ICSE Board Political Science Syllabus for Class 12

ICSE Board Syllabus for Class 12 Political Science

There will be  one paper of  three hours duration of 100 marks divided into two parts.

Part I (30 marks) will consist of  compulsory short answer questions, testing knowledge, application and
skills relating to elementary/ fundamental aspects  of the entire syllabus.

Part II (70 marks) will be divided into two sections A & B. Candidates will be required to answer  twoquestions out of  three from Section A and  three
questions out of five from Section B. Each question in this part shall carry 14 marks.


1.   Classification of States Early classification. A classification of modern states. Early classification: Reference to the views of  Plato, Pindar, Herodotus,Thucydides - the triple classification of States outlined by them as Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy. Improving upon the old classification by Aristotle.
Aristotle's classification of States - a critical evaluation of Aristotle's classification.Modern classification: classification suggested by J.A.R. Marriot, Burgess,Stephen Leacock.
Classification of governments under despotic and democratic heads and its further classification.C. F. Strong’s five main criteria of classificationbased on: the nature of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.

2.   Modern States

Totalitarian and Authoritarian States, Unitary and Federal States, Federation and Confederation.Pre-requisites of a Federation. Future of Federalism. Parliamentary and Presidential form of government. Features, merits and demerits of these governments.Under classification of Modern States - totalitarian and authoritarian governments Liberal democracy - features, merits and demerits. Unitary and federal. Federation and confederation. Essentials or pre-requisites of a federation, such as, written and rigid constitution. Supreme  position  of the  constitution, division  of power. Impartial supreme judiciary, double citizenship, bicameralism, etc. Essentialconditions for the successful working of a federation such as - the desire for union  and  notfor unity. Geographical contiguity, absence of inequality among the units. Political education of the people, alert political parties, etc. Future of federalism - growing tendencies towards unitar federalism due to factors like emergencies of war, terrorism, economic planning. Modern communication and transport facilities, etc. References to India, U.SA. and U.K.
Parliamentary and Presidential forms of government: Definitions, features, merits, demerits. Recent trends with reference to India, U.SA. and U.K.

3.   Constitution

Meaning, kinds, written and unwritten. Rigid and flexible constitutions. Merits and demerits. Meaning, written and unwritten, rigid and flexible, merits and demerits. 


4.   The Separation of Powers

The theory of separation of powers - its application to modern governments - is separation desirable and practicable?The theory of separation of powers with special
reference to Montesquieu's views. Critical evaluation of the theory. The theory of Checks and Balances – meaning with reference to U.S.A., India and U.K. – relevance of the theory in modern times.

5.   Franchise and Representation

Suffrage - who should be entitled to vote? Adult franchise; duties of a representative; modes of election; constituency; minority representation.
Political parties; two party system; multiple partysystem; functional representation.Franchise and representation: Who should be entitled to vote? Adult franchise - meaning, merits and demerits. Methods of election: direct, indirect. Constituencies: meaning, kinds - single member, multiple member constituency - merits
and demerits. Minority representation - meaning, kinds. Duties of a representative. Cumulative vote
. Second ballot system. Political parties - meaning, definition, role or functions in a democratic set up. Kinds - bi-party, multi-party system - meaning, functions, merits and demerits. Reference to Indian, British and American political parties. Proportional representation - meaning. Single transferable vote system and list
system. Functional representation - meaning, merits and demerits.

6. Organs of the Government

(i) The Legislature

Functions of legislature; structure of legislature. The legislature in India, U.S.A. and U.K. - a comparative study.Meaning, functions and structure of the
legislature, legislative procedure. The in U.K., India and U.S.A. Composition, powers and positions of thelegislatures in these three countries - a comparative study.Composition and powers of House of Commons and House of Lords, House of Representatives and the Senate, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Are parliaments the true representatives of the electorate in developing countries or merely talking shops? The decline of the position of the legislature  modern times.

(ii) The Executive

Functions; types of executive. The Civil Services.  Difference between the political executive and the permanent executive.  Executive in India, U.S.A. and U.K. - a
comparative study.Meaning, types and functions of the executive. Meaning and role of Civil Services. Difference between the political and permanent executive. Recent growth of executive powers. Executive in India, U.K. and U.S.A. - a comparative study. The role of the Queen of England. The appointment of tPresidents of India and America - powers, functions and positions of executive heads of India, U.K. and U.S.A.

(iii) The Judiciary

Organisation of the Judiciary; importance of Judiciary. Functions of Judiciary. Conditions of independence of Judiciary. Relation of the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive. Judicial Review. Judiciary in India, U.K. and U.S.A. - a comparative study.  Meaning and importance of judiciary; functions of judiciary; conditions of independence of judiciary; relationship between the judiciary and legislature; relationship between the judiciary andexecutive. The rule of law and a brief reference to Administrative Courts. The Judicial Review - meaning, its application in the U.K., India and U.S.A. Judiciary in the U.K., India and U.S.A. –composition, powers and position. The apex courts in the U.K.,  and U.S.A. Indian Supreme Court. American Supreme Court. House of Lords as the apex court in U.K.

7. Democracy in India – a perspective of the
challenges faced.

(i) Social and Economic Inequality

Social inequality: untouchability; problems faced by women; illiteracy; impact of social inequalities on the democratic system. Economic inequality: poverty and unemployment; causes of poverty and unemployment; impact of economic inequality on the democratic system; measures to eradicate economic inequality \

(ii) Regional Imbalance.

Meaning and causes of regional imbalance; consequences of the regional disparities; different measures for removing regional

(iii) Communalism, Casteism, Separatism,

Political Violence. Communalism: meaning and causes; impact of communalism on India’s democratic system; measures to combat communalism. Casteism: basis of the caste system; evil effects of casteism; impact of casteism on India’s democratic system. Separatism: meaning; different separatist movements in India; measures to stop separatist tendencies.  Violence: major forms or patterns of violence in India; politicisation of crime leading to political violence; major violent movements in India; measures to stop violence.

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