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Syllabus of Political Science class XI

Course I: Indian Constitution at Work
Course II: Political Theory

Course I: Indian Constitution at Work

1. Making of the Constitution:

Why do we need a constitution? What does a constitution do? Who made our Constitution? How did the country’s partition affect the working of the Constituent Assembly? What were the sources of the Constitution?

2. Fundamental Rights:

Why do we need for bill of rights in a Constitution? What are the fundamental rights provided by the Constitution? Why was the right to property removed from Fundamental Rights? How have the interpretations by the courts influenced Fundamental Rights? How has provision of Fundamental Rights provided the basis for civil liberties
movement in India? What are the Fundamental Duties?

3. System of representational democracy:

What are the different methods of elections? How do these methods affect parties and politics? Why was the first past the post system chosen in India? What have been the effects of this system? Why is there a system of reserved seats? What are the provisions to ensure free and fair elections? What does the Election Commission do?

4. Executive in a parliamentary system:

Why was the parliamentary system chosen over other forms of government? Why does the parliamentary system need a constitutional head? How are the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers elected? What are the formal and real powers of the President of India? What are the powers of the Prime Minster or the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers? What are the powers of the Governor?

5. Legislature at the central and state level:

Why does the Parliament of India have two Houses? How are the Parliament and the State Assemblies constituted? What are the powers of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha? How are the laws passed? How is the executive made accountable? What are the constitutional means to prevent defection?

6. Judiciary:

What is Rule of law? Why do we need an independent judiciary? What are the provisions that ensure the independence of judiciary in India? How are judges appointed? What are the powers of the Supreme and the High Courts? How do they use their powers for public interest?

7. Federalism:

What is federalism? How does federalism ensure accommodation of diversities? In which ways is the Indian Constitution federal? In which ways does the Constitution strengthen the centre? Why are there special provisions for some states and areas?

8. Local government:

Why do we need decentralisation of power? What has been the status of local government in the Constitution? What are the basic features of rural and urban local governments? What has been the effect of giving constitutional status to local governments?

9. Political philosophy underlying the Constitution:

What are the core provisions of the Constitution? What are the visions underlying these core provisions? How are these visions shaped by modern Indian political thought?

10. Constitution as a living document:

How has the Constitution changed since its inception? What further changes are being debated? What has the working of democracy done to the constitution?

Course II: Political Theory

1. Introduction to Political Theory

What is politics? Do we find politics in seemingly non-political domains? Can political arguments be resolved through reasoning? Why do we need political theory?

2. Freedom

What is freedom? What are reasonable constrains on individual liberty? How are the limits defined?

3. Equality

Do all differences involve inequality? Does equality imply sameness? What are the major forms of inequality? How can equality be realized?

4. Social Justice

Is justice all about fairness? What is the relationship between justice and equality? What are the different forms of injustice? In which ways can justice be secured?

5. Rights

How is a right different from any claim? What are the major kinds of right claims? How do we resolve a conflict between individual and community rights? How does the state enable and obstruct rights?

6. Citizenship

Who is a citizen? What are relevant grounds for inclusion and exclusion? How are new claims to citizenship negotiated? Can we have a global citizenship?

7. Nationalism
How are the boundaries of a nation defined? Must every nation have a state? What demands can a nation make on its citizens? What is the basis of the right to self-determination?

8. Secularism
What is secularism? Which domains of life does it relate to? What is a secular state? Why do we need secular state in modern times? Is secularism suitable for India?

9. Peace

What is peace? Does peace always require non-violence? Under what conditions is war justified? Can armament promote global peace?

10. Development

What is development? Is there a universally accepted model of development? How to balance the claims of present generation with claims of future generations?

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