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Question 1

Why does a democratic country need a Constitution?

A democratic country needs a constitution because: 
  • A constitution puts down certain principles that form the basis of the kind of country that we as citizens, desire to live in.

  • A Constitution tells us the fundamental nature of our society.

  • A Constitution helps serve as a set of rules and principles that all persons in a country can agree upon as the basis of the way in which they want the country to be governed.

  • The constitution also spells out the ideals the citizens believe that their country should uphold.

Question 2

What is the difference in who exercises Executive Power in the 1990 and Interim Constitutions of Nepal? Keeping this in mind, why do you think Nepal needs a new Constitution today?

In the 1990 Nepal constitution the Executive powers of the Kingdom was entirely in the hands of the King. According to the Interim constitution drafted in 2007, the executive powers of Nepal are in the hands of the council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister.

There was a dire need for a new constitution as the ideals of the people had changed as the country had moved from a monarchy to a democracy. The old constitution was drafted when the country was under the rule of the king. The people of Nepal fought for a democratic government for many years. So the old constitution does not reflect the ideals of the people. The new constitution will change the rules of the old constitution in order to bring in a new society with new ideals.

Question 3

What would happen if there were no restrictions on the power of elected representatives?

If there are no restrictions on the power of the elected representatives the leaders might misuse the powers given to them. The Indian Constitution provides safeguards against this misuse of power by our political leaders. The Constitution lays down rules that guard the citizens against misuse of power.


Question 4

In each of the following situations, identify the minority. Write one reason why you think it is important to respect the views of the minority in each of these situations.

(a) In a school with 30 teachers, 20 of them are male.
(b) In a city, 5 per cent of the population are Buddhists.
(c) In a factory mess for all employees, 80 per cent are vegetarians.
(d) In a class of 50 students, 40 belong to more well-off families.

(a) Female teachers are in the minority - It is necessary to respect the views of the lady teachers also as their view points may also be in the best interest of the students.

(b) Buddhists are in the minority- Every individual has the right to follow the religion of his choice.

(c) Non - vegetarians are in the minority - The food a person eats is his personal wish and so he should have the freedom to eat what he wants.

(d) The under privileged are in minority - Citizens cannot be discriminated by their birth so their views have to be respected.


Question 5

Listed below are the key features of the Indian Constitution. Write two sentences, in your own words, on why you think this feature is important Key Feature.

  •     Federalism
  •     Separation of Powers
  •     Fundamental Rights
  •     Parliamentary Form of Government
means more than one level of government in the country. India has a 3 tier government. India needs a 3 tier government because of the diverse religious and cultural composition of its citizens. A government at the centre alone could not be effective for every one.

Separation of Powers :-
In order to prevent the misuse of power by the elected representative the constitution advocate Separation of powers. Each branch of the government has its powers fixed by the Constitution. The Constitution ensures that a balance of power is maintained between the Legislature Executive and the Judiciary.

Fundamental Rights :-
Fundamental Rights guarantees the rights of individuals against the State as well as against other individuals. It protects minority communities and guarantees rights against the majority.

Parliamentary Form of Government :-
In a Parliamentary form of government the constitution guarantees universal adult franchise for all citizens. That is, all adults have a right to vote, irrespective of whether they are poor or rich, educated or uneducated, a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian.
The idea of universal adult franchise is based on equality.

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