Important Amendments to Indian Constitution – Indian Polity Notes

Indian Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and officially became effective on 26 January 1950. In this blog, we will see some of the most important amendments to the Indian constitution and its features. Amendments to the Indian Constitution are made according to the needs of the time but the Constitution has remained intact and its basic premises have not changed. Judiciary plays an important role in protecting the Constitution and also in interpreting the Constitution whenever required.

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Here are the most prominent amendments to the Indian Constitution — ranging from fundamental rights to exchanging control over international land — including their history and the lasting impact they’ve left on India.

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Important Amendments to Indian Constitution

 Amendments  Features
 1st Amendment, 1950
  1. Provided for several new grounds of restrictions on the right to freedom of speech and expression.
  2. Right to practice any profession or to carry on any trade or business as contained in Article 19 of the Constitution
  3. The Ninth Schedule along with Articles 31A and 31B were inserted in the Constitution to protect laws, such as the land reform and other laws, from being challenged in the court son the ground of violation of fundamental rights.
  4. The amendment also made changes in articles 5, 85, 87, 174, 176, 341, 342, 372 and 376.
 7th Amendment, 1956
  1. States and union territories were introduced.
  2. Composition of the House of the People and its re-adjustment after every census
  3. Establishment of new High Courts, High Court Judges etc.
 10th Amendment, 1961  Included areas of Dadra and Nagar Haveli as a Union Territory
11th  Amendment, 1961  Proposed that election of President or Vice President could not be challenged on the ground of any vacancy in the appropriate electoral college.
12th Amendment, 1962 Included Goa, Daman and Diu as a Union Territory and to amend Article 240 for the purpose.
13th  Amendment, 1962 Nagaland was formed with an agreement between Government of India and Naga People’s Convention.
14th Amendment, 1962
  1. Pondicherry was included in the First Schedule as a Union Territory
  2. Creation of Legislature by Parliamentary law for Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu and Pondicherry
22nd Amendment, 1969 New autonomous state of Meghalaya with in the state of Assam.
24th Amendment, 1971 Removed all doubts regarding the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution including the Fundamental Rights.
31st Amendment, 1973 Raised the upper limit for the representation of states in the Lok Sabha from 500 to 525 and reduced the upper limit for the representation of union territories from 25 members to 20.
35th Amendment, 1974 Conferred Sikkim the status of an associate State of Indian Union.
36th Amendment, 1975 Made Sikkim a full-fledged State of Indian Union and to include it in the First Schedule to the Constitution
42nd Amendment, 1976
  • Ideals of socialism, secularism and the integrity of the nation were adopted
  • Directive Principles were given precedence over  Fundamental Rights
  • Inserted a new chapter on the Fundamental Duties of citizens
  • Two-third was set as the minimum number of judges for determining question as to the constitutional validity of law
  •  Administrative and other tribunals for speedy disposal of service matters, revenue matters and certain other matters of special importance in the context of socio-economic development and progress.
44th Amendment, 1978
  •  Right to property from the list of fundamental rights and made it a legal right
  • Provided “armed rebellion” as one of the circumstances for declaration of emergency
  • Article 134A was inserted to provide that a High Court should consider the question of granting a certificate for appeal to Supreme Court immediately after the delivery of the judgement
52nd Amendment, 1985 Suitable provisions were made with respect to splits in and merger of political parties.
53rd Amendment, 1986 Mostly revolved around the state of Mizoram. Legislative Assembly of Mizoram shall consist of not less than 40 members.
55th Amendment, 1986 Conferred statehood on the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh
56th Amendment, 1987 Union Territory of Daman and Diu and the formation of the state of Goa.
61st Amendment, 1989 Reduction of the voting age from 21 to 18 years by amending Article 326
66th Amendment, 1990 Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh,Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, TamilNadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and administration of the Union Territory of Puducherry were added to the Ninth Schedule (relating to land reforms and ceiling on agricultural land holdings)
69th Amendment, 1991 Union territory of Delhi was renamed as the National Capital Territory of Delhi
70th Amendment, 1992 Included the elected members of the legislative assemblies of union territories in the electoral college for the election of the President under Article 54 of the Constitution.
71st Amendment, 1992 Included Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.
73rd Amendment, 1993 Gave constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj Institutions
74th Amendment, 1993  Provisions for local administrative bodies in urban areas such as towns and cities were added.
86th Amendment, 2002 Article 21A deals with Right to Education that “the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years”
87th Amendment, 2003 2001 national census population figures were to be used for state-wise distribution of parliamentary seats.
91st Amendment, 2003 Restricts the sizeof the Council of Ministers in the Union Government and in a State Government to fifteen percent of the total number of legislative members.
92st Amendment, 2003 Bodo, Dogri, Santali and Maithali were added as official languages to the 8th Schedule
94th Amendment, 2006 Minister of Tribal Welfare was proposed in newly created states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
100th Amendment, 2015 Acquiring of territories by India and transfer of territories to Bangladesh through retaining of adverse possession and exchange of enclaves, in pursuance of the agreement between India and Bangladesh concerning the demarcation of the land boundary.
101st Amendment, 2016 Introduction of “The Goods and Services Tax (GST)” and provision of compensation to states for loss of revenue on account of introduction of goods and services tax.

 

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