chapter 1 – Working of the Constitution,

15 Dec 2020 9:42 am

Balbharati, solutions, for, Social, Science, History, and, Civics, 10th, Standard, SSC, Maharashtra, State, Board, chapter 1, Working of the Constitution, [Latest edition],

Exercise | Q 1.1 | Page 74

Choose the correct option from the given options and complete the sentence. 

In Maharashtra __________ seats are reserved for women in local  self-governing institutions. 







Which of the following laws created a favorable environment for women to secure freedom and self-development? 


Right to Information Act 

Dowry Prohibition Act 

Food Security Act 

 None of the above


The Dowry Prohibition Act

The essence of democracy is ________

universal adult franchise. 

decentralisation of power. 

policy of reservation of seats. 

judicial decisions.


decentralisation of power.

Exercise | Q 1 | Page 74

State whether following statement is true or false. Give reason for your answer. 

Indian democracy is considered the largest democracy in the world.



Reason : Indian democracy is considered the largest democracy in the world because of political maturity. It’s the world’s second largest country in terms of population, people have direct representation in the legislative processes through regular elections and the right to adult suffrage.

Secrecy in the working of Government has increased due to the Right to Information.



Reason: Secrecy in the working of Government has decreased due to the Right to Information (Act 2005). Since 2000, the democratic reforms has been approached as ‘rights’ of citizen which has made governance more transparent and the government more accountable.

The nature of Constitution is seen as a living document.



Reason: The Constitution is seen as a living document owing to its dynamic nature. It has to change according to changing conditions of the society and the Parliament has been entrusted with that responsibility.

Exercise | Q 1 | Page 74

Write short note.

Provisions regarding minorities.


The constitution has made several provisions for the protection of minorities in the country. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, race, language and region. Comprehensive provisions in the Fundamental Rights protect their right to equality, right against exploitation, and their cultural and educational rights.

Policy of reservation of seats.


Policy of reservation of seats is meant for the weaker section of the society who have been deprived of equal opportunity to education and employment for years. The Constitution accordingly mandates reservation of seats for scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and other backward classes in educational institutions and government services.

Women representation in the Loksabha.


Since independence, steps have been to address the issue of inadequate representation of women in political institutions. Under the 73rd and 74th amendment to the Constitution, 33% of seats in the local self- governing institutions are reserved for women. The representation of women in Lok Sabha has also seen a significant improvement with appointment of 12.15% women MPs in 2014 General elections.

Exercise | Q 1 | Page 74

Explain the following concept.

Right based approach


Since 2000, the approach towards democratic reform has evolved to be right based. Democratic reforms are necessitated as the ‘rights’ of the citizen, instead of approached as a part of the Directive principle of State policy. Citizens can take the government to the court in case their ‘rights’ are not met and thus, this change in approach has strengthened our democracy and made the govt. more accountable to the public. People now have the Right to Information, Right to Food, Right to Education and thus are more participative in the democratic processes.

Right to information


Right to information was enacted in 2005 to empower the citizen with vital information about the working and decision making process of the state. It makes the govt. more accountable and transparent, with increasing communication between the state and the citizen, hence building trust. It has reduced the element of secrecy in the working of government. The movement for RTI was first started in the state of Maharashtra in 2000 under the leadership of Anna Hazare. After the success of the state level efforts, the movement acquired national importance later in 2005.

Exercise | Q 1 | Page 74

Answer the following question.

What are the effects of reducing the voting age from 21 years to 18 years ?


The effects of reducing the voting age from 21 years to 18 years are:

1. Increased participation in the political processes. India has the largest number of voters compared to any other democratic country.

2. It encourages youth participation in public life, giving the younger generation an opportunity to be the change makers.

3. The change is not just quantitative but qualitative as well since new parties are emerging with the active support of the young voters.

4. It reflects the political maturity of India that empowers and actively working towards helping its citizens exercise their Right to vote.

5. Such provisions have made India the largest democracy in the world.

What is meant by establishment of social justice?


Social justice and equality are important objectives of our Constitution. It means establishing and ensuring a fair environment for the growth of every individual without any form of discrimination. Various provisions have been made to establish social justice in our society, some of these are:

Policy of Reservation: Seats are reserved for the weaker section of the society to enable them equal and fair opportunities for education and government services.

Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act: It prevents any act of injustice and atrocities committed against the people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Provisions for Minority: There is a comprehensive provision in the Constitution that protects the fundamental rights of the minority to equality, freedom, education, right against exploitation, and the right to preserve their culture.

Laws for Women: Taking into account the problems of women, various policies have been formulated to remove illiteracy among women and avail them of equal opportunity for their development. The right to have an equal share in the property of their father and husband, the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Domestic Violence Prohibition Act, etc. have been conceptualized to create a favourable environment for women.

Which decision of the Court has resulted in protection of honour and dignity of women ?


The decision of the court in the cases of domestic violence, sexual harassment in work place etc. has resulted in protection of honour and dignity of women.

The most recent case in news had been the matter of Triple Talaq, where the practice was declared as unconstitutional as per the decision of the Supreme Court. It was an unfair practice subjected against Muslim women where divorce was pronounced with mere utterance of the word ‘Talaq’ trice on most trivial of issues with no formal legal proceedings, thus undermining various fundamental rights of women. It violated their dignity and fundamental right against discrimination on the basis of religion and gender.

Supreme Court as the apex judicial body is responsible for ensuring the preservation of the fundamental rights. Important judgments by the judiciary on various subjects have made the fundamental rights in the constitution more meaningful.

Project | Q 1 | Page 74

Which information can be secured with the help of right to information? Find out with the help of your teachers.


Under the provisions of the Act, Right to Information (RTI) is an act of the Parliament of India any citizen of India may ask for information from a “public authority” (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is necessary to reply immediately or within thirty days.

The Right to information in India is governed by two major bodies:

• Central Information Commission (CIC)

• State Information Commissions

The information which can be collected are:

1) Information from a public authority

2) Inspection of work, records etc of public authority

3) Details related to members of parliament and members of legislative assembly.

The important feature of RTI is that it is applicable to Indian citizens, but not associations or companies.

Make a list of concessions given by the Government for the students of minority community ?




1.Scholarship Schemes

2.Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF)

3.Padho Pardesh – Scheme of Internet Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for the Students Belonging to the Minority Communities

4.Naya Savera – Free Coaching and Allied Scheme

5.Nai Udaan – Support for Students for preparation of main Examination who clear Prelims conducted by UPSC/SSC , state public service commission (PSC) etc . 


1.Seekho Aur Kamao (Learn & Earn)

2.USTTAD (Upgrading the skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development)

3.Nai Manzil

4.Concessional credit through National Minorities Dvelopment and Finance Corporation (NMDFC)

Infrastructural assistance    1.Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)

Visit the official website of National election commission and collect more information about it.



The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.

A Constitutional Body

Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional Body. The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950. The Commission celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2001.

Originally the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. It currently consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.

For the first time, two additional Commissioners were appointed on 16th October 1989 but they had a very short tenure till 1st January 1990. Later, on 1st October 1993 two additional Election Commissioners were appointed. The concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since then, with decision making power by majority vote.

Appointment & Tenure of Commissioners

The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. They have a tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.

Transaction of Business

The Commission transacts its business by holding regular meetings and also by circulation of papers. All Election Commissioners have equal say in the decision making of the Commission. The Commission, from time to time, delegates some of its executive functions to its officers in its Secretariat.

The Setup

The Commission has a separate Secretariat at New Delhi, consisting of about 300 officials, in a hierarchical set up.

Budget & Expenditure

The Secretariat of the Commission has an independent budget, which is finalized directly in consultation between the Commission and the Finance Ministry of the Union Government. The latter generally accepts the recommendations of the Commission for its budgets. The major expenditure on the actual conduct of elections is, however, reflected in the budgets of the concerned constituent units of the Union – States and Union Territories.

Political Parties & the Commission

Political parties are registered with the Election Commission under the law. The Commission ensures inner-party democracy in their functioning by insisting upon them to hold their organizational elections at periodic intervals.

Advisory Jurisdiction & Quasi-Judicial Functions

Under the Constitution, the Commission also has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post-election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures

Judicial Review

The decisions of the Commission can be challenged in the High Court and the Supreme Court of India by appropriate petitions. By long-standing convention and several judicial pronouncements, once the actual process of elections has started, the judiciary does not intervene in the actual conduct of the polls.

Media Policy

The Commission has a comprehensive policy for the media. It holds regular briefings for the mass media-print and electronic, on a regular basis, at close intervals during the election period and on specific occasions as necessary on other occasions.

Voter Education

Voters’ Participation in the democratic and electoral processes is integral to the successful running of any democracy and the very basis of wholesome democratic elections. Recognizing this, Election Commission of India, in 2009, formally adopted Voter Education and Electoral participation as an integral part of its election management.

International Co-operation

India is a founding member of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Stockholm, Swed

Take an interview of women representations from local self-governing institutions from your area.


The MLA of our district is a woman. She has been in the socio-cultural activities in our region for the last fifteen years. She is vibrant and active. An interview with her was very insightful and motivating.

Q: Do you see women reservation as part of a greater change in the social system?

Ans. I judge the excellence and the ambiance of politics will improve if more women come in. After bearing in mind the structure work for 45 years, it is understandable that we are the weaker sex, whether we like it or not. We are barred from jobs, the economic mainstream, decision-making processes, heritage rights… Whether one is fighting for the Scheduled Castes, the Backward Classes, or the minorities…. the main group that is affected are women. And things have not changed since then. Unless we are assured an access point by law we will never be allowed to participate. I really consider that. Some women say that we should come into decision-making positions on our own stream, but how many have come so far? To all those who say that they will do it on their own, I would like to ask why is the number of seats occupied by women in the legislatures deteriorating?

Q: You have completed some individual efforts at getting many numbers of women party tickets. What have you found to be the barriers?

Ans. We have tried but we have been unproductive because we are neither in the collection panels nor are we represented in decision-making bodies. We give lists, we struggle, we counsel, but they don’t listen to us. The election commission will reserve 33 percent of the seats by ballot for women. These are reserved for women for two terms and are then rotated. In the interim, women can establish themselves and if they are popular they will be able to contest on their own worth as general candidates by the next elections. So each ward has a chance to throw up women. We can launch a deadline of 25 years, or five general elections, by which time the reservations for women could be remoted. If women do not have an entry tip, how will they ever get in?

Q: What is your individual stand on the subject of 33 percent reservation for women?

Ans. As a result of reservation, one million women have been elected to local bodies. In many states they have even surpassed the quota for example, in Karnataka, women constitute 47 percent of the elected panchayat members. Bengal has also been a triumph story, as have Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. We need reforms not just for women the whole system of selection of candidates needs to be renovated.

Q: How did this issue get included in your party’s manifesto?

Ans. We had argued for its early introduction so that negotiations and debate could be allowed. Finally, when it was introduced, those who had never spoken about reservation for Backward Classes suddenly become the champions of Backward Class reservations. Between 1991, when the Panchayath bill was introduced, until 1996 when this bill is on the edge of being introduced, these people did not coherent any of their concerns for the Backward Class men! The issue gains importance only now because women are about to gain seats.

Q: Do you think this is just party games or something else?

Ans. No, no, even women in our party stood up to oppose the bill. There is a lobby of self-interest amongst women as well. The matter is different among the patriarchal viewpoint. They ask; Once decisions are taken, why have a women’s meeting?

Q: What is the status now?

Ans. A Select Committee has been set up. I am not recommending anything. Based on the various Commission reports we made reservations on the services. Nobody had spoken about proviso for Backward Classes or others in Parliament or legislatures. Women cut across all sections and by giving reservations to them you will be serving women from all sections to come forward. There are presently no reserved constituencies for the Backward Classes and minorities, so why should this issue get tied up with a reservation for women?

The interview session was so encouraging, and the MLA winded up the conversation by laying high remarks about the future of the whole society.


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