CBSE Class 10 Political Science (Civics) Chapter 1 Notes - Power Sharing

Power Sharing Class 10 Notes Political Science (Civics) Chapter 1 - PDF Download

Class 10 Social Science Political Science Chapter 1 is about power-sharing. Most of the democracies have a system of sharing power among its organs. Judiciary, legislature and executive have got their defined powers which they exercise in their own jurisdiction. CBSE Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 notes will give you an insight as to how the system of power-sharing works. CBSE Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 notes will help us understand how each organ is accountable to each other while they are still functioning in a different jurisdiction. The NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science Civics Chapter 1 is already available in PDF form for students to refer for this chapter.

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Access Class 10 Social Science (Political Science) Chapter - 1  Power Sharing part-1

Access Class 10 Social Science (Political Science) Chapter - 1 Power Sharing


  • Belgium is a small country in Europe, smaller in area than the Indian state of Haryana, and has a population of about one crore which is again half of the population of Haryana.

  • It shares its border with France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg.

  • Ethnic diversity in this country is very complicated. 

  • The Dutch language is spoken by 59% of the country's total population, French is spoken by 40%, and German is spoken by the remaining 1%. 

  • In Brussels, Belgium's capital, 80% of the population speak French, while the remaining 20% speak Dutch.

  • The rich and powerful minority French-speaking community benefited from economic development and education. 

  • These indifferences created tensions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities during the 1950s and 1960s.

Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka has a diverse population like Belgium. It is an island nation having a population of 2 crores, about the same as in the Indian state of Haryana.

  • The largest social groups are the Sinhala-speakers which form 74% and the Tamil-speakers who form 18% of the total population.

  • There are two subgroups of Tamils: those who are native to the country are known as "Sri Lankan Tamils," while those whose forefathers during the colonial period came from India as population workers are referred to as "Indian Tamils." 

  • A vast majority of Sinhala speakers are Buddhists, while a vast majority of Tamils are Hindus or Muslims. There are approximately 7% of Christians who are both Tamil and Sinhala.

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka became an independent country in 1948. The Sinhala leaders sought to secure dominance over the government through their majority.

  • An Act was passed in 1956 to recognize Sinhala as the sole official language of the country.

  • In addition, the government used preferential policies to favor Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. The Sri Lankan Tamils began to feel alienated as a result of the government's actions.

  • A slew of political organizations had emerged by the 1980s, calling for an independent Tamil Eelam (state) in the country's east and north.

  • The mutual distrust between the two communities escalated into widespread conflict. It rapidly devolved into civil war.

Accommodation in Belgium

The government of Belgium handled the community difference very well. Belgian leaders amended their constitution four times between 1970 and 1993, resulting in a new model for government administration. The Belgian model includes the following elements:

  • According to the Constitution, the number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers in the Central Government must be equal. Some special laws necessitate the approval of most of the members from each linguistic group. As a result, no single community can make decisions unilaterally.

  • The state governments are independent of the Central Government.

  • Brussels has a separate government with equal representation for both communities.

  • Community government is the third type of government, in addition to the central and state governments, that is elected by members of a particular language-speaking group. This government has authority over cultural, educational, and language-related issues.

Why is Power Sharing Desirable?

Power-sharing is beneficial because it reduces the likelihood of conflict between social groups. Another reason is that a democratic rule implies sharing power with those who are affected by it and who must live with its consequences. People have the right to be consulted about how they will be governed.

Forms of Power Sharing

  • When power is shared among the various components of government, such as the executive, legislature, and judiciary, this is referred to the as horizontal distribution of power. India is one such example.

  • Vertical distribution of power also known as the federal government, in which power is shared within the government but at different levels, such as a central government for the country and a provincial government for each state. One such example is the United States.

  • Different social groups, such as religious and linguistic groups, may share power. The Belgian model of ‘community government' is a good example of this.

  • Power-sharing can also be seen in how political parties, pressure groups, and movements control or influence those in power.

Important Question and Answers

1. What do you mean by a system of ‘checks and balances?

Ans: When power is distributed horizontally, it is shared among the various components of government, such as the executive, legislature, and judiciary. Each organ validates the other organs. As a result, there seems to be a balance of power among various institutions. This is known as a 'checks and balances system. It ensures that none of the organs have unrestricted power.

2. What is majoritarianism?

Ans: Majoritarianism is the belief that the majority community should be able to rule a country in whatever way it deems appropriate, regardless of the wishes and needs of the minority.

3. How is power-sharing the true spirit of democracy?

Ans: Power-sharing embodies the spirit of democracy because it is one of the fundamental principles underlying the concept of democratic rule.

  • In a democracy, citizens have the right to be consulted on how they should be governed, and all citizens generally have the same political and legal rights.

  • Each individual and community has a voice in governance through their elected representatives.

  • Power-sharing ensures accommodation while also preventing any majority group from abusing its authority.

  • It strengthens the minority's voice and makes them feel as wanted as any other majority group in the country. 

4. What do you mean by a vertical division of power?

Ans: A vertical division of power refers to the sharing of power between different levels of government, such as the Central and State governments. Power is divided between a higher and lower level of government in this system.

5. Which community supremacy was witnessed in post-independence Sri Lanka?

Ans: The dominant Sinhala community and the immigrant population of Sri Lanka experienced supremacy after the country's independence in 1948. Through government favors, the Sinhalese were able to influence the government and spread their language and culture while demonizing the Tamil language and culture. They reduced government employment and higher education opportunities for Tamils.

6. State the three consequences of the majoritarian policies adopted by the post-independence Sri Lankan government.

Ans: Three consequences of the majoritarian policies adopted by the Sri Lankan Government are:

  • The Buddhist Sinhala leaders were insensitive to Sri Lankan Tamils' culture and language, leaving them feeling neglected and upset. They felt that the government was practicing religious discrimination.

  • Tamils experienced job and educational discrimination. They believed that the constitution denied them equal rights and opportunities, which strained the relationship between the two communities even further.

  • Sri Lankan Tamils formed political parties and began campaigns for equal rights, language recognition, and regional autonomy.

7. What are the principles of a good democracy?


  • One fundamental principle of democracy is that all political power lies with the people. The power of any government should not be concentrated in the hands of a single person or group of people.

  • There must be equal respect for all groups, and everyone should be able to have a say in public policy.

  • The government in power should prioritize the fulfillment of the people's rights and demands, and they should not act arbitrarily.

Chapter 1 Power Sharing - Free PDF

Class 10 SST Civics Chapter 1 - Power Sharing is available for the students in PDF form so that you can access it easily. Download the Class 10 Social Science Political Science Chapter 1 in PDF form and study anywhere on your device. This chapter discusses one of the fundamentals of the Indian political system. It is essential from the viewpoint of board examination. Students will score higher by referring to CBSE Solutions for Class 10 SST Civics Chapter 1 to learn the answering pattern for the chapter.

Class 10th Political Science Chapter 1

CBSE notes Class 10 Political Science Chapter 1 starts with the story of Belgium and Sri Lanka. Both stories teach us how power-sharing takes place in two different countries and how it affects them.

Story of Belgium and Sri Lanka

Belgium was a European country 59% of people were Dutch-speaking while 40% were french-speaking and the remaining 1% were's German in the 1950s and 1960s. Although the French were 40% of the population they were richer than the rest of the population and had control of the economy. This created a lot of tension and French domination in Belgium.

Sri Lanka is an island country near India. The major social groups in Sri Lanka after 1948 were Sinhala speakers which were 74% and the Tamil speakers 18%. Tamil speakers were also divided into Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils. The rest were other minor groups of the population.

Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

In 1956, an Act was passed in Sri Lanka which recognised only Sinhala as the official language and the Tamil speakers felt ignored by the government. After this, there were many more preferential policies which gave Sinhalese people more leverage while getting government jobs or admission in universities.

Quite soon, many parties and political groups emerged, which launched a struggle for recognition of Tamil as one of the official languages of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Government repeatedly denied the Tamil population on this, which created a communal conflict and turned into a civil war. The civil war resulted in losses to both the parties and setback the Sri Lankan economy. It also resulted in a significant population becoming refugees by escaping to other countries.

Accommodation in Belgium

The Central Government in Belgium will have an equal number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers. Selected laws will require the consent of the majority of members from each linguistic group.

The State Governments Were Not Under the Central Government.

Brussels, the capital of Belgium had a different government which also had equal representation of both linguistic groups.

Apart from this, they had a community government which decided on all the matters regarding culture education and language-related issues.

Why is Power Sharing Desirable?

Power-sharing reduces conflict between social groups. It helps in preventing violence and political instability between various social groups in a country where the population is diverse such as India.

Power is also a part of the democratic process as it shares power with every stakeholder of the government. Power-sharing empowers the fact that people need to be consulted on the decisions that concern them.

Various Forms of Power-Sharing

Power-sharing can be considered as the spirit of democracy as power is not concentrated in the hands of few people. Moreover, the people in power are not only responsible for their decisions but they are also held accountable for it. Power-sharing also gives respect to each and every social group which is rarely seen in any other type of government except democracy.

There are different ways in which power-sharing takes place in various democracies:

Between Different Organs of the Government

The power division of distribution is horizontal where different organs of the government at the same level exercise different powers in their jurisdiction. This is easily seen in Indian democracy the legislature judiciary and executive function on the same level and yet have different jurisdictions.

Between Different Levels of Government

This refers to the system where the power is distributed among various levels of government such as the central and provincial government. This system is also known as federalism. India is a prime example of the federal system of government. In certain matters, the power-sharing is so exclusive that certain subjects are only exclusive to the union government or the state government.

Between Different Social Groups

In this, various weak social groups are represented in the legislatures or administration through various reservations. This gives the various social groups a voice and power which might not have been given in other types of government.

Between Different Political Groups

There are various political groups in the society like political parties, pressure groups and other Public Interest groups which have a significant influence over the decision making and law-making process in a democracy. Sometimes, political parties form an alliance and participate in direct power-sharing when they form a coalition government.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Describe How Power-Sharing is Good for Democracy.

Ans: Power sharing is good for democracy in various ways. It distributes responsibilities between various organs and levels of government as well as even political groups in the society. Power-sharing gives powers to a lot of sections in the society which otherwise might have been overlooked in case the country had another type of government than democracy. Power-sharing also ensures that various dominant groups in the society do not gain so much power that they start dominating the society's reality.

In a democracy, it is the rule of the people which is further empowered by power-sharing. Various political groups such as pressure groups, public interest groups as well as political parties which are composed of common people or active citizens exercise significant influence in the political arena. They are heard by not only the civilians of the country but also by the government and influence various laws and policies.

2. Describe the Result of Communal Tensions in the Case of both Sri Lanka and Belgium.

Ans: The communal tensions and Sri Lanka were caused by various laws and policies which were discriminating the Tamils against Sinhalese people. The laws favoured the Sinhalese in various ways and led to a situation where the Tamils felt ignored by the government. Moreover the various protests by Tamil groups were not addressed properly by the government and led to further issues. The government did not concede to the demands of the Tamils. This action by the government resulted in various political groups protesting on the streets and ultimately caused Civil war in Sri Lanka.

In the Belgium situation, the Belgian people solved their communal issues by both the communities coming halfway and sharing power. Both the communities agreed on having an equal number of ministers in the central government. Selected laws were required to have a majority from both the communities to pass in the parliament. Moreover, the State Government and the Central Government were kept separate. To solve communal issues they agreed on a separate communal government which acted as a third Government and separate for each community. Apart from this the capital of Belgium i.e Brussels had a separate government where both the communities were represented equally.

For more questions on this chapter refer to CBSE Solutions for Class 10 SST Civics Chapter 1 on our platform. The NCERT solutions can be found on NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science Civics Chapter 1 on our website or app which will guide you through your board exams.

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