Indian Constitution: Formation and Amendment

Indian Constitution: Formation and Amendment

Question : The Indian Constitution is the world’s lengthiest constitution. Discuss how it was formed and how it is amended.


• The Indian constitution was passed on 26th November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly/CA

• The Constitution of India is the world’s lengthiest

• The Constitution of India draws extensively from Western legal traditions regarding principles of liberal democracy

• The upper and lower house are based on the parliamentary pattern followed in the UK

• Fundamental Rights is similar to the Bill of Right declared by US

• SC concept is borrowed from US constitution

• India’s federal system where residual powers remain with the centre is borrowed from Canada

• Constitution of India also provides detailed list of powers divided between centre and state, as in the Australian constitution

• The Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian constitution are inspired by the Irish Constitution

How It is Amended?

• The Constitution has a provision for schedules to be added through amendment

• The 10 schedules in force cover designations of states and UTs, emoluments of high level officers, forms of oath allocation of seats in RS etc

• A review of the constitution requires two thirds of LS and RS to pass it

• Indian Constitution is one of the most frequently amended in the world

• First amendment to the Constitution was passed within a year of its inception

• Most of the Constitution can be amended following a quorum of more than 50% of the members of each house having passed the amendment by two thirds majority vote

• Articles regarding distribution of legislative authority between state and central governments must also be approved by at least 50% of the state legislatures

Facts and Stats

• Constitution is fully applicable since 26th January 1950

• The CA had been selected for undivided India

• CA’s first sitting was on 9th December 1946 and it reassembled on 14th August 1947 as the Sovereign CA for the dominion of India

• Members were elected by direct election by members of provisional legislative assemblies/ lower houses only

• At the time of signing of the Constitution, 284 of 299 members of the CA were present
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