NCERT / CBSE NOTES | Class 8th (VIII) : Chapter Summary
Law and Social Justice
There are thousands of underprivileged men, women and children in our country who are exploited by companies and people from a higher economic status. Advanced countries turn to developing countries like India as cheap labour is readily availability.
It is the government’s responsibility to curb this exploitation and enforce rigorous laws. Though the Government of India has many laws in place for child labour, minimum wages, safety in a workplace, price control and the environment, only their implementation will bring the difference.
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy was the world’s worst industrial disaster that killed thousands of people in Bhopal. In this manic need of investment for the state, the government overlooked many safety measures in the plant. The Bhopal tragedy served as an eye opener for the government.
Many new laws were introduced after this and the awareness on the environment and its protection was brought to the forefront. The courts have declared the right to a healthy environment as a part of our constitution.
CBSE NCERT Class VIII (8th) | Social Studies | Civics
Chapter : Law and Social Justice
CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer
Q1. What are the advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India?
Ans. Advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India are:
· Cheap labour: - Wages that the companies pay to workers say in the
U.S.A. are far higher than what they have to pay workers in India.
· For lower pay: - Companies can get longer hours of work.
· Additional expenses such as housing facilities for workers are also fewer. Thus, companies can save costs and earn higher profits.
· Cost cutting can also be done by other more dangerous means.
· Lower working conditions including lower safety measures are used as ways of cutting costs.
At West Virginia (U.S.A.) computerized working and monitoring systems were in place, whereas the UC plants in Bhopal relied on manual gauges and the human senses to detect gas leaks. At the West Virginia plants, emergency evacuation plan were in place, but nonexistent in Bhopal.
Q2. Do you think the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy got justice? Discuss.
Ans. The victim of the Bhopal gas tragedy didn’t get justice.
· Despite the overwhelming evidence, pointing to UC as responsible for the disaster, it refused to accept responsibility.
· In the ensuring legal battle, the government represented the victims in a civil case against UC. It filled a $3 billion compensation case in 1985, but accepted a lowly $470 million in 1989.
· Survivors appealed against the settlement but the Supreme Court ruled that the settlement amount would stand.
· Even if the UC pays the full compensation set, the lives of the innocent would not come back or they won’t come back.
Money cannot be everything or compensation against a life. Neither the government nor UC has provided the survivors safe drinking water for health care facilities and the jobs. The contaminated water is still the same after 24 yrs.
Q3. What do we mean when we speak of law enforcement? Who is responsible for enforcement? Why is enforcement so important?
Ans.1. Law enforcement means that to make sure a law or rule is obeyed. If there is a certain law, it is meant for being obeyed and followed.
2. As a lawmaker and enforcer, the government is supposed to ensure that safety laws are implemented.
3. It is also the duty of the government to ensure that the Right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution is not violated.
Enforcement is so important because as seen in the example of the UC plant in Bhopal –
· Government officials refused to recognize the plant as hazardous and allowed it to come up in a populated locality.
· When some municipal officials in Bhopal objected that the installation of an MIC production unit in 1978 was a safety violation, the position of the government was that the state needs the continued investment of the Bhopal plant, which provides jobs.
· It was unthinkable, according to them, to ask UC to shift to cleaner technology or safer procedures.
· Government inspectors continued to approve the procedures in the plant, even when repeated incidents of leaks from the plant made it obvious to everybody that things were seriously wrong.
· Instead of protecting the interests of the people, their safety was being disregarded both by the government and by private companies.
Q4. Explain the various roles played by the government?
Ans. 1. The government has to ensure that all the laws are implemented. This means that the law must be enforced. Enforcement becoming even more important when the law seeks to protect the weak from the strong.
2. Through making, enforcing and upholding these laws, the government can control the activities of individuals or private companies to ensure social justice.
3. As the lawmaker and enforcer, the government is supposed to ensure that safety laws are implemented.
4. It is also the duty of the government to ensure that the Right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution is not violated.
5. A major role of the government, therefore, is to control the activities of private companies by making, enforcing and upholding laws so as to prevent unfair practices and ensure social justice.
6. This means that the governments has to make appropriate laws and also has to enforce the laws.
7. Laws that are weak and poorly unforced can cause serious harm as the Bhopal gas tragedy showed.
Q5. What are the sources of environmental pollution? Discuss with respect to (a) air; (b) water and (c) soil. What are the steps being taken to reduce the pollution?
(a) Air: There are too many vehicles in the colony and they keep brizzing on the roads all the time unnecessarily.
Steps taken to reduce it:
· No such steps are being taken to reduce this pollution.
· Extra space in the colony can be used to plant tree.
· Conduct awareness campaigns and stick bills to spread awareness among people.
· Everyone has submersible pumps and often they forget to switch it off which results in wastage of water.
· Most of the people use showers when bathing.
· Water being polluted by soap water and human waste left on the open ground
One step that can be taken is – a meter can installed which detects the capacity of water that can be stored and it gives an alert when the tank is about to be filled.
There is only one major way to reduce all these minds of pollutions are by spreading awareness by various ways:-
Campaigns or Sticking posters.
Q6. How was environment treated earlier? What has been the change in perception? Discuss.
· The environment was treated as a free entity and any industry could pollute the air and water without any restrictions.
· The environment was being polluted and the health of people disregarded.
· The Bhopal disaster brought the issue of environment to forefront.
· Environmental activists pressurized the government to introduce new laws to protect the environment. Henceforth, the polluter was to be held accountable for the damage done to environment.
· The environment is something that people over generations will share and it could not be destroyed merely for industrial developments.
Q7. How can laws ensure that markets work in a manner that is fair? Explain with the help of an example?
Ans.) Laws are very important in a market situation.
· Private companies or individuals to make maximum profit may deny workers their rights and not pay them wages.
· In the eyes of law, it is illegal to deny workers their wages.
· To ensure that workers are not underpaid, there is a law on minimum wage. A worker has to be paid not less than the minimum wage by the employer.
· Laws help ensure that the relations between these three parties in the market – the worker, consumer and producer are governed in a manner that is not exploitative.
· There are also laws to protect the interests of procedure and consumes in the market
. Shops should sell goods only at MRP price by the producer.
. Unadulterated products should not be sold. For this a quality mark fixed by the government should be put on every product.
Eg:- Right against exploitation says that no one can be forced to work for low wages or under bondage. The constitution also lays down “no child below the age of 14 shall be employed to work”.
These laws are made to minimize the unfair practices in the markets.