Indian Constitution Study Material For UPSC | Civil Services Exam Indian Constitution Notes

Indian Constitution
Idea for a Constituent Assembly for drafting a con­stitution for India was first provided by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1895.

The elections for the first Constituent Assembly were held in July 1946. Ini­tially it had 389 members, but later the reformed Assembly had 324 members.

The State of Hydrabad did not participate in elections to the Constituent Assembly.

The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held on December 9, 1946— its president was Dr Sacchi­danand Sinha.

The second meeting was held on December 11, 1946. Its president was Dr Rajendra Prasad.

The Objectives Reso­lution was passed under chairmanship of J.L. Nehru.

The Draft of Indian Constitution was presented in October 1947. President of the Drafting Committee was Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

The Flag Committee worked under J.B. Kripalani.

The total time con­sumed to prepare the draft was 2 years, 11 months, 18 days. Total 11 meetings were held for this.

The Indian Constitu­tion was enacted on Novem­ber 26, 1946 and put into force on January 26, 1950.

The Constitution today has 444 Articles and 12 schedules. Originally there were 395 Articles and 8 schedules.

SOCIALIST, SECU­LAR, INTEGRITY—these words were added to the Preamble later, through the 42nd Amendment, 1976.

The Preamble con­tains aims and objectives of our Constitution.

Fundament Rights are contained in Part III— called “Magna Carta” of the Constitution. The idea was borrowed from USA. Initial­ly there were 7 fundamental rights, now there are only 6. (The Right to Property was deleted by the 44th amend­ment in 1978. It is now a judicial right—it has been moved to Article 300(A).)

The Supreme Court judgement in Keshwanand Bharti vs Kerala case provid­ed that Fundamental Rights can be altered by the Parlia­ment as long as the basic structure of the Constitution remains intact.

The Minerva Mills case ruling of the Supreme Court, however, ruled that Fundamental rights are basic part of the Constitution. The power to alter them was snatched away.

Fundamental Right of Equality provides for:

—Equality in govern­ment jobs (Article 16).
—No discriminations (Article 15).
—No untouchability (Article 17).
—Abolition of titles (Article 18).

The important free­doms granted are:

—Against exploitation (Article 23).
—Against child labour (Article 24).

The Right to Consti­tutional Remedies is provid­ed under Article 32.

The Constitution provides that High Courts and the Supreme Court can issue various writs (written orders) to safeguard free­dom of an individual. There are five types of writs:
Habeas Corpus—“may I have the body”—it orders to present reasons as well as physical presence of a body in court, within 24 hours of arrest.
Mandamus—issued to person, office or court—to enforce duties—also called “Param Aadesh”.
Prohibition—issued to inferior courts, by superior courts—it prohibits (stops) action of acts outside their jurisdiction.
Quo Warranto—it asks how one has gained unau­thorised office.
Certiorari —Higher Court takes over case from lower courts.

Dr Ambedkar has called this article as “soul” of the Constitution.

Directive Principles of State Policy act as guide­lines or morals for the gov­ernment. They are contained in Part IV of the Constitu­tion. They were borrowed from Ireland. Some impor­tant directive principles are:
—Gram Panchayats (Article 40).
—Uniform civil code (Article 44).
—Free and compulsory education (Article 45).

Fundamental duties are contained in part IV(A). There are ten fundamental duties listed in the Constitu­tion. This idea was borrowed from Russia.

The Vice President is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. However, he is not a member of any House.

If a member is found sitting in another House of Parliament, of which he is not a member, he has to pay a fine of Rs 5000.

Rajya Sabha has 250 members—238 elected and 12 nominated by the Presi­dent. Uttar Pradesh elects maximum number of mem­bers for the Rajya Sabha (34), followed by Bihar (22) and Maharashtra (19).

In one year time, the President must hold at least two meetings of the Rajya Sabha.

If a state of Emer­gency is declared, the Lok Sabha is dissolved, but not the Rajya Sabha (It is a per­manent House).

Lok Sabha has 547 members—545 elected and 2 nominated from the Anglo-Indian Community.

During a state of emergency, the tenure of Lok Sabha can be extended by a maximum of one year.

Maximum number of members of Lok Sabha are elected from Uttar Pradesh (80 members), followed by Bihar (54) and Maharashtra (48).

Minimum age for becoming member of Lok Sabha is 25 years and Rajya Sabha is 30 years.

Minimum age to be eligible for the post of the President is 35 years.

The President is elected by members of both Houses of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies.

The Vice President is elected by all members of the Parliament.

To discuss an impor­tant topic, the normal proce­dure of the Parliament is stopped under the Adjourn­ment motion.

Decision about whe­ther a Bill is a Money Bill or not is taken by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
The first High Courts in India were estab­lished at Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, in 1862. Alla­habad and Delhi were estab­lished next in 1866.

Maximum age to remain a High Court judge is 62 years and maximum age to remain a Supreme Court judge is 65 years.

The process for removal of Comptroller and Auditor General of India is same as that of judges of the Supreme Court.

Attorney General is the law expert to govern­ment. He can participate and speak in both Houses of Par­liament, but is not allowed to vote.

The idea of having a Lokpal to check corruption at the highest level has been borrowed from “Ombuds­man” of Sweden. In the States, we have the Lok Ayuk­ta.

There are three types of Emergencies that can be proclaimed by the President. Emergency under Article 352—due to war or internal rebellion. (Implemented three times (1962, 71, 75).)
Emergency under Article 356—Constitutional prob­lems. (Implemented many times, in various States like J&K, Punjab, etc.)
Emergency under Article 360—Financial Emergency. (Not implemented so far).

The Constitution ini­tially recognised 14 National Languages. Later, four more were added. These were: Sindhi (21st amendment), Nepali, Konkani and Manipuri (71st amendment).

To gain the status of a National Party, a political party must be recognised in four or more States, attaining at least 4% votes on national scale and 9% in each State.

The flag of the Con­gress party was accepted as the National Flag (with few changes) on July 22, 1947.

The new Flag Code of India gives freedom to individuals to hoist the flag on all days, but with due respect to the flag.

The Question hour in the Parliament is observed from 11 am to 12 noon. The Zero hour is observed from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm.

Balwant Rai Mehta Committee suggested a three-tier structure for Pan­chayati Raj—Gram Pancha­yat village level, Panchayat Samiti at block level and Zila Parishad in districts.

First Constitutional Amendment—1951—put a ban on propagating ideas to harm friendly relations with foreign countries.

Planning Commis­sion is only an advisory and specialist body. Its chairman is the Prime Minister.
National Develop­ment Council is the main body concerned with the actual planning process. Its chairman is also the Prime Minister.

The first leader of the Opposition was Ram Subhag Singh, in 1969.

The shortest Lok Sabha span was 13 days (12th Lok Sabha in 1998).

Although the Parlia­ment can pass impeachment motion against judges, their conduct cannot be discussed by it.

There are at present 18 High Courts in India.

Article 370 gives special status to Jammu & Kashmir.

The Indian Consti­tution was the first of the preceding two centuries which was not imposed by an imperial power, but was made by the people them­selves, through representa­tives in a Constituent Assembly.

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is not enforceable in a court of law. It states the objects which the Constitution seeks to establish.

The Indian Constitu­tion endows the Judiciary with power of declaring a law as unconstitutional if it is beyond the competence of the Legislature according to the distribution of powers provided by the Constitu­tion, or if it is in contraven­tion of the fundamental rights or of any other mandatory provision, e.g. Articles 286, 299, 301 and 304.

As part of the inte­gration of various Indian States into the Dominion of India a three-fold process of integration, known as the Patel Scheme, was imple­mented.
(i) 216 States were merged into the respective Provinces, geographically contiguous to them. These merged States were included in the territories of the States in Part B in the First Sche­dule of the Constitution. The process of merger started with the merger of Orissa and Chattisgarh States with the then province of Orissa, on January 1, 1948. The last instance was merger of Cooch-Behar with West Ben­gal in January 1950.
(ii) 61 States were con­verted into Centrally-admin­istered areas and included in Part C of the First Schedule.
(iii) The third form was consolidation of groups of States into new viable units, known as Union of States. The first Union formed was the Saurashtra Union on February 15, 1948. The last one was Union of Travan­core-Cochin on July 1, 1949. As many as 275 States were integrated into five Unions—Madhya Bharat, Patiala and East Punjab States Union, Rajasthan, Saurashtra and Travancore-Cochin. These were included in Part B of the First Sche­dule. Besides, Hyderabad, J&K and Mysore were also included in Part B.

At the time of acces­sion to the Dominion of India, the States had acceded only on three subjects (Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications). Lat­er, revised Instruments of Accession were signed by which all States acceded in respect of all matters includ­ed in Union and Concurrent Lists, except only those relat­ing to taxation.

The process of inte­gration culminated in the Constitution (7th Amend­ment) Act, 1956, which abol­ished Part B States as a class and included all the States in Part A and B in one list.

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4 thoughts on “Indian Constitution Study Material For UPSC | Civil Services Exam Indian Constitution Notes

  1. umesh prasad singh

    constitution of india pertains to dignity in the words of dr.rajendra prasad and dr.radhakrishnan. it is written document enshrined with rules and regulations in accordance with articles and laws illustrated with veracity and administrative vihara attributing to self- regulation priciples under 226 article and 32 article in particular.upsc and provincial civil services invigorates this constitutional issues in administrative purposes in reality and existential issues of law and order in reality in totality and creativity as well. professor mohit bhattacharya in his constitutional lectures has highlighted many nuances in this connection .constitutional procedures has many aspects in this regard upholding our constitutional tenets. national administration needs inspiration from our constitutional forefathers in this regard. professor durga das basu in his constitution of india has enunciated many facets in accordance with law and order in reality and natonal integrity as a whole. it is a comprehensive document of our country to which we should stick with utmost dedication and regard.

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