1 Mark Questions
Question 1. ‘A challenge is not just any problem but an opportunity for progress.’ Analyse the statement.
Answer : A challenge is a difficulty that carries within it an opportunity for progress. Once we overcome a challenge we go up to a higher level than before.
Question 2. What does the challenge of expansion faced by established democracies involve?
Answer : (i) It involves applying basic principles of democratic governments across all regions, different social groups and various institutions.
(ii) Greater power to local governments.
Question 3. A country holds election to elect peoples’ representatives to form the government but the elections are not fair. Identify the kind of challenge faced by the people in such a country.
Answer : People face the challenge of expansion of democracy.
Question 4. Which challenge to established democracies ensures more participation of women and minority groups in a democratic country?
Answer : The challenge of expansion.
3 Marks Questions
Question 5. Elaborate the challenge of expansion of democracy. Give an example.
“Most of the established democracies are facing the challenge of expansion.” Support the statement with examples.
Explain the ‘Challenge of Expansion’ to democracy.
Answer : Most of the established democracies face the Challenge of Expansion:
(i) Citizens have great expectations from the government.
(ii) Government tries its best for the upliftment of the society.
(iii) Ensuring greater power to the local government.
(iv) Extension of federal principles to all the units of the federation including women and minority groups.
Question 6. “The challenge of deepening of democracy is being faced by every democracy in one form or another.” Support the statement with arguments.
Answer : Deepening of democracy:
(i) Deepening of democracy involves strengthening the institutions and the practices of democracy.
(ii) The ordinary people have different expectations from democracy in different societies.
(iii) It wants more of people’s participation and control.
(iv) They want to bring down the control of rich and powerful people in the making of the governmental decision.
Question 7. How would you like to expand the definition of democracy? Explain.
Answer : Definition of democracy shall be expanded by adding following features:
(i) The government elected by the people must take all the decisions.
(ii) Elections must offer a choice and fair opportunity to the people to change the current rulers.
(iii) The choice and opportunity should be available to all the people on an equal basis.
(iv) The exercise of this choice must lead to a government limited by the basic rules of the constitution and citizen’s rights.
Question 8. Suggest some broad guidelines that can be kept in mind while devising ways and means for political reforms in India.
Answer : Guidelines for political reform:
(i) Any legal change must carefully look at what results it will have on politics. Sometimes the results may be counterproductive.
(ii) The main focus of political reforms should be on ways to strengthen democratic practice.
(iii) Any proposal for political reforms should think not only about what is a good solution but also about who will implement it and how?
Question 9. How are the challenges to democracy linked to the possibility of political reforms? Explain.
Answer : Each challenge in democracy is linked to the possibility of reforms. All the countries do not have same challenges.
(i) Carefully devised changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices.
(ii) Democratic reforms are to be carried out by political activists, parties, movements and politically conscious citizens.
(iii) Political participation by ordinary citizen should be there.
(iv) Democratic movements, citizen’s organization and media should play an important role.
(v) Empowerment of people through laws, e.g., RTI.
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Question 10. “A challenge is an opportunity for progress”. Support the statement with your arguments.
Answer : A challenge is an opportunity for progress because:
(i) A challenge is not just a problem.
(ii) A challenge is a difficulty that carries within it an opportunity for progress.
(iii) Once we overcome a challenge, we go up to a higher level than before.
(iv) Challenges alone cannot overcome challenges t o democracy like inequality, poverty, unemployment illiteracy, regionalism, casteism, communalism, etc.
(v) Legal constitutional changes and the cooperation of the citizen is the need of the hour.
Question 11. What type of financial reforms should be brought to strengthen democracy and why?
Answer : (i) The financial accounts o f every political party should be made public. These accounts should be made public. These accounts should be examined by government auditors.
(ii) There should be state funding of elections.
(iii) Citizen should be encouraged to give more donations to parties and to political workers such donations should be exempted from income tax.
Question 12. Explain three foundational challenges faced by democracies.
How do some countries face foundational challenge of democracy? Explain with example.
Answer : Foundational challenge:
(i) Involves making the transition to democracy and then instituting democratic government.
(ii) This involves bringing down the existing non-democratic regime, keeping military away from controlling government and establishing a sovereign and functional state.
(iii) For example : Democratic Government of Nepal.
Question 13. What are the features of a good democracy?
Answer : Features of a good democracy are:
(i) Rulers are elected by the people to take all decisions.
(ii) Elections give an opportunity and choice to the people.
(iii) Democracy ensures that rights are given to the citizens.
Question 14. Highlight any three challenges that democracy faces in Contemporary India.
Answer : Challenges that democracy faces in contemporary India are as follows:
(i) Challenge of corruption by government ministers and bureaucracy.
(ii) Challenge of caste politics and division of votes on the basis of caste instead of policies.
(iii) Challenge of communal politics leading to voting on the basis of religion.
(iv) Challenge of regionalism leading to disunity of society and country.
Question 15. Explain the challenges faced by countries which do not have a democratic form of government.
Answer : (i) These countries face the foundational challenge of making the transition to democracy and then instituting democratic government.
(ii) They also face the challenge of bringing down the existing non-democratic regime and keeping the military away from controlling the government.
(iii) Such countries have to make great efforts to establish a sovereign and functional state.
Question 16. Suggest any three political reforms to strengthen democracy.
Answer : Some of the reforms to strengthen the working of political parties are as follows:
Anti-defection law, under which a member would be disqualified, if he/she goes against the directions of the party.
Reduction in the influence of money. Cash votes have been banned by the election commission and anybody involved in the process is likely to be punished.
It is important for a candidate to file an affidavit giving details of his property and eliminate cases pending against him/her.
The election commission has made it necessary for political parties to hold their organizational elections and file their income tax returns.
A law is strictly advisable to make or regulate the internal affairs of political parties. It should be made mandatory for political parties to give a minimum number of tickets, about one-third, to women candidates.
Question 17. What is a democratic reform. Mention a few broad guidelines for devising political reforms in India.
Answer : All suggestions or proposals about overcoming various challenges t o democracy are called democratic reform or political reform.
Broad guidelines for devising political reforms in India are:
(i) Legal Ways of reforming politics.
(ii) The Right to Information Act.
(iii) Reforms through political practice.
(iv) Implementation reforms.
Question 18. How is Myanmar facing the foundational challenge of making a transition to democracy? Explain.
Answer : There is absence of democracy in Myanmar as the legitimately elected leader Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for more than 15 years. She has been released recently:
(i) The army is in power in Myanmar and a democratically elected government is not allowed to function.
(ii) The country faces the challenge of making a transition to democracy and then instituting a democratic government.
(iii) The people of Myanmar need to bring down the military regime and keep it away while they sets up a sovereign and democratic government.
5 Marks Questions
Question 19. When was the ’Right to Information Act’ implemented? How does it act as the watch-dog of democracy? Explain.
Answer : ‘The Right to Information Act’ was implemented in 2005.
(i) It empowers the people to find out what is happening in government.
(ii) It acts as the watchdogs of democracy.
(iii) It helps to control corruption and supplements the existing laws that banned corruption and imposed strict penalties.
(iv) It gives political actors incentives to do good.
Question 20. Explain any five major challenges being faced by the Indian democracy.
Answer : Major challenges are:
(i) Foundational challenge.
(ii) Challenge of expansion.
(iii) Challenge of deepening of democracy.
“The main challenge to democracy in India is the challenge of expansion”. Decentralization of powers and applying the basic principle o f democratic government across all the regions, have been developed; but still more is to be done. Inclusion of women and minority groups is still a challenge. All the decisions should be in the arena of democratic control. To get this thing to be done and possess is a big challenge.
Some other challenges to democracy include:
(i) Constitutional design
(ii) Federalism and its functions
(iv) Democratic rights.
Question 21. What are the guidelines to be kept in mind while adopting political reforms?
Answer : The guidelines to be kept in mind while adopting political reforms also include:
(i) Involving political parties, political activists and people in bringing about reforms rather than imposing reforms through laws.
(ii) Legal measures should be positive, more like incentives.
(iii) Improving the quality of political practices by increasing people’s participation.
(iv) Laws being considered may meet with resistance in the legislatures and by political parties.
So, the best way to bring about the change is through democratic movements and media.
Question 22. Explain various type of challenges being faced by the modern democracies of the world?
Why do most of the established democracies face the challenge expansion? Give any three reasons.
“Different countries face different kinds of challenges.” Support the statement with suitable examples.
Answer : It is true that different countries face different kinds of challenges:
(i) Non-democratic countries face foundational challenges. This involves bringing down the existing non-democratic regime, keeping military away from controlling government and establishing a sovereign and functional state.
Example: In Myanmar, military rule should be challenged. Suu Kyi should be freed and should be elected as the representative of the popular government.
(ii) Every democracy faces the challenge of deepening of democracy. This involves applying the basic principle of democratic government across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions.
Example: In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to take part in public activities, and no freedom of religion is there for the minorities.
(iii) Every democracy face the challenge of expansion. This involves strengthening o f the institutions and practices of democracy. It requires an attempt to bring down that control and influence of the rich and powerful people in making governmental decision.
Example: In USA, Black or African-American people have won equal rights, but are still poor, less educated and marginalised.
Question 23. How can the countries facing the foundational challenge of making a transition to democracy set-up a democratic government? Suggest any three measures.
What is a ‘challenge’? Explain the three major challenges before the countries of the work regarding democracy.
“The challenge of deepening of democracy is faced by every democracy in one form or another”. Support the statement with three suitable arguments. How can democracy be reformed and deepened? Suggest any three guidelines.
Answer : A ‘challenge’ is a difficulty which carries within it an opportunity for progress.
Three major challenge are:
Foundational challenge is about making the transition to democracy and then instituting a democratic government. This involves bringing down the existing non-democratic regime, keeping military away from controlling the government and establishing a sovereign and functional state.
Example: Myanmar, Chile, Nepal Challenge of Expansion is faced by most of the established democracies. This involves applying the basic principle of democratic government across all the regions, different social groups and various institutions.”
Most countries including India and other democracies like the US face this challenge.
Deepening of democracy: This involves strengthening of the institutions and practices of democracy, especially those that help people’s participation and control. This attempts to bring down the control and influence of the rich and powerful people in making governmental decision.
Question 24. “Legal reforms may sometimes be counter productive”. Support the statement with suitable arguments.
Answer : (i) Any legal change must carefully look at the results it will have on politics. Sometimes, the results can be counterproductive. For example, many states have banned people who have more than two children from contesting panchayat elections.
(ii) This has resulted in the denial of democratic opportunity to many poor men and women, which was not intended. Generally, laws that seek to ban something are not very successful in politics.
(iii) The best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms. For example, Right to Information Act.