Important Amendments of Indian Constitution

Amendments of Indian Constitution

Amendments of Indian Constitution :- The Constitution of India is the supreme law of the country, which outlines the framework and principles of government, sets out the rights and duties of citizens. Defines the relationship between the government and the people. Since its adoption in 1950, the Indian Constitution has undergone several amendments to adapt to the changing needs of society and government. In this article, we will find out the total number of amendments made in the Constitution of India.

The Constitution of India originally had 395 articles and 8 schedules when it was adopted on January 26, 1950. However, as the years passed, it became clear that the constitution needed to be updated and amended to address various social, economic and political issues. which originated in the country. Since then the constitution has undergone several amendments to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.

The first amendment to the Constitution was made in 1951, which added Article 15(4), allowing the government to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes. A total of 104 amendments have been made to the Constitution of India since then.

Amendments of Indian Constitution

The most important amendment made to the constitution was the 42nd amendment, which was introduced in 1976 during the period of emergency. This amendment made several changes to the constitution, including the insertion of the word “secular” in the Preamble, the expansion of the scope of fundamental rights and the establishment of a new Directive Principle of State Policy that emphasized the need to protect and improve the environment. .

Other notable amendments include the 73rd and 74th amendments, which were introduced in 1992 and established the Panchayati Raj system and the municipal system, respectively. The aim of these amendments was to promote decentralization and grassroots democracy in the country.

Amendment process

Significantly, amending the Constitution of India is not an easy task. Amendments can be made through a special process that requires the support of two-thirds of the members of each house of parliament present and voting, as well as ratification by at least half of the state legislatures. This ensures that any amendment made to the constitution is well considered and has the support of a wide cross-section of society.

The 97th Amendment

The 97th Amendment, which was introduced in 2012, added a new Part IXB to the Constitution, which provides for the establishment of cooperatives and promotes the development of the cooperative sector in India.

Apart from these amendments, several other amendments have been made to the constitution to address various issues such as reservation for economically weaker sections, protection of rights of the disabled and establishment of the National Judicial Appointments Commission.

The Constitution of India has undergone several amendments since it was adopted in 1950. These amendments have been made to ensure that the Constitution remains relevant and effective to meet the changing needs of society and government. While amending the Constitution is a difficult process, it is necessary to ensure that the Constitution remains a living document that reflects the values and aspirations of the people of India.

93rd Amendment

Apart from the above mentioned amendments, several other important amendments have been made to the Constitution of India. One such amendment is the 93rd Amendment, which was introduced in 2005 and added a new clause (5) to Article 15 of the Constitution. This clause allows the government to make special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward class including economically backward people.

The 86th amendment

The 86th amendment, introduced in 2002, lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, leading to an increase in youth political participation in the country.

52nd amendment

Another important amendment is the 52nd amendment, which was introduced in 1985 to prevent misuse of the anti-defection law. This amendment inserted the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution, which laid down the grounds on which an elected representative could be disqualified from the legislature for defection from his party.

91st amendment

The 91st amendment, introduced in 2003, extended the reservation for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures for another 10 years. The amendment also increased the reservation of one-third of the total seats for women in local bodies.

100th amendment

The 100th amendment introduced in 2015 enabled the ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, which was signed in 1974 but could not be implemented due to various reasons.

101st Amendment

Another important amendment to the Constitution of India is the 101st Amendment introduced in 2016, which paved the way for the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). This amendment inserted a new Article 246A and a new schedule in the Constitution, which gave concurrent power to the Central Government and the State Governments to levy and collect tax on the supply of goods and services.

104th amendment

The 104th amendment, introduced in 2019, extended the reservation for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures by 10 years till 2030. The amendment also increased the reservation for Anglo-Indians in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures. For the next 10 years till 2020.

103rd Amendment

One of the most recent amendments is the 103rd Amendment, introduced in 2019, which added a new clause (6) to Article 15 of the Constitution and a new Article 21A. The amendment provides for reservation of up to 10% seats in educational institutions and government jobs for the economically weaker sections of the society who do not belong to any reserved category.

73rd and 74th amendments

The Constitution of India has also been amended to give more autonomy to the states. The 73rd and 74th amendments, which have been mentioned earlier, gave powers to local bodies and established a three-tier system of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.

42nd Amendment

Similarly, the 42nd Amendment (mentioned earlier) introduced the concept of the Concurrent List, which allowed both the central and state governments to legislate on certain subjects.

However, amending the constitution is a complex process and often requires broad consensus among political parties and state governments. The Constitution of India is a living document that has evolved over the years to reflect the changing needs of society and government. The amendments made to the constitution have helped in making it more inclusive, democratic and responsive to the needs of the people.

61st Amendment Act, 1988

By this amendment the voting age was reduced from 21 years to 18 years. The aim of the amendment was to empower the youth and give them a greater place in the democratic process of the country.

79th Amendment Act, 1999

This amendment extended the reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures for another ten years till 2010.

105th Amendment Act, 2019

This amendment extended the reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures for another ten years till 2030.

126th Amendment Act, 2019

This amendment extended the reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to private educational institutions. The objective of the amendment is to provide equal opportunities in higher education to persons belonging to economically weaker sections.

102nd Amendment Act, 2018

The amendment provided for the establishment of a National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) with the power to inquire into complaints and make recommendations on inclusion and exclusion of castes from the central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The amendment aims to streamline the process of identification and inclusion of backward classes in the OBC list.

124th Amendment Act, 2019

This amendment gives constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), and empowers it to investigate and monitor all matters relating to constitutional safeguards for backward classes. The amendment aims to strengthen the legal framework for the protection of the rights of backward classes in India.

129th Amendment Act, 2019

This amendment extended the reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures for another ten years till 2030. The amendment was aimed at promoting social justice and empowering marginalized communities.

130th Amendment Act, 2019

This amendment provided for the establishment of a separate High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation into the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The amendment aims to ensure efficient and effective functioning of the judiciary in the newly formed state of Andhra Pradesh.

136th Amendment Act, 2021

The amendment seeks to restore the powers of states to identify and notify Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) for reservation in education and employment. The amendment aims to maintain the federal structure of the Constitution and empower the states to decide on the reservation policy.

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Challenges to the Revision Process

While the amendment process is an integral part of the Constitution, it has faced several challenges over the years. Some challenges are:

judicial review:

Judiciary has the power to strike down any constitutional amendment that violates the basic structure of the constitution. This power has been used in many cases to nullify amendments that were deemed unconstitutional.

Federalism:

The amendment process requires ratification by at least half of the state legislatures. However, this requirement has been criticized as undermining the federal nature of the constitution and giving too much power to the central government.

Political Polarisation:

The amendment process is often subject to political polarization, with opposition parties blocking amendments proposed by the ruling party. This has delayed the amendment process and hindered the functioning of the government.

It is important to note that the amendment to the Constitution of India is necessary to keep the Constitution relevant and responsible for the needs of society, but they should not reduce the basic structure and spirit of the Constitution. The Supreme Court of India has admitted that some characteristics of the Constitution, such as the federal structure, separation of powers, and freedom of the judiciary, are part of the original structure of the Constitution and cannot be amended.

Finally, the Constitution of India has made several amendments to meet the changing needs of society and government. While some of these amendments have been controversial, they have played an important role in shaping the constitutional and political scenario of the country. However, it is important to ensure that any amendments made in the Constitution correspond to its basic structure and values.

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