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Question 1

What were the problems that faced the new government after independence?

A majority of Indians lived in villages and development of villages was the need of the hour. Agriculture had to be improved as farmers and peasants depended on the monsoon for their survival.

Barbers, carpenters, weavers and other service groups of the non-farm sector of the rural economy would not get paid for their services if the crops failed, so the government was faced with the task of building dams for irrigation.

In the cities, factory workers lived in crowded slums and had little access to education or health care, the government had to draft schemes to educate the poor and provide adequate health care.

Question 2

What were the new Government’s priorities?

A vast majority of people had to be lifted above the poverty line and to achieve this agricultural productivity had to be increased to feed the enormous population. Industries had to be set up to provide jobs for the jobless. These were the government’s main priorities after independence.

Question 3

Write a brief note on the Constituent Assembly.

The Constituent Assembly was set up to draft out the constitution of India. The Constituent Assembly met numerous times while the Indian constitution was being written. The writing of the constitution took almost three years to be completed; from December 1946 to November 1949.

The meetings of the "Constituent Assembly" were held in New Delhi. The members of the assembly came from all over India, and from different political parties. The most important role was played by Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who was Chairman of the Drafting Committee. Under the supervision of Dr B.R. Ambedkar the document was finalised.

The Indian constitution was completed and adopted on 26 January 1950. On 26th January, India became a Republic and since Republic Day has been celebrated on 26th January every year.

Question 4

What is Universal adult franchise? Was it adopted by the Indian constitution?

Universal adult franchise is the right or privilege of voting. The Indian Constitution adopted universal adult franchise. All Indians above the age of 21 would be allowed to vote in state and national elections.

This was a revolutionary step as Indians have never been allowed to choose their own leaders.

Question 5

How was the ‘right to vote’ in adopted in the UK and the US?

In countries like United Kingdom and the United States, the right to vote was granted in stages. First only men of property had the vote, next men who were educated had the right to vote. After a long struggle working-class men got the vote. And finally, after a bitter struggle American and British women were granted the vote.

Question 6

Write a brief not on abolition of untouchability and Reservation Policy.

Abolition of untouchability and the Reservation Policy was another important feature of the Indian constitution. The Constitution offered special privileges for the poorest and most disadvantaged Indians.

The practice of untouchability was abolished. Hindu temples, previously open to only the higher castes, were thrown open to all, including the untouchables.

The Constituent Assembly recommended that a certain percentage of seats in legislatures as well as jobs in government be reserved for members of the lowest castes.

Many members of the Constituent Assembly argued against the Reservation policy. But many members stated that the policy was necessary to uplift the Harijans as they have been suppressed for thousands of years.

Along with the former Untouchables, the Adivasis or Scheduled Tribes were also granted reservation in Educational Institutions and jobs. Like the Scheduled Castes, these Indians too had been deprived and discriminated against. The new constitution sought to provide them with good education, health care and a profitable livelihood.

Question 7

What are 3 lists of subjects that the constitution has provided to balance the different views on power sharing between the centre and the state?

The 3 lists of subjects provided by the constitution are…
  • A Union List, with subjects such as taxes, defence and foreign affairs, which would be the exclusive responsibility of the Centre

  • A State List of subjects, such as education and health, which would be taken care of principally by the states

  • A Concurrent List, under which would come subjects such as forests and agriculture, in which the Centre and the states would have joint responsibility.  

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