List of Important Acts that Transformed India

The UPSC exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of the government machinery, the three arms of the government, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, among other things. Polity and governance is an important segment of the UPSC syllabus. Here, acts, bills, rules and amendments play an important role and constitute an essential part of the UPSC questions.

On this page, we have compiled the most important bills and acts that have transformed India and presented it for your convenience. The acts are neatly classified and explained, keeping in mind the needs of the IAS.

For more details on the exam conducted by UPSC, candidates can visit the link IAS Exam.

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Aspirants can cover the topics mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus by following the below-mentioned links:

Why Acts are Important for UPSC?

Acts are important not only because the UPSC has directly asked questions from them, but also because they help understand the why’s and how’s behind many government actions and schemes. We hear concepts like the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the Environment Protection Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act, etc. in the daily news very often. But many times, the gist of these acts go missing in the news and we find it difficult to comprehend them, especially with the UPSC scheme of things in mind.

Also, see the most important Supreme Court judgements for UPSC in the linked article.

As UPSC aspirants, it is important to know the salient features of the most important acts that frequent headlines, the pros and cons of the legislation, and also how and to what extent they would impact the lives of people in the country. 

This multidimensional understanding of legislation enacted by the Indian Parliament is necessary for clearing the UPSC exam. Acts cover various subjects of the IAS syllabus such as governance, environment and ecology, disaster management, economy, commerce, women, children and other marginalised sections, etc.

In the tables below, you will find all the crucial acts, bills, amendments and rules that have shaped India, starting from the pre-independence days of the Raj, to the latest bills tabled in the Parliament. 

In the tables below, you will find all the crucial acts, bills, amendments and rules that have shaped India, starting from the pre-independence days of the Raj, to the latest bills tabled in the Parliament.

To know the differences between an act and a law, click on the linked article.

Acts for UPSC [History/Freedom Struggle]

Regulating Act, 1773 Pitt’s India Act, 1784
Charter Act, 1793 Charter Act, 1813
Charter Act, 1833 Charter Act, 1853
Government of India Act, 1858 Thuggee and Dacoity Suppression Acts
Indian Councils Act, 1861 Indian Councils Act, 1892
Indian Councils Act, 1909 (Morley-Minto reforms) Criminal Tribes Act, 1871
Government of India Act, 1919 Government of India Act, 1935
Ilbert Bill Defence of India Act, 1915
Rowlatt Act Indian Independence Act, 1947

Acts for UPSC [Polity and Governance]

Representation of People Act, 1951 Right to Education Act (RTE)
Right to Information Act (RTI) Roshni Act [Jammu & Kashmir]
Official Secrets Act, 1923 Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897
44th Amendment Act 42nd Amendment Act
Disaster Management Act, 2005 Road Safety and Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2019
Drug Price Control Order, 2013 National Medical Commission Bill, 2019
Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Amendment Bill, 2015 MGNREGA
Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 Information Technology Act, 2000
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 – Panchayati Raj
Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021 Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991
102nd Amendment Act Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021

Acts for UPSC [Environment & Ecology]

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 CAMPA Law
National Water Framework Bill, 2016 Forest Rights Act
Biological Diversity Act, 2002 Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981 Forest Conservation Act, 1980
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 CAMPA Law
Indian Forest Act of 1927 Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022

Acts for UPSC [Business/Economy/Labour]

Acts for UPSC [Women & Children/Marginalised Groups/Health]

Acts for UPSC [Internal Security/Terrorism]

National Security Act, 1980

Acts for UPSC [Agriculture/Food]

Acts for UPSC [Science and Technology]

Frequently Asked Questions on Important Acts in India


Q 1. How a Bill becomes an Act?

Ans. A Bill is the draft of a legislative proposal that has to pass through various stages before it becomes an Act of Parliament.

Q 2. How many languages are mentioned in the Indian Constitution?

Ans. the Indian constitution recognizes 22 major languages of India in what is known as “the 8th Schedule” of the Constitution.
Related Links
Important Judicial Doctrines Constituent Assembly Debates
100 Difference between Articles for IAS Prelims Preparation Environment Conventions & Protocols for UPSC
Important Govt. Schemes Upcoming PSC Exams 2022

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