NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science Our Pasts Chapter 12 : India After Independence


What was the role of the Planning Commission?


In 1950, the government of India set up a Planning Commission to help design and execute suitable policies for economic development.


Give one reason why English continued to be used in India after Independence.


(i)       People who could not speak Hindi, opposed Hindi as National Language.

(ii)      Their leaders threatened to separate from India if Hindi was imposed on them. 

(iii)      The Constituent Assembly finally fixed this issue by declaring Hindi as the "official language" of India and decided that English was to be used in the courts, the services, and communications between one state and another.


What did Dr Ambedkar mean when he said that “In politics we will have equality, and in social and economic life we will have inequality”?


(i)       Through this statement in his final speech to the Constituent Assembly, Dr Ambedkar pointed out that political democracy had to be accompanied by economic and social democracy.

(ii)       Giving the right to vote alone would not automatically lead to the removal of other inequalities such as between rich and poor, or between upper and lower castes.


State whether true or false: (a) At independence, the majority of Indians lived in villages. (b) The Constituent Assembly was made up of members of the Congress party. (c) In the first national election, only men were allowed to vote. (d) The Second Five Year Plan focused on the development of heavy industry.


(a) True

(b) False

(c) False

(d) True


Name three problems that the newly independent nation of India faced.


The following are three problems that the newly independent nation of India faced:

(i)       As a result of Partition, 8 million refugees had come into the country from Pakistan. These people had to be rehabilitated by providing homes and jobs.

(ii)      There was the problem of the princely states, almost 500 of them, each ruled by a maharaja or a nawab, each of whom had to be persuaded to join the new nation.

(iii)     The new nation also had to lift its masses out of poverty by increasing the productivity of agriculture and by promoting new, job-creating industries.


How was the economic development of India visualised in the early decades after Independence?


(i)       Lifting India and its people out of poverty, and building a modern technical and industrial base were among the major objectives of the new nation.

(ii)       In 1950, the government set up a Planning Commission to design and execute suitable policies for economic development.

(iii)     A “mixed economy” model was adopted; both the State and the private sector would play important and complementary roles in increasing production and generating jobs.

(iv)      The nature of industries under the state and the private market, and achievement of a balance between the different regions and states were to be defined by the Planning Commission.

(v)       In 1956, the Second Five Year Plan was formulated. This focused strongly on the development of heavy industries (steel and the building of large dams). These sectors would be under the control of the State.

(vi)      This focus on heavy industry, and the effort at state regulation of the economy was to guide economic policy for the next few decades. This approach had many strong supporters as well as critics.


After Independence, why was there a reluctance to divide the country on linguistic lines?


(i)       In the 1920s, the Indian National Congress had promised that once the country won independence, each major linguistic group would have its own province.

(ii)      However, after independence, the Congress did not fulfill this promise. There was a hesitation to implement this promise because of the Partition.

(iii)     The nation had already been divided on the basis of religion. The freedom to India had come along with the tragedy of Partition; more than a million people had been killed in riots between Hindus and Muslims.

(iv)     Any further division among the people was considered to be against the nation’s strength and unity.

(v)      Prime Minister Nehru and Deputy Prime Minister Vallabhbhai Patel were against the creation of linguistic states. They wanted anything that hindered the growth of nationalism to be rejected, including divisions on the basis of language.


Fill in the blanks: (a) Subjects that were placed on the Union List were ___________, ___________ and ___________. (b) Subjects on the Concurrent List were ___________ and ____________. (c) Economic planning by which both the state and the private sector played a role in development was called a ___________ ____________ model. (d) The death of ___________ sparked off such violent protests that the government was forced to give in to the demand for the linguistic state of Andhra.


(a) taxes, defences and foreign affairs.

(b) forests and agriculture.

(c) “mixed economy”

(d) veteran Gandhian named Potti Sriramulu

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