forUniversal Adult Franchise. In this principle, all adult citizens of the country have the right to vote. 
(ii) Coalition Government: It refers to the alliance formed by political parties after elections when no party has been able to get the adequate seats to form a clear majority. 
(iii) Executive: It is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing the laws and running the govt . They include CM, PM, Council of Minister. 
(iv) Constituency: A state is divided into several parts. From each area a MD is elected to control that area. 
(v) Opposition: The party which loses the election is called the opposition. 

11. What role does the parliament play in the functioning of the government? 

Answer:

  1. The Parliament which is made up of all representatives controls and guides the government. 
  2. The question of the hour is an important mechanism through which MPs can elicit information about the working of the government.
  3. The Parliament also has a significant role in law-making. 
  4. The Rajya Sabha primarily functions as the representative of the states of India in the Parliament. 
  5. The Rajya Sabha can also initiate legislation and a bill is required to pass through the Rajya Sabha in order to become a law. Therefore, it has an important role of reviewing and altering the laws initiated by the Lok Sabha. 

12. Why do you think reservation of Dalits and women is important in India? 

Answer: 

  1. It has been observed that representative democracy cannot produce a perfect reflection of society. 
  2. There is a realization that when interests and experiences separate us it is important to ensure that communities that have been historically marginalized are given adequate representation. 
  3. Similarly, it has more recently been suggested that there should be reservation of seats for women. 
  4. With this in mind, some seats are reserved in the Parliament for SCs and STs. 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. 

13. What role does the opposition party play in the healthy functioning of a democracy? 

Answer: 
1. They question the ruling government and make them accountable to the public.
2. Their role is to ensure that the government should not take any step which is against the interest of the public.
3. Their duty is to check and ensure the action of the ruling party is for the benefit of the masses and to support the government in such things.

14. Give at least 2 arguments against representative democracy. 

Answer:

  1. Representative Democracy does not produce a perfect reflection of society as the interest and experiences separate the communities who have been given adequate representation. 
  2. Representative democracy does not allow reservation in Parliament as after the elapse of sixty years of independence one-third reservation of women is still pending and only nine percent members are of Parliament even if half of the population is women. 

15. Why do you think the nationalist movement supported the idea that all the adults have a right to vote? 

Answer: Our national movement supported the idea that all adults have a right to vote because in our struggle for independence people from all walks of life participated. They came from various backgrounds and were unitedin their aspirations for a free,equal and independent nation where decision making would be in the hands of the people. The only way in which this would be possible would be through elections– allowing common people a vantage pointfrom where they can consent to and approveof a government that “they” have a right to choose.

16. Who is a Prime Minister and what role does he/she play in the functioning of the country?

Answer: 

  1. The Prime Minister is the leader of the ruling party in Lok Sabha 
  2. From the MPs who belong to his/her party, the Prime Minister selects ministers to work with him/her to implement the decisions. 
  3. These ministers then take charge of different areas of govt. functioning like health, education etc. 

17. How can you say that composition of Indian parliament has changed recently? 

Answer: The Parliament now has more and more people from different backgrounds. For e.g.: 

  1. There are more rural members as also members from any regional parties. 
  2. Groups and peoples that were till now unrepresented are beginning to get elected to parliament. 
  3. There has also been an increase in the political participation from the Dalit and the backward states and the minorities. 
  4. Similarly, it has more recently been suggested that there should be reserved seats for women. 
  5. This issue is still being debated. 60 yrs ago only 4% of MPs were women and today it is above 9%. This is a small share when you consider the fact that half the population is women. 

18. Explain the procedure of elections.

Answer: 

  1. People would elect their representatives to the parliament, then one group from these elected representatives forms the government. 
  2. The Parliament which is made up of all representatives together controls and guides the Govt. In this sense people, through their chosen representatives form the Government. 
  3. 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. 

19: What is ‘Question hour’ in Parliament?

Answer: The first hour of every sitting during a Parliament Session is called the Question Hour. During ‘Question hour’ Questions are posed by members to specific government ministries. The concerned Ministries have to answer these Questions on a fixed date.
The Questions asked during ‘Question Hour’ highlights the shortcomings of the Government and also bring to light the opinion of the citizen through their representatives, namely the MPs.
This Question Hour helps the Parliament to control the Executive (Government).

20: Write a brief note on the Members of Parliament.

Answer: The Members of Parliament are from different backgrounds. Many members are from rural areas and from regional parties.
Groups and peoples that were not unrepresented so far, are beginning to get elected to the Parliament. Today there are more number of people from the Dalit and backward castes and the minorities, in Parliament.
It is good to have representatives in the Parliament from all sections of society, so that every Indian will be represented in the decision- making body. 

21: Write a brief note on the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

Answer: Rajya Sabha- The Rajya Sabha functions primarily as the representative of the states of India, in the Parliament. There are 233 elected members plus 12 members nominated by the President. The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of various states. The Rajya Sabha plays an important role of reviewing and altering the laws initiated by the Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha- The Lok Sabha, known as the House of the People, with a total membership of 543, is presided over by the Speaker. The country is divided into 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. During a Lok Sabha election, people from different political parties stand for elections. Once elected, these candidates become Members of Parliament or MPs. These MPs together make up the Parliament.

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