Strategy To Approach Constitutional Amendments For UPSC Prelims

  • Categories
    Prelims
  • Published
    18th Jun, 2021

The Indian Constitution has been amended from time to time as and when required. Since the coming into existence,  the constitution, has been amended 104 times till date. The constitution of India was passed on 26 November 1949 and it was formally implemented on 26 January 1950. Since then 26 November is celebrated as the Constitution Day of India. So far 126 Constitution Amendment Bills have been introduced in the Parliament, out of which 104 Constitution Amendment Bills have been passed. The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any republic in the world. It took 2 years, 11 months, 18 days to prepare the constitution completely. From the reorganization of the states on the basis of language to giving reservation to the poor upper castes, many amendments have been made in it. The relevance of the Constitutional Amendment can be assessed from the fact that every year 1-2 questions are asked from this section in UPSC Prelims.

The Article 368 the Indian Constitution provides the provisions regarding amendment of the constitution. Amending procedure is not easy rather it is quite complicated  as it needs to comply with certain provisions before coming into effect. Amending the Indian constitution is a blend of rigidity and flexibility upto an extent.  Before going into further details like preparation methodology and booklist need to be referred one should have a basic idea regarding procedure of amendment of constitution.

Procedure to Amend Constitution

Amending some constitutional  provisions is difficult  while some others can be amended easily. Article 368 mentions two special methods for constitutional amendment :

(i) Most of the provisions of the Constitution can be amended by the Union Parliament by passing an Amendment Bill by a majority of total membership and 2/3rd majority of members present and voting in each of its two Houses.

(ii) For the amendment of some specified parts, a very rigid method has been provided. Under it, first the Union Parliament passes the Amendment Bill by a majority of total membership and 2/3rd majority of members present and voting in each house , and then it goes to the State Legislatures for ratification. The Amendment gets passed only when it is approved by not less than one half of the several states of the Union.

Apart from the above mention methods of amendment some other articles of the Constitution are amended through simple majority of Parliament, that is, a majority of the members of each House present and voting (similar to the ordinary legislative process). These amendments do not come under the ambit of Article 368.

Books and Resources To Cover Amendments of Constitution

NCERT book Indian Constitution at work could be a best resource for understanding the process of amending procedure . The chapter nine of this book Constitution As A Living Document details all the procedure of amendment. However Indian Polity By M Laxmikant can also be referred for the amendment procedure and all possible amendments done so far.

Few other online resources such as: 

https://www.india.gov.in/my-government/constitution-india/amendments

https://prsindia.org/billtrack

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution

Current Affairs website like GS Score that keep a tab on such amendments.

Daily News papers like The Hindu and Indian Express could be referred for current updates regarding amendments.

The entire process can be curtailed with the help of Prelims Sampoorna Fact File on Constitutional Amendments . The fact file has been released by GS Score one of the top coaching institute for IAS Preparation. The fact file has been prepared by eminent scholars having lots of experience in preparing civil services preparation material.

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