UPSC Prelims 2017: Analysis of the Polity Questions

The 2017 UPSC civil services prelims exam saw a resurgence of polity as the most important subject for the IAS exam. A total of 22 questions were asked from this subject with an additional 4 from international organisations and reports and another 10 questions on government schemes. The previous years in 2016 and 2015, fewer than 15 questions were asked from polity. This article discusses the questions on polity that were asked in detail, in the 2017 UPSC prelims.

Take a look at the following graph. It illustrates the specific topics from which polity questions were asked.

Questions from preamble, fundamental duties & rights, DPSP:

Q63. Which one of the following objectives is not embodied in the Preamble to the Constitution of India?

  1. Liberty of thought
  2. Economic liberty
  3. Liberty of expression
  4. Liberty of belief

Answer: b

Answer can be obtained from the Preamble.

Q73. The mind of the makers of the Constitution of India is reflected in which of the following?

  1. The Preamble
  2. The Fundamental Rights
  3. The Directive Principles of State Policy
  4. The Fundamental Duties

Answer: a

Indian Polity by Laxmikanth gives the following line, which was said by Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer, a member of the Constituent Assembly, “The Preamble to our Constitution expresses what we had thought or dreamt so long.”

Q47. Which of the following are envisaged by the Right against Exploitation in the Constitution of India?

  1. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour
  2. Abolition of untouchability
  3. Protection of the interests of minorities
  4. Prohibition of employment of children in factories and mines

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 2 and 4 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4 only
  3. 1 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: c

Factual question. Answer can be obtained from the classification of fundamental rights.

Q83. Which one of the following statements is correct?

  1. Rights are claims of the State against the citizens.
  2. Rights are privileges which are incorporated in the Constitution of a State.
  3. Rights are claims of the citizens against the State.
  4. Rights are privileges of a few citizens against the many.

Answer: c

‘C’ is the right answer because through the rights enshrined in the Constitution, citizens can make demands from the State.

Q61. Which of the following statements is/are true of the Fundamental Duties of an Indian citizen?

  1. A legislative process has been provided to enforce these duties.
  2. They are correlative to legal duties.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

There is no legislative process to enforce citizens to do their duties. Legal duty is one which is required to be carried out as per law. So, there is no correlation between both duties.

Q72. In the context of India, which one of the following is the correct relationship between Rights and Duties?

  1. Rights are correlative with Duties.
  2. Rights are personal and hence independent of society and Duties.
  3. Rights, not Duties, are important for the advancement of the personality of the citizen.
  4. Duties, not Rights, are important for the stability of the State.

Answer: a

This statement is given in Indian Polity by Laxmikanth in the chapter on Fundamental Duties: Rights and duties are correlative and inseparable.

Q82. Which principle among the ‘following was added to the Directive Principles of State Policy by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution?

  1. Equal pay for equal work for both men and women
  2. Participation of workers in the management of industries
  3. Right to work, education and public assistance
  4. Securing living wage and human conditions of work to workers

Answer: b

Factual question.

Q92. Consider the following statements:

With reference to the Constitution of India, the Directive Principles of State Policy constitute limitations upon

  1. Legislative function.
  2. Executive function.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

Fundamental rights act as limitations on the legislative and executive functions.

Questions on Election:

Q7. For election to the Lok Sabha, a nomination paper can be filed by

  1. Anyone residing in India.
  2. A resident of the constituency from which the election is to be contested.
  3. Any citizen of India whose name appears in the electoral roll of a constituency.
  4. Any citizen of India.

Answer: c

Options ‘a’ and ‘b’ can be eliminated because only Indian citizens can contest. Out of ‘c’ and ‘d’, ‘d’ can be eliminated because minor citizens cannot contest.

Q26. Consider the following statements:

  1. In the election for Lok Sabha or State Assembly, the winning candidate must get at least 50 percent of the votes polled, to be declared elected.
  2. According to the provisions laid down in the Constitution of India, in Lok Sabha, the Speaker’s post goes to the majority party and the Deputy Speaker’s to the Opposition.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

Q36. Right to vote and to be elected in India is a

  1. Fundamental Right
  2. Natural Right
  3. Constitutional Right
  4. Legal Right

Answer: c

NCERT Class IX textbook clearly mentions the line in the chapter ‘Democratic Politics’: “Right to vote in elections is an important constitutional right.” NCERT Class XI textbook says, “What is true of the right to vote, is also true of right to contest election.”

Q40. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.
  2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and by-elections.
  3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognized political parties.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 3 only

Answer: d

The EC has three Election Commissioners. The EC also decides the election schedule. So, options 1 and 2 are incorrect.

Questions on Federalism:

Q46. Which of the following are not necessarily the consequences of the proclamation of the President’s rule in a State?

  1. Dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly
  2. Removal of the Council of Ministers in the State
  3. Dissolution of the local bodies

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Factual information asked. Statement 2 is wrong eliminating all the choices except ‘b’.

Q50. Which one of the following is not a feature of Indian federalism?

  1. There is an independent judiciary in India.
  2. Powers have been clearly divided between the Centre and the States.
  3. The federating units have been given unequal representation in the Rajya Sabha.
  4. It is the result of an agreement among the federating units.

Answer: d

The Indian federation is not the result of such an agreement unlike the American federation.

Q91. Local self-government can be best explained as an exercise in

  1. Federalism
  2. Democratic decentralization
  3. Administrative delegation
  4. Direct democracy

Answer: b

Direct question on Panchayati Raj.

Questions on Legislature:

Q75. The Parliament of India exercises control over the functions of the Council of Ministers through

  1. Adjournment motion
  2. Question hour
  3. Supplementary questions

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Indian Parliament exercises control over the Council of Ministers through adjournment motion, no confidence motion, discussions, questions hour, etc. Supplementary questions are asked in the question hour.

Q76. With reference to the Parliament of India, consider the following statements:

  1. A private member’s bill is a bill presented by a Member of Parliament who is not elected but only nominated by the President of India.
  2. Recently, a private member’s bill has been passed in the Parliament of India for the first time in its history.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

Current affairs based question. A private member is an MP who is not a minister. Also, 14 such bills have been passed since 1952.

Questions on Executive:

Q71. The main advantage of the parliamentary form of government is that

  1. The executive and legislature work independently.
  2. It provides continuity of policy and is more efficient.
  3. The executive remains responsible to the legislature.
  4. The head of the government cannot be changed without election.

Answer: c

This is an easy question whose answer can be obtained from the usual books including NCERTs (Class XI – Introduction to Indian Constitution): collective responsibility of the executive to the legislature.

Q49. Out of the following statements, choose the one that brings out the principle underlying the Cabinet form of Government:

  1. An arrangement for minimizing the criticism against the Government whose responsibilities are complex and hard to carry out to the satisfaction of all.
  2. A mechanism for speeding up the activities of the Government whose responsibilities are increasing day by day.
  3. A mechanism of parliamentary democracy for ensuring collective responsibility of the Government to the people.
  4. A device for strengthening the hands of the head of the Government whose hold over the people is in a state of decline.

Answer: b

Class IX Civics NCERT textbook ‘Democratic Politics’ says, “Since it is not practical for all ministers to meet regularly and discuss everything, (hence) the decisions are taken in Cabinet meetings. That is why parliamentary democracy in most countries is often known as the Cabinet form of government.”

Questions on Judiciary:

Q42. In India, Judicial Review implies

  1. The power of the Judiciary to pronounce upon the constitutionality of laws and executive orders.
  2. The power of the Judiciary to question the wisdom of the laws enacted by the Legislatures.
  3. The power of the Judiciary to review all the legislative enactments before they are assented to by the President.
  4. The power of the Judiciary to review its own judgements given earlier in similar or different cases.

Answer: a

Class XI NCERT book ‘Constitution at Work’ chapter on Judiciary gives the line, “Judicial review means the power of SC or HC to examine the constitutionality of any law.”

Miscellaneous questions:

Q67. Democracy’s superior virtue lies in the fact that it calls into activity

  1. The intelligence and character of ordinary men and women.
  2. The methods for strengthening executive leadership.
  3. A superior individual with dynamism and vision.
  4. A band of dedicated party workers.

Answer: a

Democracy is an ideal based on the idea of ‘consent’ of the people. Since a democracy requires decision-making by the people (voters), the process involves people’s intelligence and character.

Q80. One of the implications of equality in society is the absence of

  1. Privileges
  2. Restraints
  3. Competition
  4. Ideology

Answer: a

Equality in society is the absence of privileges. Article 7 of the Universal declaration of Human Rights state that, “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.”

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