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Section B — Chapter 1

The Union Parliament

Class 10 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

Name the three levels of government in a federal set up in India.

Answer

The three levels of government in a federal set up in India are-

  1. Central Government
  2. State Governments
  3. Panchayats and Municipalities

Question 2

Name the law making body of the Union Government.

Answer

The Parliament is the law making body of the Union Government.

Question 3

Name the main constituents of the Indian Parliament.

Answer

The main constituents of the Indian Parliament are-

  1. The President
  2. Lok Sabha
  3. Rajya Sabha

Question 4

Name the two Houses of the Indian Parliament.

Answer

The two Houses of the Indian Parliament are-

  1. Lok Sabha
  2. Rajya Sabha

Question 5

What is the maximum strength of members of the Lok Sabha?

Answer

The maximum strength of members of the Lok Sabha is 550.

Question 6

Who is empowered to summon and to dissolve the Lok Sabha?

Answer

The President of India is empowered to summon and to dissolve the Lok Sabha.

Question 7

How are the members of the Lok Sabha elected?

Answer

The members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election on the basis of universal adult franchise. Thus every person who has attained the age of 18 years is entitled to vote provided he is not otherwise disqualified.

Question 8

What is the quorum to hold the meetings of the Lok Sabha?

Answer

The quorum of the Lok Sabha is one-tenth of the total membership of each house. This means that the House cannot conduct its proceedings and pass Bills and resolutions without the presence of at least one-tenth of its total membership.

Question 9

How are the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha elected?

Answer

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is elected from among its own members soon after the newly elected House meets for the first time.

The Deputy Speaker is elected from among its own members in the same way as the Speaker.

Question 10

Who presides over the meetings of the Lok Sabha?

Answer

The Speaker presides over the meetings of the Lok Sabha. In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker presides over the meetings of the Lok Sabha.

Question 11

Mention the occasion on which the President addresses a joint session of Parliament.

Answer

No bill can become a law unless agreed to by both the Houses. If there is disagreement, the President may summon both the Houses of Parliament in a joint meeting.

Question 12

Who presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses of the Parliament?

Answer

The joint sitting of the Parliament is presided over by the Speaker or, in his absence, by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha or in his absence, the Deputy-Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Question 13

Who presides over the Rajya Sabha?

Answer

The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He presides over its meetings.

The Rajya Sabha elects a Deputy Chairman from among its members. In the absence of the Chairman, he performs all functions and duties of the Chairman.

Question 14

Who elects the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha?

Answer

The Rajya Sabha elects a Deputy Chairman from among its members.

Question 15

Who presides over the meetings of the Rajya Sabha in the absence of the Vice-President of India?

Answer

The Deputy Chairman presides over the meetings of the Rajya Sabha in the absence of the Vice-President of India.

Question 16

Mention any one matter where the Rajya Sabha enjoys equal powers with the Lok Sabha.

Answer

The Rajya Sabha enjoys equal powers with the Lok Sabha in important matters like the impeachment of the President.

Question 17

State one aspect in which the Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.

Answer

The Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha in financial matters and in terms of the responsibility of the Council of Ministers, which are exclusively in the domain of the Lok Sabha.

Question 18

What do we mean when we say that the Rajya Sabha is a permanent body?

Answer

The Rajya Sabha is a permanent House as it cannot be dissolved like the Lok Sabha. Each member of the Rajya Sabha is elected for a period of six years. One-third of the total members of the House retire after every two years. Members can be re-elected if they so desire and if their electors support them.

Question 19

What is the term of office of a Rajya Sabha member?

Answer

Each member of the Rajya Sabha is elected for a period of six years. One-third of the total members of the House retire after every two years.

Question 20

Name the body which elects the Rajya Sabha Members.

Answer

The representatives of each State in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of each State in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. The representatives of the Union Territories are chosen in such a manner as Parliament may prescribe. The three representatives from Delhi are elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly.

Question 21

What is the maximum gap allowed between two parliamentary sessions?

Answer

The maximum gap between two parliamentary sessions cannot exceed 6 months.

Question 22

Who is the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha?

Answer

The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

Question 23

What is an Adjournment Motion?

Answer

An Adjournment Motion means a proposal to lay aside all other business and take up a 'definite matter of urgent importance'. Such a Motion leads to the interruption of normal business of the House. Adjournment Motions are generally allowed on subjects such as a railway accident resulting in the death of several persons, a daring dacoity, some natural calamity like a devastating flood or a tornado, communal tension, etc.

Question 24

Name the lists which distribute the Subjects of legislation between the Union and the States.

Answer

The lists which distribute the Subjects of legislation between the Union and the States are-

  1. The Union List
  2. The State List
  3. The Concurrent List

Question 25

Mention any one of the circumstances under which the seat of a member of the Parliament becomes vacant.

Answer

The seat of a member of either House of Parliament becomes vacant if a member resigns his seat by writing to the Speaker or to the Chairman, as the case may be.

Question 26

Mention any one provision of the Constitution which clearly establishes the supremacy of the Lok Sabha with regard to money bills.

Answer

One provision of the Constitution which clearly establishes the supremacy of the Lok Sabha with regard to money bills is that a money bill can only originate in the Lok Sabha.

Question 27

Which bodies have the right to legislate on subjects in the Concurrent List? What happens in the case of conflict between such laws?

Answer

In India, the Parliament and the State legislature both have the power to legislate the subjects of concurrent list. In the case of conflict between such laws, the central law has been designed to prevail over the state law.

Question 28

Who decides whether a bill is a money bill or not?

Answer

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha decides whether a bill is a money bill or not.

Question 29

Mention any one circumstance when the Parliament can make laws on a state subject.

Answer

The Parliament can make laws on a state subject during the proclamation of an emergency.

Structured Questions

Question 1

With reference to the powers of the Union Parliament, state the following:

(a) Three of its Legislative Powers.

(b) Three of its Financial Powers.

(c) Four of its Administrative or Executive Powers.

Answer

(a) Three legislative powers of the Union Parliament are-

  1. Matters in the Union List — The Parliament has exclusive powers to make laws on all the subjects mentioned in the Union List, including important subjects like Defence, Banking, Communications, Foreign Affairs, etc.
  2. Matters in the Concurrent List — Along with the State Legislative Assemblies, the Parliament can make laws on the subjects listed in the Concurrent List, for example education, forests, adoption, succession, trade union. If there is a conflict between the Union Parliament and the State Legislature on any law in this list, the Union Law will prevail.
  3. Residuary Powers — The Parliament possesses residuary powers. It means that it can make laws with respect to all those matters which are not mentioned in any of the three Lists — the Union List, the State List and the Concurrent List.

(b) Three financial powers of the Union Parliament are-

  1. The Budget — The Parliament passes the Union Budget containing the estimates of receipts and expenditure of the Government for a financial year. The Railway Budget was integrated with the Union budget from 2017-18.
  2. Supplementary Grants — If the amount authorised for the current financial year is not sufficient, the Government may make a fresh demand known as the 'Supplementary Grant.'
  3. Salaries — The salaries and allowances of MPs and Ministers are determined by Parliament.

(c) Four executive powers of the Union Parliament are-

  1. Vote of No-Confidence — If a Government acts against the Constitutional provisions, it can be voted out of office by passing a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister, or the Ministry as a whole or any of its members. In such a case, the whole Ministry has to resign.
  2. Adjournment Motion — Motion for adjournment is aimed at censuring the acts of omission and commission of the Ministers.
  3. Other Motions of Censure — The Parliament exercises its control over the Government by other motions which, if passed, amount to no-confidence. They include: motions of censure against a minister, rejection of a Government Bill, passing of a private member's bill against the wishes of the Government, etc.
  4. Monetary Controls — During the budget session a cut motion may be moved. Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts ensures that public money is spent in accordance with Parliament's decision. It examines reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.

Question 2

With reference to the composition of the Lok Sabha answer the following questions:

(a) What is the maximum strength fixed by the Constitution? What is the term of the House? By whom and on whose advice can the Lok Sabha be dissolved?

(b) State any three qualifications needed to contest for the Lok Sabha seat.

(c) Give two reasons to justify how the Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.

Answer

(a) The composition of the Lok Sabha
The maximum strength of the Lok Sabha, as provided by the Constitution is 550. Out of this,

  1. not more than 530 members shall represent the States
  2. not more than 20 members shall represent the Union Territories

The term of the Lok Sabha

  1. According to the Constitution the term of the Lok Sabha is five years.
  2. However, it can be dissolved before the expiry of its normal term by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  3. During the proclamation of an emergency the period of the Lok Sabha may be extended by Parliament for one year at a time.
  4. The new Lok Sabha must be elected within six months after the national emergency is lifted.

(b) Conditions needed for a person to be a member of Lok Sabha are:

  1. He should be an Indian citizen.
  2. He should be at least 25 years of age.
  3. He should have his name in the electoral rolls in some part of the country.

(c) The Lok Sabha has special powers which make it more powerful than the Rajya Sabha. These special powers are:

  1. Motions of No-confidence against the government can only be introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha. If passed by a majority vote, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers resign collectively. The Rajya Sabha has no power over such a motion, and hence no real power over the executive.
  2. Money bills can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha, and upon being passed, are sent to the Rajya Sabha, where it can be deliberated on for up to 14 days.

Question 3

With reference to the powers and functions of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha state the following:

(a) Any three functions to regulate proceedings of the House.

(b) Any three disciplinary functions.

(c) Any four administrative functions.

Answer

(a) Three functions of the Speaker which regulate proceedings of the House are-

  1. The Speaker presides over the meetings of the House. All speeches and remarks are addressed to the Speaker. He allots time for discussion.
  2. The Speaker interprets the rules of procedure of the House. His decision in all parliamentary matters is final.
  3. All Bills passed by the House are signed by him before they are sent to the Rajya Sabha for its consideration or to the President for his assent.

(b) Three disciplinary functions of the Speaker are-

  1. The Speaker maintains order in the House. When members become unruly, he may order them to withdraw. He may suspend a member, if he/she disregards the authority of the Chair. In case of grave disorder, he can adjourn the House.
  2. In case the words used by a member are indecent or unparliamentary, the Speaker may order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the House.
  3. The Speaker decides whether there is a case for a matter relating to a breach of privilege or contempt of the House.

(c) Four administrative functions of the Speaker are-

  1. The Speaker receives all petitions and documents in the House.
  2. He communicates the decisions of the House to the concerned authorities.
  3. He regulates the admission of visitors and Press correspondents to the galleries of the House.
  4. He is responsible for keeping records of the proceedings of the House.

Question 4

With reference to the powers of the Rajya Sabha, state the following:

(a) Any two of its legislative and one financial power.

(b) Any three of its administrative powers.

(c) Any two of its exclusive (special) powers.

Answer

(a) Two legislative powers of Rajya Sabha are-

  1. Except for Money Bills, all bills can be introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
  2. None of the bills can become a law unless agreed to by both Houses of the Parliament. In case of conflict between the two houses of the Parliament, a joint sitting is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

One financial power of Rajya Sabha is that it can delay a money bill by a maximum of 14 days.

(b) Three administrative powers of Rajya Sabha are-

  1. Rajya Sabha can make laws on all the subjects mentioned in the Union and Concurrent lists.
  2. It can punish a person for obstructing the work of the House or showing disrespect to the House.
  3. It can remove the President from office through the procedure of impeachment.

(c) Two exclusive powers of Rajya Sabha are-

  1. Though the Parliament cannot, in normal times, make laws on a states subject, the Constitution states that under Article 249, the Rajya Sabha may, by resolution adopted by two-thirds majority empower the Parliament should make laws with respect to a matter in the State List. The Lok Sabha has no authority to assert itself in such matters.
  2. The other special power enjoyed by the Rajya Sabha is that it may declare that the creation of new All-India Services be made in the national interest. Thereupon Parliament may create new services.

Question 5

With reference to the differences in the powers of two Houses answer the following questions:

(a) What is the difference in the term of office between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha?

(b) What is the procedure that should be followed if there is a deadlock between the two Houses of the Parliament on a non-money bill?

(c) What is the difference between a money bill and a non-money bill?

Answer

(a) Term of Lok Sabha

  1. According to the Constitution the term of the Lok Sabha is five years.
  2. However, it can be dissolved before the expiry of its normal term by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  3. During the proclamation of an emergency the period of the Lok Sabha may be extended by Parliament for one year at a time.
  4. The new Lok Sabha must be elected within six months after the national emergency is lifted.

Term of Rajya Sabha

  1. The Rajya Sabha is a permanent House.
  2. It cannot be dissolved like the Lok Sabha.
  3. Each member of the Rajya Sabha is elected for a period of six years.
  4. One-third of the total members of the House retire after every two years.
  5. Members can be re-elected if they so desire and if their electors support them.

(b) Ordinary Bills may originate in either House of the Parliament.

  1. If there is disagreement between the two Houses, the bill is referred to a joint-sitting of both the Houses.
  2. In such cases both the Houses are placed on an equal footing.
  3. However, the Rajya Sabha is in a weaker position, since the total membership of Rajya Sabha is less than even half of the total strength of the Lok Sabha.
  4. Besides, the joint session is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

(c) The differences between a money bill and a non-money bill are as follows:

Non-money billMoney Bill
It can be introduced in either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.It can be introduced only in Lok Sabha.
Ordinary Bill can be introduced without the recommendation of the President.Money Bill can be introduced only on the recommendation of the President.
Either a Minister or private member can introduce ordinary bill.Only a Minister is allowed to introduce Money Bill in the Parliament.
If the Ordinary Bill originated in the Lok Sabha, then it does not require the approval of the speaker when transmitted to Rajya Sabha.Money Bill requires the certification of the Lok Sabha Speaker when transmitted to Rajya Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha has the power to detain the Ordinary Bill for a period of 6 months.The Money Bill can be detained for a maximum period of 14 days only by the Rajya Sabha.
Ordinary Bill can be returned for reconsideration, accepted or rejected by the President.Money Bill cannot be returned for reconsideration by the President. The President can only accept or reject it.
In case of deadlock on Ordinary Bill there is a provision of a joint sitting.In case of Money Bill, if there is a deadlock, there is no provision of a joint sitting.

Picture Study

Question 1

This picture is a symbol of our democratic rule. In this context, answer the following:

This picture is a symbol of our democratic rule. How does the Parliament symbolise that the people of India make laws for themselves? Suppose you want to become a Member of Parliament, what qualifications should you have? Do you have all of them just now? Why? Imagine that when you grow up, you will be given a chance to be an MP. Would you like to be an MP in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha? Why? The Union Parliament, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 10.

(a) How does the Parliament symbolise that the people of India make laws for themselves?

(b) Suppose you want to become a Member of Parliament, what qualifications should you have? Do you have all of them just now? Why?

(c) Imagine that when you grow up, you will be given a chance to be an MP. Would you like to be an MP in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha? Why?

Answer

(a) The Parliament symbolises that the people of India make laws for themselves as both the houses of the Parliament have citizens of India as their members.

  1. Lok Sabha — The Lok Sabha is the House of the People. Its members are directly elected by the people of India.
  2. Rajya Sabha — The members of Rajya Sabha fall into two categories - nominated and elected. The 12 nominated members are nominated by the President from among persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters such as literature, science, art and social service. The remaining 238 representatives of each State in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of each State in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.

(b) Conditions needed for a person to be a member of Lok Sabha are:

  1. He should be an Indian citizen.
  2. He should be at least 25 years of age to become a member of Lok Sabha and atleast 30 years of age to become a member of Rajya Sabha.
  3. He should have his name in the electoral rolls in some part of the country.
  4. He should not be an insolvent i.e., he should not be in debt and should have the ability to meet his financial commitments.
  5. He should not hold any office of profit under the government.
  6. He should not be a proclaimed criminal.
  7. He should not be of unsound mind.

No, I do not have all the qualifications just now because-

  1. My age is less than 25 years.
  2. My name is not in the electoral rolls in any part of the country.

(c) I would like to be MP in Lok Sabha because the members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people of the country and hence, Lok Sabha has special powers which make it more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.

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