Andhra Pradesh BIEAP AP Inter 2nd Year Civics Study Material 1st Lesson The Constitution of India Textbook Questions and Answers.
AP Inter 2nd Year Civics Study Material 1st Lesson The Constitution of India
Long Answer Questions
What is the constitution? Explain the historical background of the Indian Constitution.
The term Constitution implies a written document embodying the provisions relating to the powers and functions of the government organs, the rights of the people and their relations with the government. In simple,
Powers and Functions of the state + Rights and Duties of the Citizens = Constitution
Historical Background of the Indian constitution :
The constitution of India is the best constitution in the world.
It was formulated by Drafting Committee headed by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and approved by the Constituent Assembly Chaired by Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
Earlier the Leaders of Indian National Movement demanded several times for a separate constitution for Indians. They at first emphasized, during the second decade of the 20th century, that the British government shall grant self-rule or right to formulate a constitution for Indians. It is in this context that leaders like Bala Gangadhara Tilak and Annie Besant launched the Home Rule movement. They requested the British government to apply the “right of self determination”.
The Swaraj Party Leaders in 1922 made it clear that constitutional arrangements must be made for providing representation to Indians in Legislative Assembly.
Later Motilal Nehru moved a resolution in the Central Legislative Assembly requesting the British government for convencing a Round Table Conference for formulating a constitution for Indians.
The Three Round Table conferences held in London in 1930, 1931 and 1932 and their recommendations led to the passage of Government of India Act, 1935.
The Act provided for the introduction of Federal Polity and the establishment of provincial autonomy in the British India Provinces.
In the wake of Second World War, the Congress Ministers in the provincial legislative councils proposed a resolution meant for recognizing India as independent state and the power to make a constitution by the provincial legislative councils.
Viceroy Linlithgow through his August offer (1940) announced for the first time that Indians must Cooperate with Britain in the Second World War and the primary responsibility of making a constitution wholly vests with the Indians.
In 1942 Prime Minister Winston Churchill made efforts for resolving the Indian constitutional crisis by sending Stafford Cripps, a member of war cabinet to India for extensive discussions with Indian leaders.
The Cripps Mission (1942) was a failure. In this back drop, Indian National Congress under Gandhiji’s leadership adopted the famous “Quit India Revolution on 8th August, 1942 for the immediate ending of British rule in India.
After the Second World War, the labour party came to power in Britain under the leadership of element Attlee.
Then Viceroy Lord Wavell announced the latest policy of government in September, 1945. The British Government despatched a three member cabinet mission in February 1946 to India for making deliberations with Indian leaders on the issue of setting up of the Constituent Assembly and the provision of independence for Indians.
The Cabinet Mission made it clear that elections will be held to the Constituent Assembly and citizens having franchise will elect the members. Except Muslim League all the parties in India have agreed broadly the suggestions of the above team.
Lord Wavell formed on interion government with Jawaharlal Nehru as it’s head in 1946, with an increasing communal violence it seems there is no alternative to partition of the sub-continent.
The Mount Batten plan (1947) provided for the partition of the country. The Indian Independence Act of 1947 provided for setting up of a dominion of India and a dominion of Pakistan.
The Native states were given the choice of joining and becoming an integral part of either of the two dominions.
The vision and constructive statemanship of Sardar Vallabhai Patel the deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister facilitated the peaceful merger of most of the Native states into the Indian union.
Of course, the merger of Jammu and Kashmir, Junagadh and Hyderabad states into the Indian Union provided to be a difficult task.
Explain in brief the salient features of Indian Constitution. [Mar. 18, 16]
The Indian constitution was prepared and adopted by the Constituent Assembly which was set up in 1946. The Constituent Assembly took nearly three years (From 9th December, 1946 to 25th November, 1949) to complete the framing of the constitution.
The Constituent Assembly approved the Indian Constitution on 26th November, 1949. The Indian constitution came into force on 26th January, 1950. Which we have been celebrating as “The Republic Day”. The following are the salient or basic features of the Indian constitution.
1) Preamble :
The Indian constitution begins with a preamble. The preamble clearly defines the objectives of our constitution. It declares India as a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, democratic Republic. It provides liberty, equality, fraternity and justice. It states that the people of India are the chief source of the political authority.
2) A lengthy Written Document:
The Constitution of India is the most written, lengthy and detailed document in the world. In 1950, the Indian Constitution had 22 parts, 8 schedules and 395 articles. After subsequent amendments, it contains 12 schedules and 444 articles for the present.
3) A combination of rigidity and flexibility :
The constitution of India is a blend of rigidity and flexibility. Our founding Fathers were programatic enough to provide for rigidity and flexibility as the situation demands. Article 368 provides the details of the amendment procedure.
i) Some of the provisions like admission of New states (Ex : Telangana), provisions relating to citizenship, salaries and allowances of the members of the constitutional bodies like President, Vice-President, Supreme Court and High Court judges etc. Can be amended by simple majority. It is said to be flexible.
ii) Some provisions can be amended by a special majority i.e., not less than Two – Thirds of the members of the House present and voting.
Ex : Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of state policy etc.
It is said to be half rigid and half flexible.
iii) Some provisions can be amended by two-thirds majority of the Parliament and with the concurrence of half of the states.
Ex: Election of the President, executive powers of the union and the states, distribution of legislative powers between the union and the states etc. It is said to be rigid.
4) Quasi-Federal polity:
India is a states according to the constitution. Our constitution contains both the features of unitary and Federal Governments. It prescribed unitary system in emergencies and Federal system on ordinary occassions. Provisions of unitary state such as Single Citizenship, Single Integrated Judiciary, Single Election Commission, Role of All India Services Personnel etc., are found in our constitution. At the same time certain federal features like written, rigid constitution, Dual government, Bicameralism etc., are profoundly seen in our constitution. Thus it is a Quasi-Federal. Polity like Canada.
5) Republican government :
Unlike the colonial Master, the UK, India preferred a Republican government. Here all public offices right from World member to the top president of India are open to all eligible citizens and there is no place for hereditary principle.
6) Parliamentary government :
The constitution of India provided Parliamentary government of the British type but with an elected President of Irish Model. Accordingly, the features of Parliamentary government such as two executive heads, Ministerial accountability to the lower house of the legislature, Prime Minister leadership etc., are prevalent in our political system.
7) Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties:
Part – III of the constitution, Articles from 12 to 35, provides for a set of basic human rights to ail. They are justiceable and ensure basic freedoms. They are six in number. 1) Right to equality 2) Right to freedom 3) Right against exploitation 4) Right to religion 5) Cultural and educational right and 6) Right to constitutional remedies.
The 42nd Amendment to the constitution in 1976 incorporated the fundamental duties in Article 51A under part – IVA. Though they are not justiciable. But they put an obligation on the citizens to render certain duties in return for the protection they have been enjoying through fundamental rights. Fundamental duties relate to respecting the constitution, the National Flag and National Anthem, safeguarding public property etc.
8) Single citizenship :
Our Constitution provides for single citizenship for all persons who are born in India and who resided in India for a specific period. It enables the citizens to possess and enjoy identical rights and privileges. It also promotes unity, integrity and fraternity among the people.
9) Universal and Adult Franchise :
The makers of the Indian constitution provided for the universal adult Franchise for all citizens without any discrimination based on caste, colour, creed, community, language, religion, region, sex, property etc. At the beginning, adult Franchise was given to all the citizens who attained the age of 21 years. Later voting age was reduced to 18 years through the 61st constitution, Amendment Act in 1988.
10) Secular state :
Our constitution stands for a secular state. It does not uphold any particular religion as the official religion of. the Indian state. It ensures complete religious freedom to the people. It abolishes discrimination between individuals on religious grounds in the matters of employments education and legislation. It prohibits religious instructions in state owned or state – aided educational institutions.
11) Independent judiciary :
The Judiciary performs its functions independently. The legislature or the executive shall not interfere in the working of the Judiciary. The Judiciary carries on its obligations according to the constitutional norms and democratic principles.
12) Directive principles of state policy:
Our constitution hinted out certain directive principles as the policy of the state in part IV from Articles from 36 to 51. These principles are drawn from Irish constitution. These principles reflect the welfare state concept. They are the directions to be followed by the various governments. Equal pay for equal work, provision of employment opportunities, fair distribution of wealth, old age pension, protection of illhealth, provision of education, protection of women and children etc., are the some examples of these principles. Though these principles are non-justiciable, No responsible government can afford to ignore them.
The constitution of India introduced Bi-cameralism at the National level. Accordingly, The Indian Parliament consists of two houses namely the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and the Lok Sabha (lower house). While the Rajya Sabha represents the states, the Lok Sabha represents the people.
14) Panchayati Raj and Nagar Palikas Acts :
The Panchayati Raj and Nagar Palikas Acts are recent features of our constitution. The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts gave constitutional recognition to the Rural and Urban local governments. Which came into force in 1993 and 1994 respectively had become operative all over the territory of India. The ideals of democratic decentralisation or the grass roof democracy are realised by these acts.
These acts provides for adequate representation for women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other weaker sections in the policy making bodies of the local governments.
Short Answer Questions
Write briefly the elements of the constitution.
The term constitution implies a written document embodying the provisions relating to the powers and functions of the government organs, the rights of the people and their relations with the government.
Elements of the constitution :
1) The constitution prescribes a set of basic rules that ensure coordination amongst the members and groups of a society. The constitution specifies the basic allocation of power in a society. It decides who frames the laws. For example, in a democratic country like, the people through their elected representatives make the laws i.e., the Parliament at national level and state legislatures at state level are empowered to make laws.
2) It specifies the structure of the government and its limitations of the modern govemrttents are made up of three organs, viz.
i) Legislature which frames the laws within the limits set by the constitution.
ii) The executive, the President or the Governor, the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister or Chief Minister would be taking policy decisions as per the guidelines provided by the Parliament or Legislature.
iii) The Judiciary by interpreting the laws would set limits on the powers of both the legislature and executive.
Through the Judiciary, the constitution ensures limited and responsible government.
For example : Article 13 of the Indian constitution establishes the Supremacy of the constitution.
3) The constitution establishes the relationship between the rulers and the ruled. Fundamental rights and Fundamental Duties spell out in detail the mutual obligations of the citizens and the state. Part III and Part IVA of the Indian constitution bind the state and the citizens towards each other.
4) Every society has certain aspirations and goals. The state came into existence to fulfill the bare needs of the people and continues to exist for the good life of all. It is the constitution which directs the state i.e., government to make certain policies for welfare of the people.
Ex : Directive principles of state policy which incorporated in part – IV of the Indian
5) The constitution, as the Supreme document, serves as a shock absorber in limiting the fluctuations of present and future generations. It is a living document that connects the past with the present and assures a predictable future. Modem societies cannot survive without a just constitution.
Write about the making of Indian constitution.
While Negotiations were going on about the modalities of transfer of power, a l Constituent Assembly was set up to draw the constitution for India. The Cabinet Mission and the major political parties reached an agreement over the constitution of Constituent Assembly in 1946.
Elections to the Constituent Assembly were held in July, 1946 in which 292 members from British provinces, 93 members from Native states and 4 members from central provinces were elected. The Constituent Assembly of India held its first meeting on December 9, 1946. It elected Sachchidanand Sinha as its protemporaiy chairman.
On December 11, 1946 it elected Dr. Babu Rajendra Prasad as its permanent chairman.
The making of the constitution really began at its third session held between April 22 and May 2, 1947.
The Fourth session of the Assembly was held on July 14 and continued till July 31, 1947. It held discussions on Model constitution, Adopted the National Flag. The Assembly met for the fifth time on the eve of the independence day.
On August 29, 1947, it set up a seven member Drafting committee with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as its chairman.
The Drafting Committee presented the Draft constitution on February 21, 1948. The Constituent Assembly adopted the Draft constitution on November 26, 1949. The last session of the Assembly was held on January 24, 1950.
It elected Dr. Babu Rajendra Prasad as the first President of Indian Republic under the new constitution.
On January 26, 1950 the New constitution came into operation and India was declared as a Republic state.
Write a note on the sources of Indian constitution. [Mar. 18, 16]
The constitution of India was formulated on the basis of various experiences. Almost all the noble features of the world constitutions have been incorporated in it. Similarly the peculiar political, social and cultural conditions present in India have been taken into account at the time of drafting the constitution. The makers of Indian constitution ignored those conditions prevalent in other countries which are contrary to the socio-economic and political background of India.
On the whole the following sources figure prominently in making the Indian constitution.
- Many provision of Indian constitution have been drawn on the basis of West Minister Model (british). These include parliamentary traditions, rule of law, cabinet government, legislative-executive relations, single citizenship’ nominal executive head etc.
- Some provisions like fundamental rights, judicial review, federal system, president’s election, impeaching the president etc., have been taken from the American constitution.
- Items relating to directive Principles of State Policy have been drawn from the constitution of Ireland.
- The emergency powers of the President have been taken basing on the German constitution.
- Matters such as Concurrent List, Business, Commerce, Inter State trade, Special privileges of legislators etc., have been added on the model of Australia.
- The Union-State relations mentioned in Indian constitution have been designed basing on the Canadian constitution.
- Matters of constitutional amendment procedure were drawn from South African constitution.
- The idea of republic and the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity have been taken from the constitution of France.
- Most of provisions of Indian constitution were drawn from the Government of India Act, 1935.
Explain any three salient features of Indian constitution.
1) A combination of rigidity and flexibility :
The constitution of India is a blend of rigidity and flexibility. Article 368 provides the details of the amendment procedure. Some Of the’provisions like Admission of New states (Ex : Telanganaj, provisions relating to citizenship, salaries and allowances of the President, Vice president, Supreme Court and High Court judges etc., can be amended by simple majority. It is said to be flexible.
Some provisions can be amended by a special majority i.e., not less than two-thirds of the members of the House present and voting. Ex : Fundamental Rights, Directive principles of state policy etc. It is said to be half rigid and half flexible. Some provisions can be amended by two-thirds majority of the Parliament and with the concurrence of half of the states.
Ex : Election of the President, Distribution of Legislative powers between the union and the states etc. It is said to be rigid.
2) Republican government:
Unlike the colonial master, the U.K., India preferred a Republican government. Here all public offices right from ward member to the top of India are open to all eligible citizens and there is no place for hereditary principle.
3) Single citizenship :
Our constitution provides for single citizenship for all persons who are born in India and who resided in India for a specific period. It enables the citizens to possess and enjoy identical rights and privileges. It also promotes unity, integrity and fraternity among the people.
“The preamble is the soul of the constitution”. Explain.
Preamble is the most salient features of Indian constitution. It denotes the essential philosophy of Indian constitution. It reflects the aims, aspirations and objectives of the makers of Indian constitution. Jawaharlal Nehru described the Preamble as a declaration, a firm resolve, a pledge, an understanding and something more than a resolution. Preamble begins with the sentence “we, the people of India’ adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution”.
It declared India as a sovereign socialist, secular, democratic and republic. It announced that Indians enjoy liberty, equality, fraternity and justice. It clearly stated that sovereignty in India belongs the people of India. Justice Madholkar pronounced that Preamble is the essence of Indian constitution. Justice Hidayatullah praised the Preamble as “the soul of the constitution”.
The Preamble after the Constitution (Forty Second Amendment) Act, 19718 is as follows :
We, the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens.
“Sovereign” – which means its authority within the country is undisputed and externally it is free from others contort. “Socialist” means a state that doesn’t, allow any kind of exploitation – social, economic and political.
“Secular” – It gives equal freedom to all religions.
“Democratic” – Stipulates that the sovereign power vests with the people. They exercise it periodically through universal Adult Franchise.
A “Republican” state assures that public offices are open to every citizen without any discrimination. There is no place for hereditary principle.
- 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 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”.
Very Short Answer Questions
The constitution of India is the most written, lengthy and detailed document in the world. In 1950 the Indian constitution had 22 parts, 8 schedules and 395 articles. After subsequent amendments, it contains 12 schedules and 444 articles for the present.
Rigid constitution is one whose provisions cannot be charged easily. In this system the constitutional amendment methods are different from those of ordinary laws. There will be a special procedure for amending the provisions of the rigid constitution. The rigid constitution will have firmness due to its special procedures of amendment.
Ex : United states and India.
Parliamentary form of government
The constitution of India provided Parliamentary Government of the british type but with an elected president of Irish model. According to the features of Parliamentary government such as two executive heads, ministerial accountability to the lower house, of the legislature, Prime Minister, leadership etc., are prevalent in our political system.
Fundamental Rights and Duties
Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties are the salient features of Indian constitution.
Six Fundamental Rights were incorporated in Part – III articles from 12 to 35. They are justiciable and ensures basic freedoms to all Indians.
Eleven fundamental duties were incorporated in Part IV A under article 51 A. They put an Obligation on the citizens to render certain duties in return for the protection they have been enjoying through Fundamental Rights.
Our constitution stands for a secular state. It does not uphold any particular religion as the official religion of the Indian state. It ensures complete religious freedom to the people it abolishes discrimination between individuals on religious grounds in the matters of employment,’ education and legislation. It prohibits religious instructions’in state-owned or state-aided educational institutions.
Universal Adult Franchise
The makers of the Indian constitution provided for the universal adult Franchise for all citizens without any discrimination based on caste, colour, creed, community, language, religion, region, sex, property etc. At the beginning, adult Franchise was given to all .the citizens who attained the age of 21 years. Later voting age was reduced to 18 years through the 61st constitution Amendment Act in 1988.
The constitution of India introduced Bi-cameralism at the national level. Accordingly, the Indian Parliament consist of two houses namely the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and the Lok Sabha (Lower house). While the Rajya Sabha represents the states, the Lok Sabha represents the people.
Directive principles of state policy
Our constitution hinted out certain directive principles as the policy of the state in part IV from Articles from 36 to 51. These principles are drawn from Irish constitution. These principles reflect the welfare state concepts. They are the directions to be followed by the various governments. Though these principles are non-justiciable, No responsible government can afford to ignore them.
Independence of Judiciary
The Judiciary performs its functions independently. The legislature of the executive shall not interfere in the working of the judiciary. The Judiciary carries on its obligations according to the constitutional norms and democratic principles.
Preamble [Mar. 18, 17, 16]
The Indian constitution begins with a preamble. The preamble clearly defines the objectives of our constitution. It declares India as a sovereign, as a socialist, Secular Democratic Republic. It provides liberty, equality, fraternity and justice. It states that the people of India are the chief sources of the political authority.