Important Amendments in Indian Constitution - UPSC Indian Polity Notes

There are 104 amendments acts as of January 2020 that are made in the Indian Constitution over time. All these amendments have brought significant changes in the course of Indian Polity. The topic, ‘Important Amendments in Indian Constitution,’ comes under the GS-II syllabus of the IAS Exam. Get the list of major amendments to the Indian Constitution in this article.

Candidates can also complement their Indian Polity preparation with the following related articles:

Important Amendments in Indian Constitution – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

List of Major Amendments of the Indian Constitution for UPSC

Important amendments brought in the Indian Constitution are mentioned below:

First Amendment Act, 1951

The state was empowered to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and backward classes
The Ninth Schedule was added

Note:

  • Fourth Amendment Act, 1955 included some more Acts in the Ninth Schedule
  • 17th Amendment Act, 1964 included 44 more Acts in the Ninth Schedule
  • 29th Amendment Act, 1972 included two Kerala Acts on land reforms in the Ninth Schedule
  • 34th Amendment Act, 1974 included twenty more land tenure and land reforms acts of various states in the Ninth Schedule
Three more grounds of restrictions on Article 19 (1) [Freedom of speech and expression] were added:

  • Public order
  • Friendly relations with foreign states, and
  • Incitement to an offence

Note: Restrictions were made reasonable and justiciable. 

Introduced the validity of the state’s move to nationalize any business or trade and the same to not  be invalid on the grounds of violation of the right to trade and business

Second Amendment Act, 1952

The scale of representation in the Lok Sabha was readjusted stating that 1 member can represent even more than 7.5 lakh people.

Seventh Amendment Act, 1956

The provision of having a  common High Court for two or more states was introduced

 

Abolition of Class A, B, C and D states – 14 States and 6 Union Territories were formed
Introduction of Union Territories
Ninth Amendment Act, 1960
Adjustments to Indian Territory as a result of an agreement with Pakistan (Indo-Pak Agreement 1958):

  • Cession of Indian territory of Berubari Union (West Bengal) to Pakistan
Tenth Amendment Act, 1961
Dadra, Nagar, and Haveli incorporated in the Union of Indian as a Union Territory
12th Amendment Act, 1962
Goa, Daman and Diu incorporated in the Indian Union as a Union Territory
13th Amendment Act, 1962
Nagaland was formed with special status under Article 371A
14th Amendment Act, 1962
Pondicherry incorporated into the Indian Union
Union Territories of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu, and Puducherry were provided the legislature and council of ministers
19th Amendment Act, 1966
System of Election Tribunals was abolished and High Courts were given the power to hear the election petitions
21st Amendment Act, 1967
Sindhi language was language into 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution
24th Amendment Act, 1971
The President’s assent to Constitutional Amendment Bill was made compulsory
25th Amendment Act, 1971
Fundamental Right to Property was curtailed
26th Amendment Act, 1971
Privy Purse and privileges of former rulers of princely states were abolished
31st Amendment Act, 1972
Lok Sabha seats were increased from 525 to 545
35th Amendment Act, 1974
The status of Sikkim as protectorate state was terminated and Sikkim was given the status of ‘Associate State’ of India
36th Amendment Act, 1975
Sikkim was made a full-fledged state of India 
40th Amendment Act, 1976
Parliament was empowered to specify from time to time the limits of the territorial waters, the continental shelf, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the maritime zones of India.
42nd Amendment Act, 1976 Since the 42nd Amendment Act is the most comprehensive amendment of the Indian Constitution, called the ‘Mini-Constitution,’ candidates can read about it in detail in the linked article. 
44th Amendment Act, 1978 It is also one of the important amendments in the Indian Constitution, enacted by the Janata Government. Candidates can read about the 44th Amendment Act in detail in the linked article. 
52nd Amendment Act, 1985
A new tenth Schedule was added providing for the anti-defection laws. Candidates can read in detail about the Tenth Schedule in the linked article. 
61st  Amendment Act, 1989
The voting age was decreased from 21 to 18 for both Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies elections
65th Amendment Act, 1990
Multi-member National Commission for SC/ST  was established and the office of a special officer for SCs and STs was removed. 

Candidates can read about these National Commissions from the links provided below:

69th Amendment Act, 1991
Union Territory of Delhi was given the special status of ‘National Capital Territory of Delhi.’ 
70-member legislative assembly and a 7-member council of ministers were established Delhi
71st Amendment Act, 1992
Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali languages were included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
Total number of official languages increased to 18
73rd Amendment Act, 1992
Panchayati Raj institutions were given constitutional status. 
A new Part-IX and 11th Schedule were added in the Indian Constitution to recognize Panchayati Raj Institutions and provisions related to them
74th Amendment Act, 1992
Urban local bodies were granted constitutional status
A new Part IX-A and 12th Schedule were added to the Indian Constitution
86th Amendment Act, 2002
Elementary Education was made a fundamental right – Free and compulsory education to children between 6 and 14 years
A new Fundamental Duty under Article 51 A was added – “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years”

Read about Fundamental Duties in detail in the linked article. 

88th Amendment Act, 2003
Provision of Service Tax was made under Article 268-A – Service tax levied by Union and collected and appropriated by the Union and the States
92nd Amendment Act, 2003
Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Maithili and Santhali were added in the Eighth schedule
Total official languages were increased from 18 to 22
95th Amendment Act, 2009
Extended the reservation of seats for the SCs and STs and special representation for the Anglo-Indians in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies for a further period of ten years i.e., up to 2020 (Article 334).
97th Amendment Act, 2011
Co-operative Societies were granted constitutional status:

  • Right to form cooperative societies made a fundamental right (Article 19)
  • A new Directive Principle of State Policy ( Article 43-B) to promote cooperative societies
  • A new part IX-B was added in the constitution for cooperative societies
100th Amendment Act, 2015
To pursue land boundary agreement 1974 between India and Bangladesh, exchange of some enclave territories with Bangladesh mentioned
Provisions relating to the territories of four states (Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya) in the first schedule of the Indian Constitution, amended. 
101st Amendment Act, 2016
Goods and Service Tax (GST) was introduced. Read more about GST in the linked article. 
102nd Amendment Act, 2018
Constitutional Status was granted to  National Commission for Backward Classes 9NCBC)
103rd Amendment Act, 2019
A maximum of 10% Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections of citizens of classes other than the classes mentioned in clauses (4) and (5) of Article 15, i.e. Classes other than socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

IAS Exam aspirants might want to learn about EWS Criteria for UPSC which they can check in the linked article. 

104th Amendment Act, 2020
Extended the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and states assemblies from Seventy years to Eighty. Removed the reserved seats for the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

Important Amendments in Indian Constitution – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

The topic, ‘Important Amendments in Indian Constitution’ is important for UPSC Polity subject which you may check in the linked article.

IAS aspirants preparing for UPSC 2020, may also check the linked article to know more about the upcoming examination and prepare for the civil services examination accordingly.

UPSC candidates can check important articles that are relevant to the IAS exam in the table below:

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