NIOS Class 10 Social Science Chapter 18 Local Governments and Field Administration

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NIOS Class 10 Social Science Chapter 18 Local Governments and Field Administration

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Local Governments and Field Administration

Chapter: 18




Q. 1. Define local government. State two examples to justify the need for a local government.

Ans: Local Government is a government of the local people, by the local people and for the local people.

The local government institutions provide a platform for the common people to participate and contribute to development and social justice at the local level.

It provides a forum to them to deliberate on the nature of local problems and devise appropriate solutions that are in conformity with local situations. Local government is in fact a government which functions at the grassroot level.

Q. 2. Trace the evolution of Panchayati Raj System since the ancient days.

Ans: Panchayati Raj System was functional in ancient time in our country. They had been variously known as Panchayats, Biradaries or by some other name, generally headed by village elders. By 73rd Constitutional Amendment Panchayati Raj System got constitutional status and consists of elected representatives of the people.

Q. 3. Identify the type of local government institutions that are set-up in the areas where you reside and name the institutions.

Ans: Find out the local government institutions in your area and note down their names. For example in Delhi these are Municipal Corporation, NDMC.

Q. 4. To what extent do you think the facilities and support provided by the local government impact our quality of life?

Ans: Local Government provides for maintenance of water, drainage system, provision of drinking water etc. Thus impacts our quality of life in many ways.

Q. 5. How has the 73rd Consti- tutional Amendment Act, 1992 impacted the Panchayati Raj System?

Ans: Impact of Panchayati Raj System: 

(a) It established three tier Panchayati Raj System.

(b) Establishment of District Planning Committees to prepare development plans for the districts.

(c) Establishment of Gram Sabha (village assemblies) and their empowerment as a decision making body at the village level. and

(d) By ensuring reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women, the act has given them the opportunity to participate in the decision making process of local government and hence has empowered them.

(e) Established state finance commission, state election commission.


Q. 1. How Village Panchayat Constituted? What is the role of Gram Sabha or village Assembly?

Ans: Village Panchayat or Gram Panchayat is the grassroot institution of Panchayati Raj System. In the Panchayats, one-third of seats are reserved for women. Seats are also reserved for persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes. The Panchayat has a Sarpanch (Mukhia) who is directly elected by all the voters of the village. The Panchayat also has panchs and a Vice Chairperson elected by the members of the Panchayat.

Q. 2. List the important functions of a Gram Panchayat. Which of these functions are very essential? Are there certain functions which you feel the local governments need not take up? If so, why?

Ans: Three functions of the Gram Panchayat are:

(i) provision of safe drinking water.

(ii) paving of streets.

(iii) developing and maintaining good drainage system.

Discretionary functions are some of the functions which the Panchayat may not necessarily take up. These functions can be performed only if the Panchayat has the resources and funds. These include plantation of trees, setting up and maintenance of insemination centre for cattle, developing and maintaining playground for sports and setting up and running the library.

Q. 3. Describe the different sources of income of a Village Panchayat.

Ans: Some of the sources of funds for a Panchayat are as follows: 

(i) taxes on property, land, goods and cattle.

(ii) rent collected for facilities like Barat Ghar or any other property of panchayat.

(iii) various types of fines collected from the offenders.

(iv) a part of the land revenue collected by the State Government given to the Panchayats. and 

(v) donations collected from the villagers for some common cause. 

(vi) grants-in-aid from State and Union governments. 

Q. 4. Based on the functions of Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad, draw a Plan of Action for one year to be implemented in a district by these institutions. 

Ans: Try and collect this information from different sources to write this answer. 

Q. 5. Collect information regarding reservation of seats for women in Panchayats from published Articles on Panchayati Raj or internet or your teachers or elders or your friends/ classmates and list the names of States where the reservation for women in Panchayati Raj System is more than one-third.

Ans: Collect the information from the sources mentioned in the questions itself. 


Q. 1. How many types of urban local bodies were functioning before the 74th Constitutional Amendment 1992 ? What changes did the Amendment make?

Ans: After independence four types of urban local bodies were functioning.

(i) Municipal Corporations. 

(ii) Municipalities.

(iii) Town Area Committees. and 

(iv) Notified Area Committees. 

But the 74th Constitutional Amendment 1992 brought about major changes in the system of urban local government.  

Now three types of urban local governments are functioning.

(a) Municipal Corporations for the big cities, 

(b) Municipal Councils for smaller cities. and 

(c) Nagar Panchayats for those areas that are in transition from rural areas to urban areas. 

Q. 2. What are the functions of a Municipal Corporation? Why are these functions important?

Ans: These functions are very important as they improve the quality of lives of the citizens. Health, water supply or electricity are all of critical importance in every person’s life, by ensuring that the city is clean, or providing for hospital and safe drinking water, the Municipal Corporation helps in improving the quality of life of citizens.

Q. 3. What are the sources of income of a Municipal Corporation? 

Ans: (i) Income from taxes: Housing tax, entertainment tax, tax on hoardings etc. 

(ii) Grant-in: Aid from State and Union Governments. 

(iii) Income from rents Municipal 1 Corporation rent out properties like shops, kiosks, community halls etc.

(iv) Other fees and charges like toll tax, sewer charges, water and electricity charges etc. 

Q. 4. Urban local bodies take responsibilities for providing services to their respective areas. Do you think the citizens also have certain responsi- bilities? What are those?

Ans: Write the answer based on your own understanding of the role of the urban local bodies and the responsibilities that the citizens can take up to support the local government.


Q. 1. Examine the significance of District Administration in governance.

Ans: District administration is headed by District Magistrate. Other officials of the District Administration are Superintendent of Police, District Education Officer, District Agriculture Officer, SDOS etc.

Sub Divisional Officer: The SDO assists the District Magistrate in the field of administration and also works as his/her representative.

He/She keeps the land records and collects land revenue and has the power to issue certificates regarding domicile, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

The Block Development Officer: The BDO is linked with the middle tier of Panchayati Raj as he/she is the ex officio Secretary of the Panchayat Samiti and keeps the record of the meetings, prepares budget and co-ordinates various developmental activities. 

Q. 2. What are the major functions of a District Magistrate?

Ans: The main functions of District Magistrate are as follows: 

(i) maintaining law and order and ensuring peace in the district.

(ii) implementing various policies and programmes of the State government and the Central government. 

(iii) acting as the main link between State government and district level institutions and offices;

(iv) coordinating the activities of different departments such as education, health, welfare, land management, police, jail and culture.

(v) ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections for various representative bodies, such as Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha, Block Samities, Zila Parishad, Municipalities, etc.

Q. 3. What opportunities do local bodies provide to citizens? What are the major challenges of local bodies? 

Ans: Local bodies are the best institutions to impart political education to citizens and enable them to acquire leadership qualities. When citizens participate, they learn to analyses and plead for issues and concerns of self as well as others. Since these local government bodies are nearer to them, citizens can have access and seek solutions through personal initiative and intervention. Women also have great opportunities to participate as members of local bodies.

The challenges to the effective function-ing of local government bodies are:

Being close to the people, these institutions have raised democratic aspirations and expectations which they are to always able to fulfill because of various constraints. These constrains include factors like poverty, illiteracy, social inequalities and the trends of criminalization of politics. The elements of casteism, communalism and the increasing trend of corruption and nepotism have been great challenges to the effective functioning of the local bodies.


Q. 1. Why are Local Governments important? Express your own view point.

Ans: India is a vast country and most of its people live in villages or in small towns. These are often quite far off from the seat of Central Government in New Delhi or the State Government sitting in the state capital. These governments have no knowledge of the local problems of the people living in remote places; hence, they cannot administer these problems properly. Therefore, some authority is needed for solving these problems. That is why local government is needed. 

The importance of local self government are as under:

(1) This makes the government at lowest level democratic.

(2) Its make the participation of people in administration possible. 

(3) Participation of local people makes the government better and more knowledgeable.

(4) It is only the people living in the area who know what its problems are and how they can be solved.

(5) Local bodies are very helpful in implementing the plans for development.

Q. 2. Explain the composition and functions of Panchayati Raj Institute-tions and examine their roles.

Ans: Panchayati Raj System is a three tier system, having Gram Panchayats at village level, Panchayat Samities at intermediate or Block level and Zila Parishad at district level. These institutions work for the welfare and socio- economic development of the people of their respective areas. They also provide basic facilities such as safe drinking water, sanitation, dispensaries, paving of lanes and roads, primary schools, old age homes, other local needs of areas, it also hear and decide civil cases in minimum charges.

Q. 3. Explain briefly the structure and functioning of urban local bodies

Ans: The urban local bodies: Municipal Corporation in big cities, Municipal Councils in smaller cities and Nagar Panchayats in transitional areas have been strengthened by the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act 1992. Like Panchayati Raj Institutions, they have also reserved seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections, as well as for women.

These local bodies provide basic facilities to the people, develop and maintain infrastructure, conduct development activities and look after the welfare of the people of their respective areas.

These local bodies are closest to the people and functions as the truly grassroot democratic institutions. They provide opportunities to the people to be a part of decision-making process, they have challenges like casteism, corruption, shortage of needed financial resources and indifferences of the people.

Q. 4. What are the major changes brought about by the 73rd & 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts 1992 in the structure and roles of the Panchayati Raj System and urban local bodies?

Ans: The 73rd Amendment Act 1992 marks a new era in the federal democratic set-up of the country and provides constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). Following are the major changes in the structure and roles of the Panchayati Raj:

(1) Establishment of three-tier structure: Village Panchayat (Gram Panchayat); Intermediate Panchayat (Panchayat Samiti) and District Panchayat (Zila Parishad).

(2) Regular elections, every five year. 

(3) Reservation of seats for the S.C. and ST in proportion to their population. 

(4) Not less than one-third reservation of seats for women at three different levels of PRIS.

(5) Establishment of state Finance Commissions to recommend measures to improve the finance of panchayats. 

(6) Establishment of State Commissions to conduct to the PRIS.

(7) Establishment of District Planning Committees to prepare development plans for the districts.

(8) Preparation of plans for economic development and social justice and their execution concerning 29 subjects, listed in the 11th Schedule of the Constitution.

(9) Establishment of Gram Sabha (village assemblies) and their empowerment as decision making body at the village level.

(10) Rotation in accordance with the reservation of seats for women and the scheduled castes in the PRIS.

The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act 1992 brought about significant changes in the structure and functioning of urban government the following points are note worthy:

(1) Constitution of urban local bodies Municipal Corporation, Municipal Council, and Nagar Panchayat) in every Indian state.

(2) Regular and fair conduct of Municipal elections by State Election Commission.

(3) Provision for supersession of municipal governments for not more than 6 months. 

(4) Adequate representation of weaker sections of the society and women in municipal governments through reservation of seats.

(5) Specification by law, through the state legislatures, of the powers [including financial] and functional responsibilities to be entrusted to municipalities and wards committees.

(6) Constitution of State Finance Commissions, once in every 5 years, to review the financial position of Municipalities and to make recommendations on the measures needed to improve their financial positions.

(7) Constitution of a District Planning Committee at the district level and a Metropolitan Planning committee in metropolitan areas of every state, for the preparation and consolidation of development plans.

(8) Constitutions of wards committees within the territorial area of a Municipality, to ensure people’s participation in civic affairs at the grass-root level.

Q. 5. Do you think that the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts 1992 empowered women in true sense of the term? Give justifications.

Ans: The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts 1992 empowered women in true sense of the terms because according to 73rd Constitutional Amendment one third reservation of seats for women at three different levels of PRIs and in 74th Constitutional Amendment -Adequate representation of women in Municipal government through reservation of seats. So, these Acts promote empowerment of women by reserving seats for them.

Q. 6. A widow with two children works as a domestic help in a village. She wants to educate her children, but is unable to do so. Suggest the ways in which the Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat can ensure that her children and such other children get education.

Ans: Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat is directly elected by all the voters of the village. Basically he is the head of village and it is the duty of Sarpanch, that he ensure the villagers that their children get education properly. Government of India, starts the programme of Right to Education Act 2009, in which every child has a right to get free education up to the age of 14 years. It is the duty of Sarpanch to implement this policy to his village to provide education to the poor children. He can also arrange the funds to open school in his village which provide free education to the poor children.

Centre Government directed the public schools to reserve 25% seats for children who are living below poverty line. Sarpanch of village ensure the poor people that this policy is also implemented in their village.



1. How many meetings of a Gram Sabha are held in a year?

(a) Three

(b) Four

(c) Two

(d) One

Ans: (c) Two.

2. Who is the head of Gram Panchayat?

(a) Sarpanch

(b) Pradhan

(c) BDO

(d) Mayor

Ans: (b) Pradhan.

3. The Local Self Government in rural areas is:

(a) Panchayati Raj

(b) Gram Panchayat 

(c) Municipal Council

(d) Gram Sabha

Ans: (a) Panchayati Raj.

4. The Block is headed by an officer who is called:

(a) Sarpanch

(b) Mayor

(c) BDO (Block Development Officer)

(d) District Magistrate

Ans: (c) BDO (Block Development Officer).

5. The Local government in towns and cities is known as:

(a) Nyaya Panchayat 

(b) Nagar Palika 

(c) Gram Sabha

(d) Panchayat Samiti

Ans: (b) Nagar Palika.

6. _________ government is the government at the local level. 

(a) State 

(b) Local

(c) (a) and (b) both

(d) none of them

Ans: (b) Local.

7. The tenure of a Municipal Corporation will be:

(a) four years 

(b) six years

(c) five years 

(d) none of them

Ans: (c) five years.

8. The minimum age for a candidate to contest election is:

(a) 18 years

(b) 19 years

(c) 20 years

(d) 21 years

Ans: (d) 21 years.

9. Panchayati Raj system is based on the recommendation of a committee known as: 

(a) Balwant Rai Mehta Committee

(b) Anil Dev Committee

(c) Ram Mohan Committee

(d) Jay Raj Committee

Ans: (a) Balwant Rai Mehta Committee.

10. In India, local bodies are of two kinds which is:

(a) New and old

(b) Small and big

(c) Urban and rural

(d) (b) & (c) both

Ans: (c) Urban and rural.


Q. 1. What do you mean by local government? 

Ans: The local government is a system in which the administration of local affairs is entrusted to the representatives of the people inhabiting the locality; for they know best the local needs and aspirations.

Q. 2. Local Government is of how many types. Name them.

Ans: In India local governments are of two kinds : Urban and Rural. The urban authorities (in big cities and towns) are Municipal Corporations and Municipal Committees. The rural bodies are Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads.

Q. 3. Define Municipal Corporation. 

Ans: In big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai etc. the local body is known as Municipal Corporation. It is established by an act of the state legislature. 

Q. 4. Give any two functions of Municipal Corporation. 

Ans: The two functions of Municipal Corporation are: 

(1) To organize programmes for the entertainment of the people. 

(2) Cleaning streets and other public places. 

Q. 5. Give any two functions of Municipal Committee. 

Ans: (1) Supply of pure drinking water and electricity.

(2) Construction and maintenance of public parks, playgrounds, libraries and reading rooms.

Q. 6. What do you mean by Panchayati Raj?

Ans: The system of local government established in rural areas is known as ‘Panchayati Raj’. Panchayati Raj is an effort to establish true democracy at the village level and involve people in local affairs.

Q. 7. Name the three tiers of the Panchayati Raj system. 

Ans: The three tiers of the Panchayati Raj system are:

(1) Gram Panchayat at the village level.

(2) Panchayat Samiti at the block level

(3) Zila Parishad at the district level.

Q. 8. Give any three functions of Gram Panchayat. 

Ans: The three functions of Gram Panchayat are: 

(1) Construction and maintenance of roads and streets.

(2) Management of cremation or burial ground.

(3) To take necessary steps to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases.

Q. 9. Mention any three functions of Panchayat Samiti.

Ans: The functions of Panchayat Samiti are:

(1) To supervise and coordinate the work of Village Panchayat under its area.

(2) Training of farmers in scientific methods of agriculture and animal husbandry. 

(3) Prevention of epidemics and ensuring of cleanliness and health services.

Q. 10. What are the sources of income of Zila Parishad?

Ans: The main sources of income of Zila Parishad are:

(1) A part of the taxes collected by the state government from that area.

(2) Income from its own property.

(3) Donations from Panchayat samitis and other bodies.

(4) Grants from the State Government.

Q. 11. What do you know about the Mayor of the Corporation?

Ans: The mayor is the formal head of the corporation. He/She is elected by the members of the corporation for one year.

Q. 12. What are the objectives of Panchayati Raj system?

Ans: The Panchayati Raj system is very old system in India. 

It was established in India with the following objectives:

(1) To practice the concept of self-rule at the village level.

(2) To promote and encourage democratic institutions in the villages.

(3) To help the rural people and reduce Social and economic injustice. 

(4) To manage the local problems more effectively.

Q. 13. Write any two defects (drawbacks) in Panchayati Raj.

Ans: (1) Election to Panchayati Raj institutions are marked by violence, communalism and casteism. 

(2) Most of the Panchayats work under the leadership of the rich people and they work for their interests.

Q. 14. What are the sources of a corporation’s income?

Ans: The sources of a corporation’s income are the following: 

(1) Water Tax. 

(2) Property Tax. 

(3) Entertainment Tax. 

(4) Vehicle Tax. 

(5) Octroi Tax. 

(6) Professional Tax. 

(7) Animal Tax. 

(8) Fees for the approval of building plans. 

(9) Electricity Tax.. 

(10) Grant from Government. 

(11) House Tax.

Q. 15. Write any three functions of Zilla Parishad. 

Ans: The three functions of Zilla Parishad are:

(1) To supervise and coordinate the working of Panchayat Samitis of the district. 

(2) To approve the budgets of Panchayat Samitis.

(3) To advise the Panchayat Samitis with regard to their functions.

Q. 16. What are the four main sources of income of local bodies?

Ans: (1) Different kinds of taxes. 

(2) Grant from the State Government.

(3) Income for passing the building plans of the citizens.

(4) Income from the entertainment tax imposed on circus, melas etc.


Q. 1. Describe the composition of a Gram Panchayat.

Ans: A Gram Panchayat consists of members elected by the adult residents of the village. It is headed by the adult residents of the village. It is headed by a Pradhan or Sarpanch. The member of Gram Sabha elect the members of Gram Panchayat. The member of a Panchayat is not fixed. It is fixed on the basis of the population of the village. 33 per cent of the total seats of Gram Panchayat are reserved for women members..Some are reserved for the members of Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes also. 

Q. 2. What is the need or importance of Local Government in a democracy?

Ans: The need or importance of Local Government in a democracy is as under:

(1) This makes the Government at the lowest level democratic. It makes the participation of people in administration possible.

(2) Participation of local people makes the government better and more knowledgeable. It is only the people living in the area who know what its problems are and how they can be solved.

(3) Local bodies are very helpful in implementing the plans for development. 

Q. 3. What is the tenure of a Municipal Corporation? 

Ans: According to 74th Amendment Act, the normal tenure of a Municipal Corporation will be 5 years. However, it can be dissolved earlier. The councilors, in turn, elect some Aldermen. The members of the corporation elect a Mayor and a Deputy Mayor for one year. The mayor presides over its meeting and guides the deliberations. In his absence, this work is done by the Deputy Mayor.

Q. 4. Describe the composition of Panchayat Samiti.

Ans: Composition of Panchayat Samiti: A Panchayat Samiti is formed at the Block level (generally 100 villages). It consists of the following members:

(1) Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats of the area equal to 1/5 of the total members of the Panchayat Samiti taken by rotation or by lottery. 

(2) Elected members (10-30)

(3) M.P’s, M.L.A.’s and M.L.C.’s elected from the area. 

(4) S.D.M. and Block Development Officer (B.D.O.) of the area.

(5) The members of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and women are given special representation.

In its first meeting, the members of the Panchayat Samiti elects its chairman and vice-chairman.

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