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BPSC-132: Indian Government and Politics

BPSC-132: Indian Government and Politics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

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Assignment Code: BPSC-132/ASST/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: BPSC-132

Assignment Name: Indian Government and Politics

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment - I


Answer the following in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks. 

Q1) Discuss the essential features of the Indian Constitution.

Ans) The Indian Constitution, adopted on January 26, 1950, is a comprehensive document that embodies the fundamental principles, values, and structures of the country's governance. It's a living document that has evolved through amendments and interpretations.

Here are the essential features of the Indian Constitution: 

a)    Preamble: The Preamble serves as the introductory statement and outlines the ideals and objectives of the Constitution, emphasizing justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. It reflects the aspirations of the people and the commitment of the state to secure these values.

b)   Federalism with Unitary Bias: India follows a federal structure where powers are divided between the central government and the states. However, during emergencies, the Constitution provides for a unitary form of government, giving more authority to the central government.

c)    Fundamental Rights: The Constitution guarantees several fundamental rights to its citizens, including the right to equality, freedom of speech and expression, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, and the right to constitutional remedies (enforced through the writs).

d)   Directive Principles of State Policy: These principles guide the state in creating policies and laws. Though not legally enforceable, they serve as a moral imperative for the state to work towards social justice, economic welfare, and the overall development of the people.

e)    Parliamentary System: India follows a parliamentary system of government where the President is the head of the state, and the Prime Minister is the head of the government. The Parliament consists of the President, Lok Sabha (House of the People), and Rajya Sabha (Council of States), with a bicameral structure.

f)     Independent Judiciary: The Constitution establishes an independent judiciary with the Supreme Court as the apex body. It ensures the protection of fundamental rights, interprets laws, and safeguards the Constitution's spirit through judicial review.

g)   Separation of Powers: The Constitution ensures a separation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches to prevent the concentration of power in a single entity, maintaining checks and balances.

h)    Universal Adult Franchise: With the implementation of the principle of universal adult suffrage, India has made it possible for any adult citizen to exercise their right to vote, regardless of their gender, caste, religious affiliation, or socioeconomic background.

i)     Secularism: A guarantee that all religions are granted equal consideration and acknowledgement is included in the Constitution of India, which enshrines the notion of secularism as a fundamental value. The state maintains a position of neutrality with regard to matters concerning religious beliefs and practises.

j)     Amendment Procedure: It is possible to make changes to the Constitution in order to accommodate changing circumstances and requirements because the Constitution is amendable. In order for revisions to be made, it is necessary to have the agreement of a special majority of people in Parliament.


By establishing the framework for governance, protecting individual rights, ensuring socio-economic growth, and upholding democratic principles at the same time, these key aspects collectively constitute the framework for governance in India. The Constitution has been an essential component in the formation of the nation's identity and in directing the nation's development over the course of its history.


Q2) Explain the functions and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

Ans) The Supreme Court and High Courts form the apex judicial bodies in the hierarchical structure of the Indian judiciary, each with distinct functions and jurisdictions.


Supreme Court of India

a)    Functions:

1)      Guardian of the Constitution: The primary role of the Supreme Court is to safeguard the Constitution. It interprets the Constitution, ensures adherence to its principles, and resolves disputes concerning its interpretation.

2)     Appellate Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court serves as the highest appellate court in the country. It hears appeals from High Courts and certain specialized tribunals. Its decisions on matters of law are final, except in cases involving constitutional amendments.

3)     Advisory Jurisdiction: The President of India can seek the Supreme Court's opinion on important legal or constitutional matters. While not binding, these advisory opinions hold significant weight in legal discourse.

4)     Original Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in specific disputes between the Union government and one or more states or between states themselves. It also deals with cases involving constitutional violations or disputes of substantial public interest.

5)     Protection of Fundamental Rights: It ensures the protection of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The Court can issue writs—habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, and quo warranto—to enforce these rights.


b)   Jurisdiction:

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over matters:

1)      Arising from any of the country's appellate courts or high courts.

2)     A significant legal question involving the interpretation of the Constitution is involved in this matter.

3)     Involving disagreements between the Union and one or more states, or between states themselves, or between the Union and others.

4)     Concerning civil or criminal cases that are of significant relevance to the nation or the public.


High Courts in India

a)    Functions:

1)      Appellate Jurisdiction: High Courts serve as appellate courts for judgments passed by lower courts within their respective states or union territories. They hear appeals against lower court decisions in civil, criminal, and constitutional matters.

2)     Original Jurisdiction: High Courts possess original jurisdiction in certain cases, including disputes involving a substantial question of law or constitutional interpretation, cases exceeding the jurisdiction of subordinate courts, and matters related to revenue and rent.

3)     Writ Jurisdiction: Like the Supreme Court, High Courts have the power to issue writs to enforce fundamental rights. Individuals can directly approach High Courts seeking remedies through writs in case of rights violations.


b)   Jurisdiction:

High Courts have jurisdiction over:

1)      Matters that take place within the borders of their respective states or union territories or territories.

2)     Appeals from lower courts and tribunals while they are operating inside their respective territorial governments.

3)     Cases that involve constitutional problems or matters of law that are of significant importance.


In summary, the Supreme Court of India is the apex judicial authority, with powers encompassing the entire nation. It safeguards the Constitution, acts as the highest appellate court, and deals with matters of national importance. High Courts operate within their respective states or union territories, holding appellate and original jurisdiction, playing a crucial role in dispensing justice at a regional level while upholding constitutional principles.


Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks.

Q1) Discuss the special powers and functions of the Rajya Sabha.

Ans) The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, possesses distinctive powers and functions that contribute to the overall legislative process and the functioning of the Indian political system.


Special Powers

a)     Representation of States and Union Territories: The Rajya Sabha represents the federal character of the Indian political system. Members are not directly elected by the public but are chosen by the elected members of State Legislative Assemblies and Electoral College of Union Territories, ensuring a balanced representation of states and territories.

b)     Special Powers in Constitutional Amendments: The Rajya Sabha plays a crucial role in amending the Constitution. While most bills require a simple majority, certain bills, especially those amending federal provisions, need a special majority in both houses. The Rajya Sabha, being a representative of states, participates in such constitutional amendments.

c)     Power to Authorize the President's Rule: In case of constitutional breakdown in a state, the Rajya Sabha can recommend the imposition of President's Rule. This involves the suspension of the state government and the imposition of direct rule by the President.

d)     Representation in Diplomatic Delegations: Members of the Rajya Sabha often find representation in various Indian delegations participating in international conferences and parliamentary forums. This representation enhances the diversity of perspectives in international interactions.



a)     Legislation: The Rajya Sabha is an integral part of the legislative process. It reviews and scrutinizes bills initiated in the Lok Sabha, offering valuable insights and amendments. While the Lok Sabha has the supremacy in financial matters, both houses are equal regarding non-financial legislation.

b)     Representation of States in Federal Structure: The Rajya Sabha ensures the representation of states in the federal structure of India. This helps in balancing regional interests and ensures that the national legislative process incorporates diverse perspectives.

c)     Check on Hasty Legislation: As members are indirectly elected and not directly accountable to the public, the Rajya Sabha provides a deliberative and revising chamber. It acts as a check on hasty or populist legislation, promoting a more measured and comprehensive legislative process.

d)     Expertise and Experience: Members of the Rajya Sabha often bring expertise and experience from various fields, contributing to informed and nuanced debates. This diversity enhances the quality of legislative discussions and decision-making.


In essence, the Rajya Sabha serves as a critical component of the Indian parliamentary system, ensuring the representation of states, contributing to the legislative process, and exercising specific powers in constitutional matters and emergencies. Its unique composition and functions contribute to the federal and democratic character of the Indian political system.


Q2) Explain the procedure for removing a judge of the Supreme Court.

Ans) The removal of a judge of the Supreme Court in India involves a stringent and well-defined procedure outlined in the Constitution, aimed at ensuring judicial independence while holding judges accountable for misconduct or incapacity.

Procedure for Removal

a)     Initiation of Proceedings: The process can be initiated by either House of Parliament. A motion for the removal of a judge must be signed by at least 100 members of the Lok Sabha or 50 members of the Rajya Sabha. It requires a written statement of the charges against the judge, outlining the alleged misconduct or incapacity.

b)     Investigation by the Parliament: Once the motion is presented, an ad-hoc committee is formed to investigate the allegations. This committee comprises three members from the Lok Sabha, two members from the Rajya Sabha, and one judge from the Supreme Court. The committee investigates the charges and presents its findings to both Houses of Parliament.

c)     Impeachment Process: If the committee finds the judge guilty of misconduct or incapacity, impeachment proceedings begin. Each House of Parliament then needs to pass the motion by a special majority. This means a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.

d)     President’s Assent: Once the motion is passed by both Houses, it is presented to the President for assent. Upon receiving the President’s assent, the judge is officially removed from office.


Safeguards and Significance

a)     The procedure is deliberately stringent to ensure that judges are not removed arbitrarily or due to political pressure. It upholds judicial independence and ensures that judges can perform their duties without fear of undue interference.

b)     This process serves as a crucial check and balance on the judiciary, holding judges accountable for misconduct while respecting the sanctity of the judicial office.

c)     Notably, in India’s history, there have been very few instances of judges facing impeachment proceedings, highlighting the gravity and rarity of such proceedings, emphasizing the sanctity of judicial office.


The process for removing a judge of the Supreme Court is elaborate and designed to maintain the independence and integrity of the judiciary while allowing for accountability when serious misconduct or incapacity is alleged.


Q3) Examine the Parliament's powers to amend the Constitution of India.

Ans) In India, the Parliament holds the power to amend the Constitution, which is detailed under Article 368. However, this power is not unlimited and must adhere to specific procedures and limitations outlined within the constitutional framework.


Powers to Amend:

a)     Initiation: An amendment to the Constitution can be initiated only by the Parliament. It requires the introduction of a bill in either House of Parliament, i.e., the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.

b)     Special Majority: The amendment bill must be passed by each House separately, by a special majority. A special majority implies a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.

c)     Ratification by States: In certain cases, if the amendment pertains to matters affecting the federal structure or specific states, it requires ratification by at least half of the state legislatures by a simple majority.



a)     Basic Structure Doctrine: The Parliament's power to amend the Constitution is not absolute. In the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), the Supreme Court established the basic structure doctrine, asserting that while Parliament has the authority to amend the Constitution, it cannot alter its basic structure. This doctrine safeguards fundamental features of the Constitution, such as the democratic and secular nature, federalism, and judicial review.

b)     Judicial Review: Amendments can be challenged in the courts if they violate the basic structure or any other provision of the Constitution. The judiciary has the authority to strike down amendments that contravene the Constitution's spirit or undermine its fundamental principles.

c)     Constitutional Amendments Acts: Amendments made by Parliament are cataloged as Constitutional Amendment Acts. Each amendment act is assigned a number and listed chronologically in the Constitution.

d)     Subject to Procedure: Amendments must follow the prescribed procedure outlined in Article 368, ensuring that the process is not arbitrarily bypassed or altered.



The Parliament's powers to amend the Constitution of India signify the flexibility and adaptability of the Constitution to changing socio-political circumstances. However, the limitations imposed by the basic structure doctrine and judicial review ensure that the essence and foundational principles of the Constitution remain intact, maintaining its core values and integrity.


Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 6 marks. 

Q1) Explain the dominant party system.

Ans) A dominant party system refers to a political environment where one party consistently holds a significant advantage over others, often winning elections consecutively. This dominance is sustained through voter support, organizational strength, and electoral success. While other parties exist, the dominant party typically maintains a prolonged period of governance, influencing policy and political landscape. Examples include the PRI in Mexico and the Indian National Congress in India. The dominance may lead to stability but raises concerns about democratic health, limiting political competition and diversity of ideas within the political system.


Q2) Explain the meaning of Secularism and Secularisation.

Ans) Secularism refers to the principle of separating religious institutions from the state's affairs. It advocates for a neutral stance by the government concerning religious matters, ensuring equal treatment of all religions, and allowing individuals the freedom to practice their faith without state interference. It promotes religious tolerance, protecting individuals' rights to their beliefs, while the state remains unbiased and maintains its autonomy from religious influence.


Secularization, on the other hand, denotes the process wherein societies shift away from traditional religious beliefs, practices, and institutions, embracing a more secular worldview. It involves the declining influence of religion in societal, cultural, and institutional aspects, often paralleling increased rationalization, modernization, and diversification of belief systems.


Q3) What is a tribe, and how is it different from a caste?

Ans) A tribe is a social group consisting of people with shared cultural, linguistic, and often ancestral ties. They typically have a distinct identity, customs, traditions, and a common historical background. Tribes often inhabit specific geographical areas and maintain a close-knit social structure, sometimes organized around kinship or clan-based systems.


Conversely, a caste refers to a social stratification system found primarily in South Asia, notably in India, where individuals are hierarchically grouped based on hereditary occupations and social status. Castes are traditionally rigid, with limited mobility between them, and are determined by birth, regulating social interactions, roles, and privileges within society. Unlike tribes, castes are defined by social and occupational roles rather than common cultural or ancestral ties.


Q4) Write a brief note on the importance of rights under Articles 20 and 21.

Ans) Article 20 of the Indian Constitution enshrines crucial rights that safeguard individuals' protection from arbitrary legal actions. It protects against retroactive laws (ex post facto laws), ensuring no one can be penalized for an act that wasn't an offense when committed. It also prevents double jeopardy, safeguarding against being tried and punished twice for the same offense. Moreover, it ensures that an accused person receives protection against self-incrimination, safeguarding against being compelled to be a witness against oneself.


Life and personal liberty are guaranteed by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. It covers several aspects, protecting survival and dignity. Protection against unlawful detention or arrest, fair trial procedures, privacy, health, housing, and clean environment are covered by this article. The judiciary has broadly interpreted Article 21 to defend fundamental human rights, highlighting its importance in protecting citizens' most basic liberties.


Q5) Write a brief note on Emergency provisions in the Indian Constitution.

Ans) The Indian Constitution incorporates provisions for three types of emergencies:


a)     National Emergency (Article 352): Declared in case of war, external aggression, or armed rebellion threatening the country's security. It vests extraordinary powers with the central government, allowing it to override fundamental rights and enable more centralized governance.

b)     State Emergency (Article 356): Also known as President's Rule, it permits the central government to take over the governance of a state if the constitutional machinery within the state fails to function properly, usually due to political instability or breakdown.

c)     Financial Emergency (Article 360): Declared due to a threat to the financial stability of India. It empowers the central government to take control over financial matters in the country and states, reducing autonomy in financial decision-making.


These emergency provisions grant significant powers to the central government but come with checks and balances, ensuring they are not misused and are subject to parliamentary review every six months. Their use is intended for extraordinary circumstances threatening the nation's security, integrity, or stability.

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