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Constituent Assembly of India

The idea of Constituent Assembly for India was put forward for first time by M.N. Roy in 1934. M.N. Roy was a pioneer of Communist movement in India. In 1935, the Indian National Congress for the first time, officially demanded a Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of India.

Constituent Assembly was elected on the basis of Adult franchise. The strength of the constituent assembly formulated on the basis was to be 389. Out of the 389 members, 296 representatives were from British India and 93 representatives were from the princely states.

Amongst the 296 representatives from British India, 292 representatives were drawn from eleven Governors9 provinces and a representative each from the 4 Chief Commissioners provinces of Delhi, Ajmer – Merwara, Coorg and British Baluchistan. In the election held in 1946 for the British provinces, the Congress won 208 seats and the Muslim League won 73 seats. With the partition of the country, the total membership was reduced to 299 representatives.

The Constituent Assembly held its first meeting on 9th December, 1946 under temporary President of Constituent Assembly, Dr. Sachchidan and Sinha. Later onlv 11th December, 1946, Dr. Rajendraprasad and H.C. Mukherjee was elected as the President and Vice President of the Assembly respectively. Sir B.N. Rau vvas appointed as the Constitutional Advisor to the Assembly.General Studies Question Bank CD

Completion of Constituent Assembly took a period of 2 years; 11 months 18 days. The total expenditure incurred on making the Constitution amounted to ₹ 64 lakhs. The Constituent Assembly appointed 22 committees to deal with different tasks of Constitution making. Drafting committee was set up on 29th August, 1947.

Drafting committee consisted of seven members. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was one of the members and Chairman of the Drafting Committee. Drafting Committee look 114 days to prepare its draft and submitted to the President of the assembly in February 1948. Objective resolution was given by Jawaharlal Nehru on 1st December, 1946. It was adopted by the Assembly on 22nd January, 1947. Objective resolution in modified version forms the preamble of our Constitution.

Later, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar introduced the Draft Constitution in the assembly for consideration on 4th November, 1948. This was the first reading of the constitution. The Second reading of the constitution was completed on 16th November, 1949. The third reading of the constitution was taken up immediately with a motion by Dr. Ambedkar stating that the constitution as settled by the assembly be passed.

The signature of members of the constituent assembly was completed on 24th January, 1950, which was the last day of the assembly. The Constitution as adopted on 26th November, 1949 contained a preamble, 395 articles and 8 schedules. The Constitution came into force on 26th January, 1950. At present Constitution of India contains a preamble, 444 articles and 12 schedules.

The Preamble

We, The People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens – JUSTICE,  social, economic and political, LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all, FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation,

In our constituent assembly, this twenty sixth day of November, 1949, do Here by Adopt, Enact and Give to Ourselves this Constitution.

The Preamble of our Constitution emphasizes the ultimate sovereignty of the people and that the Constitution itself is founded on the authority of the people. India is a sovereign country because it does not act under the dictation of any foreign country. It is absolutely independent in its internal affairs, external relations and all transactions. In short, it is absolute within its own sphere. India is a Democratic Republic. It has been argued that the word “Democratic” used before the word “Republic” is redundant and superfluous.

But it is not so because Democracy does not necessarily establish; the Republican form of Government. Though Britain, where there is a Hereditary Monarchy, is a Democracy, it is not a Republic. But India, where the President who is the Constitutional head, is elected by the representatives of the people for a period of five years is a republic.

The words SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST / SECULAR have been introduced by 42nd Amendment which came into force on 18th December, 1976. It must be noted that the people of India give the Constitution of India to themselves.General Studies Question Bank CD

Our Constitution has been divided into 24 parts. The first part deals with the Union and its Territories. The first Article says, India, that is, Bharat, shall be a union of states : Nowhere in our Constitution, we find the word Federation, it is generally said that our Constitution is quasi – federal in nature designed to work as a federation in normal times and as an Unitary State in emergency.

But the best and correct interpretation is ‘Union of States’. There are 28 States and 7 Union Territories. The 69th Amendment of 1991 states that Delhi should continue to be a Union Territory known as National Capital Territory and be provided with a Legislative Assembly ( 70 seats ) and a Council of Ministers ( 7 ministers ).

National Capital Territory of Delhi ami the Union Territory of Puducherry though administered by the President through a Lt.Governor he is advised by a Council of Ministers, responsible to the Legislative Assembly headed by the Chief Minister. He carries on the administration directly. The Legislative Assembly of Puducherry has 33 seats. The 70th Amendment states that the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and of Pondicherry ( Puducherry ) form part of Electoral College in electing the President.

The Salient Features of Our Constitution are : Sovereignty of the people, adult franchise, abolition of Princely states, Supreme Court in place of Privy Council, abolition of untouchability, abolition of titles; equality, secular ‘socialist’ republic and making certain important provisions of the Constitution rigid while retaining the flexibility of the Constitution itself.

Sources of Our Constitution

Indian constitution borrowed from its many salient features from the constitutions of various countries. But Government of India Act of 1935 is the very basis of our constitution.

  • Sources – Features borrowed
  • British Constitution – Parliamentary government, Rule of law, Single citizenship, Cabinet system.
  • US Constitution – Fundamental rights, Judicial review, Independence of Judiciary, Impeachment of President, Removal of Supreme & High Court  Judges.
  • Russian Constitution – Fundamental duties and Ideal of Justice.
  • Irish Constitution – Directive principles of state policy, Nomination of members of Rajya Sabha.
  • Canadian Constitution – Federation with strong centre.
  • Australian Constitution – Concurrent list, Joint sitting of two Houses of Parliament.
  • Weimer Constitution – Suspension of Fundamental Rights during of Germany emergency.
  • French Constitution – Republic & Ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity in the Preamble.
  • South African Constitution – Procedure for amendment of the Constitution.
  • Japanese Constitution – Procedure established by law.


Indian Citizenship

India has two sets, of people as ( i ) citizens ( ii ) aliens. Citizens are full members of Indian state. They enjoy all civil and political rights. Aliens do not enjoy all the civil and political rights.

Constitution deeds with the citizenship from articles 5 to 11 under Part II. Accordingly the Parliament has enacted the citizenship act 1955, which has been amended in 1986,1992 & 2003.

Acquisition Off Citizenship : The Citizenship Act of 1955 prescribes five ways of acquiring citizenship viz. birth, descent, registration, naturalization and incorporation of territory.

i) By Birth : The act amended in 1986 provides that a person is a citizen of India by birth ( a ) if he is born in India on or after 26th January, 1950 but before 1st July, 1987 ( or ) ( b ) if he is born in India on or after 1st July, 1987 but before 3rd December, 2004 is considered citizen of India by birth if either of his parents was a citizen of India. The second provision, added in 1986, makes the acquisition of Indian citizenship by the persons coming to India as refugees from Srilanka, Bangladesh and some African countries more difficult.

ii) By Descent : Citizen of India by descent if at the time of his birth either of His parents was an Indian citizen. But before 1992, a person born; outside India was entitled to Indian citizenship only if his father was an Indian citizen.General Studies Question Bank CD

iii) By Registration : Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for five years immediately before making an application for registration.

iv) By Naturalization : He has either resided in India or has been in Indian government service for 12 months before making ah application for naturalization.

v) By incorporation of Territory : If any foreign territory becomes a part of India, the government of India specifies the persons who among the people of territory shall be citizens of India.

Loss off Citizenship : The citizenship Act 1955, prescribes three ways of losing citizenship whether acquired under the act or prior to it under the constitution, viz. renunciation, termination and deprivation.

i) By Renunciation : If any citizen of India has voluntarily renounced his Indian citizenship by a declaration to the concerned authority, then such a person loses his citizenship of India. If a male citizen renounces his citizenship his children too lose the Indian Citizenship. However the children when they attain majority age can acquire Indian citizenship within a year of attaining majority age, if they wish to be Indian citizens.
General Studies Question Bank CD
ii) By Termination : If a person has voluntarily acquired citizenship of another country then such person’s citizenship of India gets terminated.

iii) By Deprivation : A person can be deprived of the citizenship on the following grounds :

Acquiring citizenship by fraudulent means, false representation or concealment of facts. Disloyalty towards constitution through an act or speech. Including in activities considered anti – national by law such as helping an enemy country with whom India is at war. Sentenced to punishment for a period of more than two years within five years of acquiring Indian citizenship. Has resided outside India continuously for seven years.

Commonwealth Citizenship : The Citizenship Act 1955, recognizes formally the concept of Commonwealth Citizenship. Every person who is citizen of a Commonwealth country has the status of a Commonwealth Citizen in India.

Single Citizenship : Indian constitution is federal and envisages of dual polity ( centre & state ). It provides for only single citizenship, that is the Indian citizenship. The citizens in India owe allegiance only to the union. There is no separate state citizenship.

Dual Citizenship : The Indian Parliament on the 22nd December, 2003 amended the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant dual citizenship to the people of Indian origin. The amendment provides for grant of overseas citizenship of India to persons of Indian origin and to those Indian citizens who choose to acquire” citizenship of any of these countries at a later date. It defines “overseas citizen of India” to mean a person who is of Indian origin being a citizen of a specified country, or was a citizen of India immediately before becoming a citizen of a specified country and is registered as an overseas citizen of India by the Central Government.

It specifies that an overseas citizen will not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India and will not have the right to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, will not have voting rights and also will not be eligible to be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.

Initially the government included only 16 countries. The 16 countries listed by the government were : the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Greece and Portugal.

The advantages of the Amendment is for those who have taken foreign passports / the dual citizenship will remove the obstacles in travel to and from India1 with no multiple visa requirements. It would foster better co – operation in vital sectors of development by way of investments and transfer of skills and resources as Persons of Indian Origin settled in economically more advanced countries of the world have skills and expertise in vital sectors. It will facilitate the Diaspora’s contribution in India’s social development as it will now strengthen emotional and cultural bonds of Persons O Indian Origin. It would also help to bring about and establish links of the younger generation of the Indian Diaspora with India as they may be keen to keep in touch with their roots.

Fundamental Rights

The third and the most important part contains the Fundamental Rights. Fundamental Rights are granted to citizens under Articles 12 to 35 of the Constitution. Some of the previsions of the Fundamental Rights are of the nature of publications and place Constitutional limitations on the authority of the state.

The object of the Fundamental Rights, Dr. Ambedkar said is two fold. First that every citizen must be in a position to claim those rights. Secondly they must be binding upon every authority.

They must be binding not only on Central Government but on the State Governments, districts, local bodies, municipalities, even Village Panchayats and Taluk Boards. But the Bill of Rights in the United States imposes limitations on the National Government alone.

Article 13 ( 2 ) of our Constitution says the state shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this part. Any law made in contravention, is void. It has been much debated whether the word law includes Constitutional Amendment or not. The present opinion is that law does not include Constitutional Amendment.General Studies Question Bank CD

And according to the judgment given in the Keshavanand Bharathfs case in April 1973, this is made clear that the Parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights. So it implies that the word law does not include Constitutional amendment. Thus the Supreme Court shifted back to its original position in the Gopalan case of 1950, that Parliament is omnipotent The Golaknath case judgment has been overruled.

It is apt here to discuss what is Golaknath case. The Supreme Court by a historic 6 – 5 ruling on 27th February, 1967 reversing its earlier decision declared that Parliament had no power to abridge or take away Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

The majority view was expressed in two separate judgements – one by the then Chief Justice Mr. K. Subba Rao for himself and for Justices S.C. Shah, J.M. Shelat and Vaidyalingam and the other by Mr. Justice Hidayathullah. The judges who gave dissenting judgement were Wanchoo, Bhargawat, Mitter and Ramasami. The Government’s demand to abridge the Fundamental Rights was dubbed as “too extravagant”.

When such a contingency arises, the Parliament by exercising its residuary powers, might call the Constituent Assembly to frame a new Constitution or to change it radically. The article 368 which deals with the Amendment to our Constitution gives only the procedure and not the power to the Parliament. Here it can be argued, how can there be procedure without power? Moreover when the Parliament has no power to amend or abridge the Fundamental Rights, how can it give power to a Constituent Assembly which is to be created by the Parliament? A coin has always two sides.

Specific Fundamental Rights

Right to Equality ( Art. 14 – 18 ) : It guarantees equality to all persons before the law, thrashes out discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth between citizens, grants equality of opportunity in the matter of public employment and abolishes untouchability and titles. Minorities may establish their own schools and Government cannot deny grants deny the grounds of race, religion or language

Exemptions :  ( First Amendment ) The State may make special provisions to give preference to the socially and economically backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The Parliament may confine employment under any state or local authority to residents. The state, may also provide for the reservation of appointments or posts for members of backward classes which in the opinion of the state are not adequately represented in the services under the state. Offices connected with religious denominations may – be reserved only to the adherents of that denomination.

Right to Freedom ( Art. 19 – 22 ) : These Articles deal with the right to freedom. Article 19 guarantees six fundamental rights which are known as seven freedoms; namely ( a ) freedom of speech and expression, ( b ) freedom of assembly, ( c ) freedom of association, ( d ) freedom of movement, ( e ) freedom of residence and settlement, ( f ) freedom of profession, occupation, business or trade.

Exemption : The reservations restricting this right are in the interests of the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency, morality or relating to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence. Freedom of assembly and of association is subject to restrictions in the interests of the public order. The freedom of movement is also restricted in the interest of the public and of any scheduled tribes. In times of emergency, every citizen, cannot claim access to places considered to be of military or strategic importance. The freedom of movement may be restricted to the place where an epidemic spreads. Any person can be forbidden from entering into any part of the country for a particular period or can be detained on the sufficient grounds in the interest of public order. The right of carrying any trade or profession is subject to reasonable restrictions.

The Articles 20 to 22 which deal with the personal liberty, say that no one should be subjected to any punishment for any kind of offence under any law which is not in force at the time when the offence was committed. No person can be deprived of life except by the procedure established by law. Similarly no person can be detained for more than 24 hours without the authority of the nearest magistrate. The Article 22 deals with the arrests made under the Preventive Detention Acts.

Right to Education ( Art. 21 A ) : Every child in the age group of 6 – 14 years will be provided 8 years of Elementary Education. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act came in the force on 1st April, 2010. The 86th amendment making education a fundamental right was passed in 2002 by Parliament.

Right Against Exploitation ( Art. 23 & 24 ) : These articles prohibit the traffic in human beings and beggary and similar forms of forced labour. But regarding services, the state shall not make any discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste or class. Nobody below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Right to freedom of Religion ( Art. 25 – 28 ) : All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and possess the right to profess freely, practise and propagate religion, subject to public order, morality and health. No one can be compelled to pay tax for propagation or maintenance of any religion. No school or college wholly maintained out of government revenues can impart religious instructions.

Cultural and Educational Rights ( Art. 29 & 30 ) : These articles guarantee to every minority or section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof to have the right of having a distinct language script of culture of its own and of conserving the same.

All minorities are given freedom to establish educational institutions of their choice. The state shall not discriminate in granting aid to educational institutions on the ground that it is under the management of a minority whether based on religion or language.

Right to Property ( Art. 31 ) : According to this Article no person shall be deprived of his property saved by authority of law. Further no property; shall be compulsorily acquired or requisitioned save for public purpose and save by authority of law without paying adequate compensation. But the word compensation has been now replaced by the word ‘amount’ ( 25th Amendment ). Further it was provided that if the Parliament or a State Legislature makes a law with the declaration that it is going to give effect to the ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ it cannot be brought under ‘Judicial Review’. But this part has been struck down by the Supreme Court. Now the Right to Property, contained in P&rt III – Fundamental Rights – of the Constitution, has been taken away as a fundamental right and made a legal right under art 300A by 44th Amendment 1978, with effect from 20th June, 1979.

Right to Constitutional Remedies ( Art. 32 – 35 ) : Dr. B.R. Ambedkar denoted the right as Heart & Soul of our Constitution. These articles; guarantee every person to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of the fundamental rights. But while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, Fundamental Rights related to seven freedoms stand automatically suspended. The President, by an order may suspend the right to move the courts to enforce the Fundamental Rights. But such an order must be laid before the Parliament in accordance with the related provisions of the Constitution. Article 32 ( 1 ) allows moving the Supreme Court to issue; directions or orders.or writs in the nature of Habeas – Corpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Prohibition and Quo warranto. This right was described by Dr. B.R Ambedkar as “The Heart and Soul” of the Constitution.

Habeas Corpus is an order calling upon a person who has detained! another to produce the latter before the court in order to let the Court know on what ground he has been confined and to set him free if there is no legal justification for the imprisonment.

Mandamus commands a person to whom it is addressed to perform some public or quasi – public legal duty which he has refused to perform and the performance of which cannot be enforced by any other adequate legal remedy.

Certiorari is an order issued by a Superior Court against an inferior court or tribunal to quash their decision – intended to secure the jurisdiction of an inferior court / tribunal is property exercised.

Prohibition ensures to stop proceedings in a lower court on the ground of excess of jurisdiction.

Quo warranto is a proceeding whereby the court enquires into the legality of the claim which a party asserts to a public office, and to oust him from its enjoyment if the claim be not well founded.

General Studies Question Bank CD

Directive Principles of State Policy

Part IV of our Constitution contains Directive Principles of State Policy which are declared, according to Articles 36 to 51 – fundamental in the governance of the country – Dr.Ambedkar said in the Constituent Assembly that these declarations are not mere pious declarations. The future legislature and the executive should not merely pay lip-service but they must form the very basis of all legislative and executive action.

Directive Principle State Policy are three principles, such as ( 1 ) Sociology ( or ) Economical ( 2 ) Gandhian ( 3 ) Liberal.

1. Socialist Principles :

  1. State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people ( Art. 38 )
  2. Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State ( Art. 39 )
  3. Equal justice and free legal aid ( Art. 39A )
  4. Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases ( Art. 41 )
  5. Provision for just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief ( Art. 42 )
  6. Living wage etc. for workers ( Art. 43 )
  7. Participation of workers in management of industries ( Art. 43A )
  8. Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections ( Art. 46 )

2. Gandhian Principles :

  1. Organisation of village panchayats ( Art. 40 )
  2. Promote cottage industries on individual or co-operative basis in rural areas. ( Art. 46 )
  3. Insists that the state shall endeavour to effect prohibition of the consumption, except for medical purposes, of intoxicating drinks & drugs which are injurious to health. ( Art. 47 )
  4. Organisation of Agriculture and Animal husbandry ( Art. 48 ) : The 73rd Constitutional Amendment of 1993 has given statutory status to the Panchayat Raj System, the brainchild of Gandhian loc self – government.

3. Liberal Principles :

  1. Definition of State ( Art. 36 )
  2. Application of Directive Principles ( Art. 37 )
  3. Uniform civil code for the citizens ( Art. 44 )
  4. Provision for early childhood care and education to children below age of six years ( Art. 45 )
  5. Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life ( Art. 48A )
  6. Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance ( Art. 49 )
  7. Separation of judiciary from executive ( Art. 50 )
  8. Promotion of international peace and security ( Art. 51 )

Significance of the Directive Principles :

Mr. Chatteijee asserted “These solemn declarations ( the Directive Principles ) in the Constitution were not directives but only decoratives in the Constitution.” Mr. B.N. Datar, the then Home Minister, replying to his criticism, said that these principles were like Manifesto of Alms and were not a – matter of immediate achievement. They are the directives by which we have to go.

They are trends and tendencies that have to be taken into account in laying down the’ policies of the government. The policies of the Government have been shaped in accordance to the principles. Every decision of the Planning Commission has been guided or coloured by the “Directive Principles”. Our present government attaches increasing importance to these principles and thus tries to ensure economic democracy without undermining the political democracy. Fblitical democracy without economic democracy is void.

Distinction between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

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Fundamental Duties

Part IV – A was inserted by the 42nd Amendment Act. It deals with Fundamental Duties. The idea of inserting this part is recommended by Swaran Singh Committee, in view of the fact that duties and rights are inseparable. Under the new Article 51 – A, a list of eleven duties of every citizen of India is given.

1) To abide by the Constitution and respect its deals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

2) To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.

3) To uphold and protect the Sovereignty, Unity and Integrity of India.

4) To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.

5) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India.

6) To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.

7) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life.

8) To develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.

9) To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.

10) To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

11) to provide opportunities for education to his child between age of 6 to 14 years. This duty; was added by 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002.


The President of India

Article 52 of our Constitution declares that “There shall be a President of India”. The executive power of the Union and the Supreme Commander of Defence Forces is vested with him. Our Constitution simply creates the office of the President of India. But it does not say anywhere that the President .is either the Head of the State or the executive.

Qualifications of the President : The President of India must be a citizen of India, must have completed the age of 35 years and be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha. At the time of the election, he should not hold an office of profit under any Government – Union or State or Local. However, he is not deemed to hold office of profit by reason only that he is the President or the Vice – President of India or the Governor of a State, or a Minister either at the Centre or in the State.

If he is a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State and elected to the office of the President, he is deemed to have vacated the membership, as soon as he enters upon his office as President. The superintendence, direction and control for the election of President is vested with the Election Commission. The decision on doubts and disputes relating to the election of the President rests with the Supreme Court and its decision is once for all fined. The salary and other emoluments of the President, are determined by the Parliament. They cannot be increased or diminished during the term of his office.

The Parliament has fixed a salary ( see table in the coming pages ). The President is entitled to use the official furnished residence without payment of any rent and he is permitted to spend a fixed sum of rupees per year on travel, entertainment, etc.General Studies Question Bank CD

Term of Office : The President holds office for a period of five years and is eligible for re – election. He may resign. His resignation must forthwith be addressed to the Vice – President, who is required to communicate forthwith; to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The President of India can be impeached for Violation of Constitution. But the ‘violation of Constitution’ has not been defined. The procedure of impeachment is covered by Article 61. When a President is to be impeached for violating the Constitution, the charge shall be preferred by either House of Parliament.

The President must be given fourteen days notice in writing signed by not less than one fourth of the total : number of members of the House to move such a resolution and such a resolution must be passed by a majority of not less than two thirds of the total membership of the House. When such a charge has been so preferred by either House of Parliament, the other House shall investigate the charge and he President shall have the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation. As a result of the investigation a resolution is passed by a majority of not less than two thirds of total membership of the House by which the charge was investigated, the President shall forthwith be removed from office.

Mode of Election : The President of India is elected by the members of Electoral College consisting of ( a ) the elected members of both Houses of : Parliament; and ( b ) the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States in accordance with the proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. Each member of a State Legislature has as many votes as are obtained by the formula :

( Total Formulation of the State ( as certained as the last census ) / Total number of elected members of legislative Assembly ) ÷ 1000

Fractions exceeding half will be counted as one. For securing parity between the States as a whole and the Union, the votes of each member of Parliament will be according to this formula :

Total number of votes assigned to elected members to the Legislative Assemblies of the States Total number of the elected member of both House of Parliaments

Quota ( Total number of votes polled / Number of Candidates ) + 1

If at the first count no candidate is able to secure the requisite quota of votes, the candidate securing the least number of votes is eliminated and his votes are transferred among the other candidates according to the second preferences on the ballot papers of the voters who gave him first preferences. This process of elimination and transfer of votes continues till such a candidate is elected who has obtained the requisite quota of votes. Disputes, if any, about the election of the President are heard and decided by the Supreme Court.

General Studies Question Bank CD

Powers and Duties of the President :

  • Legislative Powers
  • Executive Powers
  • Financial Powers
  • Judicial Powers
  • Military Powers
  • Diplomatic Powers
  • Emergency Powers

Types of Veto

  • Absolute veto, that is, with holding the assent to the bill.
  • Qualified veto, which can be overridden by the Legislature with a higher majority. Suspensive veto, which can be overridden by the Legislature with an ordinary majority.
  • Pocket veto, that is, delay in giving assent to the bill.

Though all executive actions of the Union Government are expressed to be taken in the name of the President, his authority is formal. He has the right to be kept informed by the Prime Minister of all decisions taken by the Council of Ministers. He appoints the Prime Minister and other Ministers, the Attorney – General of India, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts and the State Governors.

The President has the power to remove his ministers, the Attorney – General of India and the Governors of the States. He has the power to appoint an interstate council, the Union Public Service Commission, the Election Commission, a commission to report on the administration of Scheduled Areas, Special Officer for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a commission to investigate into conditions of backward classes and a commission on languages. Union Territories are under the direct control of the President.

The Constitution vests the supreme command of the Armed forces in the President. But he has to exercise this power in conformity with law. Parliament has exclusive legislative powers, relating to the defence forces. The diplomatic business is conducted in the name of the President. All treaties and international agreements are negotiated and concluded in the name of the President.

The election of a new President must be held within six months of the date of the occurrence of the vacancy. When the President is unable to perform his functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice – President discharges the functions of the President until the President resumes duties of his office.

Emergency Powers of the President : Three kinds of emergencies have been contemplated in India. The President of India can declare emergency arising due to ( a ) war, external aggression and armed rebellion; ( b ) failure of Constitutional machinery in a State; and ( c ) threat to financial stability or credit of India. It is upto the President to determine whether the condition has been created to declare emergency. He cannot be questioned. According to Article 352, ‘If at any time the President of India is satisfied that there has arisen a grave emergency created by war or armed rebellion which threatens the security of India or any part of its territory, he can by declaration. ( i ) give directions to the constituent states as to how their authority is to be exercised, and ( ii ) suspend from operation several Articles ( 268 to 280 ) of the Constitution under which it is obligatory on the union government to make certain contributions to the states.

However it is necessary to place the President’s proclamation of emergency before the Parliament within 2 months for approval, The Parliament acquires the power to legislate on any matters enumerated in the State List during the period of operation of such emergency. Such proclamation of Emergency suspends automatically the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19. But the citizens right to move the court to enforce Fundamental Rights can be suspended only by a separate proclamation.

President’s Rule : Under Article 356, the President can take over the administration of a state in the event of break – down of its Constitutional machinery in the state. The President can do so either on receipt of a report from the Governor or when he is otherwise satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Such a proclamation of the President must be laid down before the; Parliament within two months. Even after the approval of the Parliament it cannot remain in force for more than one year. When such a proclamation is in operation, the concerned State Assembly can either be dissolved or kept in animated suspension.

The Imposition of the President’s on the States

Some FactsGeneral Studies Question Bank CD

  •  For the first time, the President’s Rule was imposed on Kerala on 20-06-1951, which was in force till 17-04-1952.
  •  The longest duration of the President’s Rule in a State was in the State of Punjab i.e., from 11-05-1987 to 25-02-1992.

The number of times the President’s Rule was imposed on States during the tenure of different Prime Ministers is given below :

Ragas TimingMoods
Bhairavi Dawnawe & fear
  • The number of times, the President’s Rule was imposed on different States and Union Territories is given below : The figures in bracket indicate the number of times the President’s Rule was imposed.
  • Andhra Pradesh ( 2 ), Arunachal Pradesh ( 1 ), Assam ( 4 ), Bihar ( 7 ), Gujarat ( 5 ), Goa ( 4 ), Haryana ( 3 ), Himachal Pradesh ( 2 ), Jammu & Kashmir ( 3 ), Karnataka ( 5 ), Kerala ( 9 ), Madhya Pradesh ( 3 ), Maharashtra ( 1 ), Manipur ( 7 ), Meghalaya ( 1 ), Mizoram ( 2 ), Nagaland ( 1 ), Puducherry ( 6 ), Punjab ( 9 ), Rajasthan ( 4 ), Sikkim ( 2 ), Tamil Nadu ( 4 ), Tripura ( 2 ), Uttar Pradesh ( 8 ), West Bengal ( 4 ).
  •  Kerala and Punjab are the States where the President’s Rule was imposed for maximum number of times, i.e., nine times in both states.
  •  The States where the President’s Rule was imposed for minimum number of times, are Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh i.e., one time in each.
  •  The Shortest duration of the President’s Rule wjis in Karnataka. It was only for seven days from 10-10-1990 to 17-10-1990.

Administration of Union Territories

Except as otherwise provided by law, the Union Territories are administered by the President.

The President can also appoint the Governor of a State as the administrator of an adjoining Union Territory and when a Governor is appointed, he will exercise his powers and function as administrator independently of his Council of Ministers,

Vice – President

Part V, Chapter I, Article 63 to Article 69 of the constitution deals with the President of India. Article 63 of the Constitution of India provides that there shall be a Vice – President of Jndia. Articles 64 and 89 ( 1 ) also specifies that the Vice-President of India shall be ex – official Chairman of the Council of States i.e., Rajya Sabha.

The Vice – President of India is elected by all members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in accordance with the system of proportional representation by a single transferable vote. His term of office is five years. He can be re – elected. He acts as the President during the temporary absence of the President or during a casual vacancy in the office of the President for a maximum six-month period. To be eligible to become

Vice – President, he must be an Indian citizen, he must have completed the age of 35 years and he must be qualified to be a member of the Rajya Sabha.

The Vice – President may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by a majority of all the then members and must be agreed to by the Lok Sabha. To move such a resolution, fourteen days notice must be given. Unlike the Vice – President of USA, the Vice – President does not automatically become the President, on the latte Vs death, resignation or removal from office.

Union Council of Ministers

If the President, is the constitutional Head of the State, the real executive is Council of Ministers. Article 74 ( i ) provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions. The President appoints the Prime Minister and the other Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Ministers hold office during the pleasure of the President while the Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. Before a Minister enters his office, the President shall administer to him the oath of office and secrecy according to the prescribed form in the third schedule. A minister must be a member of either House of Parliament.

If he is not, he ceases to be a Minister after the expiry of six months of his appointment. The Council is collectively responsible to the Parliament and a vote of no – confidence against any minister automatically leads to the resignation of the entire Council. The salaries and allowances are determined by law.

Prime Minister

The office of the Prime Minister in Britain is the result of accident of circumstances and growth. But in India, the office has been created by the Constitution itself. The Prime Minister heads the Council of Ministers which he or she forms. The Ministers are technically appointed by the President but in actual practice they are the nominees of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister forms the Ministry but he can alter it or destroy it. But Constitution is silent on how the President appoints the Prime Minister. It does not say whether the Prime Minister must belong to the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

When Mrs. Indira Gandhi was appointed the Prime Minister after the death of Mr. Sastri, she was a member of Rajya Sabha. The accepted convention is that the head of the State summons the leader of the party which has a majority in Lok Sabha if there is one, or such a person capable of commanding a majority in Legislature, when there is no single party having clear majority, and appoints him as the Prime Minister and commissions him to form the Ministry.

The Prime Ministership of India entails one of the heaviest burdens in the world. In India the Prime Minister is Primus inter parus – first among equals. He is rather a “sun around which planets revolve”.


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