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NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 21 Public Opinion And Pressure Groups
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Public Opinion And Pressure Groups
TEXT BOOK QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
INTEXT QUESTIONS 21.1
Q. Fill in the blanks:
(a) A public is a section of society, sharing …………. interests. (common / specific)
(b) Public opinion is an ……….. and opinion of a section or many sections of people on any public issue. (organised and considered / private and expert)
Ans. Organised and considered.
(c) Public opinion …………. unanimous opinion of the entire people. (is /is not)
Ans. is not.
(d) There ………….. fixed territory or area for public opinion. (is / is not)
Ans. is not.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 21.2
Q.I. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Government takes serious note of …………. while formulating policies and enacting laws. (Public opinion / opinion of political parties)
Ans. public opinion.
(b) Public opinion acts as a ……….. to the government. (watchdog / friend)
(c) Governments today …………. conscious of international public opinion. (are / are not).
Q.II. Mark True or False:
(a) The government can easily afford to ignore public opinion. (True / False)
(b) Public opinion keeps a check on the arbitrary acts of the government. (True / False)
(c) Public opinion has no impact on protection of rights and liberties. (True / False)
(d) International relations are influenced by public opinion. (True / False)
INTEXT QUESTIONS 21.3
Q.I. Tick (✔) the correct answer:
(a) Family and home are the informal agencies of influencing public opinion. (True / False)
(b) Public opinion does not reflect the diversity of opinions. (True / False)
(c) The adolescents do not get swayed by the opinion of the others. (True / False)
(d) Opinion poll is the barometer to check the satisfaction of public towards government. (True / False)
(e) Electronic media acts as a mirror of social life. (True / False)
(f) Public does not take interest in local and national affairs. (True / False)
Q.II. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Television and radio play an important part in moulding the opinion of the ……….. masses also.
(educated / uneducated)
(b) Cinema and documentary films have their ………….. impact on the thinking of the people. (natural / unnatural)
(c) Public meetings establish a personal contact between the speaker and the ……….. (audience / spectators)
INTEXT QUESTIONS 21.4
Q. Fill in the blanks:
(a) For sound public opinion, the press has to be……… (partial / impartial) and …………. (free / biassed)
Ans. Impartial and free.
(b) The people and political parties in democracy have to rise above the feelings of ………… and …………. (castes and communities / secularism and patriotism)
Ans. Castes and communities.
(c) Sound and healthy public opinion demands economically.
Ans. Balanced society.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 21.5
Q. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Pressure groups are called pressure on the groups because they put …………… on the government. (pressure / criticism)
(b) Pressure groups are different from ………… as they do not contest election. (political parties, non voluntary groups)
Ans. Political parties.
(c) Pressure groups help in mobilising the ………… (public opinion / political parties)
Ans. Public opinion.
(d) The method and style of work of the Pressure Groups ………… in different political systems. (vary / is same)
(e) The political culture and attitudes of leaders and people …………. the working of the Pressure Groups. (affect / do not affect)
INTEXT QUESTIONS 21.6
Q. Fill in the blanks:
(a) Pressure Groups sensitize public towards various ………… issues. (public / private)
(b) They act as a link between the ………… and the (government, citizens / government, political parties)
Ans. Government, citizens.
(c) …………. of a country determines the activities of pressure groups and their main targets. (political institutions / social institutions)
Ans. Political institutions.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 21.7
Q. Fill in the blanks:
(a) The pressure groups adopt-working for political cause ………….. methods to pressurise the government. (liberal /extremist)
(b) The ………… pressure groups are able to get their demands fulfilled. (strong / weak)
(c) The pressure groups try to mould the public opinion by using various ……….methods.
Q.1. Define Public Opinion.
Ans. Public Opinion: Public Opinion is the opinion which the common people hold on questions of public interest at a certain time. It is not necessary that the opinion should be unanimous. It must be for the welfare of the people. Public opinion is based on reason and is formed after proper discussion.
Q.2. Examine the role of public opinion in the democratic system of India.
Ans. The Role of Public Opinion in the Democratic system of India:
1. Guide to the Government Public opinion acts as the guide to the government in respect of policy formation. Government functions in general on the basis of mandate received in elections and tries to win over the masses to fulfil the promises made during elections.
2. Helping in Law-Making: Governmental policies are invariably affected by people’s opinion on various issues. Public opinion helps the government to enact laws in the given situation. Government is always under pressure of public opinion and takes note of the same in formulating laws for the common good.
3. Acts as a Watchdog: Public opinion acts as a watchdog. It controls and checks the government from becoming irresponsible. While criticising the wrong policies of the government, public opinion always keeps the government alert. Government is always conscious of the fact that people would not vote for it or bring it back to power again if it goes against the wishes of the people or against their welfare and interests.
4. Protects the Rights and Liberties: Public opinion acts as the protector of rights fundamental, civil, political, social, religious and cultural rights) and liberties of citizens. In a democratic country, people have the right to criticise or support the government in their own way. More effective and positive use of this right not only encourages or motivates the government but also keeps the government alive towards the rights and liberties of the people.
Q.3. Describe the various agencies of public opinion.
Ans. Agencies (helping in expression and formation) of Public Opinion: There are informal and formal agencies of formation and expression of the public opinion. These are:
1. Political Socialisation:
(a) Political socialisation is the basic process through which every individual is oriented in respect political issues. A human being lives and grows in family, neighbourhood, friends, the locality and the region. The orientation of attitudes, beliefs and values towards the political system acquire shape in association of there groups.
(b) The most influential in personality formation and character building are the family
and the peer group. They provide the basic mould in influencing the ideas and opinions of the individual. The orientation of individuals through this process determines their views and reactions towards political issues.
2. Print-Media or Press: The print media includes newspaper, periodicals, pamphlets, journals, leaflets, etc. Press or print media supplies the news regarding all political and social happenings in the world. It throws a flood of light on current issues. In fact press is regarded as the watchdog of democracy by carrying the voice of the public to the government. People express their criticism or support in the form of articles or letters to editors, or comments through press. Hence, make the government responsible and answerable. In fact, government also propagates its policies and programmes through advertisements media. It tries to highlight its achievements and try to make public opinion in its favour.
3. Radio and Television: Electronic media, i.e.Radio and Television act as a mirror of social life. Print media influences only the educated. The electronic media plays an important part in collecting the information and moulding the thoughts of the uneducated masses also. The audio-visual media is used as a powerful means for bringing about social transformation and setting up a new social order free from social evils. It is used to educate the masses on certain sensitive issues like casteism, communalism violence, etc. Through radio and television masses communicate their feelings and opinions towards various government policies and programmes. Nowadays television is considered most effective agencies of formation and expression of public pinion.
4. Cinema: Cinema has been the traditional medium of entertainment and awareness. The cinema caters to the artistic and intellectual needs of the people. It cultivates the new ideas and norms in the society on political and social problems. Feature films and documentary films have their natural impact on the thinking of the people. This audio visual method can even influence the illiterates.
5. Public Meetings: Public meetings or platforms are effective means of moulding public opinion for different social, cultural, intellectual and political activities. They address the public issues and are able to gather huge crowds through lectures, seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences. They try to establish personal and emotional bonds with the public and motivate them towards positive and healthy steps.
6. Political parties and their activities: Political parties formulate and organise public opinion. They are called mobilisers of opinion. Political parties not only make the people aware of various public issues. Their purpose is to make the people politically conscious to think about public problems. Political parties publish journals, pamphlets, leaflets, manifestoes, posters, etc. to mould the public opinion in their favour.
7. Opinion Polls: Opinion polls serve to indicate public opinion at the time of their being taken. They are a very effective way of gathering information about public attitude and opinion on various political, social, cultural, economical etc. matters. They are normally conducted by professional agencies selecting representative samples of population. Of late they are becoming a very useful and popular method to understand and analyse public opinion.
8. Educational Institutions: They include schools, colleges, literary clubs, study circles, universities, libraries etc. They can mould public opinion to a great extent. The adolescents get easily swayed by the opinion of others. Therefore, the right kind of training is very important for this age group. Eminent leaders, scholars and educationists help in moulding their leadership qualities and help in creating public opinion through Debates, Talks, Seminars etc. Various co-curricular activities like Drama, Symposium, Painting/Slogan writing competition, etc. also prove very effective in sensitising the students on important national and international issues.
Q.4. Analyse the hindrances in the formation of sound public opinion.
Ans. The Hindrances in the Formation of Sound Public Opinion: Public opinion will not be a true reflection of the ideas of public until the following hindrances are eradicated:
(a) Indifferent Attitude: Generally, people like to keep themselves away from political activities. They do not take interest in public affairs. Generally, they think that their involvement in political decision making is not required. There is a need to change the indifferent attitude and adopt participatory approach. People should be motivated to take interest in the affairs of their own country. People have to be sensitised towards important issues related to unity, integrity and development of the nation.
(b) Illiteracy: Educated and enlightened people are expected to be good voters and citizens. Illiterate people on the other hand, have a limited knowledge and they do not understand the political problems. They are not capable of forming an intelligent and rational opinion and are guided by passion and sentiments. Ignorance born of illiteracy is a curse for social life. A sound public opinion can be formulated only in the environment of knowledge and education.
(c) Poverty: The poor people are always isolated from politics. They do not find time to devote their attention to public affairs. They get easily influenced by the tall talks of the political leaders and cast or even sell their votes. The government, non-governmental organisation and pressure groups have to play their effective role. The wide gap between the rich and the poor has to be minimised and the distribution of wealth must be equitable. Sound and healthy public opinion is possible only by alleviating poverty.
(d) Disharmony amongst various castes and communities: The people and political parties, in democracy have to rise above the feelings and emotions of casteism and communalism. They should not divide themselves into narrow walls of religion and sect. Religion and politics should be kept separate. Social harmony in the country would provide a better platform for sound and healthy public opinion.
(e) Free Press: Unbiased, objective and independent press and fearless media play a very significant role in the formation of healthy opinion. Press should not be influenced by religious capitalist or regional interests. Free press should present the authentic and impartial report.
Q.5. On what basis do we classify the pressure groups in India?
Ans. Introduction: There are several pressure groups in every country. Broadly they can be put into four categories according to their aims and objectives:
(a) Professional Pressure Groups: This category includes the pressure groups that are formed by the employees of a particular occupation or profession for the protection of their interests. The big business houses with their vast outlay of resources, availability of technical and managerial personnel and due to close links elite groups in government, media, administration and opposition parties have always had the most organized and powerful pressure groups at their command.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry: (FICCI) and several big business houses have a powerful lobby in the parliament and in the legislature. They also have representatives and Public Relations Officers who keep in touch with administration and top bureaucracy. The largest and the most influential organization of private capital in India is the FICCI. It represents more than 40,000 firms.
(b) Socio-Cultural Pressure Groups: There are various kinds of socio-cultural pressure groups which are concerned with community service and the promotion of the interests of the whole community. Also there are a few for the promotion of their language and religion.
Examples: Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Jan Sewa Sangh, RamaKrishna Mission, Arya Samaj, Jamat-I-Islami, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Parsee Anymans, Young Men’s Christian Association, Bajrang Dal, Sanskrit Sahitya Academy, Punjabi Academy, Marathi Sangh, Bhartiya Adim Jati Sangh, Sernarthi of People Society are some such examples.
(c) Institutional Pressure Groups: There are certain pressure groups that are working within the governmental machinery itself. They influence the government policies in their favour without directly getting involved in the political system. The pressure groups like Civil Services Association, Police Welfare organisation, Gazetted Officers Union, Defence Personnel Association, Army Officers organisations Red Cross Society etc. all came under this category.
(d) Ad Hoc pressure Groups: Some pressure groups come into existence for a very short period with the objective of pressuring the government for a specific task. Once the purpose is served, they cease to exist. In case of any urgency, natural calamity or adversity, these pressure groups pressurise or influence the government policies in their interest. The pressure groups like Orissa Relief Organisation, Bhoodan Anu yojna, Kaveri Water Distribution Association, Gujrat Relief Association, etc.
Q.6. Discuss the role of pressure groups.
Ans. The Role of Pressure Groups:
1. Pressure Groups play a very important role in the Indian political system. They act as a link and source of communication between the masses and the political parties.
2. They sensitise the public towards various socio economic issues thereby educating them politically. They produce very effective leadership and also as a training platform for future political leaders.
3. It also bridges the gap between various traditional values in the society. Establishment of unity and integrity are the key results of the pressure groups. Therefore, it is very clear that pressure groups influence both the government and the administrative policies.
4. Political institutions of a country determine the activities of Pressure Groups and their main targets. In U.K.,U.S.A.France and other democracies, the pressure groups have more opportunities of influencing the governmental decisions.
5. In Britain,since the cabinet and the civil services are more effective, rather than MPs, it is more useful to get access to the former rather than the latter. It is more profitable to cultivate members of the cabinet and civil service than lobby in the House of Commons.
6. In the USA, with the strong congressional committee system, and its powerful chairman it is more advantageous to concentrate on them. In U.S.A. the chamber of commerce and manufacturers organisations are supposed to be very powerful pressure group.
7. In France the administration, rather than the National Assembly, is the target of the interest groups.
8. Several Pressure Groups and lobbies in USA keep a distant relationship with the political parties, yet the powerful trade unions have close ties with the political parties – for example the AFL-CIO-American Federation of Labour Congress of the Industrial organisation with Democratic Party, British Trade Union, with Labour Party, Roman Catholic Church with Christian Democratic Parties of Germany and Italy.
Q.7. Evaluate the methods adopted by the Pressure Groups in India.
Ans. Methods used by the Pressure Groups in India:
1. They try to establish links with the government officials and ministers. They adopt different methods to influence them. These methods are dependent on the nature of political system and the type of society in the country.
2. The pressure groups send petitions and request letters for the fulfilment of their demands.
3. They are always making efforts of keeping public opinion in their favour.
4. The mass media both electronic (T.V.,Radio, Movie films etc.) and print (newspapers, magazines, hand pamphlets, etc.) is very commonly used by the pressure groups for conveying their ideas, feelings and opinions to the government, leaders of opposition political parties, concern officials as well as public at large.
5. Pressure groups make efforts to influence (or mould) the public opinion by using various publicity measures.
6. The pressure groups, through lobbying, try to exert their pressure on the government.
7. They get opportunities to influence the judiciary also to some extent. They try to influence the selection of judges and launch campaigns to influence the judicial decision. Therefore it can be established that pressure groups have become an integral part of every democratic political system.
8. They also maintain the democratic spirit and ethos of a nation.
OBJECTIVE TYPE QUESTIONS
I. Choose the correct answer:
Q.1. Which is not included in group of electronic media:
Ans. (a) Press.
Q.2. Television and Radio play an important part in moulding the opinion of ………….. masses also.
(a) Only educated.
(b) Educated and uneducated.
(c) Poor and rich.
(d) All above mentioned.
Ans. (d) All above mentioned.
Q.3. Cinema and documentary films have the following positive impacts on the people:
(d) All major aspects of human life.
Ans. (d) All major aspects of human life.
II. Solved the following blank sentences or statements with suitable word/words given within brackets:
1. Public meetings establish a personal contact between the speaker and the ………. (audience / spectators)
2. The political culture and attitudes of leaders and people …………. the working of the Pressure Groups. (affect / do not affect)
3. Television and Radio play an important part in moulding the opinion of the ………. masses also. (educated / uneducated)
4. Cinema and documentary films have their ……….. impact on the thinking of the people. (natural / unnatural)
5. For sound public opinion, the press has to …………… (partial / impartial) and ………….(free / biassed)
Ans. impartial and free.
6. The method and style of work of the (vary/is some) in pressure groups different political systems.
7. The people and political parties in democracy have to rise above the feelings of …………. and ………… (castes and communities / secularism and patriotism)
Ans. castes and communities.
8. Sound and healthy public opinion demands economically …………. society (balanced / imbalanced)
9. Pressure groups help in mobilising the …………. (public opinion / political parties)
Ans. Public opinion.
10. Pressure groups are called pressure on the groups because they put ………….. On the government. (pressure / criticism)
11. Pressure groups are different from ………….. as they do not contest elections. (political parties / non-voluntary groups)
Ans. Political parties.
12. The pressure groups adopt ………….. methods to pressurise the government. (liberal / extremist)
13. The pressure groups try to mould the public opinion by using various …………. methods. (publicity / confidential)
14.The …………… pressure groups are able to get their demands fulfilled. (strong / weak)
15. A public is a section of society, sharing …………… (common / specific) interests.