How the State Government Works: NCERT 7th CBSE Social Studies Civics Chapter 03
Question: What issues are being discussed by the characters in the story?
Answer: The girls are reading the newspaper article about shortage of water and people falling sick. In many places in the state drinking water is not clean, streams and tanks have dried. At Patalpuram people especially children are suffering from acute diarrhoea.
Question: Why were they stopped on their way back from school?
Answer: They were stopped on their way due to road blockage. People with opposition party workers were angry and were protesting against the local MLA. People wanted the government to take action to improve water and health situation.
Question: Who is a MLA?
Answer: MLA’s are elected by the people. They become the members of Legislative Assembly and form the government or opposition. Thus they represent the people.
Question: How is MLA elected?
Answer: Every state has a Legislative Assembly. Each state is divided into constituencies. For example Himachal Pradesh is divided into 68 constituencies. From each constituency one representative is elected by the people who then becomes a MLA. Candidates belong to different political parties or may be independent.
How the State Government Works – Question: Which party is called the ruling party?
Answer: Political party whose gets more than half of the seats of Legislative Assembly is the majority party. This party is called the ruling party and all other members are called opposition.
For example: In 2003 in Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, The Indian National Congress won 43 seats (required no. was 34) and became the ruling party. All the other MLAs became the opposition. Here BJP was the major opposition party having the largest number of MLAs after INC. There were independent MLAs as well.
Question: How do MLAs become a minister or Chief Minister?
Answer: The MLAs of the ruling party elect their leader who becomes the Chief Minister. For Example, Congress MLAs choose Sh. Virbhadra Singh as their leader.
The Chief Minister then selects other people as ministers. The Governor appoints the Chief Minister and other ministers.
Question: What are the responsibilities of the chief minister and other ministers?
Answer: They have the responsibility of running various government departments or ministries. They have separate offices though all the decisions are discussed in the Assembly.
In the Assembly all the MLAs discuss various things. Thus, some MLAs have dual responsibility: as a MLA and as a Minister.
A Debate in the Legislative Assembly
Question: Why were Afreen and Sujata excited?
How the State Government Works – Answer: Afreen, Sujata and other students were excited because they were travelling to the state capital to visit the Legislative Assembly. Assembly was housed in an impressive building.
After the security checks, children were taken upstairs to the visitor gallery. From there they saw the large hall with rows of desks for the MLAs.
Question: How does Assembly work?
Answer: Current issues are discussed in the Assembly and decisions are taken on various issues. During this time MLAs can express their opinion and ask questions related to the issues. They may give suggestions about running of the government. Those who wish can respond to the same. The concerned ministers replies to the questions and assure the assembly about the step taken by the government about a issue.
Question: Who takes the decisions about running of the government?
Answer: The chief minister and other ministers have to take the decisions about running the government. These decisions have to be approved by the members of Assembly.
In democracy these members (MLAs) can ask questions, debate an issue or take decision about spending the money. They have the joint authority. We see or listen about these discussions from the newspapers or news channels.
How the State Government Works – Question: Define: Government, Legislature, Executive.
- MLAs are together responsible for the work of the government.
- In common usage the word ‘government’ refers to government departments and various ministers who head them. The overall head is the Chief Minister.
- All the MLAs who gather together (assemble) in the Legislative Assembly are called the legislature.
- They are the ones who authorize and supervise the work.
The work of the Chief Minister, Ministers and MLAs is called the executive part of the government.
Notes: Examples of discussions in the Assembly
- MLA of Akhandagaon highlighting the deaths in his constituency due to diarrhoea. He is drawing the attention of health minister to take control of the situation.
- Another MLA raises questions on lack of doctors and medical staff and government steps
in this direction.
- MLA from Tolpatti raises the issue to water supply. He wanted to know about the disinfecting process of wells and ponds.
- MLA from ruling party outlines the steps taken by the government to control the situation.
He talks about water tankers and ORS packets being distributed.
- Another member brings the point of doctors on long leave or no medical staff for years in certain hospitals. He asks about the process of distributing ORS packets.
- Ruling party member blames the poor sanitation condition on the previous government. And informs about the sanitation drive in process.
Working of the Government: How the State Government Works
Question: Where else work of government is discussed other than the legislature?
- Besides Legislative Assembly there are other places (means) where opinions are expressed about the work of the government and action is demanded.
- The newspapers, T.V. channels and other organisations regularly talking about the government.
- In a democracy there are various ways through which people express their views and also take action.
- One such way is the Press Conference.
- Large numbers of people from different newspapers come to the Press Conference.
- The minister and some government officials explain the steps that the government has taken.
- There were many questions asked by news reporters at this meeting. These discussions were then reported in different newspapers.
Question: What did the Chief Minister and the Minister for Health do in the next week of the Assembly Session?
- During the next week the Chief Minister and the Minister for Health went to Patalpuram district to visit the families who had lost their relatives.
- They also visited people in the hospitals. They announced a compensation for these families.
- The Chief Minister thought the problem was not only one of sanitation but also one of a lack of clean drinking water.
- He announced a high-level inquiry committee to suggest ways to provide sanitation facilities. He also requested the Minister for Public Works to care for proper water supply in the region.
Question: How does government in a state function?
How do Chief Minister and cabinet work?
Answer: Government in a state is headed by Chief Minister. He appoints ministers at various levels.
- These ministers head different departments like public works, agriculture, health etc.
- The bureaucracy is responsible for the functioning of the departments.
- The Chief Minister and cabinet is answerable to the people. They do so in the Assembly by answering the questions and through media by holding press conferences.
- Laws are made in the Legislative and the government departments implement these.
Question: What else the government did to improve health situations?
Answer: The government decided to make new laws for the state regarding sanitation and health facilities. Like, it made it compulsory for municipal corporations to ensure adequate toilet facilities in urban areas. Ensuring appointment of health worker in villages.
Question: Who is responsible for making laws?
Answer: The Assembly collectively makes laws. These are implemented by the government departments. Laws for the country are made in Parliament.
Question: Who has the main authority in the democracy?
Answer: Democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people.
- It is the people who elect their representatives. They can change them in the next election.
- It is people’s representatives in the assembly. So, people are the main authority.
Question: What is the role of different parties in the legislature?
Answer: The ruling party members form the government and some members are appointed as ministers. These ministers are in charge of various departments such as health. The work done by these departments has to be approved by the Assembly.
A Wallpaper Project
Question: What is a wall-paper project? Discuss its various aspects.
Answer: A wall-paper project is research activity done on various topics.
- The class is divided into groups. Children work in pairs or individually.
- Discussion on topic is held.
- Children collect information and write their observations or experiences.
- This may be in form of photographs, poems, stories, case studies etc.
- Each group finalizes the layout for the wall-paper and present it to the class.
- Each group is allotted same time. More than one member presents their group’s work.
- After presentation there is a feedback session on what more could have been done.
Question: Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:
- Diarrhoea spreads through contaminated …………… .
- Laws for the states are made in the …………………. .
- MLAs are elected by the …………………….. of the state.
- Every state is divided into …………….. .
- Legislative Assembly
Question: State whether the given statements are true or false.
- Some MLAs have dual responsibility as an MLA and as a Minister.
- Gathering of media persons is called Legislative Assembly.
- The independents can also stand in the elections.
- People can express their opinion through media or even in Legislative Assembly through representatives.
Question: Match the contents of Column A with that of Column B
2. Head of the government
3. Party with majority
4. Party in minority
(d) Chief Minister
Question: Use the terms ‘constituency’ and ‘represent’ to explain who an MLA is and how is the person elected?
Answer: A state is divided into several constituencies on the basis of population. Every constituency elects one representative for the Legislative Assembly. The person elected as representative represents that particular constituency. He / She is called as a Member of Legislative Assembly Le. MLA. An MLA is elected through a general election. He / She may be a member of a recognized political party or independent. One who gets the maximum votes becomes the MLA of that constituency.
Question: How did some MLAs become Ministers? Explain.
Answer: The party which is elected in majority for the Legislative Assembly forms the government. As per constitutional provisions the ruling party elects its leader who is called the Chief Minister as the head of the government. The Chief Minister, in consultation with the Governor, constitutes a cabinet which includes members of his / her party as ministers. The MLAs who become ministers are allotted with a portfolio. Here the MLAs turned ministers become accountable for the entire state for that particular portfolio.
Question: Why should decisions taken by the Chief Minister and other ministers be debated in the Legislative Assembly?
Answer: The decisions taken by the Chief Minister and other ministers must be debated in the Legislative Assembly. It is because during debate it is discussed whether a particular decision is in interest of the people at large or net. It is also discussed whether it is urgent or not, how much would it cost the government, is there anything objectionable for any particular community, etc.
Question: What was the problem in Patalpuram? What discussion / actions was taken by the following? Pill in the table.
Answer: Patalpuram was facing acute crisis of water
Question: What is the difference between the work that MLAs do in the Assembly and the work done by government departments?
Answer: The difference between the work that MLAs do in the Assembly and the work done by government departments is that every department is headed by a minister who is also an MIA. The minister approves any work done or proposed by the department. The department is responsible for the projections and complition of the work where as MLAs or ministers coordinate between the Assembly and the departments.
Question: How is the Governor of a state appointed?
Answer: The Governor of a state is appointed by the Central Government.
Question: Whose responsibility is it to run various government departments or ministers?
Answer: It is the responsibility of the Chief Minister and other ministers to run various government departments or ministers.
Question: How will you define a Legislative Assembly?
How the State Government Works – Answer: A Legislative Assembly is a place where all the MLAs, from the ruling party as well as the opposition, meet to discuss various things.
Question: Define the term ‘government’.
Answer: The term government’ refers to the government departments and various ministers who head them.
Question: Who is the head of the executive?
How the State Government Works – Answer: The Chief Minister is the head of the executive.
Question: Why did the Chief Minister and the minister for health visit Patalpwam district?
Answer: They went to visit the families who had lost their relatives due to the spread of diarrhoea. They also visited people in the hospitals.
Question: Why are press conferences organised?
Answer: Press conferences are organized to discuss various current issues.
Question: What do you know about a wallpaper?
Answer: A wallpaper is an interesting activity through which research can be done on particular topics of interest.
Question: Why do people in a democratic set up organize meetings?
Answer: They do so to voice their opinions and protest against the government if any of its actions is not in their favor.
How the State Government Works – Question: The government works at three levels. Name them.
Answer: The government works at three levels namely
Question: What do you mean by an MLA? Is it necessary to become a member of any political party to become a MLA?
Answer: The term MLA stands for a Member of Legislative Assembly. He / She is elected through a general election and represents a particular constituency. It is not necessary for one to be a member of a political party to become a MLA. He / she can contest the election as an independent candidate also. In some cases, he / she is sponsored by a political party. But one thing is necessary that he / she must be a citizen of India and fulfill the requisite qualifications for the post.
Question: What is the process of formation of government in a state?
Answer: A general election is conducted to elect representatives from various constituencies. The party which earns more than half of the total seats is said to be in a majority. That party is usually called for forming the government. Sometimes, no party gains clear majority. In that case the party with maximum elected members tries to get support from the like-minded parties or independent candidates. The party that proves to have maximum supporters in that way is allowed to form government. Otherwise there would be re-election,
Question: What is role of the party that does not form government?
How the State Government Works – Answer: As per the Constitution all the parties which do not take part in the formation of government are called opposition parties. In our democratic set up the role of the opposition parties is in no way less important than the ruling party. The opposition parties keep a watch over the functioning of the ruling party. They take part in every discussion and debate held in the Assembly. They can check and protest any wrong action of the government.
Question: Who becomes a Chief Minister? What is his / her role in a state?
Answer: Chief Minister is the leader of the ruling party. He / She is elected out of the total members of the party gaining majority in the general election. He / she is the executive head of the government. He / She is responsible for every action of the government. He / she also coordinates between the government at the center and the state.
Question: How does a government function in a state?
How the State Government Works – Answer: A government is headed by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister, in order to manage the functioning of the government, appoints ministers at various levels like cabinet ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers. Every government departments is headed by a cabinet minister who is directly accountable for the functioning of the particular department. The heads of the government departments who are bureaucrats, are responsible for the handling of the government decisions. The bureaucrats project and get the works completed. The ministers give approval to the works.