Constitution of India, also known as ‘Bharatiya Samvidhana’, is the Supreme Law of India. The constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any country on earth.
It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26th November 1949 and became effective on 26th January 1950. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was the chief architect and the chairman of the drafting committee.
The constitution is a document of the framework of fundamental codes that describe politics, structures, duties, powers, and procedures of government institutions, and it also records the fundamental rights, duties, directive principles for the citizens of India.
The constitution replaced the Government of India Act, 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India.
Declaration of the constitution: The constitution declares India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizen’s justice, equality and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity.
The Indian subcontinent was under British rule from 1857 to 1947. When India abolished the Indian Independence Act 1947 and Government of India Act, 1935, on January 26, 1850, India ceased to be a dominion of the British Crown and it became a sovereign democratic republic with the constitution.
Start your UPSC 2020 Preparation today.
Preamble of the Constitution
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a one [SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC] and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the 2 [unity and integrity of the Nation]; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
How was the constitution formed?
The framers borrowed the features of the constitution from a number of sources like previous legislation such as the Government of India Act 1858, the Indian Councils Acts of 1861, 1892 and 1909, the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935, and the Indian Independence Act 1947.
Important fact: The Indian Independence Act 1947 resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, as the British government there was called. The two self-governing countries of Pakistan and India legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.
The Constituent Assembly of India, who drafted the constitution, were elected by the members of the provincial assemblies.
Members of the constitution drafting committee
The assembly constituted 389 members, which was reduced to 299 after the partition of India. The members of the committee took almost 3 years to draft the constitutions. It took the members eleven sessions over a period of 165 days.
Drafting of the constitution
The initial draft of the constitution’s general structures was done by Benegal Narsing Rau, in February 1948. This draft was debated and amended and submitted to the assembly on November 4, 1947. During the deliberation process, 2,473 amendments were disposed of out of a total of 7,635.
284 members then signed the constitution and adopted on November 26, 1949, which is celebrated as National Law Day.
Important points to note:
- The constitution was written and signed two languages – Hindi and English.
- Originally, the constitution is hand-written, wherein artists decorated every page from Shantiniketan, including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose.
- The calligrapher was Prem Behari Narain Raizada.
- It was published in Dehradun and photolithographed by the Survey of India.
- It looks nearly five years to produce the original constitution.
- On January 26, 1950, it became the supreme law of India.
Important Note: The constitution came of effect on 26 January 1950. The date of 26 January was chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930.
Structure of the constitution
- The constitution of India is the world’s longest for a sovereign nation.
- During its execution, it has 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules.
- It has about 145,000 words making it the second-longest active constitution.
- The constitution has a preamble and 448 articles, which are grouped into 25 parts. With 12 schedules and five appendices.
- It has been amended 103 times; the latest amendment became effective on 14 January 2019.
Important note: The latest amendment of the constitution is the 103rd amendment, which was made to Article 15 and 16 – which says – 10% reservation for economically weaker sections of the society.
If you refer to previous years’ question papers, there is always a question related to the constitution of India. So, knowing the constitutions is essential to prepare for any civil service examination. Below is the listed all the articles of the constitution, which you must know for your CSEs.
|Article 12-35||Fundamental Rights|
|Article 36-50||Directive Principles of State Policy|
|Article 51 A||Fundamental Duties of Every Citizen|
|Article 80||The number of seats of the Rajya Sabha|
|Article 81||Number of seats of the Lok Sabha|
|Article 343||Hindi as official language|
|Article 356||Imposition of President’s rule in states|
|Article 370||Special status of Kashmir|
|Article 395||Repeals India Independence Act and Government of India Act, 1935|
Important articles of the Indian Constitution
Part 1: Article 1 to 4
- Article 1 – Name and territory of the union.
- Article 2 – Admission and establishment of the new state.
- Article 3 – Formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries, and name of existing states.
Part 2: Article 5 to 11
- Article 5 – Citizenship at the commencement of the constitution.
- Article 6 – Rights of citizenship of certain person who have migrated to India from Pakistan.
- Article 10 – Continuance of rights of citizenship.
- Article 11 – Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law.
Part 3: Article 12 to 35
- Article 12 – Definition of the state.
- Article 13 – Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights.
Initially, Fundamental Rights – the constitution of India provided 7 basic fundamental rights, now there are only 6. The Right to property U/A 31 was removed from the list of fundamental rights by 44th amendment act 1978. A legal right U/A 300–A was made and included in Part XII of the constitution. Right to Equality.
- Article 14 – Equality before the law.
- Article 15 – Prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex. Or place of birth.
- Article 16 – Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
- Article 17 – Abolition of the untouchability.
- Article 18 – Abolition of titles
Right to Freedom
- Article 19 – Guarantees to all the citizens the six rights and they are: six rights
- Article 20 – Protection in respect of conviction for offences.
- Article 21 – Protection of life and personal liberty.
- Article 22 – Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
Right against Exploitation
- Article 23 – Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labor.
- Article 24 – Prohibition of employment of children in factories and mines. Under age of 14.
Right to Freedom of Religion
- Article 25 – Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
- Article 26 – Freedom to manage religious affairs.
- Article 27 – Freedom as to pay taxes for promotion of any particular religion.
- Article 28 – Freedom from attending religious instruction.
Cultural and Educational Rights
- Article 29 – Protection of interest of minorities.
- Article 30 – Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
- Article 32 – Remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
Part 4: Directive Principal of States Policy
- Article 36 – Definition
- Article 37– Application of DPSP (Directive Principal of States Policy)
- Article 39A – Equal justice and free legal aid
- Article 40 – Organization of village panchayat
- Article 41 – Right to work , to education, and to public assistance in certain cases
- Article 43 – Living Wages, etc. for Workers.
- Article 43A – Participation of workers in management of industries.
- Article 44 – Uniform civil code. ( applicable in Goa only)
- Article 45 – Provision for free and compulsory education for children.
- Article 46 – Promotion of educational and economic interest of scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), and OBC.
- Article 47– Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.
- Article 48 – Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry.
- Article 49 – Protection of monuments and places and objects of natural importance.
- Article 50 – Separation of judiciary from executive.
- Article 51 – Promotion of international peace and security.
Part 4A-Fundamental Duties initially it had 10 duties, now it contains 11 duties by 86th amendments act 2002.
Part 5: Union Article
- Article 52 – The President of India
- Article 53 – Executive Power of the union
- Article 54 – Election of President
- Article 61 – Procedure for Impeachment of the President
- Article 63 – The Vice–president of India
- Article 64 – The Vice–President to be ex–officio chairman the council of States
- Article 66 – Election of Vice–president
- Article 72 – Pardoning powers of President
- Article 74 – Council of minister to aid and advice President
- Article 76 – Attorney–General for India
- Article 79 – Constitution of Parliament
- Article 80 – Composition of Rajya Sabha
- Article 81 – Composition of Lok Sabha
- Article 83 – Duration of Houses of Parliament
- Article 93 – The speakers and Deputy speakers of the house of the people
- Article 105 – Powers, Privileges, etc. of the House of Parliament
- Article 109 – Special procedure in respects of money bills
- Article 110 – Definition of “Money Bills”
- Article 112 – Annual Financial Budget
- Article 114 –Appropriation Bills
- Article 123 – Powers of the President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of parliament
- Article 124 – Establishment of Supreme Court
- Article 125 – Salaries of Judges
- Article 126 – Appointment of acting Chief justice
- Article 127 – Appointment of ad–hoc judges
- Article 128 –Attendance of retired judge at sitting of the Supreme Court
- Article 129 – Supreme Court to be court of Record
- Article 130 – Seat of the Supreme Court
- Article 136 – Special leaves for appeal to the Supreme Court
- Article 137 – Review of judgment or orders by the Supreme Court
- Article 141 – Decision of the Supreme Court binding on all the courts
- Article 148 – Comptroller and Auditor– General of India
- Article 149 – Duties and Powers of CAG
Part 6: States Article
- Article 153 – Governors of State
- Article 154 – Executive Powers of Governor
- Article 161 – Pardoning powers of the Governor
- Article 165 – Advocate–General of the State
- Article 213 – Power of Governor to promulgate ordinances
- Article 214 – High Courts for states
- Article 215 – High Courts to be court of record
- Article 226 – Power of High Courts to issue certain writs
- Article 233 – Appointment of District judges
- Article 235 – Control over Sub–ordinate Courts
Part 7: Repealed
Part 8: Union Territories
Part 9: Panchayats
- Article 243A – Gram Sabha
- Article 243B – Constitution of Panchayats
Part 10: Scheduled and Tribal areas
Part 11: Centre-State relation
Part 12: Finance, Properties, Contracts, and Suits: Article 264 to Article 300 A
- Article 266 – Consolidated Fund and Public Accounts Fund
- Article 267 – Contingency Fund of India
- Article 280 – Finance Commission
- Article 300 A – Right to property
Part 13: Trade, Commerce, and Intercourse within the territories of India
- Article 301 to Article 307
- Article 301 – Freedom to trade, commerce, and intercourse
- Article 302 – Power of Parliament to impose restrictions on trade, commerce, and intercourse.
Part 14: Services under Centre and State
- Article 308 to Article 323
- Article 312 – All– India–Service
- Article 315 – Public service commissions for the union and for the states
- Article 320 – Functions of Public Service Commission
Part 14A: Tribunals
- Article 323 A to Article 323 B
- Article 323A – Administrative Tribunals
Part 15: Elections, Article 324 to Article 329
- Article 324 – Superintendence, direction and control of Elections to be vested in an Election Commission
- Article 325 – No person to be ineligible for inclusion in or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste, or sex
- Article 326 – Elections to the house of the people and to the legislative assemblies of states to be on the basis of adult suffrage
Part 16: Special Provisions to SC, ST, OBC, Minorities, etc.
- Article 330 to Article 342
- Article 338 – National Commission for the SC & ST
- Article 340 – Appointment of a commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes
Part 17: Official Language
- Article 343 to Article 351
- Article 343 – Official languages of the Union
- Article 345 – Official languages or languages of a state
- Article 348 – Languages to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts
- Article 351 – Directive for development of the Hindi languages
Part 18: Emergency
- Article 352 to Article 360
- Article 352 – Proclamation of emergency (National Emergency)
- Article 356 – State Emergency (President’s Rule)
- Article 360 – Financial Emergency
Part 19: Miscellaneous
- Article 361 to Article 367
- Article 361 – Protection of President and Governors
Part 20: Amendment of Constitution
- Article 368
- Article 368 – Powers of Parliaments to amend the constitution
Part 21: Special, Transitional, and Temporary Provisions
- Article 369 to Article 392
- Article 370 – Special provision of J&K
- Article 371 A – Special provision with respect to the State of Nagaland
- Article 371 J – Special Status for Hyderabad–Karnataka region
Part 22: Short Text, Commencement, Authoritative Text in Hindi and Repeals
- Article 392 to Article 395
- Article 393 – Short title – This Constitution may be called the Constitution of India