Revision Notes for Class 8 Social Science Constitution
Class 8 Social Science students should refer to the following concepts and notes for Constitution in standard 8. These exam notes for Grade 8 Social Science will be very useful for upcoming class tests and examinations and help you to score good marks
Constitution Notes Class 8 Social Science
* A constitution signifies independence. Every independent country prepares a Constitution of its own.
* A Constitution lays down the basic structure of the government under which its people are to be governed. It establishes the main organs of the government – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
* A constitution not only defines the powers of each organ, it demarcates the responsibilities of each. It regulates the relationship between the three organs and also with the people.
* A Constitution is a fundamental legal document according to which the government of a country functions.
* A constitution is superior to all the laws of a country. Every law enacted by the governmental machinery, has to be in conformity with the Constitution.
* Laws written in the Constitution, which are also called basic laws, act as the source according to which rules and regulations of government of a country are framed.
* In a democratic country like India, the importance of the Constitution is still more significant. In a democratic government, the citizens participate in the functioning of the government directly or indirectly, government's powers are clearly spelt out and citizens rights are mentioned clearly.
Terms to Remember :-
1.Constitution :- The term constitution comes from a Latin term which mean 'an important law' a constitution is a body of laws through which a country is governed. It determines and specifies the rights of citizen the powers of the government and how the government should function. It defines the relation between the different organs of government and citizen. Almost all the independent countries in the world today where democracy monarchy or any other form of government exists, have its own constitution.
2.Constitution Assembly:- An assembly of people's representative that writes a constitution for a country.
3.Constitutional amendment :-A change in the constitution made by the supreme legislative body in a country.
4.Fundamental Duties :-Duties specified in the constitution which every citizen should fulfil.
5.Fundamental Rights :- Some basic human rights guaranteed by our constitution for the development of the personalities.
6.Preamble :- An introductory statement of the constitution stating its aim and philosophy.
7.Socialism :-System of social organisation in which all factor of production are owned by the government.
8.Reservation Policy:- The policy of keeping a fixed number of jobs or places in school, colleges, parliament state, assemblies etc. for people who are member of scheduled caste, scheduled tribes or other backward classes.
The Indian Constitution
How was it framed ?
The Nehru Report (1928) was the first attempt by Indians to frame a full fledged constitution for their country. The report embodied not only the perspective of the contemporary nationalist opinion but also an outline of a draft constitution for India. The demand for a constitution assembly was for the first time authoritatively conceded by the British Government, though in an indirect way and with important reservation, in what is known as the 'August offer' of 1940.
Cabinet Mission :- With the out break of world war II, the national struggle for freedom in India gathered momentum. In July 1945 a new government came to power in England. Government's intention to convene a constitution making body was announced. The British government sent three of its ministers (Sir Stafford Cripps, Lord Pethic Lawrence and Mr. A.V. Alexander) to find a solution to the question of India's Independence. This team of minister was called Cabinet Mission.
The Constituent Assembly :-
* According to the suggestion made by the cabinet Mission elections for the 296 seats assigned to the British-Indian provinces were completed by July August 1946.
* With the independance of India, the constituent assembly became a fully sovereign body. The assembly started working from the 9th December 1946.
* The constituent Assembly had members belonging to different communities and regions of India. There were more than 30 members from scheduled castes as well.
* Anglo-Indian community was represented by Frank Anthony while Parsis were represented by H.P. Modi.
* Constitutional experts like Alladi Krishanswami Aiyar, B.R. Ambedkar, K.M. Munshi were also members of the Assembly.
* Sarojini Naidu and Vijaylakshmi Pandit were important women members.
* Sachidanand Sinha was the first President of the constituent Assembly. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first elected President of the Constituent Assembly. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (also known as the architect of the Indian Constitution) was appointed the Chairman of the Drafting committee.
*The constituent Assembly met for 166 days spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days. The Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949.
Sources of Constitution of India :-
*Our Indian constitution is wider and unique because it was made by collecting information from many sources like :-
1.Ideals of justice in social, Education, Economic and political – Russian Revolution 1917.
2.Ideals of liberty, Equality and Fraternity – French Revolution 1789.
3.Federal system, office of Governor, Judiciary Public Service commission, Emergency, Administrative details – From Government of India Act-1935.
4.Parliamentary form of Government, Rule of law, legislature, single citizenship, cabinet form of government - British Constitution.
5.Fundamental rights, Independent judiciary, Judicial review, impeachment of President, removal of Supreme Court judges, Vice Presidentialship – USA Constitution.
6.Directive Principle of state policy, nomination of members to Rajya Sabha, electoral office and method of president election – Irland Government.
7.Federation with strong center, Residuary power with center, appointment of state Governor by centre, advisory/ review of Supreme Court – Canada (Pure federal country)
8.Concurrent list, Freedom of trade, commerce and inter state trade, joint sitting in the parliament – Australia
9.Fundamental duties, Preamble – USSR.
10.Procedure for amendment, election to the Rajya Sabha members – South Africa.
11.Procedure established by law :- Japan.
12.Suspension of fundamental rights during emergency. – Weimer Constitution of Germany.
The Needs for Laws
- Laws are important to regularise the civic life of the people and establish peace and order in the state.
- Laws aim at individual as well as general welfare.
- Murders, robberies, torture, violence, kidnapping are examples of violation of laws. Social evils and customs hamper the progress of the society and do injustice to people. Thus law plays an important and essential role in stopping crime and establishing peace in the society.
Did You Know
- The Dowry Prohibition Act was passed on 1961.
- The Zamindari Abolition Act was passed on 1950, brought end to the possession of land by a few people called Zamindar.
Types of Constitution :-
The constitution may be written, Unwritten, rigid or flexible.
Written constitution :-
- A constitution in which the fundamental laws of governance are lays down in a formal document. It is the result of conscious effort.
- It is created by a constituent Assembly. Countries like America, France, China, Russia, Japan, Germany, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. have written constitution.
Unwritten Constitution :-
(i) A constitution in which the fundamental laws of governance are not lays down in a formal document.
(ii) it is not created by any particular Constituent Assembly but depends upon customs and conventions.
(iii) The British Constitution is a classic example of an unwritten constitution.
(iv) It is wrong to believe that unwritten constitution is totally unwritten.
(v) The British constitution has five components of which two are unwritten.
The unwritten components are :-(i) The common laws and (ii) the conventions.
The written component are
(i) Statutes passed by the parliament.
(ii) Great charters and other land marks.
(iii) Judicial decisions.
Flexible Constitution :-
- Flexible constitution is the one that can be easily amended and it does not require a special majority for amendment.
- British constitution is an ideal example of a flexible constitution.
Rigid Constitution :-
- A rigid constitution is the one that requires a special procedure for amendment.
- It need special majority for amendments.
- The constitution of the USA is highly rigid.
- The Indian constitution is both flexible and rigid because some of its provision can be amended easily, while many others require difficult methods of amendment.
(i) The Preamble of the constitution outlines the main contours of the Indian Republic and its objectives.
(ii) The Preamble, contains the ideals and basic principles of the Indian Constitution. The Preamble is not a part of the Constitution. It is not enforceable by the court of law. Still the Preamble serves as the guiding light of the Constitution.
(iii) The Preamble remained unchanged till 1976. In 1976, the words 'Socialist', 'Secular', and 'Unity and Integrity of the Nation' were added through 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act.
(iv) Sovereign :- The term Sovereign implies that like other independent countries. India is an independent country and is free to govern itself. It has the power to make its own laws on any matter without foreign interference.
(v) Socialist :- The term socialist and secular were added by the 42nd Amendment (1976). Socialism means being free from social, political and economic exploitation. It has to minimise the gap between the rich and the poor and stop exploitation of the poor.
(vi) Secular :- The word Secular means that the state must not give importance to any particular religion. The citizens are free to have faith in any religion. There is no state religion. All religions must command equal respect and importance from the state.
(vii) Democratic :- The term Democratic implies that the Government is to be formed by the elected representatives of the people. All adult citizen of India vote and elect their representatives to govern the country.
(viii) Republic :- The term Republic implies that the head of the state is an elected person. It also means that India has no place for Monarchy (Kings) or Feudal (Zamindari) system. He/She is elected by the elected members of the Parliament and state legislature. For eg. India, America and France have elected President, But in England King and queen has constitutional Monarchy.
Objective of Indian Constitution :-
The Indian Constitution aim to provide its citizen :-
(i) Social, economic and political justice.
(ii) Freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.
(iii) Equality of status and opportunity and
(iv) Fraternity (brotherhood) based on dignity of the people and unity of country.
Features of Indian Constitution :-
The features of our constitution are :-
(i) Written Constitution :- The constitution of India is in a written form. It is the lengthiest constitution of the world. The Indian constitution was adopted in 1950, consisted of 395 articles and 8 schedules. After several amendment the constitution of India present consist of 447 Articles and 12 schedules.
Did You Know
Index-wise access to Constitution of India Parts
2. Partly rigid and Partly Flexible :- The Indian Constitution is flexible because some of its provisions can be amended by a simple majority like an ordinary law making procedure in the parliament.On the other hand, it is also rigid because many of its provisions require special methods for amendment in the constitution.
3. Single Citizenship :- Our constitution provides single citizenship i.e. the citizenship of India. In America there is double citizenship. i.e. the citizenship of the state in which a person born as well as the citizenship of America.
4. Secular State :- Indian Constitution has granted the freedom of religion. They have the liberty to profess and practise any religion (Article 25). There is no state religion. The state does not favour any particular religion.
5. Fundamental Rights :- Our constitution has granted six fundamental rights in Part III of the Indian constitution.So that each and every citizen can develop their personality.
6. Independent and Impartial Judiciary :-
• The constitution has provided for the establishment of an independent and impartial judiciary.
• India has two sets of governments, the central or union government and the state governments. In case of a conflict between the two sets of governments the Judiciary is expected to play an impartial role.
• The Constitution has laid down that dispute between centre and the state on constitutional matters will b decided by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the apex court in our judiciary.
• The Indian Constitution in keeping to its size, have a number of distinctive features. Other then basic features which play a very important role in the functioning of the government, there are other very important features like the Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Duties.
7. Emergency Provisions :-
Emergency provisions are yet another very important feature of the Indian Constitution. There are times when the country could not be run as in ordinary times. To cope with such difficult times, the Constitution provides for the emergency provisions.
8. A Welfare State :-
• The Constitution spells out the establishment of a welfare state. A welfare state is the state which performs functions aimed at the welfare of the people.
• Such a state regards subjects like education, public health or agriculture as important as looking after the defence or the foreign affairs of the country.
9. Language Policy :-
• Our Constitution did not give the status of a national language to any one language.
• Hindi was identified as the official language. Besides Hindi, there are 22 other languages recognised as scheduled languages by the Constitution.
• States too have their own official languages. Much of the government work takes place in the official language of the concerned state.
• According to the Constitution, the use of English for official purpose was to stop in 1965. However, many non- Hindi speaking States demanded that the use of English continue. The Central Government, through an Act passed in the Parliament agreed to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purposes.
10. Parliamentary System :-
• India has a parliamentary form of government. In a parliamentary system, the parliament is supreme and represents the people. The legislature in the centre is called the parliament or the Sansad. The Parliament is bicameral which means it has two houses.
• Though the government is carried on in the name of the President at the centre and the Governor in the states, actual administration is carried on by the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister in the centre and Chief Minister in the states.
• The Council of Ministers is responsible to the legislature which comprises the representatives of the people. This makes the legislature or the parliament supreme.
11. Fundamental Duties :- The constitution of India has listed to fundamental duties for its citizens.
12. Quazi Federal :- India is described by the constitution as a 'Union of States'. The Indian political system works as a federation with strong centre. India has same features of federal and has some features of Unitary due to this, it is known as quazi federal.
13. Protection of the interest of Minorities :- The constitution guarantees protection of language script and culture of the minorities like Muslims, Christians, Sikhs etc.
14. Universal Adult Franchise :- The constitution provides the right to vote to all the citizens of 18 years and above.
15. Amending procedure :-
• The Indian Constitution is called a 'living document.' The members of the Constituent Assembly were conscious of the fast changing Indian society. They argued that the Constitution must be able to adapt itself to the changing conditions. This would have been possible only with a suitable amending procedure. The First Constitutional Amendment Act was passed in the year 1951.
• There are three categories of amending procedures.
(i) Amendment by Simple Majority :-
• An amendment of the Constitution can be initiated in the Parliament only.
• In the Concurrent List, the Constitution gives greater powers to the centre.
• Besides the division of powers, in federation normally we find dual citizenship. In the USA which is a federation, every person is a citizen of the United States and also a citizen of his/her state. But in India we have single citizenship only.
• In an election, a citizen votes as an individual or an Indian and not as a Bengali, a Punjabi, a Tamil, or a Gujarati.
• Finally there are some provisions in the Constitution known as emergency provisions. The Constitution specifies certain conditions when an emergency can be declared. At the time of emergency, the Central Government has surely been given more powers.
• Amendments can be done by a simple majority of members present and voting, before sending it for the President's assent.
• Amendments related to changes in the names and boundaries of the States, creation or abolition of the Legislative Councils in the States, salaries and allowances of the president, governors and Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, etc., can be made by parliament by passing a law by simple majority.
(ii) Amendment by Special Majority :-
• Such an amendment can be passed by each House of Parliament by the two third majority of the members present and voting and then sent to the President for his assent (major portion of the constitution can be amended by this process).
• Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and other amendments which does not fall under the first and third category lies in this category.
(iii) Ratification by the State Legislatures :-
• Besides the special majority mentioned in the second category, the same has to be approved by at least 50 percent of the state legislature.
• This category includes election ad election process of the President, extension of the powers in the Union and State list, Federal Judiciary, financial relations between centre and state, State's representation in the Parliament etc. are part of this category.
A Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic :-
(i) Sovereign :-
India is free from external control. Internally, India can frame or form its own policies.India cannot be dictated by any other foreign power. India can formulate its own foreign policy.
(ii) Democracy :-
People of India elect their governments at all the levels (central, state and local) by the method of Universal Adult Franchise. Every citizen of India, who is 18 years of age and above and who is not otherwise debarred by law, is entitled to vote in the elections.
Originally in India voting age was 21 years which was later on reduced to 18 years by 61st Constitutional Amendment Act.
(iii) Republic :-
It means that the head of the State, i.e., the President is elected by the people.The President is not a hereditary ruler like the British monarch.
(iv) Socialist :-
Democracy with its theory of universal adult franchise, gives political equality to its citizens. But equality remains incomplete if it is not extended to social and economic life.India strives for a society where there will be no major economic inequality between people.
(v) Secular :-
All citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs are equal in the eyes of the law.
The government cannot formulate such policies which discriminate between various religious communities which live in India.
• Federal Features :-
• In a federal government, there are two sets of governments. The union (as we call in India) government and the state governments. The Constitution specifies to both the sets of governments clearly marked areas of functioning.
• The Constitution of India does not use the term 'Federal'. It says India is a 'Union of States'.
• The Constitution clearly mentions the subjects on which the central and the state governments can pass laws.
This is called division of power between the centre and the state governments.
(i) Union List
• Subjects of national importance like defence, foreign affairs, atomic energy, banking, post and telegraph are included in the Union List.
• The central government can pass laws on the subjects mentioned in the Union List.
• The Union list has 97 subjects.
(ii) The State List :-
• Comprises those important subjects on which the state government can pass laws.
• Subjects like police, local government, trade and commerce within the state, agriculture are included in the State List.
• The State List has 66 subjects.
(iii) The Concurrent List :-
• Subjects which are of common concern both to the centre and the state governments.
• Ordinarily both the central and the state governments can frame laws on these subjects. However, if there, is a conflict between the central law and the state law, over a subject in the Concurrent List the central law would be effective.
• This list includes subjects like criminal and civil procedure, marriage and divorce, education, economic planning,trade unions.
• The Concurrent List has 47 subjects.
(iv) Residuary powers :-
• Matters which are not included in the division of powers, are known as residuary powers.
• The central government has been given the power to legislate on these 'residuary' subjects.
17. A Unitary biased Federation
• Unlike other federations, in India, the centre clearly has advantages over the states.
• The Union List has more subjects and has subjects of national importance.
Indian Constitution and Legitimacy of law :-
• The constitution assign the law making functions to the parliament and the state legislatures.
• At the central level, law are passed by majority votes in the parliament and signed by the President.
• At the state level, laws are passed by the state legislature and signed by the Governor.
• All these laws become legitimate only when they are in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
• A law can be rejected by the Supreme court by judicial review, if it violates the constitutional provisions, then the constitution has made Supreme Court the Guardian of the Constitution.
The law and Dissent :-
• Generally the purpose of law is to ensure order, development and welfare of the people and the society. Sometimes unjust laws are made to fulfil the interests of the ruler or a particular section of the society at the cost of others. People accept good laws and render obedience to them. Unjust laws invite opposition from the people. World history is full of many revolutions and changes of rulers and forms of governments, which happened due to people's opposition to unjust laws. The Glorious Revolution (1688) of England, the America war of Independence (1775–83), the French Revolution (1789), The Russian Revolution (1917), the Indian struggle for Independence against the British colonial rule, etc. are some notable examples of dissent of the people.
• The Rowlatt act was passed in 1919 to (i) Further control the press; (ii) try political dissenters without the help of juries; and (ii) arrest and detain a person on suspicion of anti-government activity for any length of time without holding a trial. Mahatma Gandhi started a countrywide campaign against the Rowlatt Act. Thus the Non cooperation movement of 1920, the civil disobedience movement of 1930-31 and Quit India Movement of 1942 against the British have been major Landmarks of dissent.
• The prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA) :- Also invited huge dissent. The parliament passed this Act to curb terrorism. However, this Act was widely misused. As result, the POTA invited huge public anger and was withdrawn by the Central Government. The dissent is an important feature of democratic system. Which prevents the government from becoming dictatorial and autocratic.
Objective Type Questions
Question. A constitution which can be amended easily is called :-
(A) Rigid constitution
(B) Flexible constitution
(C) Unwritten constitution
(D) None of these
Question. The words added to the preamble of Indian constitution by the 42nd amendment were :-
(A) Socialist and secular
(B) Democratic and Republic
Question. In parliamentary government the real power is exercised by :-
(A) The President
(B) The council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister
(C) Both of them
(D) None of these
Question. In a secular country :-
(A) All religious receive due protection and respect
(B) The country puts ban on religion
(C) There is one state religion
(D) None of these.
Question. The constitution of a country is a –
(A) collection of rules and laws.
(B) historical document of laws.
(C) system of fundamental laws adopted by the people according to which the country is governed.
(D) system of government according to which the country is governed.
Question. On which date did the Constituent Assembly meet for the first time?
(A) 9 August 1942
(B) 15 August 1942
(C) 9 December 1946
(D) 26 January 1950
Question. The Constituent Assembly that drafted our Constitution was elected on the recommendation of
(A) the Cripps proposals
(B) the Cabinet Mission
(C) the Indian Independence Act
(D) the Wavell Plan.
Question. The first President of the Constituent Assembly was
(A) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
(B) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
(C) Shri K.M. Munshi
(D) Dr. Sachidanand Sinha.
Question. When was the Indian Constitution adopted or passed?
(A) 15 August 1947
(B) 9 December 1946
(C) 26 November 1949
(D) 26 January 1950
Question. The Constitution of India came into force from
(A) 15 August 1947
(B) 26 November 1949
(C) 26 January 1949
(D) 26 January 1950
Question. Which of the following served as the background for the Indian Constitution?
(A) The Government of India Act, 1935
(B) Constitution of USA
(C) Proposals of Cabinet Mission in 1946
(D) Bill of Indian Independence of 1947
Question. Who played a major role in the drafting of the Indian Constitution?
(A) Jawaharlal Nehru
(B) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
(C) Dr. Bhimrao Ainbedkar
(D) Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Question. In a Republic the Government derives its powers from
(A) the people
(B) the Constitution
(C) the Judiciary
(D) the President.
Question. Which one of the following countries is a democratic republic?
Question. The Preamble to the Constitution is
(A) a description of the Constitution
(B) a summary of the Constitution
(C) an introduction that gives the aims and objectives of the Constitution
(D) a directive to the Government
Question. The Preamble to the Indian Constitution declares India to be a
(A) Sovereign Democratic Republic
(B) Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic
(C) Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic
(D) Sovereign Socialist Democratic Federal Republic.
Question. With the preamble of which country's constitution does our Preamble closely resemble?
Question. Which new words were added to the Preamble to the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act?
(A) Sovereign, Democratic and Republic
(B) Secular and socialist
(C) Liberty, Equality and Fraternity
(D) Justice, social, economic and political
Question. If the Preamble to the Indian Constitution is violated,
(A) no remedy is available
(B) one can file a writ of habeas corpus
(C) only the Supreme Court can help
(D) the Supreme Court and the High Courts can help.
Question. The Indian Constitution describes India as a
(A) Federal State
(B) Unitary State
(C) quasi Federal State
(D) Union of States.
Question. Which one of the following statements about the Indian Constitution is not correct?
(A) It is partly federal and partly unitary.
(B) It is neither rigid nor too flexible.
(C) It is written and lengthy.
(D) Parliament can amend any of its parts.
Question. The Indian Constitution ensures a stronger Centre because
(A) the Centre can raise more financial resources
(B) the Centre has more subjects in its list
(C) residuary powers of legislation are with the central legislature or Parliament
(D) defence is the responsibility of the Centre.
Question. Which of the following statements is wrong?
(A) The Indian Constitution envisages Parliamentary form of government.
(B) The Indian Constitution is federal in character.
(C) The Indian Constitution favours presidential government.
(D) The Indian Constitution envisages an independent judiciary.
Question. The Indian Constitution is
(C) partly flexible, partly rigid
(D) quasi rigid.
Question. The Indian Constitution can be amended by
(A) A majority vote in each House of Parliament
(B) At least two thirds majority of the members present and voting in each House of Parliament
(C) At least two thirds majority of the members present and voting in each House of Parliament and ratified by at least half of the legislatures of the states.
(D) special majority in Parliament
Question. Which of these statements is not correct? In a parliamentary form of government,
(A) Members of Parliament are responsible to the Prime Minister
(B) the Council of Ministers or the executive has collective responsibility
(C) Ministers are selected by the Prime Minister
(D) the President is indirectly elected by the people.
Question. In a parliamentary form of government, the executive can remain in office only if
(A) it enjoys the confidence of the ruling party
(B) it pleases the head of the state
(C) it has the confidence of the legislature and pleases the head of the state
(D) it enjoys the confidence of the people.
Question. A minister or member of Cabinet in a democracy is not supposed to
(A) disagree with other members in the Cabinet
(B) question the major policy decisions of the government
(C) defend his colleagues in Parliament
(D) compromise his views in the Cabinet meetings.
Question. Which of the following statements is not correct? A minister in a parliamentary form of government must
(A) Be a member of any of the two houses of Parliament
(B) Have the confidence of the Prime Minister
(C) Share collective responsibility
(D) Have basic knowledge of law.
Question. Majority of Rajya Sabha members are
(A) elected by the people
(B) elected by the state legislatures
(C) appointed by the President
(D) elected by Lok Sabha
Question. The term of a member of Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of Parliament is
(A) five years
(B) six years
(C) two years
(D) four years.
Question. The Indian Constitution provides
(A) only one constitution for all the states and the Centre
(B) a separate constitution for each state
(C) one constitution for the Centre and union territories
(D) choice of a constitution to the states.
Question. The Indian Constitution has divided the subjects between Centre and the states by providing
(A) three different lists
(B) powers to the courts to decide the subjects
(C) Parliament with the power to allot some subjects to the states
(D) powers to the courts to divide the subjects between the states.
Question. Among the following subjects there is one subject which falls under concurrent list.
(A) Public health
(C) Trade and Commerce
Question. On the subjects under the concurrent list, a law can be enacted by
(A) the Union government
(B) state governments
(C) both Central and state governments.
(D) both President and state governors.
Question. Which one of the following does not come under the jurisdiction of the Central government?
(B) Law and order
(C) Post and telegraph
(D) Foreign affairs
Question. If there is a conflict between Centre and state laws, the Constitution says
(A) laws of the Centre will be valid
(B) the state has option to continue with its laws or use central laws
(C) the court decides which law will be enforced
(D) both laws will be declared valid.
Question. In the case of subjects not mentioned in any of the three lists, the power to enact laws rests with
(A) the Centre
(B) the states
(C) both Centre and states
(D) the Courts.
Question. Indian Constitution is federal because
(A) it is a written Constitution
(B) the states are autonomous
(C) the judiciary safeguards the Constitution and protects the rights of the states and the Centre
(D) the states are responsible for law and order.
Question. Which of the following features of the Indian Constitution can make the Constitution more unitary in nature?
(A) A strong Centre
(B) All India services
(C) Emergency powers of the President
(D) Centre's responsibility of defence
THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
Q1. What is a democracy?
Ans. Democracy is a form of government in which the people can vote for representatives to govern the state on their behalf.
Q2. Define the term constitution. Why do we need a constitution?
Ans. In large societies in which different communities of people live together, the rules are formulated through consensus, and in modern countries this consensus is usually available in written form. A written set of principles according to which a state or organization is governed is called a constitution.
The constitution serves several purposes:-
· First, it lays out certain ideals that form the basis of the kind of country that we as citizens aspire to live in.
· A constitution tells us what the fundamental nature of our society is. A country is usually made up of different communities of people who share certain beliefs but may not necessarily agree on all issues.
· A constitution helps serve as a set of rules and principles that all persons in a country can agree upon as the basis of the way in which they want the country to be governed.
· This includes not only the type of government but also an agreement on certain ideals that they all believe the country should uphold.
· The other important purpose of a constitution is to define the nature of a country’s political system.
· The constitution often lays down rules that guard against this misuse of power by our political leaders.
· Another important function that a constitution plays in a democracy is to ensure that a dominant group does not use its power against. Other, less powerful people or groups.
· Another reason why we need to have a constitution is precisely to prevent tyranny or domination by the majority of a minority.
· The last significant reason why we need a constitution is to save us from ourselves.
Q3. Differentiate between a monarchy and a democracy?
Ans. A country which is governed by a king or a queen is called a monarchy.
Democracy is forms of government where people can vote to select their respective representative well govern the state on their behalf.
Q4. Explain the functions of organs of government.
Ans. According to the constitution, there are three organs of the state. These are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
* The legislature refers to our elected representatives.
* The executive is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government.
* The judiciary, refer to the system of courts in this country.
Q5. What do you mean by tyranny of majority?
Ans. Every society is prone to tyranny of the majority. The constitution usually contains rules that ensure that minorities are not excluded from anything that is routinely available to the majority. The constitution is precisely to prevent this tyranny or domination by the majority of a minority.
Q6. Describe in detail the various features of Indian constitution.
FEDERALISM:- This refers to the existence of more than one level of government in the country. In India, we have governments at the state level and at the centre. Panchayati Raj is the third tier of government.
PARLIAMENTARY FORM OF GOVERNMENT:- The different tiers of government consist of representative who are elected by the people. The constitution of Indian guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens.This means that the people of India have a direct role in electing their representatives. Also, every citizen of the country, irrespective of his/ her social background, can also contest in elections. These representatives are accountable to the people.
SEPARATION OF POWERS: - According to the Constitution, there are three organs of the state. These are legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The legislature refers to our elected representatives. The executive is a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government. The judiciary refers to the system of courts in this country. In order to prevent the misuse of power by any one branch of the state, the constitution says that each of these organs should exercise different powers.
Through this, each organ acts as a check on the other organs of the state and this ensures the balance of power between all three.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS:- The section on Fundamental Right has often been referred to as the‘conscience’ of the Indian Constitution. Fundamental Right, therefore protect citizens against the arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the state. The constitution, thus, guarantees the rights of individuals against the state as well as against other individuals.
In addition to fundamental right, the constitution also has a section called directive principles of state policy. This section was designed by the members of the constituent assembly to ensure greater social and economic reform and to serve as a guide to the independent Indian. State to institute laws and policies that help to reduce the poverty of the masses.
SECULARISM:- A secular state is one in which the state does not officially promote any one religion as the state religion.
Q7. What is a constitutional monarchy? Give example:
Ans. In constitutional monarchy a country is ruled by a king or a queen but the country has a constitution which the king follows.
Example: - Until quite recently, Nepal was monarchy. The previous constitution of Nepal, which had been adopted in 1990, reflected the fact that the final authority rested with the king. A people’s movement in Nepal fought for several decades to establish democracy and in 2006 they finally succeeded in putting an end to the powers of the king. Now the people have to write a new constitution to establish Nepal as a democracy. The reason that they do not want to continue with the previous constitution is because it does not reflect the ideals of the country that they want Nepal to be, and that they have fought for.
Q8. What will happen if there is no restriction to powers of elected representatives?
Ans. If there would have been no restrictions to powers of elected representatives, they may have misuse their powers. They could have used their powers in doing wrong deeds. They could even have supported a single religion.
Q9. Explain how the constitution of India gets made?
* The long experience of authoritarian rule under the colonial state convinced Indians that free India should be a democracy in which everyone should be treated equally and be allowed to participate in government.
* This was not done by one person but by a group of around 300 people who become members of the constituent assembly had a huge task before them.
* The country was made up of several different communities who spoke different languages, belonged to different religions, and had district culture. Also, when the constitution was being written, India was going through considerable turmoil.
Q10. What is the importance of constitution?
Ans. The constitution plays an important role in laying out certain guidelines that govern decision making within the society.
1. It lays down rules that guard against the misuse of power by our political leaders.
2. It also contains rules to prevent tyranny.
3. It also helps to protect us against certain adverse effect on the larger principal that the country believes in.
Objective Type Questions
Question. The President of India can declare a state of Emergency
(A) whenever he wants
(B) in case of external aggression or internal disturbances
(C) in case of conflict between him and Parliament
(D) when he does not agree with the Prime Minister.
Question. Which of the following statements is wrong?
(A) In the Indian Constitution, the judiciary is independent
(B) The High Court and Supreme Court Judges are elected by Parliament.
(C) In case of constitutional disputes the Supreme Court decides the case.
(D) The verdict of the Supreme Court is [mal.
Question. In the Indian Constitution the judiciary is independent because
(A) it can act independently
(B) it cannot be influenced by the party in power
(C) it enjoys security of tenure and cannot be removed except by a special procedure
(D) Judges are not members of any political party.
Question. The difference between Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights is
(A) they are written separately
(B) the former cannot be enforced by law while the latter are enforceable by law
(C) Directive Principles of State Policy come under the jurisdiction of state governments while Fundamental Rights are the responsibility of the Centre
(D) Directive Principles cannot be changed with times while Fundamental Rights can be changed.
Question. Which of the following statements is correct?
(A) The President is a mere ceremonial head and has no powers.
(B) The Supreme Court can make or enact laws.
(C) Parliament has control over the Council of Ministers.
(D) The President can reject a bill passed by Parliament.
Question. One of the following is not a feature of the Indian Constitution. Which one is it?
(A) Federal government
(B) Parliamentary form of government
(C) Independent judiciary
(D) Presidential government
Question. Directive Principles of State Policy are there
(A) to keep the Government within its limits
(B) to protect the rights of ordinary people
(C) to safeguard the interests of state Governments
(D) to direct the Government to adopt policies which will help establish a just society.
Question. The Indian Constitution is secular because
(A) the Government cannot formulate any policies that discriminate between different religions
(B) the makers of the Constitution were from all religions
(C) all are given equal rights
(D) there is no state religion.
Question. Which one of the following is not an essential feature of the parliamentary form of government?
(A) It has an independent judiciary.
(B) It has the supreme power of making laws.
(C) The executive is responsible to the Parliament or the elected representatives of people.
(D) It has two chambers.
Question. The Federal system adopted by our Constitution is working successfully because
(A) the judiciary is independent
(B) there is a clear division of power between the Centre and the units or the states.
(C) the Press is free to criticise violation of Constitutional provisions.
(D) there is a division of power between the legislature and the executive.
Question. Which one of the following is not a necessary attribute of the citizen of a country?
(A) He has to inhabit that country.
(B) He participates in the process of government of that country.
(C) He has political rights in that country and abides by its laws.
(D) He should be in a democratic state.
Question. What should a good citizen not do?
(A) Participate in the process of government
(B) Abide by the laws of the country
(C) Perform his duties
(D) Demand his rights even at the cost of others
Question.Indian Citizenship Act of 1955 does not give Indian citizenship to
(A) children born of Indian citizens abroad
(B) children of diplomatic personnel born in India on or after 26 January 1950
(C) women who are or have been married to citizens of India
(D) persons of Indian origin who ordinarily reside in any country or place outside divided India.
Question. A citizen of any country should be loyal to
(A) the community
(B) the state
(C) the caste
(D) his religion.
Question. The Constitution of India grants
(A) dual citizenship
(B) single citizenship
(C) both single and dual citizenship
(D) international and national citizenship.
Question. Fundamental Rights are
(A) basic rights for economic equality
(B) basic rights that are necessary for human happiness
(C) basic rights to keep people united
(D) basic rights which enable each individual to realise his best
Question. Fundamental Rights are given to citizens so that they
(A) get full opportunity for growth and development
(B) can be free from exploitation
(C) can gain social and economic equality
(D) can move anywhere they want.
Question. Which of these statements is not correct?
(A) Fundamental Rights are guaranteed in the Constitution.
(B) Fundamental Rights cannot be violated by any government
(C) Fundamental Rights are enforced through courts.
(D) Fundamental Rights mean freedom to do anything one wants.
Question. Under which Fundamental Right is the practice of untouchability made punishable by law?
(A) Right to equality
(B) Right to freedom
(C) Right against exploitation
(D) Right to freedom of religion
Question. Which one of the following does not form a part of the right to freedom?
(A) Freedom of speech and expression
(B) Freedom to form unions and associations
(C) Freedom to turn out people speaking languages other than the one spoken by the majority in that particular region
(D) Freedom to practise any profession or occupation
Question. Which of the following statements is not correct about the right against exploitation?
(A) Children of poor parents can be employed in any trade.
(B) 'Begar' or work without wages will not be allowed.
(C) The State can organise compulsory service for public purposes.
(D) Children below the age of fourteen should not be employed in any dangerous jobs.
Question. Freedom of religion means
(A) All citizens are free to practise their religion
(B) the State is free to sponsor any religion
(C) religious education can be given by the State under the Constitution
(D) the government is free to make appointments on the basis of religion.
Question. Right to conserve and develop one's language and script is guaranteed by the
(A) right to equality
(B) right to freedom
(C) cultural and educational right
(D) right against exploitation.
Question. Right to vote is a
(A) Fundamental Right
(B) Fundamental Duty
(C) part of Directive Principles
(D) legal right only.
Question. Right against exploitation comes under
(A) Fundamental Rights
(B) Directive Principles of State Policy
(C) Fundamental Duties
(D) non-fundamental rights such as the right to property.
Question. Which one of the following is not a Fundamental Right according to the Indian Constitution?
(A) Right to have judicial remedy
(B) Right to property
(C) Right to assembly
(D) Right to equality
Question. Which constitutional right is violated by discrimination against women?
(A) Right to freedom
(B) Right against exploitation
(C) Right to equality
(D) Right to constitutional remedy
Question. Equal pay for equal work for both men and women is a part of
(A) Fundamental Right to equality
(B) Fundamental Right against exploitation
(C) Directive Principles of the State Policy
(D) Fundamental Duties.
Question. Right to work is a part of
(A) Fundamental Rights
(C) Directive Principles
(D) Fundamental Duties.
Question. Which of the following is guaranteed by Article 17 of the Indian Constitution?
(A) Protection of individual freedom
(B) Right to equality
(C) Abolition of untouchability
(D) Right to constitutional remedies
Question. Right to property was omitted by
(A) 42nd Amendment Act of 1976
(B) 25th Amendment Act of 1971
(C) 44th Amendment Act of 1978
(D) 4th Amendment Act of 1955.
Question. When Fundamental Rights are violated, a citizen
(A) can approach the Supreme Court for a remedy
(B) can approach both the Supreme Court and the High Courts
(C) may mobilise public .opinion
(D) acquires the right to violate fundamental duties.
Question. Fundamental Duties were incorporated in the Constitution
(A) in place of Fundamental Rights
(B) in place of Directive Principles
(C) a separate entity
(D) as an integral part of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.
Question. Which of the following is not a Fundamental Duty?
(A) To abide by the Constitution
(B) To develop scientific temper, humanism and tolerance
(C) To defend the country
(D) To amass property
Question. Fundamental Duties are provided
(A) by laws of the Supreme Court
(B) by a law passed by the Parliament
(C) by the Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act
(D) by the convention evolved over the years by the citizens themselves.
Question. Which one of the following is not correct?
(A) Rights and duties are complementary to each other.
(B) Rights are demanded from the government by the citizens whereas duties are demanded by the government from its citizens.
(C) Rights are an integral part of the Constitution while duties are directives.
(D) No right can be enjoyed without performing duties.
Question. Directive Principles of State Policy were incorporated in the Constitution
(A) to establish a socialistic welfare state
(B) to ensure freedom to the citizens from an excess of governance
(C) to make India a secular and democratic state
(D) to give directions to the citizens in performing their duties.
Question. Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution have been taken from the constitutions of
(A) Ireland and USA
(B) Spain and Ireland
(C) UK and USA
(D) Canada and USA.
Question. Which one of the following Directive Principles does not form a part of Gandhian philosophy?
(A) Prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs
(B) Establishment of village panchayats
(C) Separating judiciary from the executive
(D) Setting up and promoting cottage industries
Question. Which one of the following is enforceable in a court of law?
(A) Directive Principles
(B) Fundamental Rights
(C) Fundamental Duties
Question. In the Indian Constitution developing of the scientific temper and attitude of humanism forms part of the
(B) Fundamental Rights
(C) Directive principles of State Policy
(D) Fundamental Duties.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES
*The Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties are section of the Constitution of India that prescribe the fundamental obligations of the State.
*The Fundamental Rights are defined as the basic human rights of all citizens. These rights, defined in Part III of of the Constitution, apply irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste, creed or gender.
*The Directive Principles of State Policy are guidelines for the framing of laws by the government. These provisionsset out in Part IV of the Constitution-are not enforceable by the courts, but the principles on which they are based are fundamental guidelines for governance that the State is expected to apply in framing and passing laws.
* The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India. These duties-set out in Part IV-A of the constitution-concern individuals and the nation.
*The development of constitutional rights in India was inspired by historical documents such as England’s Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man.
*The task of developing a constitution for an independent India was undertaken by the Constituent Assembly of India, which composed of elected representatives under the presidency of Rajendra Prasad. The assembly appointed a constitution drafting committee headed by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The process was influenced by the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N.
*The Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles were included in the final draft of the constitution promulgated on 26 November 1949, while the Fundamental Duties were later added to the constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act in 1976.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS IN INDIA :-
* The Fundamental Rights - embodied in Part III of the constitution - guarantee civil liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace as citizens of India. The six fundamental rights are right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights and right to constitutional remedies.
* All people, irrespective of race, religion, caste or sex, have the right to approach the High Courts or the Supreme Court for the enforcement of their fundamental rights. It is not necessary that the aggrieved party has to be the one to do so. In public interest, anyone can initiate litigation in the court on their behalf. This is known as “Public interest litigation”. High Court and Supreme Court judges can also act on their own on the basis of media reports.
*The Fundamental Rights emphasise equality by guaranteeing to all citizens the access and use of public institutions and protections, irrespective of their background. The rights to life and personal liberty apply for persons of any nationality, while others, such as the freedom of speech and expression are applicable only to the citizens of India (including non-resident Indian citizens).
*The Fundamental Rights can only be altered by a constitutional amendment, hence their inclusion is a check not only on the executive branch, but also on the Parliament and state legislatures. The imposition of a state oL emergency may lead to a temporary suspension of the rights conferred by Article 19 (including freedoms of speech, assembly and movement, etc.) to preserve national security and public order. The President can, by order, suspend the right to constitutional remedies as well.)
PERSONAL RIGHTS :-
*The right to equality is one of the chief guarantees given in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the constitution. It is the principal foundation of all other rights, guaranteeing equality of all citizens before law, social equality, equal access to public areas, equality in matters of public employment, the abolition of
untouchability and of titles. However, reservations (i.e, quotas in jobs, education, etc.) can be made for women, children, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
* The State cannot discriminate against anyone in the matters of employment except for the implementation of any mandated quotas, though exceptions can be made where specific knowledge is required. The right to equality in matters regarding public employment is not conferred to overseas citizens of India. The practise of untouchability has been declared an offence punishable by law. The State cannot confer any titles and the citizens of India cannot accept titles from a foreign State.
*The Right to freedom is stated in Articles 19, 20, 21 and 22 with the view of guaranteeing individual rights that were considered vital by the framers of the constitution. The right to freedom encompasses the freedom of expression, the freedom to assemble peacefully without arms, the freedom to form associations and unions, the freedom to move freely and settle in any part of the territory of India and the freedom to practise any profession. Restrictions can be imposed on all these rights in the interest of security, decency and morality.
* The Right to freedom of religion’ –covered in Articles 25, 26, 27 and 28-provides religious freedom to all citizens and preserves the principle of secularism in India. According to the constitution, all religions are equal before the State. Citizens are free to preach, practise and propagate any religion of their choice. Several distinct and often controversial practices, such as the wearing and carrying of kirpans is included in the profession of Sikhism and protected under law. Religious communities can set up charitable institutions of their own, subject to certain restrictions in the interest of public order, morality and health. No person can be compelled to pay taxes for the promotion of a religion and a State-run institution cannot impart education that is associated with a particular religion.
Economic and social rights :-
· The cultural and educational rights-given in Articles 29 and 30 – are measures to protect the rights of, ethnic and religious minorities. Any community that has a language and a script of its own has the right to conserve and develop them.
• No citizen can be discriminated against for admission in State or State-aided institutions. All religious and ethnolinguistic communities can set up their own educational institutions in order to preserve and develop their own culture. In granting aid to institutions, the State cannot discriminate against any institution on the basis of the fact that it is administered by a minority institution.
• The right to education at elementary level has been made one of the Fundamental Rights under right to freedom by the 86th constitutional amendment of 2002.
• The Right against exploitation, given in Articles 23 and 24 provides for the abolition of human trafficking, and the abolition of employment of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories and mines.
• Child labour is considered a violation of the spirit and provisions of the constitution. Begar (forced and unfree labour), practised in the past by landlords, has been declared a crime punishable by law.
• The Right to constitutional remedies empowers the citizens to approach a court of law to appeal against denial of the Fundamental Rights. For instance, in case of imprisonment, the person can ask the court to see if it is in accordance with the provisions of the law of the country.
• If the court finds that it is not, the person will be released from custody. This procedure of asking the courts to preserve or safeguard the citizens’ Fundamental Rights can be done in various ways. When a national or state emergency is declared, this right is suspended by the central government.
• The Right to property was a former Fundamental Right under Article 32 before it was revoked by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978. A new article, Article 300-A,  was added to the constitution which provided that no person shall be deprived of his property, except by the authority of law. The right to property is no longer a fundamental right, though it is still a constitutional right.
DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
• The Directive Principles of State Policy, embodied in Part IV of the constitution on, are directions given to the central and state governments to guide the establishment of a just society in the country.
• According to the constitution, the government should keep them in mind while framing laws, even though they are non-justiciable in nature.
• Directive Principles are classified under the following categories: Gandhian, social, economic, political, administrative, legal, environmental, protection of monuments, peace and security.
• The Directive Principles commit the State to promote the welfare of the people by affirming social, economic and political justice, as well as to fight economic inequality. The State must continually work towards providing an adequate means of livelihood for all citizens, equal pay for equal work for men and women, proper working condition , protection against exploitation and reduce the concentration of wealth and means of production from the hands of a few.
• The State must provide free legal aid to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen for reason of economic or other disabilities. State should work for organisation of village panchayats, provide the right to work, education and public assistance in certain cases.
• Safe working conditions for citizens must be ensured, as must their participation in the management of industries. The State is encouraged to secure uniform civil code for all citizens, provide free and compulsory education to children and to , work for the economic uplift of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
• The Directive Principles commit the State to raise the standard of living and improve public health. It should also organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines by improving breeds and prohibiting. slaughter of cows, calves, other milch and draught cattle. The State must safeguard the environment and wildlife of the country. The State must ensure the preservation of monuments and objects of national importance and separation of judiciary from executive in public services.
• Article 45, which ensures Provision for free and compulsory education for children was added by the 86th Amendment Act, 2002. Article 48-A, which ensures Protection of the environment and wildlife , was added by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.
• The Fundamental Duties of citizens were added by the 42nd Amendment Act in 1976. The ten Fundamental Duties-given in Article 51-A of the constitution-can be classified as either duties towards self, duties concerning the environment, duties towards the State and duties towards the nation.
• The 11th Fundamental Duty, which states that every citizen “who is a parent or guardian, to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years” was added by the 86th constitutional amendment in 2002.
• Citizens are morally obligated by the constitution to perform these duties. However, these are non-justiciable, incorporated only with the purpose of promoting patriotism among citizens.
• The Fundamental Duties obligate all citizens to respect the national symbols of India (including the constitution), to cherish its heritage and assist in its defence. It aims to promote the equality of all individuals, protect the environment and public property, to develop scientific temper, to abjure violence, to strive towards excellence and to provide free and compulsory education.
• The following are the Fundamental Duties prescribed by the Constitution of the nation under PART [IV-A] to its every citizen
(a) To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
(b) To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
(c) To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
(d) To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.
(e) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
(f) To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
(g) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.
(h) To develop the scientific temper,’humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
W To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
(j) To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement
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