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Class 8 > Civics > Why do we need a Parliament Class 8 Civics Chapter 3 – Explanation, Question and Answers

Why do we need a Parliament Class 8 Civics Chapter 3 – Explanation, Question and Answers

Why do we need a Parliament Class 8 Civics Chapter 3

CBSE Class 8 Civics Chapter 3 Why do we need a Parliament – Detailed explanation of the chapter ‘Why do we need a Parliament’ along with question answers. Given here is the complete explanation of the lesson, along with all the exercises, Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson.

Class 8 Civics – Chapter 3

Why do we need a Parliament

why do we need a parliament

Introduction

As Indians, we all are proud of the fact that our country is a democracy. In this chapter, the students will get to know about some of the functions of the Indian Parliament. It also discusses the idea of Parliamentary Democracy. One will get to understand the relation between ideas of individuals participating in the process of decision making and a democratic government’s need to have the consent of the country’s citizens. These two elements are crucial in making a stable democracy. These are best expressed through the institution of Parliament. 

 

Why Should People Decide?

Our country became independent on August 15, 1947. It was preceded by a struggle over a long period of time in which people from all sections of the society had participated. The people who had joined the freedom struggle were inspired by ideas related to equality, freedom and participation in the process of decision making. These people did not approve of the ways through which the British were ruling our country. 

 

During the British regime, whenever the people of India tried to protest against India, they faced grave danger in the form of severe punishment. After the freedom movement started, the situation started changing on a small scale. The Indian nationalists started criticizing the British government and making demands. 

 

It was in 1885, when the newly formed Indian National Congress placed a demand in front of the British government to allow elected Indian members to discuss the budget and ask related questions. Subsequently, the Government of Indian Act, 1909 was passed where the British Government allowed some elected representation. However, they did not allow the Indian citizens to vote or to participate in the process of decision making. 

 

As the colonial Government did not allow the people of our country to make decisions, therefore, after taking part in the freedom movements on a large scale, the citizens became aware of this fact that in independent India, they would be able to participate in decision making. 

 

Once the country became independent, the Government  tried to remain sensitive to the demands of people. The dreams of a common Indian citizen became true after the Indian Constitution laid down the rules of ‘Universal Adult Franchise’ where each citizen above the age of 18 got the right to vote.

 

People And their Representatives

A Democratic country’s take-off is the idea of consent. It means that the Government considers the participation, desire and approval of people before taking any decision. What people have decided creates a Democratic Government and how it is going to function for the next five years. The basic idea behind this fact is that a citizen is the most important person. The Government along with different Public Institutions needs to gain the trust of the Indian citizens.

 

An individual provides his approval to a Government by voting for it in the elections. Once the representatives who have been elected by the people become Members of Parliament (MP), one group of such MPs comes together to form a Government. The Parliament is made up of all the representatives who together do the job of controlling and guiding a Government. Here, people via their chosen MPs control the Government as well. 

 

  The Role of Parliament

the role of parliament

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indian Parliament was created after 1947. The institution is an expression of faith which the citizens of India have in the principles of democracy. It is the participation of citizens in the process of decision making and Government by their consent. Since the Indian Parliament is represented by the common people, therefore, it has immense powers. 

 

The elections to the Parliament are held in the same way as those to the State Legislature.  All the citizens of India whose age is more than 18 years are entitled to vote. Currently, our country is divided into 543 constituencies. When the election takes place, candidates from different political parties take part in it from each constituency. Once a candidate wins, he automatically gets entry into the Parliament. Hence, the MPs are the winning candidates who belong to different political parties. 

 

Once a candidate gets elected, he becomes an MPs Together, these MPs constitute the ‘Parliament.’ These MPs need to perform different functions which are as follows:

  1. To Select the National Parliament 

The President, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha form the Indian Parliament. Once the Lok Sabha elections gets over, a list is prepared which shows how many MPs each political party has. If a political party wishes to form the Union Government, it needs to have a majority of MPs in the house.

 

There are 543 elected members in the Lok Sabha. Out of these, two are nominated members from the Anglo-Indian community. 

 

To form a Government, a political party needs to have at least half of the seats, that is 272 or more members should be from that party. The political party which has the second largest number of seats in the house plays the role of Opposition Party against the Ruling Party. 

 

Selecting an executive is one of the most important functions of the Lok Sabha. This executive is a group of MPs who work together to implement the Parliament’s laws in different ways. The term ‘Executive’ always comes to mind when we use the word government. 

 

The leader of the ruling party in the Lok Sabha is the Prime Minister (PM). The PM selects Ministers for different departments from the group of MPs from his ruling party. They work under the PM to implement different decisions. These ministers are in charge of different areas such as Finance, Health, Education, etc. 

 

In the recent times, it has been seen that during elections a single party has failed to get more than 50% or 272 seats in the Lok Sabha which is a requirement to form a Union Government. In such a case they join hands with other political parties who offer their support. All these parties have similar concerns. Such a government is known as ‘Coalition Government.’ 

 

Another body Rajya Sabha functions as the representation of the Indian States in the Parliament. It has power to initiate legislation. A Bill has to be passed in the Rajya Sabha so that it can become a law. Hence, it plays a great role in altering and reviewing the Laws that the Lok Sabha passes. The legislative assembly of different states elects the members of Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha has a total of 233 elected members. Out of these 12 members are nominated by the President. These members are distinguished personalities of different fields such as Art, Literature, etc. 

 

  1. To Control, Guide and Inform the Government

When it is in session, the Parliament begins with Question Hour. It is considered as an important mechanism through which the MPs are able to elicit about the working of the Union Government. It is an important way through which the Central Government is controlled by the Parliament. As the MPs ask questions in the Parliament, the government is alerted of its shortcomings that could be present in a particular rule that it is presenting. 

 

Asking questions regarding any bill is a crucial task that every MP is entitled to perform. The Opposition has a crucial role in ensuring that the Democracy functions in a healthy manner. They highlight different drawbacks that are present in various programs and policies that Union government presents. They also mobilise support for their own policies. 

 

Whenever an MP asks a question, the government gets a healthy feedback through it. It also keeps the ruling government on its toes. Apart from that, the government needs approval of the Parliament while dealing with matters related to Finance. It is one of the few ways through which Parliament guides, controls and informs the Central Government. 

 

As the representatives of people, the MPs have a key role in guiding, controlling and informing the Parliament. It is a key aspect of the way in which the Indian Democracy functions. 

 

Who Are The People in the Parliament?

People from different backgrounds get elected as MPs in the Parliament. For example, Regional parties have MPs from rural areas. People and groups who were unrepresented earlier now have found a seat in the Parliament. 

parliament seats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nowadays, there has been an increase in backward caste people i.e. Dalit ones’ participation in the Parliament. The following table shows the percentage of people who voted during Parliamentary Elections: 

 

Lok Sabha Election Years Voter Turnout (%)
1st 1951-52 61.16
4th 1967 61.33
5th  1971 55.29
6th 1977 60.49
8th 1984-85 64.01
10th 1991-92 55.88
14th 2004 57.98
15th 2009 58.19
16th 2014 66.40

 

From the above table, it is clear that a society’s perfect reflection is not produced through representative democracy. It shows that when experience and interest separates us, it is crucial to ensure that those communities which are historically marginalised, get adequate representation. Keeping this thing in mind, our lawmakers have reserved a few seats for those belonging to SC and ST categories. It has been done so, so that the candidates getting selected from these regions get familiar with the problem that the Dalits face. They can represent the Dalit and Adivasi interest in the Parliament. 

 

Recently, it was suggested that a few seats in the Parliament should be reserved for the women. The lawmakers are still debating on this issue. When our country got independent, only four per cent of women were elected as MPs. Today this number has increased to 11% which is really low. Once the reservation comes into force, only then women would get true representation in the Parliament. 

 

Sometimes, there are issues in which certain difficult questions are asked regarding the fact that if our democracy is representative enough. The fact that we ask these questions and are working towards answers shows that India has a better form of democratic government.

 

Question and Answers

Q1. Why do you think our national movement supported the idea that all adults have a right to vote?

Ans. While the national movement was going on, British Rule didn’t allow Indian citizens to either vote or take part in the decision – making process. Once the country became independent, all citizens were convinced that they would get equal opportunities in the process of decision making.

Every citizen in our country is a part of the Indian society. They all need a chance to contribute towards the working of government. Once the adults get the right to vote, they get a chance to choose their representatives for the next five years. 

 

Q2. In this 2004 map of Parliamentary constituencies alongside, roughly identify the 

constituencies in your State. What is the name of the MP from your constituency? How many MPs does your state have? Why are certain constituencies coloured green while others are blue or pink?

parliamentary constituencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Punjab, there are 117 constituencies where MLAs get elected. For Lok Sabha there are 13 seats in Punjab. Currently, Ravneet Singh of INC is the MP of Ludhiana. 

 

Q3. You have read in Chapter 1 that the ‘Parliamentary form of government’ that exists in India has three tiers. This includes the Parliament (central government) and the various State Legislatures (state governments). Fill in the following table with information on the various representatives from your area:

State government Central government
Which political party/parties is/are currently in power?
Who (name) is the current

representative from your area?

Which political parties currently

form the Opposition?

When were elections last held?
When will the next elections

be held?

How many women representatives are there (from your state)?

 

Ans. 

 

State Government Central Government
Which political party/parties is/are currently in power? Congress BJP
Who (name) is the current

representative from your area?

Sanjiv Talwar – Panchkula South Congress
When were elections last held? 2017 2019
Which political parties currently

form the Opposition?

AAP Congress
When will the next elections

be held?

2022 2024
How many women representatives

are there (from your state)?

6 1

 

Extra Questions

 

Using the following table, answer the given questions: 

 

Result of 16th Lok Sabha Election (2014) 

National Parties

 

Party No of Seats
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 282
Communist Party of India (CPI) 1
Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPM) 9
Indian National Congress (INC) 44
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 6

Regional Parties

 

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) 4
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIDMK) 37
All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) 34
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) 3
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) 20
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) 2
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) 2
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 3
Janata Dal (Secular) 2
Janata Dal (United) 2
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) 2
Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) 6
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) 4
Samajwadi Party (SP) 5
Shiromani Akali Dal 4
Shiv Sena  18
Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) 11
Telugu Desam Party (TDP)  16
Other Regional Parties 7
registered Unrecognised parties  16
Independents 3
Grand Total 543

 

Q1. Who will form the government? Why?

Ans. BJP will form the government along with its allies because they have won the majority of seats.

 

Q2. Who will be present for discussions in the Lok Sabha?

Ans. All the MPs who represent different constituencies along with Prime Minister and his Ministers will be present for the discussions in the Lok Sabha.

 

Q3. Use the terms ‘constituency’ and ‘represent’ to explain who an MLA is and how the person gets elected?

Ans. Suppose a state is going to have its elections. From a seat, a number of candidates from different political parties  file nominations to fight the elections. On this occasion, the people of that state would come together to elect the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in a particular constituency. The candidate who gets maximum votes wins and gets elected as MLA of that constituency. He represents that region.

 

Q4. Discuss with your teacher the difference between a State Legislative Assembly

(Vidhan Sabha) and the Parliament (Lok Sabha).

Ans.

 

Lok Sabha Vidhan Sabha
It’s members are called the Members of Parliament (MPs) It’s members are called Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
The elected leader of MPs heads the Union govt i.e. the Prime Minister. The elected MLAs choose their leader who is the Chief Minister. He heads the State govt.
An MP’s constituency is made up of several small constituencies where MLAs are elected representatives. Therefore, MP’s electoral constituency is larger. An MLA’s constituency is smaller.
An MLA is eligible to become a Minister in the State Cabinet. An MP becomes Minister in the Union Cabinet.

 

Q5. From the list below, identify the work of a State government and that of a Central

Government.

 (a) The decision of the Indian government to maintain peaceful relations

 with China.

 (b) The decision of the Madhya Pradesh government to discontinue Board

 exams in Class VIII for all schools under this Board

 (c)  Introduction of a new train connection between Ajmer and Mysore.

 (d) Introduction of a new 1,000 rupee note.

 

Ans: 

  1. a) Central Government
  2. b) State Government
  3. c) Central Government 
  4. d) Central Government 

 

Q6. Fill in the blanks with the following words. universal adult franchise; 

MLAs; representatives; directly.

 

Democratic governments in our times are usually referred to as representative

democracies. In representative democracies, people do not participate _______

but, instead, choose their _______ through an election process. These _______

meet and make decisions for the entire population. These days, a government

cannot call itself democratic unless it allows what is known as Universal _______ 

This means that all adult citizens in the country are allowed to vote.

 

Ans: Democratic governments in our times are usually referred to as representative

democracies. In representative democracies, people do not participate directly

but, instead, choose their representatives through an election process. These MLAs

meet and make decisions for the entire population. These days, a government

cannot call itself democratic unless it allows what is known as Universal Adult Franchise 

This means that all adult citizens in the country are allowed to vote.

 

Q7. You have read that most elected members whether in the Panchayat, or the Vidhan

Sabha or the Parliament are elected for a fixed period of five years. Why do

we have a system where the representatives are elected for a fixed period and not

for life?

Ans. It is a good rule that most of the elected members in India have a fixed period of five years. It prevents authorianism and complacency in these members. Through this rule, people get a chance to change their elected representatives during elections if they are not satisfied by his or her work as elected representatives. Apart from that regular elections and choice of options among the voters are key features of a democracy.
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