Contemporary South Asia Questions and Answers Class 12 CBSE

1 Marks Questions | 2 Marks Questions | 4 Marks Questions | 6 Marks Questions

1 Mark Questions

Question 1 : What is the full form of ‘SAARC’?

Answer : The full form of SAARC is the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Question 2 : Who controls the North-Eastern parts of Sri Lanka?

Answer : The LTTE controlled the North-Eastern parts of Sri Lanka. After its defeat the area is now under the control of the Government of Sri Lanka.

Question 3 : Whose mediation resolved the ‘Indus River Water Dispute’ between India and Pakistan?

Answer : The World Bank resolved the ‘Indus River Water Dispute’ between India and Pakistan.

Question 4 : Mention any two objectives of SAARC.

Answer : The two objectives of SAARC are:

(i) Cooperation through multilateral ways.

(ii) Peace and friendly relations among the nations.

Question 5 : Mention any four names of the countries belonging to the SAARC.

Answer : Member countries of SAARC are:

(i) India
(ii) Pakistan
(iii) Bangladesh
(iv) Nepal
(v) Sri Lanka
(vi) Bhutan
(vii) Maldives
(viii) Afghanistan

Question 6 : What does SAFTA stand for?

Answer : SAFTA stands for South Asian Free Trade Agreement.

Question 7 : Mention the names of any four countries of South Asia.

Answer : The four countries of South Asia are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Pakistan.

2 Mark Questions

Question 1 : Analyse the two political developments of 1940s that led to the decision for the creation of Pakistan.

Answer : Two political developments of 1940s that led to the decision for the creation of Pakistan are following:

(i) Pakistan resolution passed by Muslim League in March 1940 demanding separate homeland for the Muslim.

(ii) Massive Hindu-Muslim riots on 16 August, 1946 which was observed as Direct Action Day by Muslim League.

Question 2 : Suggest any two measures to have good relations with Pakistan.

Answer : Two measures to have good relations with Pakistan are:

(i) Pakistan must stop helping the terrorists.

(ii) Cultural delegates from both the countries must visit each other frequently.

Question 3 : State any two reasons for the instability of democracy in Pakistan.

Answer : The two factors for Pakistan’s failure of stable democracy are:

(i) The social dominance of military.

(ii) Stiff confrontation for coming to power among political parties.

Question 4 : Before 1971, which two reasons were a source of resentment among the people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) against West Pakistan?

Answer : The two reasons which were source of resentment (hate) among the people of Pakistan against West Pakistan were:

(i) West Pakistan dominated East Pakistan.

(ii) East Pakistan was forced to use Urdu language.

Question 5 : What were the two main consequences of Indo-Pakistan conflict of 1971?

Answer : The consequences of Indo-Pakistan conflict of 1971 are give below:

(i) Eastern command of Pakistan military collapsed and East Pakistan was recognised as Bangladesh.

(ii) Over 93000 Pakistani troops surrendered to the Indian forces making the largest surrender since Second World War.

Question 6 : Explain any two common features relevant to the countries of South Asia.

Answer : The common features relevant to the countries of South Asia are:

(i) The nations of South Asia do not share same type of political system. Though, all countries of South Asia prefer democratic form of government.

(ii) South Asian countries stand for diversity in every sense and yet constitute a geo-political space.

4 Mark Questions

Question 1 : ‘Democracy is becoming the first choice of the people of South Asia’. Justify the statement.

Answer : Democracy is becoming the first choice of the people of South Asia. According to a survey conducted, the results show that all the five countries in the South Asia region support democracy. People belonging to different religions, ordinary citizens, rich as well as poor, all view the idea of democracy positively and support the institutions of representative democracy. For instance:

(i) Nepal has transformed into a democracy from monarchy.

(ii) Sri Lanka and India have successfully operated a democratic system since their independence from the British.

(iii) Bhutan transformed from monarchy to democracy.

(iv) Maldives from sultanate to Republic with a Presidential form along with Multi-Party system.

Thus, it can be concluded that, despite of mixed record of democratic experience, the people of all countries of South Asia share the aspirations of democracy.

Question 2 : Explain any two points of conflict between India and Bangladesh.

Answer : The issues of tension (negative aspects) between India and Pakistan are:

(i) Sharing of river waters of Ganga and Brahmaputra.

(ii) Indian Government is not happy with Bangladesh’s refusal to act on unlawful immigrants to India.

(iii) Bangladesh’s support to anti-Indian Islamic fundamentalist groups.

(iv) Bangladesh refused to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to North-East region.

(v) Bangladesh refused to export natural gas to India and allow Myanmar to do so through its territory.

The issues of cooperation (positive aspects) between both the countries are:

(i) From the last decade, economic relations have been strengthened.

(ii) India’s Look East Policy does involve Bangladesh that links South-East Asia via Myanmar.

(iii) Cooperation is noticeable on the grounds of disaster management and environmental issues.

(iv) Area of cooperation is being broadened by identifying areas of common threat and by responding sensitive to each others needs.

Question 3 : Explain any two reasons for the popular struggle in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) against West Pakistan during 1971.

Answer : The two reasons for the popular struggle in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) against West Pakistan during 1971 are the following:

(i) After independence of both India and Pakistan, Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan and was called East Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan imposed Urdu language forcefully on East Pakistan’s people.

(ii) The West Pakistan imposed its own culture and it led to unfair treatment on Bengali culture and language. The people of East Pakistan also wanted fair representation in the administration and political power.

Question 4 : Explain any four causes of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

Answer : The four causes of ethnic conflict were:

(i) The bone of contention was the region of Ceylon which was represented by the majority Sinhala group. They opposed the migration and settlements of Tamilians from India in their region.

(ii) According to the group Sri Lanka was only for Sinhala people and not for Tamils. This attitude of Sinhala people led to the establishment of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant organisation, which desired for a separate country.

(iii) There was a pressure on the Government of India by the Tamils of Indian origin to intervene in the matter .Hence, the Government of India tried to negotiate with the Government of Sri Lanka on Tamil question. But direct involvement was in the year 1987. India conceded to send troops to Sri Lanka for the preservation of relations between Tamils and Sri Lanka Government. Eventually, the Indian troops got into a fight with LTTE.

(iv) The presence of Indian troops was not liked many Sri Lankans and hence in 1989, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) pulled out of Sri Lanka without attaining its objective.

Question 5 : How is democratisation going on in Nepal since 1990?

Answer : Nepal used to be a Hindu kingdom in the earlier period followed by constitutional monarchy in the modern period for many years. The pro-democracy movements forced the king to allow new democratic Constitution in 1990. But it had a short and troubled career. There was a huge influence of Maoists in many parts of Nepal who believed in armed insurrection against the monarch and the ruling elite. Hence, a triangular conflict among the Monarchist forces, the democrats and the Maoists took place for sometime. The parliament was abolished and the government was dismissed by the king in 2002.

Again in 2006, the king was forced to restore the House of Representatives after a massive country wide pro-democracy protests.

The constituent assembly was formed to write the Constitution for Nepal. The Constitution has come into effect with some amendment process going on.

Question 6 : What does SAARC stand for? Highlight its any three main objectives.

Answer : SAARC stands for the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation. It was founded in 1985. It is a major regional initiative by the South Asian states to evolve cooperation through multilateral means.

Objectives of SAARC are as follows:

(i) To promote collective self-reliance through systematic economic growth in the region.

(ii) To suppress menace of terrorism and smuggling of drugs.

(iii) To promote mutual trusts and understanding.

Question 7 : Explain any two factors responsible for Pakistan’s failure in building a stable democracy.

Answer : The factors that are responsible for Pakistan’s failure in building stable democracy are:

(i) The social dominance of military, landowning aristocrats had led to frequent overthrowing of elected governments and development of military governments.

(ii) Pro-military groups in Pakistan say that democratic government can harm security of Pakistan. And thus, army’s stay is more powerful.

Question 8 : Explain India’s changing relationship with Pakistan.

Answer : India and Pakistan just after independence got involved in conflict over certain issues. These included Kashmir, control over Siachen glacier, sharing of water of rivers etc.

These issues led to wars between them in 1947-48, 1965 and 1971. The nuclear test by both the countries in 1990’s further deteriorated the relations between them. Steps were taken to improve the relations between India and Pakistan. Some of them include:

(i) Both the countries singed an agreement in February 2007 on reducing the rise from accident relating to nuclear weapons.

(ii) Both the countries have agreed to have a dialogue for reaching a peaceful settlement on all bilateral issues, including Kashmir.

(iii) Leaders have meet at summits to understand each other better and to find solutions to the major problems between the two neighbours.

(iv) Trade between the two parts of Punjab has increased substantially in the last five years.

(v) The two countries have agreed to undertake confidence building measures to reduce the risk of war.

(vi) A number of bus route have been opened up between the two countries.

Question 9 : Name the countries included in South Asia. How can peace and cooperation be enhanced in this region?

Answer : The countries included in South Asia are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Inspite of many conflicts, the significance of cooperation and friendly relations is very well understood by the nations of South Asia.

To evolve the cooperation by multilateral means, a regional cooperation is being formed under the name of SAARC i.e. the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. It was established in 1985, It is a major regional initiative to evolve cooperation through multilateral means.

SAARC members signed the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) in 2004 which promised the formation of a free trade zone for the whole of South Asia. It aims at lowering trade tariffs by 20 percent by 2007.

6 Mark Questions

Question 1 : “Nepal and India enjoy a very special relationship that has very few parallels in the world”. Justify the statement with any three suitable agreements.

Answer : Nepal and India share a very special relationship that can be illustrated with three suitable examples as follows:

(i) A treaty between the two countries allows the citizens of the two countries to travel and work in each other countries without visas and passports.

(ii) Nepal being a landlocked country enjoys easier access to sea through Indian territory for the purpose of trade and commerce with other nations.

(iii) Both countries share together trade, scientific cooperation, common natural resources, electricity generation and interlocking water management grids.

Question 2 : Assess the positive and negative aspects of India’s relations with Bangladesh.

Answer : This answer has been provided earlier.

Question 3 : Like India, why could democracy not take roots in Pakistan despite the fact that both the countries share a common past?

Answer : Pakistan does not have a good experience with democracy. Several factors contributed to failure in building a stable democracy in Pakistan.

They are as follows:

(i) There was always a social dominance of military, clergy, and landowning aristocracy which resulted in downfall of democratic government and existence of military government.

(ii) Due to Pakistan’s conflict with India, pro-military groups in Pakistan got strengthened.

(iii) According to these pro-military groups, political parties and democracy is defective and there is a chance of harm to the security of Pakistan by narrow minded parties and disorganised democracy. And this way, justification for army’s stay in power is provided.

(iv) Lack of international support has been there in Pakistan for democratic rule.

(v) US and some Western countries moved Pakistan towards authoritarian rule for their own benefits.

(vi) Military rule in Pakistan is supposed to be protector of Western interests in West Asia, South Asia as ‘Global Islamic Terrorism’ and nuclear arsenal can only be controlled by military.

Even though democracy has not been fully successful in Pakistan, there has been a strong pro-democracy sentiment in the country. Pakistan has a courageous and relatively free press and a strong human rights movement.

Question 4 : What are the major differences between the SAARC and the European Union as alternative centres of power?

Answer : The differences between the SAARC and the European Union are as follows:

SAARC European Union
It was established with a view to evolve cooperation through multilateral means. It was established by NATO to devise a plan in order to enable its 16 member nations in Europe to revive their economy which shattered in Second World War. It was observed as support to capitalism against communism/socialism.
There is no common institution to guide SAARC  European Union is guided by common institutions such as European Commission, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, etc.
It shows reluctant attitude to sacrifice nation sovereignty. It shows attitude of sacrificing national sovereignty for greater and united Europe.
SAARC nations prefer technology adoption rather than innovation. USA and China have undue interference in internal affairs of SAARC as they provide technology to these nations. European Union nations are driving for invention and innovation. This resists interference of technological advanced nations such as USA and China.
The nature of economy in SAARC is agriculture and manufacturing sector. The nature of economy in European Union is knowledge based service sector.
A few member countries (e.g. Pakistan), due to their self-centered approach, understand SAARC’s efforts only favourable to India as it may invade their markets and influence their societies. Its member countries have their own foreign relations and defence policies that are often at odds with each other e.g., Britain’s Prime Minister was America’s partner in Iraq invasion whereas Germany and France opposed American policy.

Question 5 : Analyse the common problems of South Asian countries.

Answer : South Asia includes countries like India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The various natural areas such as Himalayas, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean are part to this region.

The common problems among them are:

(i) Poverty : All countries of South Asia suffer from large masses living in poverty. In India nearly 38% people are living under poverty.

(ii) Violation of human rights : There exists a great threat to human rights from anti social elements, communalist and from people with negative attitude, thinking and approach.

(iii) Problem faced by democracy : Several countries of South Asia aspire to be a democratic country, but face a problem.

(iv) Women employment : Women are generally seen at lower position in most of the South Asian nations. They are restricted and are not as free as their counterparts.