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Law and Social Justice NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science Civics Chapter 10
Class 8 Civics Chapter 10 Law and Social Justice InText Questions and Answers
Page No. 121
Why do we need a law on minimum wages?
We need a law on minimum wages so that private companies cannot deny workers their wages. It is also necessary to ensure that workers are not underpaid, or are paid fairly.
Find out :
(a) What is the minimum wage for a construction worker in your state?
The minimum wage for a construction worker is Rs. 150/- per day.
(b) Do you think the minimum wage for a construction worker is adequate, low, or high?
The minimum wage for a construction worker is adequate if he gets the work regularly
(c) Who sets the minimum wages?
The contractor in case of a construction worker.
Page No. 122
Table 1 provides some important laws relating to the protection of these various interests. Columns (2) and (3) in Table 1 state why and for whom these laws are necessary. Based on discussions in the classroom, you have to complete the remaining entries in the table.
|Law||Why is it necessary?||Whose interests does the law protect?|
|Minimum Wages Act specifies that wages should not be below a specified minimum.||Many workers are denied fair wages by their employers. Because they badly need work, workers have no bargaining power and are paid low wages.||This law is meant to protect the interests of all workers; particularly, farm labourers, construction workers, factory workers, domestic workers, etc.|
|Law specifying that there be adequate safety measures in workplaces. For example, alarm system, emergency exits, properly-functioning machinery.||For the safety of workers during emergencies like a fire, gas leakage, etc.||The interest of factory workers who will other-wise have to lose their lives.|
|The law requiring that the quality of goods meet certain prescribed standards. For example, electrical appliances have to meet safety standards||Consumers might be put to risk by the poor quality of products such as electrical appliances, food, medicines.||This law is meant to protect the people from accidents like electric shock, food poisoning, etc.|
|The law requiring that the prices of essential goods are not high – For example, sugar, kerosene, food-grains.||Essential goods need to be provided to everyone. To keep a check on the wholesalers and retailers providing essential goods in the market.||The interests of the poor who will otherwise be unable to afford these goods.|
|The law requiring that factories do not pollute air or water.||To prevent unfair practices of factories. To protect our environment from getting deteriorated.||The interests of people who will otherwise suffer from various diseases.|
|Laws against child labour in workplaces||Our Constitution says that no child below the age of 14 shall be employed to work in any factory or mines or any other hazardous employment.||This law is meant to protect the children from exploitation and providing the opportunity to go to school.|
|Law to form workers unions/ associations.||By organizing themselves into unions, workers can use their combined power to demand fair wages and better working conditions.||To protect the interest of all workers, particularly, factory workers, domestic workers, etc.|
Page No. 127
Why do you think enforcement of safety laws is important in any factory?
Enforcement of safety laws is important in any factory because of the following reasons :
(1) It is the duty of the government to ensure that the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution is not violated.
(2) More industries are being set up by local and foreign people or institutions in India. They hardly care to include safety measures to save costs and earn higher profits.
Workers are forced to work in unsafe conditions. If any accident occurs, it swallows thousands of lives for which their families are never compensated.
Can you point to a few other situations where laws (for rules) exist but people do not follow them because of poor enforcement? (For example, over-speeding by motorists not wearing helmet/seat belt and use of mobile phone while driving). What are the problems in enforcement? Can you suggest some ways in which enforcement can be improved?
Few situations where laws exist but people do not follow them are :
- Not crossing the road from a zebra crossing.
- Encroachment of land in commercial and residential areas.
- Crossing red lights on the road.
Problems in enforcement :
- People are not aware of such laws or deliberately ignore them.
- Lack of responsibility in the government officials who look after particular departments.
- Culprits often offer bribes to government officials to get rid of the case.
- People often misuse their political approach.
Some ways in which enforcement can be improved :
- Awareness among the masses regarding laws with the help of media.
- Government officials need to become sincere in performing their duties.
- In spite of taking bribes, the government official should punish or fine the culprit without caring whether the culprit has a relation with a minister or is a common person.
- Interference of government must be banned during the enforcement of the law.
Page No. 128
A ‘clean environment is a public’ facility. Can you explain this statement?
Public facilities are some of the essential facilities that need to be provided for everyone. It includes healthcare and sanitation.
- When everyone especially the poor in the rural and urban areas will have access to sanitation (toilet facilities within the premises of residence) the environment will become clean.
- Apart from sanitation, healthcare is also important for a clean environment.
- People can also contribute to keeping the environment clean by rational use of private vehicles.
- Factory wastes should not be dumped into the lakes of rivers.
By summing up all these factors together the environment can be kept clean and people can lead a healthy life.
Why do we need new laws (on environmental aspects)?
We need new laws to check pollution, clean rivers. The government should introduce heavy fines for those who pollute the environment. Polluter needs to be held accountable for the damage done to the environment.
Why are companies and contractors able to violate environmental laws?
Companies and contractors are able to violate environmental laws because :
- Laws made on the environment are not properly enforced by the government.
- Government officials take bribes from the companies and contractors and allow them to do the work they want.
- Companies and contractors are not dealt with strictly if they are caught violating environmental law.
- They should be strictly punished or penalized. So it should be a lesson for others who tries to break such laws.
Page No. 129
Do you think everyone got justice in the case cited above (see box given in the Textbook, Page 129)?
No, everyone did not get justice in the case cited above. It is always the poor who suffer. In the above case, factory workers and slum dwellers were the victims.
Can you think of other ways in which the environment can be protected? Discuss in class.
Other ways in which the environment can be protected are as follows:
- Laws made for environmental protection should be enforced.
- People breaking environmental law must be punished.
- Machinery used in industries must be checked regularly.
- Factories which contribute significantly towards environmental conservation by adopting various measures should be awarded by the government mid-brought into the limelight.
- It would probably encourage other industrialists to adopt environmental conservation measures.
- Awareness must be developed among the masses towards environmental conservation.
- Government officials must keep a strict eye on the people who try to damage the environment.
Class 8 Civics Chapter 10 Law and Social Justice Exercise Questions and Answers
Talk to two workers (for example, construction workers, farmworkers, factory workers, workers at any shop) to find out if they are receiving the minimum wages laid down by law.
- Construction workers: They do not receive the minimum wages.
- Farm workers: They do not receive the minimum wages.
- Factory workers: They receive minimum wages.
- Workers at the shop: They get minimum wages.
What are the advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India?
The advantages to foreign companies in setting up production in India are:
- Foreign companies get cheap labour. Wages that the companies pay to workers in the USA are far higher than what they have to pay to workers in India.
- Additional expenses such as housing facilities for workers are also cheaper.
- Lower working conditions including lower safety measures are used as ways of cutting costs. Thus, companies can save costs and earn high profits.
Do you think the victims of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy got justice? Discuss.
No, As the gas victims are still not rehabilitated:
- They are still suffering from the effects of gas leaks.
- Their cases are still pending in numerous courts.
What do we mean when we speak for law enforcement? Who is responsible for enforcement? Why is enforcement so important?
Law enforcement means the implementation of the law. Government is responsible for enforcement. Enforcement is important when the law seeks to protect the weak from the strong. For instance, to ensure that every worker gets fair wages, the government has to regularly inspect worksites and punish those who violate the laws.
How can laws ensure that markets work in a manner that is fair? Give two examples to support your answer.
The government has passed laws that ensure that essential products such as food grains, sugar, and kerosene are not highly-priced. It is necessary that such restrictions are placed on people who market these products; otherwise the poor will not be able to afford these goods.
The government has also passed the Consumers’ Protection Act which ensures that the consumers are not created by the sale of sub-standard products.
‘Hallmark’ certification helps the consumer to buy standard gold ornaments and ‘Agmark’ certification ensures that the food products on sale are of good quality.
Imagine yourself be a worker working in a chemical factory, which has received orders from the government to move to a different site 100 kms away from the present location. Write about how your life would change? Readout your responses in the classroom.
- Timings of getting up from bed changed. Earlier it was 7.00 a.m. now 5.00 a.m. I should have to start from my house at 6.30 a.m.
- Earlier I used to go to the factory by bus. Now first I catch the train from the railway station. Then take a bus to reach the factory.
- Earlier I was able to teach my children in the evening and go to the market to buy vegetables. Now I do not have time.
- The timing of reaching home has changed. Earlier it was 7.00. p.m. now it is 9.30 to 10.00 p.m.
Write a paragraph on the various roles of the government that you have read about in this. unit.
Various Roles of the Government:
- Enactment of Minimum Wages Act.
- The law protecting the interests of the producers and consumers in the market.
- Law relating to adequate safety measures at the workplace.
- Quality standards to be fixed.
- Law against hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities.
- Law against sexual harassment of women at workplace.
- Law against child labour at the workplace.
- Law to form workers/labour unions.
What are the sources of environmental pollution in your area? Discuss with respect to (a) air; (b) water and (c) soil. What are the steps being taken to reduce pollution?
Can you suggest some other measures?
Sources of environmental pollution in our area are :
(a) Air – Heavy traffic, smoke emitting from the industries.
(b) Water – Dumping of industrial wastes, human and animal wastes into the river.
(c) Soil – Conversion of agricultural land into residential areas, excessive use of pesticides, deforestation, excess of construction work such as roads, buildings, etc.
Steps were taken to reduce the pollution:
- Afforestation to reduce soil erosion.
- CNG buses have been started to reduce air pollution.
- Water treatment plants have been installed. Industries have been shifted to outskirts of the city. .
Some other measures :
- Excess of construction work needs to be banned.
- Private vehicles must-be encouraged to’ use CNG as. fuel.
- Wastage should not be dumped into the rivers.
- Factories dumping wastes into the rivers must be penalized or closed or shifted.
How was the environment treated earlier? What? has been changing in perception? Discuss.
- The environment was treated as a “free” entity and all were allowed to degrade or pollute it.
- No attention was paid to the governments as it was believed “nature cleans itself.
- But, now the perception has changed and countries are introducing new legislation to protect the environment.
What Jo you think the famous cartoonist R.K. Laxman ! is trying to convey in this cartoon?
How does it relate to the 2016 law that you read about on Rage 123 (of the Textbook)?
The famous cartoonist R.K. Laxman is trying to convey, that child labour .is still, prevalent in India. It j is poor who suffer ‘ from this social evil. Poors are dominated by wealthy people. In the cartoon, the female has sympathy for Her child but equally cruel for another poor child. She did hot hesitate to put, heavy bag of oil on the poor child’s back.
According to the law passed in 2016 (the Child Labpur Prevention Act) the children under 14 years of age (were banned froth working as domestic servants or as workers in dhabas, restaurants, tea shops, etc. It has made employing these children a punishable offence. But the irony is that in spite of parsing this law it is violated without fear and people are not punished for such crimes.
You have read about the Bhopal gas Tragedy and the on-going struggle. Students from countries across the world have come together to support this struggle for justice from protest marches to awareness campaigns, you can read about their activities on the website WWW.studentsforbhopal.com the website also has resources such as photos, posters, documentaries, victims statements, etc.
Use this and other sources to make a wallpaper/exhibition on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy for your classroom. Invite the whole school to see and talk about it.
Student, do yourself.