NCERT Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1: Power Sharing YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 10 Political Science / Polity / Civics Chapter 1: Power Sharing

Class 9 we discussed about power sharing between legislative, executive and judiciary


  • Smaller than Haryana in Europe
  • Borders with France, Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg
  • It has a population of a little over one crore
  • Complex ethnic group – 59 % Flemish speaking Dutch & 40 % in Wallonia speak French (rich and powerful) & 1 % speak German
  • Brussels – 80 % French & 20 % Dutch speaking
  • Tension՚s b/w Dutch & French in 1950s and 1960s (Dutch speaking were majority in country but minority in Capital)
Map of Communities and Regions of Belgium
  • B/w 1970 & 1993 they amended constitution 4 times so that everyone could live within the nation
  • Number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers shall be equal in the central government
  • Many powers of the central government have been given to state governments
  • Brussels has a separate government in which both the communities have equal representation. French speaking people accepted equal representation in Brussels because the Dutch-speaking community has accepted equal representation in the Central Government
  • ‘Community government’ is elected by people belonging to one language community – Dutch, French and German-speaking – it had power regarding cultural, educational, and language-related issues
  • They avoided civil strife between two communities and possible division on linguistic lines.
  • When EU was formed, Brussels was chosen as headquarters
  • Leaders realized that unity is possible only by respecting feelings and interests of others

Sri Lanka

  • Sinhala speakers (Buddhists) form 74 % and Tamil speakers (Hindus or Muslims) form 18 % ; 7 % Christians (both Tamil & Sinhala)
  • Within Tamil there are Sri Lankan Tamils (13 % mainly in north and east) & Indian Tamils (forefathers came from India during colonial period)
Ethnic Communities of Sri Lanka
  • Got independence in 1948
  • Majoritarianism: A belief that the majority community should be able to rule a country in whichever way it wants, by disregarding the wishes and needs of the minority
  • Sinhala set to get dominant position
  • 1956 – Sinhalese as official language
  • Preferential policies that favored Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs
  • State started to protect Buddhism
  • Increased feeling of alienation amongst Srilankan Tamils – felt constitution denied equal political rights, discriminated in jobs, and ignored interests
  • Srilankan Tamils wanted Tamil as an official language, for regional autonomy and equality of opportunity in securing education and jobs
  • In 1980s demand for separate Tamil Eelam (State)
  • This led to Civil War – killing communities and forcing people as refugees – it caused setback to economic, health and social life

Why Power Sharing is Desirable?

  • Prudential - It reduces conflict between social groups
  • Prudential - Ensures stability of political order
  • Prudential - Ensuring will of majority undermines unity of nation (It is oppressive for minority)
  • Moral - It is good for spirit of democracy
  • Moral - People must have right to consulted on how they are governed
  • Prudential: Based on prudence, or on careful calculation of gains and losses.
  • Prudential stress that power sharing will bring out better outcomes while moral reasons emphasize the very act of power sharing as valuable.
  • Refer Story of Khalil՚s Dilemma where position allotted based on religion and not as in case of other democracies

Forms of Power Sharing

  • Horizontal Distribution of Power
    • Dispersal of power with emergence of democracy
    • Horizontal distribution of power between legislative, executive and judiciary – separation makes sure that none can exercise unlimited powers & each organ checks others
    • Checks and balances - although judges are appointed by the executive, they can check the functioning of executive or laws made by the legislatures
    • For example, Bombay High Court ordered the Maharashtra state government to immediately act and improve living conditions for the 2,000-odd children at seven children՚s homes in Mumbai.
  • Federal Government: Sharing of powers at different level – federal govt. , provincial govt. (central and state govt.) . For example, finance ministers of various states in Nigeria got together and demanded that federal government declare its sources of income and formula by which the revenue is distributed to various state government.
  • Community Government: Powers must be shared amongst different social groups - religious and linguistic – for example, community government in Belgium; some countries there are constitutional and legal arrangements whereby socially weaker sections and women are represented in the legislatures and administration – for example, reserved constituencies – fair share for minority. For example, Government of Ontario State in Canada agreed to a land claim settlement with aboriginal community. Minister announced that the government will work with aboriginal people in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation.
  • Coalition Government: Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power – sharing of powers amongst political parties (as coalition government) . For example, Russia՚s two political parties, Union of Right Forces, and the Liberal Yabloko Movement united into a strong right-wing coalition. They proposed to have a common list of candidates in the next parliamentary elections.

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