NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 2 The End of Bipolarity

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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 2 The End of Bipolarity


Q1. Which among the following statements that describe the nature of Soviet economy is wrong?

(a) Socialism was the dominant ideology.
(b) State ownership/control existed over the factors of production.
(c) People enjoyed economic freedom.
(d) Every aspect of the economy was planned and contained by the state.

Answer: (c) People enjoyed economic freedom.

Q2. Arrange the following in chronological order:

(a) Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
(b) Fall of the Berlin Wall
(c) Disintegration of Soviet Union
(d) Russian Revolution

Answer: A. (d) Russian Revolution (1917)
B. (a) Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979)
C. (b) Fall of the Berlin Wall (Nov 1989)
D. (c) Disintegration of Soviet Union

Q3. Which among the following is NOT an outcome of the disintegration of the USSR?

(a) End of the ideological war between the US and USSR
(b) Birth of CIS
(c) Change in the balance of power in the world order
(d) Crises in the Middle East

Answer: (d) Crises in the Middle East

Q4. Match the following:

i. Mikhail Gorbacheva. Successor of USSR
ii. Shock Therapyb. Military pact
iii. Russiac. Introduced reforms
iv. Boris Yeltsind. Economic model
v. Warsawe. President of Russia


i. Mikhail Gorbachevc. Introduced reforms
ii. Shock Therapyd. Economic model
iii. Russiaa. Successor of USSR
iv. Boris Yeltsine. President of Russia
v. Warsawb. Military pact

Q5. Fill in the blanks:

(a) The Soviet Political System was
based on……………. ideology.
(b) ……………….. was the military alliance
started by the USSR.
(c) ……………….party dominated the
Soviet Union’s political system.
(d) ………………..initiated the reforms
in the USSR in 1985.
(e) The fall of the ……………. symbolised
the end of the Cold War.

Answer: (a) socialist (b) Warsaw Pact
(c) Communist (d) Gorbachev
(e) Berlin wall

Q6. Mention any three features that distinguish the Soviet economy from that of a capitalist country like the US.

Answer:The three features that distinguish the Soviet economy from that of a capitalist country like the US were:
i) Soviet economy had a complex communications network, vast energy resources including oil, iron and steel, machinery production, and a transport sector that connected its remotest areas with efficiency.
ii) Soviet Union had a domestic consumer industry that produced everything from pins to cars, though their quality did not match that of the Western capitalist countries.
iii) The Soviet state ensured a minimum standard of living for all citizens, and the government subsidised basic necessities including health, education, childcare and other welfare schemes.

Q7. What were the factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR?

Answer: Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union in 1985. He was forced to initiate the reforms in the USSR due to following reasons:

  1. To keep the USSR abreast of information and technological revolutions at par the West.
  2. To normalise the relations with that of the West.
  3. To democratise the Soviet System.
  4. To loosen the administrative system which exempted ordinary people from the privileges.

Q8. What were the major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India?

Answer:The major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India were:
i) It meant the end of Cold War confrontations. The ideological dispute over whether the socialist system would beat the capitalist system was not an issue any more. The end of the confrontation led an end to arms race and a possible new peace.

ii) The disintegration of the Soviet Union led to emergence of multipolar system. The end of the Cold War left open only two possibilities: either the remaining superpower would dominate and create a
unipolar system, or different countries or groups of countries could become important players in
the international system, thereby bringing in a multipolar system where no one power could
dominate. As it turned out, the US became the sole superpower thus, the capitalist economy was now the dominant economic system internationally. Institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund became powerful advisors to all these countries since they gave them loans for their transitions to capitalism. Politically, the notion of liberal democracy emerged as the best way to organise political life.

iii) The end of the Soviet bloc meant the emergence of many new countries. All these countries had
their own independent aspirations and choices. Some of them, especially the Baltic and east European states, wanted to join the European Union and become part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

iv) The Central Asian countries wanted to take advantage of their geographical location and continue their close ties with Russia and also to establish ties with the West, the US, China and others. Thus, the international system saw many new players emerge, each with its own identity, interests, and economic and political difficulties.

Q9. What was Shock Therapy? Was this the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism?

Answer: Shock Therapy was a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system. This transformation system was influenced by the world bank and the IMF in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe. Though it varies in intensity and speed amongst the former second world countries but its direction and features were quite similar.
This was not the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism due to following drawbacks:

  1. Russia, the large state controlled industrial complex lost about 90 per cent of its industries through sales to private individuals and companies
  2. It created “the largest garage sale in history” which led virtual disappearance of entire industries for the restructuring was carried out by market forces in place of government owned policies.
    Hence, industries were undervalued and sold at throwaway prices.
  3. It systematically destroyed old system of social welfare.
  4. The value of ‘ruble’, the Russian currency, declined dramatically due to high rate of inflation and real GDP of Russia also declined between 1989 to 1999.
  5. The withdrawal of government subsidies pushed large sections of society into poverty and it emerged mafia to start controlling many economic activities.
  6. Privatisation led to new disparities which divided Russia between rich and poor people creating economic inequality.
  7. Hence, Shock Therapy brought ruin to economies and disaster upon the people of entire region.

Q10. Write an essay for or against the following proposition. “With the disintegration of the second world, India should change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with the US rather than with traditional friends like Russia”.

Answer:India should not change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with US, but India is required to maintain healthy relations with Russia because Indo-Russian relations are embedded in a history of trust and common interests and are matched by popular perceptions.

Russia and India share a vision of a multipolar world order i.e. co-existence of several world powers internationally, collective security, greater regionalism, democratisation with the decision-making through bodies like the UN. More than 80 bilateral agreements have been experienced between India and Russia as a part of the Indo- Russia Strategic Agreement of 2001.

India has been benefitted from its relationship on the issues like Kashmir, energy supplies, sharing information on international terrorism, access to Central Asia and balancing its relation with China. Russia is also important for India’s nuclear energy plane and assisting India’s space industry by giving cryogenic rocket to India whenever needed. Co-operation with Russia and its republics like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan in the form of partnership and investment in oil fields has also benefitted India.

Russia is also benefitted from India on ground of the second largest arms market for Russia. Indian military gets most of its hardware from Russia. Russia and India have collaborated on various scientific projects also.


Very Short Answer Type Questions [1 Mark]

Q1. When did Socialist Revolution take place in Russia?

Answer: 1917.

Q2. What was Shock Therapy?

Answer: Shock Therapy was the transitional form from authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe under the influence of the World Bank and IMF.

Q3. What was the largest garage sale in history?

Answer: Largest garage sale in history was resulted due to shock therapy to undervalue the valuable industries of the USSR to sell them at throwaway prices.

Q4. What was the immediate cause of disintegration of USSR?

Answer: The rise of nationalism and the desire for sovereignty within various republics including Russia and the Baltic Republic (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Ukraine, Georgia and others proved to be the most immediate cause for disintegration of the USSR.

Q5. What was Socialist Bloc?

Answer: The Second World countries or the group of east European countries who were liberated from fascist forces, followed the model of the USSR, known as Socialist Bloc.

Q6. What is the new name of former USSR?

Answer: Russia.

Q7. When did the Berlin Wall fall?

Answer: November 1989.

Q8. Who was the General Secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union in 1985?

Answer: Mikhail Gorbachev.

Q9. Mention the role of Boris Yeltsin in the disintegration of the USSR.

Answer: Boris Yeltsin had emerged as national hero after popular election in Russian Republic. In Dec 1991, under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus declared themselves independent.

Q10. What does CIS stand for?

Answer: Commonwealth of Independent States.

Very Short Answer Type Questions [2 Marks]

Q1. What is meant by Shock Therapy?

Answer: The ‘Shock Therapy’ was the state of affairs which signifies the collapse of communism followed by a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system-
i). ‘Shock Therapy’ administered in the year 1900 not to lead the people into the promised utopia of mass consumption.
ii). It brought ruin to economies and disaster upon the people of entire region.

Q2. Why is it said that collapse of Berlin wall signified the collapse of bipolar world?

Answer: Collapse of Berlin Wall unified the
divided Germany and eight east European countries of the Soviet Bloc replaced their Communist government resulting into disintegration of Soviet Union. With the disintegration of Soviet Union, military alliances came to an end and the world became unipolar.

Q3. Mention any two characteristics of Soviet Political System.

Answer: i). The Soviet Political System central around the Communist Party and no other political party or opposition was allowed.
ii). The economy was planned and controlled by the state only.
The one party system had tight control over all institutions and was unaccountable to people.
iii). People locked democracy and were snatched away their right to freedom of speech and expression.

Q4. “The Soviet Union lagged behind the West”. Comment.

Answer. The Soviet Union lagged behind the West in technology, infrastructure (transport, power etc.) as it could not cope with the political and economic aspirations of people and resulted in:
i). Though wages continued to grow but productivity and technology fell considerably behind that of the West.
ii). This led to shortage of consumer goods and increased food import every year.
iii). The above mentioned reasons made the Soviet economy stagnant.

Q5. Mention some features of Soviet Society.

Answer: i). Soviet Society gave priority to the state and party institutions only.
ii). Only the Communist Party was ruling over there and no opposition was allowed.
iii). The economy was planned and controlled by the state only.
iv). The Soviet Union became the great power after the Second World War.

Q6. Write anote onformationof Commonwealth of Independent States.

Answer: Disintegration of the USSR gave birth to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) when under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin Russia, Ukraine and Belarus declared themselves as independent and gave a surprise to other republics especially to central Asian Republics. This issue was resolved quickly by making these republics as founding
members of the CIS and Russia became the successor state who inherited the Soviet sea in the UN and accepted all the international treaties and commitments.

Q7. Mention any two possibilities which were being presumed in changed scenario of world politics after disintegration of the USSR.

Answer: i). The US, the only superpower could dominate the world and make a unipolar world.
ii). A multipolar world could also exist where no other power could dominate or the group of countries could participate in the international affairs.

Q8. How did the USSR come into existence?

Answer: The USSR came into existence after the Socialist revolution in Russia in 1917 with the inspiration of socialism and a need of egalitarian society who opposed capitalism. This was considered the biggest attempt in human history to abolish the institution of private property and to design a society based on equality.

Q9. Who was Gorbachev? Why did he seek to reform Soviet Society?

Answer: Gorbachev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985. He was forced by the following factors to seek reforms in Soviet Society:
i). To keep the USSR abreast of the
information and technological revolutions.
ii). To bring Soviet economy at par with the west.
iii). To loosen the administrative system.
iv). To democratise Soviet System and to normalise relations with the west.

Q10. How did Shock Therapy affect trade and commerce of Russia?

Answer. Shock Therapy affected trade and commerce of Russia in the following manner:
i). The value of Ruble, the Russian ’ currency declined.
ii). Inflation rose at a very high rate and it lost all savings of people.
iii). Lack of productivity and technology created shortage of food which increased food imports every year.
iv). The GDP of Russia also declined between 1989 to 1999.

Q11. When and how did Russia revive its economy?

Answer: Russia revived its economy in 2000 by the export of natural resources like oil, natural gas and minerals. Even other countries have also gained due to crossing of pipelines from their region and they have been paid a rent. Russia has started some manufacturing units also to revive its economy.

Q12. Write a note on tension and conflicts that occurred in Russia.

Answer: In Russia, two republics—Chechnya and Dagestan—had violent secessionist movements. Moscow’s method of dealing with the Chechen rebels and indiscriminate military bombings have led to many human rights violation but failed to deter the aspirations for ‘independence’.

Q13. Mention the methods of‘Shock Therapy’ amongst the former Second World countries.

Answer: i). The newly evolved criterion required to make a total shift to a capitalist economy to root out completely any structures evolved during Soviet period.
ii). Shock therapy involved a drastic change in the external orientation.
iii). Sudden and complete switch to free trade was considered essential.
iv). It also involved openness to foreign investment, financial opening up and currency convertibility.

Q14. “ The old system of social welfare was systematically destroyed”. With reference to Shock Therapy, justify the statement.

Ans: i). The Government withdrew subsidies and pushed people into poverty.
ii). The middle classes were pushed to the periphery of society and the academic and intellectual manpower migrated.
iii). A mafia had been emerged and started controlling many economic activities.
iv). Privatisation led to new disparities.

Short Answer Type Questions [4 Marks]

Q1. Describe any four consequences of the disintegration of Soviet Union.

Answer: (i) The disintegration of Soviet Union meant the end of Cold War confrontations which demanded the end of armed race and restoration of possible peace.
(ii) This disintegration created the possibility to bring in a ‘multipolar system’ where no power could dominate.
(iii) The US became the sole superpower and the ‘capitalist economy’ was now dominant economic system at international level.
(iv) This disintegration emerged in many new countries dividing Soviet Union into 15 independent countries alongwith their own aspirations and choices.

Q2. Explain any two reasons for disintegration of the USSR.

Answer: i). The internal weaknesses of Soviet political and economic institutions failed to meet the aspirations of the people.
ii). Economic stagnation for many years led to severed consumer shortage and a large section of Soviet society began to double the system because Communist Party was not accountable to peoples.

Q3. What were the political reasons for disintegration of Soviet Union?

Answer: i). The Communist Party of Soviet Union had ruled for over 70 years but it was not accountable to people.
ii). Ordinary people had been alienated and were exempted from enjoying the privileges and to participate actively in political affairs.
iii). Due to slow and stifling administration, the inability of system to correct mistakes lost popular support.
iv). The centralisation of authority in > vast land.

Q4. In what manner Gorbachev’s reform policy was protested? Who took the command during these events?

Answer. i). The East European countries which were the part of the Soviet Bloc, started to protest against their own
government and Soviet control.
ii). Boris Yeltsin took the command during these events as he got popular support of people in the elections and began to shake off centralised control.
iii). Power began to shift from centre to the republics which declared themselves independent.
iv). In December 1991, under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin Russia, Ukraine and Baltics declared themselves as sovereign states.

Q5. Why did Soviet system become so weak and Soviet economy stagnant?

Answer: Soviet system became so weak and Soviet economy stagnant due to the following reasons:
i). The Soviet economy used much of its resources in maintaining nuclear and military arsenals.
ii). Soviet economy concentrated on the development of its satellite states in Eastern Europe especially in the five central Asian Republics.
iii). This led to a huge economic burden on people to be coped up with.
iv). Ordinary citizens became more knowledgeable about the economic advancement of the West and backwardness of Soviet system.

Q6. Why did Gorbachev’s reform policy fail in spite of his accurate diagnosis of the problem?

Answer. i). When Gorbachev carried out his reforms and loosened the system, he set in motion forces and expectations that few could have predicted and became virtually impossible to control.
ii). Some sections of Soviet Society felt that Gorbachev should have moved much faster and were disappointed and impatient with him.
iii). The members of communist party felt that their power and privileges were eroding and Gorbachev was moving too quickly.
iv). In this tug of war, Gorbachev lost support on all sides and divided public opinion with the disillusionment of inadequate dependence

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