NCERT / CBSE NOTES | Class 8th (VIII) : Chapter Summary


The Indian Constitution


Need of Constitution

The Constitution serves several purposes. First, it lays out certain ideals that form the basis of the kind of country that we as citizens aspire to live in. A Constitution tells us what the fundamental nature of our society is. A country is usually made up of different communities of people who share certain beliefs but may not necessarily agree on all issues. A Constitution helps serve as a set of rules and principles that all persons in a country can agree upon as the basis of the way in which they want the country to be governed. This includes not only the type of government but also an agreement on certain ideals that they all believe the country should uphold.

The second important purpose of a Constitution is to define the nature of a country’s political system. For example, Nepal’s earlier Constitution stated that the country was to be ruled by the King and his council of ministers. In countries that have adopted a democratic form of government or polity, the Constitution plays a crucial role in laying out certain important guidelines that govern decision-making within these societies.

The Indian Constitution, NCERT / CBSE Revision Notes, NCERT Solutions, Class 8  NCERT

The Indian Constitution: Key Features

The long experience of authoritarian rule under the colonial state convinced Indians that free India should be a democracy in which everyone should be treated equally and be allowed to participate in government. Below are the key features of the Indian Constitution.

1. Federalism: This refers to the existence of more than one level of government in the country. In India, we have governments at the state level and at the centre. Panchayati Raj is the third tier of government. While each state in India enjoys autonomy in exercising powers on certain issues, subjects of national concern require that all of these states follow the laws of the central government. Under federalism, the states are not merely agents of the federal government but draw their authority from the Constitution as well. All persons in India are governed by laws and policies made by each of these levels of government.

2. Parliamentary Form of Government: The different tiers of government consist of representatives who are elected by the people. Constitution of India guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens. The people of India have a direct role in electing their representatives. Also, every citizen of the country, irrespective of his/her social background, can also contest in elections.

3. Separation of Powers: According to the Constitution, there are three organs of the State. These are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The legislature refers to our elected representatives. The executive is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government. The judiciary, refers to the system of courts in this country. In order to prevent the misuse of power by any one branch of the State, the Constitution says that each of these organs should exercise different powers. Through this, each organ acts as a check on the other organs of the State and this ensures the balance of power between all three.

4. Fundamental Rights: The section on Fundamental Rights has often been referred to as the ‘conscience’ of the Indian Constitution. Fundamental Rights, protect citizens against the arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the State. The Constitution, thus, guarantees the rights of individuals against the State as well as against other individuals. The Constitution, also guarantees the rights of minorities against the majority.
In addition to Fundamental Rights, the Constitution also has a section called Directive Principles of State Policy. This section was designed by the members of the Constituent Assembly to ensure greater social and economic reform, and to serve as a guide to the independent Indian State to institute laws and policies that help reduce the poverty of the masses.

The Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution include:

1. Right to Equality: All persons are equal before the law. This means that all persons shall be equally protected by the laws of the country. It also states that no citizen can be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, caste or sex. Every person has access to all public places including playgrounds, hotels, shops etc. The State cannot discriminate against anyone in matters of employment. But there are exceptions to this that you will read about later in this book. The practice of untouchability has also been abolished.

2. Right to Freedom: This includes the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to form associations, the right to move freely and reside in any part of the country, and the right to practise any profession, occupation or business.

3. Right against Exploitation: The Constitution prohibits trafficking, forced labour, and children working under 14 years of age.

4. Right to Freedom of Religion: Religious freedom is provided to all citizens. Every person has the right to practise, profess and propagate the religion of their choice.

5. Cultural and Educational Rights: The Constitution states that all minorities, religious or linguistic, can set up their own educational institutions in order to preserve and develop their own culture.

6. Right to Constitutional Remedies: This allows citizens to move the court if they believe that any of their Fundamental Rights have been violated by the State.

7. Secularism: A secular state is one in which the state does not officially promote any one religion as the state religion.
The Constitution plays a crucial role in laying out the ideals that we would like all citizens of the country to adhere to, including the representatives that we elect to rule us.

CBSE NCERT Class VIII (8th) | Social Studies | Civics

Chapter  :  The Indian Constitution


CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer


Q1. What is a democracy?

Ans Democracy is a form of government in which the people can vote for representatives to govern the state on their behalf.

Q2. Define the term constitution. Why do we need a constitution?

Ans. In large societies in which different communities of people live together, the rules are formulated through consensus, and in modern countries this consensus  is  usually available  in written form. A written set of principles according to which a state or organization is governed is called a constitution.
The constitution serves several purposes:-

·        First, it lays out certain ideals that form the basis of the kind of country that we as citizens aspire to live in.

·        A constitution tells us what the fundamental nature of our society is. A country is usually made up of different communities of people who share certain beliefs but may not necessarily agree on all issues.
·        A constitution helps serve as a set of rules and principles that all persons in a country can agree upon as the basis of the way in which they want the country to be governed.
·        This includes not only the type of government but also an agreement on certain ideals that they all believe the country should uphold.

·        The other important purpose of a constitution is to define the nature of a country’s political system.
·        The constitution often lays down rules that guard against this misuse of power by our political leaders.

·        Another important  function that a constitution plays in a democracy is to ensure that  a dominant group does not use its power against. Other, less powerful people or groups.

·        Another reason why we need to have a constitution is precisely to prevent tyranny or domination by the majority of a minority.

·        The last significant reason why we need a constitution is to save us from ourselves.


Q3. Differentiate between a monarchy and a democracy?

Ans. A country which is governed by a king or a queen is called a monarchy.

WHILE

Democracy is forms of government where people can vote to select their respective representative well govern the state on their behalf.

Q4. Explain the functions of organs of government.

Ans. According to the constitution, there are three organs of the state. These are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
·        The legislature refers to our elected representatives.
·        The executive is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government.
·        The judiciary, refer to the system of courts in this country.

Q5. What do you mean by tyranny of majority?

Ans. Every society is prone to tyranny of the majority. The constitution usually contains rules that ensure that minorities are not excluded from anything that is routinely available to the majority. The constitution is precisely to prevent this tyranny or domination by the majority of a minority.

Q6. Describe in detail the various features of Indian constitution.

FEDERALISM:- This refers to the existence of more than one level of government in the country. In India, we have governments at the state level and at the centre. Panchayati Raj is the third tier of government.
PARLIAMENTARY FORM OF GOVERNMENT:- The different tiers of government consist of representative who are elected by the people. The constitution of Indian guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens.This means that the people of India have a direct role in electing their representatives. Also, every citizen of the country, irrespective of his/ her social background, can also contest in elections. These representatives are accountable to the people.
SEPARATION OF POWERS: - According to the Constitution, there are three organs of the state. These are legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The legislature refers to our elected representatives. The executive is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government. The judiciary refers to the system of courts in this country. In order to prevent the misuse of power by any one branch of the state, the constitution says that each of these organs should exercise different powers.
Through this, each organ acts as a check on the other organs of the  state and this ensures the balance of power between all three.


FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS:- The section on Fundamental Right has often been referred to as the ‘conscience’ of the Indian Constitution. Fundamental Right, therefore protect citizens against the arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the state. The constitution, thus, guarantees the rights of individuals against the state as well as against other individuals.

In addition to fundamental right, the constitution also has a section called directive principles of state policy. This section was designed by the members of the constituent assembly to ensure greater social and economic reform and to serve as a guide to the independent Indian. State to institute laws and policies that help to reduce the poverty of the masses.

SECULARISM:- A secular state is one in which the state does not officially promote any one religion as the state religion.

Q7. What is a constitutional monarchy? Give example:

Ans. In constitutional monarchy a country is ruled by a king or a queen but the country has a constitution which the king follows.

Example: - Until quite recently, Nepal was monarchy. The previous constitution of Nepal, which had been adopted in 1990, reflected the fact that the final authority rested with the king. A people’s movement in Nepal fought for several decades to establish democracy and  in 2006 they finally succeeded in putting an end to the powers of the king. Now the people have to write a new constitution to establish Nepal as a democracy. The reason that they do not want to continue with the previous constitution is because it does not reflect the ideals of the country that they want Nepal to be, and that they have fought for.

Q8.  What will happen if there is no restriction to powers of elected representatives?

Ans. If there would have been no restrictions to powers of elected representatives, they may have misuse their powers. They could have used their powers in doing wrong deeds. They could even have supported a single religion.

Q9. Explain how the constitution of India gets made?

·        The long experience of authoritarian rule under the colonial state convinced Indians that free India should be a democracy in which everyone should be treated equally and  be allowed to participate in government.

·        This was not done by one person but by a group of around 300 people who become members of the constituent assembly had a huge task before them.
·        The country was made up of several different communities who spoke different languages, belonged to different religions, and  had district culture. Also, when the constitution was being written, India was going through considerable turmoil.

Ques10) What is the importance of constitution?

Ans) The constitution plays an important role in laying out certain guidelines that govern decision making within the society.

1.      It lays down rules that guard against the misuse of power by our political leaders.
2.      It also contains rules to prevent tyranny.
3.      It also helps to protect us against certain adverse  effect on the  larger principal that the country believes in.



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